Friday, June 3, 2011

Music makes a difference

When I'm working it's nice to have a soundtrack to accompany my work. It's fitting that I occasionally use an actual soundtrack. This week I've been listening to Murray Gold's compositions for season five of Doctor Who which is pretty much my favorite show.

I started watching it some time ago when they showed Tom Baker episodes on PBS. I continued watching through Peter Davison. It scared the bajeesus out of me when I was young because the monsters and such were quite scary. It was still a good program for a young mind. The show took a break after two more actors played the Doctor then we got a decent made for TV movie followed by another break for almost a decade. When the program returned in 2005 I almost missed it because I wasn't much of a TV watcher at the time. Jill was also in my life at this time and didn't know that she liked science fiction so I kept it to myself and watched every now and then until it was available on Netflix streaming which I watched on my laptop. Jill eventually took notice and started watching with me. She's now hooked and we celebrate almost every episode.

Let me steer back towards where I started going with this blog. One of the things that has made Doctor Who so appealing is the exceptional soundtrack that accompanies every episode. Murray Gold (and the BBC Orchestra) lends a score worthy of a feature film every week.

The old Doctor Who episodes featured electronic music compliments of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It did a good job of covering up the sound ambient sounds you got running around a BBC sound stage in the 60's and 70's. It was otherworldly and rather pleasant so it got the job done.

During the 2005 "reboot" we got what was a modernization of the classic BBC Radiophonic Workshop music from the old series. Very techno and sounded good when the Doctor was running around with his companion as they tend to do.

Shortly thereafter somebody got the idea to let Murray Gold use the BBC orchestra to compose dedicated themes for the tenth doctor (David Tennant) to run around to as well as very specific themes for the regular characters and monsters. This changed the whole feel of the show.

Since the 2010 season they've gone for even more depth with a much heavier score featuring the same orchestral arrangements but adding in electric guitars and contemporary drums to accompany the younger Matt Smith (11th doctor) and his companion in a new decade.

All that being said, the iconic theme has managed to evolve and change just as the Doctor has.



1 comment:

  1. I think the 11th doctor's song is easily my favorite.