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Murray Gold continues to provide one of the most interestng and diverse scores for Doctor Who - 5* stuff
on 21 December 2011
Murray Gold has once again delivered the goods for this highly anticipated soundtrack to Series 6 of Doctor Who. In the same way that Moffat split viewers into those who loved the more complex story arc, and those who thought it was too complicated. I personally liked the more complex story arc because it shows Moffat respects the intelligence of the audience (both adults and kids alike). In the same way, Murray Gold's music also appears to split opinion. Some people think the show is overscored and the music is overpowering at times, whilst people like me (and I am assuming yourself as you are viewing this page) think that the music is phenomenal.
The two CDs comprise of the best music from all the episodes of the Series 6 run. I won't go into a track by track analysis because of the sheer number of tracks present. However, if you are after the best action tracks of the Doctor, and some of the slower themes which represent River Song and her pivotal scenes, these are all present on the album.
I feel I should make special mention for the finale track "The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman In A Box)". This is the finest piece of music in the series in my opinion (this is the music that plays over the Doctor and River's battle with The Silence in Day of the Moon, the second episode of the two part opener of the series in the USA). On album, this track is slightly disappointing - the album builds with the new main theme of the Doctor (carried over from Series 5). Towards the end, the choir really builds and it sounds amazing, but the track is cut too short in my opinion. The epic portion of the track starts to fade out too quickly for my liking and brings the second disk to a close on a slightly disappointing note, although fortunately it does reach epic heights before the track fades out completely. The rest of the tracks are in chronological order, with 2-4 per episode being the most common. This album does have a slightly more sombre feel than Series 5, but this I feel reflects the slightly darker tone of Series 6.
From a production perspective, the mix feels very crisp, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and choir have done a great job with their performances. Please note that this is a 2CD release, and whilst this is generous in terms of score releases, there will be a lot of music missing given the amount of music composed for each episode. I thought the track selection was generally excellent. Other reviewers have also commented on an over reliance of the Doctor's Theme from the last series. Whilst this is true, I would like to make a couple of counter points. Firstly, not everyone who buys this score may be familiar with the series 5 score (and the main Doctor's Theme) - thus there is a need for this to be present on the album. Secondly, there are a lot of variations of the Doctor's Theme across the two CDs and I didn't find it overly bothersome. A final point is that this release is currently being sold for 8.99 (at the time of 21/12/11). Given that this is 2CDs worth of music, this is great value for money and I think we should embrace the release, rather than pick apart aspects that are not perfect.
Overall, this is a fantastic release. It's important to remember that with a soundtrack that encompasses an entire series, you won't be able to keep everyone happy. I know a previous review commented on a missing track that they would have liked, and there were a couple of tracks that I would have edited differently particularly "The Majestic Tale (Of A Madman in a Box). However, given that 2CD releases are rare (I know the music for the last series also received the 2CD treatment), this is the best we could hope for in terms of an official release. I feel that Silva Screen (the company responsible for producing and distributing the album) should given credit for this, and shows their dedication for fans of the Doctor Who scores. So please enjoy - sure, this won't keep everyone happy. But if you enjoy this for what it is, which is essentially the best orchestral highlights across the series, on a very generous 2CD release, don't hesitate to buy this. Murray Gold continues to compose outstanding music for the Doctor Who series, and I hope he does so in the future. If you liked the music in this current series, you cannot go wrong in buying this score.