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on 12 May 2017
Well pleased
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on 9 November 2008
Doctor Who - Original Television Soundtrack - Series 4
Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

With two Doctor Who soundtracks already under their belts, what can the latest offering hold in store from Murray Gold and Ben Foster for Series 4?

Last year we were treated to a compilation that was every bit as thought through as the Television series itself, with a broad mix of varied compositions that rounded off a superb accompaniment to the shows third season.

Owing to the success, the stakes have been raised, and output has once again hit new levels of audible satisfaction.

With Twenty-Seven tracks and a total running time of over 72 minutes, (not forgetting the two albums that have gone before it), you can't help but wonder what, if any, repetition might find its way veined throughout - as is concurrent with many other television soundtracks currently on the market. The answer is, thankfully, very little. There are of course some running themes such as `The Doctor's Theme', the Ood's `Song of Freedom' as well as River Song and her associated melody, but all have their place and evolve throughout.

As with the Series Three Soundtrack, there's a great selection of songs that particularly stand out.

Track Three; 'Life Among the Distant Stars', is Wilfred Mott's theme, and is a fine tribute to Bernard Cribbins' much-loved character. It starts with a subtle nod to the opening melody from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and intelligently comes into its own through piano, violin, flute and gentle brass. The final third of this track brings back that lump you got in your throat as Wilfred says goodbye to The Doctor at the end of the series.

Track Six; 'Songs of Captivity and Freedom', draws parallels to the persecution of the Jews during World War Two. As the title suggests, the track forms two parts, the former of which is every bit as powerful as the music from Schindlers List, with a sorrowful solo violin portraying the enslavement of The Ood to dramatic effect. There is salvation with the second part of this track as it moves from minor to major, into a beautiful, joyful choral melody.

Track Nine; 'The Source', is a theme that sticks with you owing to its complexity. With a majestic introduction leading into soft strings, with a sudden build to what you expect to be a dramatic ending. This then falls out to a soft blend of strings and brass, with another short rise at the end. Sometimes music can be predictable, refreshingly, Murray Gold doesn't conform to predictability and this track is proof enough.

Track Eleven; 'The Doctor's Theme Series Four', although having featured on the previous two albums, makes a welcome addition to this soundtrack. Here we see both a sense of coming full circle as well as an evolution of the theme itself. The chorus now feels more ethereal with an epic quality that reinforces the importance of The Doctor and his role in the programme.

Track Twelve; 'Voyage of the Damned Suite', is as complete as any fan would wish for. With over 10 minutes dedicated to the 2008 Christmas Special, the composition itself takes you on a magical journey. There are flavours of old westerns, Mary Poppins, James Bond as well as nods to some of the themes from Series Three. The last two minutes are filled with the essence of Christmas - in musical form!

Track Thirteen; 'The Girl with No Name', works so well for 'Silence in the Library' / 'Forest of the Dead'. Magical, suspenseful, dramatic and brimming with a quality that would fit into any Tim Burton movie.

Track Seventeen; 'The Greatest Story Never Told', is probably the most epic out of all the compositions on this soundtrack. It repeats a melody first heard in 'Silence in the Library', with undertones of 'All the Strange, Strange Creatures' from the Series Three Soundtrack, but taken so much further. You can't help but feel there's more to this theme - it's so big, so powerful, and yet so unresolved.

Track Eighteen; 'Midnight', is possibly the creepiest piece of music ever created! It's eerie, dark, imposing...evil in fact! There's been some serious homework done on this track, with Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone veined throughout, with just a tiny dash of LOST.

Track Nineteen; 'Turn Left', reflects perfectly, Rose's role in the episode. Her theme is but a shadow of its former self taking us into Tracks Twenty; 'A Dazzling End' and Twenty-One; 'The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble'. All three should be played together, as they form Donna's climax in the series.

The defining piece of music on this soundtrack has to be Track Twenty-Six; 'Song of Freedom'. It ties up the fourth series of Doctor Who with a feeling of togetherness that sparkles with positivity. Having previously heard the `Song of Freedom' in Track Six as a solo voice, hearing it with a union of voices only re-emphasises the fact that The Doctor is never truly alone, as outlined in 'Journey's End'.

