A Golden Era – Part 6: Top 75 Murray Gold Tracks (29-20)
David Selby continues counting down the very best of Murray Gold’s music.
Catch-up on other articles in this series:
- A Golden Era – Part 1
- A Golden Era – Part 2
- A Golden Era – Part 3
- A Golden Era – Part 4
- A Golden Era – Part 5
I haven’t spoken about the classic series’ music at all since I first started writing this article, and admittedly I’m not much of an expert. There’s not quite the variety or power of the new series’ because of the restraints the crew faced at the time, but from what I’ve heard so far, there are actually some superb tracks. One I’d mention – that illustrates a classic Who moment – is the music played as the Cybermen march out of their tombs in Tomb of the Cybermen. Another would be the Paris music from The City of Death, or even the music at the start of each episode of The Seeds of Death. There’s a lot of excellent incidental music in the classic series, but I’m not sure it would be fair to pit the two distinctive musical eras against each other.
29. The Terrible Truth
Used three times (but only once in full): Asylum of the Daleks, The Snowmen and The Name of the Doctor, and like Remember Me links to Clara’s respective death scenes. The first one-and-a-half minutes build up into something dark and suspenseful, until the strings hit powerfully at the halfway-point. It’s scary and fast yet also moving and delicate, and worked perfectly well on each use.
28. The Doctor’s Theme Series Four
The theme, in my opinion, best suited to the character of the Doctor; ancient and mysterious, and then suddenly picking up to be wonderful and hopeful. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it…
27. The Daleks/They Are Everywhere
The two best Dalek theme tunes; superseding Daleks in Manhattan and The Dark and Endless Dalek Night, these two are subtle and eerie, defined by eerie vocals and brass cues. They Are Everywhere adds a whole new dimension to Asylum of the Daleks, becoming something which makes the episode what it is in terms of tone and atmosphere.
26. The Salvation of Khaler Jex
A Town Called Mercy is a musically-standout episode, using Western motifs from well-recognised films and also including some of the best, most talented vocalists in the series so far. This particular piece, as well as typifying this, accompanies my favourite single line in the whole series: “I have to face the souls of those I’ve wronged. Perhaps they will be kind…”
25. Pay Attention Grown Ups
I’m not sure what I love so much about this little gem of a track; perhaps it’s the subtle drama and general mood that makes it so listenable, but it’s been a favourite since it was put on YouTube as an unreleased track directly after Let’s Kill Hitler.
24. The Ruined Childhood
It was only recently that I realised that 1:50 was used on multiple occasions during Series Five. I’d spent quite some time searching around for it and I was delighted to find it in the last place I expected. This particularly composition is dark and foreboding, perfect for clarifying the Master’s twisted past.
23. All The Strange, Strange Creatures
The I am the Doctor of the Russell T. Davies era; well-layered, catchy and iconic – but arguably not quite as overused.
22. Silence in the Library
Also honourable mentions here go to The Girl With No Name; the defining motif of Moffat’s ingenious Series Four two-parter. Silence in the Library encompasses the fairy-tale magic of Charlotte’s dream but also the pathos of Miss Evangelista’s brutal murder in the Library’s shadows.
21. Whose Enigma/The Majestic Tale (of a Mad Man in a Box)
It may be seen as cheating to group these two distinct tracks together, but they both follow the same pattern; using the chords D, C and B-flat (three of the I am the Doctor chords) with the melody being an ascending sequence using the same notes as the opening melody of I am the Doctor. Whilst The Majestic Tale is more dramatic and fast-moving, Whose Enigma is mysterious with a prominent Christmassy feel that evokes nostalgia on mass.
20. The Impossible Planet
The moment where the Beast is first revealed to us in The Impossible Planet is possibly the scariest moment in Doctor Who history and one of the few scenes that honestly scares me. At first it represents the temptation and mystical powers shown as Scooti reaches out in awe, but it’s also a dark, haunting sequence. The rest is perhaps more familiar from Rose’s exit (which eventually transitions into Rose’s Theme and The Lone Dalek). Thankfully, it seems to have gained more recognition recently as it was previously an undiscovered beauty.
Honourable Mentions on page 2…