on 4 October 2013
Firstly. I like Sylvester McCoy and on the whole I like the 7th Doctor Era irrespective of some bad writing and acting. I'm am however not a big fan of synthasized music which should suggest I don't like ANY WHO soundtracks. However over the orignal 26 year run the majority of incidental music has worked well against the visuals, but I have found that some 87-89 soundtracks jar against the visuals. I think this is primarily because Mark Ayres and his synthesizer are attempting to recreate a full orchestra with a keyboard and sfx button; a system I am not fond of: Either go totally electronic or totally orchestral.
However this score for Ghost light is actually pretty good and an improvement on the orginal release. This version of the theme tune is one of my favourites and was missing from the first release (I expect it was copyright issues). A lot of the creepy atmosphere from the story is instilled in the tracks and I like that this ost runs chronologically. It also helps that a good proportion of the tracks are hummable. The alternative tracks are a bonus too.
Silva screen are doing great guns with their releases of tv scores. Keep it up.........
on 26 August 2013
Originally released in 1993 (and affectionately held in my collection autographed by Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred), Mark Ayres composed & performed original soundtrack for SEASON 26's enigmatic three-parter, penned by Marc Platt, DOCTOR WHO - GHOST LIGHT is re-released by SILVA SCREEN on 26 August 2013. And it's about time too; it's a mostly forgotten or ignored classic suite.
Re-mastered and `expanded' (the single disc release includes `alternative versions' of the incidental music used in the 1989 story), GHOST LIGHT demonstrates that the dying days of the CLASSIC SERIES could still deliver a level of music excellence and professionalism amid the tawdry, unwelcome E-number-type `campery' & frippery that were inflicted upon other stories within the final season.
It would seem that Ayres, along with story director, Alan Wareing, comprehended the value that incidental music in stimulating emotions within the viewer as opposed to Keff McCulloch's assertion that accompanying music (see/hear: DOCTOR WHO - BATTLEFIELD) was there to overwhelm and drown with appropriate drone the unwary watcher. Additionally, his incidental music suite for GHOST LIGHT demonstrates that he understands the DNA of the series, valuing its historical importance and affection for its previous musical contributors.
The caustic wasp-sting attack of the repulsive theme music - disastrously re-arranged by Keff McCulloch - heralds the start of GHOST LIGHT and, thankfully, it only gets better.
Upon reflection, Ayres' music score, unlike the `stings' provided by the legendary Dudley Simpson for the CLASSIC SERIES until 1979, is conspicuous as it seems now to be more akin and conceptually to the NEW SERIES (composed throughout by Murray Gold) than the original run. Thematic, apposite, tantalisingly cinematic that allies itself with the on-screen visuals rather than instilling conflict or boredom with them, Ayres' effectively becomes a `co-writer' alongside Platt delivering a complementary aural narrative.
At times, restrained (hear: Track 14 - Where is Mamma?), creatively idiosyncratic (hear: Track 5 - Heart of the Interior) and occasionally ecclesiastical (hear: Track 16 - The Way to the Zoo), the styling of the soundtrack is clearly designed to be `accessible' and supportive, and if that was the aim it gloriously succeeds.
Sadly, Mark Ayres only produced three soundtracks for the CLASSIC SERIES (including THE GREATEST SHOW IN THE GALAXY and THE CURSE OF FENRIC) and, if the series had continued for SEASON 27, this soundtrack would have been a perfect `audio resume' in order for the series' producers to unreservedly select him to be DOCTOR WHO's sole incidental music provider. Intelligent, appropriate and creatively mature, Ayres would have been the pre-eminent choice particularly as it would seem that `The Cartmel Masterplan' (Series Script Editor, Andrew Cartmel) would have created more mystery and characterisation depth to the Seventh Doctor and a more resonant `styling' being deployed throughout. In effect, a "darker Doctor" and Ayres' musical scores would have provided a sturdy undercurrent to him.
In this 50th anniversary year (2013), SILVA SCREEN's re-release of DOCTOR WHO - GHOST LIGHT OST is your personal time machine back to a time when, once again, the series was regenerating itself back into a character-led, as opposed to visuals-led, drama series that once again was taking itself seriously (or as seriously as a `science fiction fantasy' series can ever be) and had set a new goal and ambition.
Unfortunately, it never got a chance to pursue those aims, but in this OST you can hear the seeds of that change germinating and desperate to see the Light.