The only thing missing from this Soundtrack is a taster of the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas Special. Last year we were treated to 'The Stowaway', which turned out to be a massive hit amongst Doctor Who fans and with the release date of this soundtrack so close to Christmas it would have been nice to have another festive offering. But then again, we do have the `Voyage of the Damned Suite', which goes a long way to filling the, albeit minor, gap.

The scale of the Series Four Soundtrack is so vast that you'll never tire from repeated listening. As a listener you are left, once more, in anticipation for the next chapter of this musical partnership that transcends the definition of Television Soundtracks.

Rating: 9/10
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on 7 April 2011
Doctor Who Series 4 * * * * *
Music composed by Murray Gold
Silva Screen SILCD1275 (RT 76:40)

Opening with the revised main theme for Season 4, this new version employs a harder hitting shorter theme, coupled with a lovely electric guitar twang to finish the theme off with. From here, it's 2: A Noble Girl About Town and essentially Donna's theme. Gold expands on what we had before with a really toe tapping 7-note motif for the temp from Chiswick.

Full of boom and bass, 4: Corridors and Fire Escapes is an action track for the stairs sequence in Partners in Crime amongst other uses. In some ways it's almost Bond-like and very enjoyable.

6: Songs of Captivity and Freedom brings in the Ood story and some heartfelt singing from Mark Chambers. The accompaniment on strings is just beautiful and really lovely, encompassing the sad plight of the Ood perfectly.

Further tracks on 8: The Doctor's Daughter and 9: The Source bring re-uses of the Doctor's theme and also that guitar once again for the unveiling of the aforementioned daughter, Jenny. The later track encompasses some lovely sad string work, building for the horn led statement from the Doctor 'I Never Would'

10: The Unicorn and the Wasp brings in a chamber orchestra, perfectly setting this in murder mystery mode. Eerie, and with a small snatch from Miss Marple, it sounds completely different to a normal Who episode. I love Gold's playful use mid way through the track, then switched for echoed strings.

A real highlight comes in the next few tracks with 12: Voyage of the Damned Suite, the Christmas special from 2007. This is just Gold at his powerhouse best. Mixing the action beats with the song The Stowaway, it has some lovely sequences. The solo voice used for Kylie's character is lovely and hypnotic, building to a powerful re-use of the Doctor's theme. The action music is also pretty well handled and I love the way Gold gets the melody running and then threads the strings all around the action - superb. Gold ends off the special with a lovely heartfelt solo voice drifting the young waitress off into the ether of space. With a build up on the strings and percussion Gold rounds the track off with that haunting solo voice.

Tracks 13-17 cover the music from the Stephen Moffat chiller Silence in the Library. Employing a 5-note slow, twinkling theme to describe the child CAL at the heart of the story. The power that Gold puts through the themes in this one is probably the best he has ever done. The rolling strings for the running in 14, Donna's psychedelic folk mystery world in 15, and then track 16, with the mystery revealed and River Song saved. In 17: The Greatest Story Never Told, Gold expands on these themes encompassing the Doctor running to save Song. Powerful choir chanting away just sing their hearts out coupled with powerful strings employing that trailer riff, then building woodwind and choir swell ever outward, culminating in a triumphant version of the Doctor's theme. Absolutely spellbinding.

18: Midnight is a frightening piece coupled to a frightening episode. Slow bass, coupled with percussive hits, drawn out strings and horn, make for a hypnotic piece. Though Gold ends the piece on a bombastic cacophony of sound, with horns and repeating brass statements, also used for when Donna loses her children in Silence in the Library.

With 19: Turn Left we bring in Rose's theme as she finally meets Donna, then 20: A Dazzling End with Gold pounding in a bass backing with dancing strings, then building to a 4-note motif as Donna makes the ultimate sacrifice. 21: The Rueful fate of Donna employs a whistling, guitar backing for Donna's mind being wiped, then sad soulful strings just add to the pain of someone you know and have come to respect getting wiped.

Gold really gets nasty with the alternate synth and percussive beats of 22: Davros, then the dominance of the Daleks in 23: The Dark and Endless Dalek Night. Choir and orchestra just go at it with a three note repeating theme for the metal monsters of old. In some ways this is even Holst-like in its complexity.

24: A Pressing Need to Save the World ups the tempo with a driving beat on the percussion, powerful blasts from the brass with a driving 11-note motif. Gold keeps the Doctor's theme ever present in the background on the strings. 25: Hanging on the Tablaphone features Gold utilising a synthesiser beat with chanting choir for the Doctor reaching the subwave network. 26: Song of Freedom brings back the Ood song Give Peace a Chance for the saving of planet Earth. The Crouch End Festival Chorus sing their hearts out, coupled with a synth backing.

27. Doctor Who Series Four Closing Credits employs the new punchy version of the full version of the theme and rounds off the disc nicely.

It's a stunning disc of some of the best music out there at the moment and frankly demands to be in your collection. If you like orchestral film music, it really doesn't get any better than this.
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on 3 November 2008
Like Bear McCreary, Murray Gold is getting better and better. The score for the new doctor has an interesting history. In the first half of the first series it was mostly incidental music with very little original material, it got a bit better in the second half and from the interviews with Murray Gold from that era it becomes clear he thought that this was as epic as it would get but we know of course he was dead wrong. From series two on, Murray worked extensively with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and its choir. The music now truly took off and sounded more like the score for some movie.The third series was less melodic and more experimental, yet it had some highlights. We have now reached the fourth series and with it we receive an intensely, harmonious and epic score that sweeps away with grand melodic structures that will take the breath away not only of Whovians but of any right minded music lover.

The score starts of course with the main theme of series four which is unfortunately maybe one of the few tracks I do not like. I really tried to get used to the new mix but I could never warm up to it. "A Noble Girl About Town " fits very well to the episode, since it was a light-hearted and slightly cheesy episode. "Life Among the Distant Stars " must also be from the first episode yet the tone is very different. It starts as a quiet, reflective piano piece with a tinge of sadness and yearning, that ends with a full orchestra. I am not sure when the track was used and in what context. I guess I have to watch the first episode again.

"Song of Captivity and Freedom" is the first time that the listener hears the "Song of Freedom" sung only by a single mezzo soprano. It gave me goosebumps. "UNIT Rocks" does exactly that and made me grin. It is simply the UNIT theme with some drums added. "The Doctor's Theme" returns and is yet another track that is just plain goosebumps material. I have to use a word that I have used now quite often and is true again. Epic just epic. In this version of the doctors theme it is not sung by Melanie Pappenheim but by a full choir. Those who have been lucky enough to get one of the Prom tickets or listened to it on the radio know that theme already. It was THE highlight. Together with "Song of Freedom"

"All in the Mind" is a curious track. It sounds like a little folk song with guitar and flute. Very different and again I have no clue when it was used. Very probably in "Silence in the Library". "Silence in the Library" is a track that is both mysterious and magical. Very fitting for the library world. The track "The Greatest Story Never Told" was exactly the music I was yearning to listen to since hearing it in "Forest of the Dead" and to hear it now made me cry. The orchestra and the choir. OMG. I have no words to describe this track properly. The way Murray works with the orchestra and choir is just fabulous. The theme of the doctor is woven in and even "All The Strange, Strange Creatures" is in the track! No idea why but I won't complain. The track soars and sweeps the listener from his/her feet.

"Midnight" is a classic horror track but of the kind I know from real horror movies, never from Doctor Who. Very well done, Mr. Gold. "Turn Left" is atmospheric and features a ghostly theme from the doctor over a synthesizer. "A Dazzling End" has something from "Doomsday" but is upbeat. I love the little track. The guitar, the beat, the way the whole orchestra revs up. I really have no clue from which episode the track is theoretically it should be from "Turn Left" too. "The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble" reminded me of Martha and her journey in the lost year. It features guitars and drums.

"Davros" is a a strange but fascinating track. Dissonant instruments, sampled electrical sounds all colliding with each other. It reflects Davros nicely. It is twisted, mad and not very wholesome. Time for the Dalek theme to return and it does on an epic scale with "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night". A very powerful and dark track. "The Pressing Need to Save The World" is a furiously, fast paced action track that would fit in any Bond movie but instead of Barrys Bond theme woven into it, we get instead (for some strange reason) the YANA theme aka "All The Strange, Strange Creatures" So I wasn't crazy. I did hear the theme from the Master. Why Murray Gold used that theme and not the doctor will be his secret. The track is never the less the most action oriented cue to this date in Doctor Who and it totally rocks!

For some strange reason "Hanging on the Tablaphone" makes me smile. It is a crazy, fast paced little affair and then it comes...."Song Of Freedom". I cried. I just cried. The track was already amazing at The Proms but with perfect mixing and editing this track became even better - if that is possible. I can listen to it over and over again ...this is actually true for the whole score.

Harry Potter was never that epic! The only other score I can think of as being this ...large... was "Lord of the Rings" by Howard Shore! It is a bloody shame that Oscars are not given to television shows. Murray Gold deserves for this score an Oscar, Grammy and Globe and will get none. It sucks. IMO Murray Gold should really write the score for "Deathly Hallows". He would do a great job!

It has been quite a while that a score has made me this insanely happy. If I could hug it, I would. A perfect five out of five for this one. None of the movie soundtracks or the Stargate soundtracks came even close to this perfection.
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VINE VOICEon 18 November 2008
This album doesn't disappoint. Although I think I still prefer the series 3 album, there are some real gems on it and there isn't a single track I would skip on iTunes. In the CD jacket itself Murray Gold gives a sentence or two about each track, which is nice to read while listening to the album for the first time.
1) Doctor Who Series Four Opening Credits - the absolutely AWESOME new Dr Who theme tune, I loved it from the first time I heard it and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. 10/10
2) A Noble Girl About Town - a slightly jazzed up version of 'Donna's Theme', and fun to listen to. 8/10
3) Life Among the Distant Stars - not one of the best but pleasant to listen to, especially in the second half. 7/10
4) Corridors and Fire Escapes - generic "Doctor running" music, not one of my favourites. 5/10
5) The Sybilline Sisterhood - begins with some ethnic vocals which make for interesting listening and set the scene for the Pompeii episode. 7/10
6) Songs of Captivity and Freedom - this sounds like something you'd hear on Classical FM. Lovely. 9/10
7) UNIT Rocks - a newer version of the first album's 'UNIT' track. 7/10
8) The Doctor's Daughter - gets good towards the end. 7/10
9) The Source - there's a really powerful tune in this that starts up about halfway through, it keeps playing in my head. 9/10
10) The Unicorn and the Wasp - this one really brings back memories of the episode it was used in (the Agatha Christie one), although it isn't one of the best. 6/10
11) The Doctor's Theme Series Four - I'll always love the Doctor's Theme from the first album best, but this is still a great track. Beautiful choral chanting. 9/10
12) Voyage of the Damned Suite - contains a real range of tunes and mood. Some of the vocals even remind me a little of the vocals in Titanic, which does make me laugh. 8/10
13) The Girl With No Name - one of the less memorable tracks for me. 5/10
14) The Song of Song - another of the less memorable tracks. 6/10
15) All in the Mind - an odd, psychadelic-like track. According to the CD jacket it wasn't used much in the Library episodes. 5/10
16) Silence in the Library - another track that takes you right back to the episodes it was used in. 7/10
17) The Greatest Story Never Told - music that kept popping up through the second half of the series, or so the CD jacket says, since I don't actually have much recollection of it :S. There's lots of great choral chanting on this one. 9/10
18) Midnight - I didn't enjoy the Midnight episode that much, and the same goes for this track. 5/10
19) Turn Left - One of the darker tracks, with some haunting vocals borrowed from the original Doctor's Theme. 8/10
20) A Dazzling End - this track plays during Turn Left when Donna diverts history, and it's one my favourites. I still have it playing in my head! Wicked listening. 9/10
21) The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble - this is one of the tracks I remember best from the series. Very melancholy. 9/10
22) Davros - creepy music that's very fitting but not one my favourites. 6/10
23) The Dark and Endless Dalek Night - more dalek choral chanting. Catchy in a weird sort of way. 7/10
24) A Pressing Need to Save the World - Racy, adventure-ish music. 8/10
25) Hanging on the Tablaphone - a short sharp track. 7/10
26) Song of Freedom - definitely one of the album highlights (it was one of the pieces performed at the Albert Hall Doctor Who Prom). This is the music that plays when the TARDIS is towing the Earth back home, and it's got a very triumphant feel to it. 9/10
27) Doctor Who Series Four Closing Credits - a slighter longer version of the Opening Credits track. 10/10
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on 18 October 2008
As a reviewer mentioned before, the previous Murray Gold scores for Doctor Who are always on my Mp3 player. By a long way, the best score for any TV show currently on (UK or US). So good, that it feels cinematic. The growth from Series 1 (not my favourite) to the epic sounds in the Series 3 soundtrack are astonishing. Series four topped it all. The new Doctor Who Theme (sends chills down the spine with all the new drums and horns), the thrilling finale to Turn Left and of course the Song For Freedom are the highlights for me, but nothing here is just padding.
If the proposed big screen Doctor Who goes ahead, it simply wont work without Murray Golds' input. Listen and love it and enjoy every episode again and again....
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on 11 March 2012
Another great soundtrack from Murray Gold. Overall, this album has a much more loud, rock-style selection of tracks. Here are some of my favourites:

1. Doctor Who Opening Credits - This pulsing, thrashing version of the theme was first heard in "Voyage of the Damned" and I remeber absolutely loving it.

2. A Noble Girl About Town - A very different version of Donna's Theme to the one we get in the Series 3 Soundtrack. Still great though!

3. Life Among the Distant Stars - A nice tune here that is mostly quiet but builds up at the end.

4. Corridors and Fire Escape - Series 4 probably had the Doctor running down corridors even more than in previous series. Here is a great, rushing theme to go along with it.

7. UNIT Rocks - Again, a more rocky, pounding version of the UNIT theme.

10. The Unicorn and the Wasp - One of the more quirky episodes of Series 4. This suite compliments the Miss Marple and Poirot theme very well.

12.Voyage of the Damned Suite - One of MG's longest scores coming in at over 10 minutes! A great variation of moods and the return of the Stowaway theme makes this suite sound almost filmic.

18. Midnight - this was one of my favourite episodes of New Who and this score is a lot quieter, more like a horror film score.

24. A Pressing Need to Save the World - A brilliant score, this. There are nods to the Torchwood music all the way through it and lots of repeating sections. This all mixes together to form an explosive blockbuster of a piece.

26. Song of Freedom - An uplifting piece to round off the album.

27. Doctor Who Closing Credits - Pretty much the same as track 1 but with more of the score included.

Any big fan of Doctor Who should not hesitate to buy this album. N.B. If you like quiet, serene music, this album is definitely not for you.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 February 2016
I was really pleased when Murray Gold was asked to compose the music for Doctor Who as I love the way he composes. :-)

This CD contains the original music score from series 4.

Over both series the melodies he composed were flowing, lyrical, romantic, haunting, powerful, mournful, plenty of action and darker themes when each episode needed it. I also love the choral work in tracks: - 5, 6, 11, 23 and 26. :-)

I also love how Murray Gold orchestrated these soundtracks.

You get a lovely CD booklet that has still photos from the show as well as articles and info about each track. :-)

This is an excellent CD and it also reminds me of series 4.
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on 16 March 2010
Fantastic for the young fan of the Doctor who does there own takes. Also great music just to play. I imagine drama and music teachers could make good use of it too as it's charged with atmoshere and emotion.
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on 14 January 2011
Doctor Who: Series 4

Beautiful music, exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately the case was broken on arrival, the actual CD was not damaged.
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