Top 21 Tracks of Series 8 (Part 1)
Guest contributor Sam White begins the countdown.
Music has been an aspect of revived series that I’ve enjoyed and admired profoundly, so when the Twelfth Doctor graced our TV screens in the final moments of The Time of the Doctor with an accompanying piece of music so outlandish and so different (Hello Twelve), I was left with no other choice but to await Series 8 with fanatic zeal. A new Doctor, a new era and a new tone – the possibilities were endless and let me say that Murray Gold delivered. With no indication of an official Series 8 soundtrack release, at least not in the near future, I took it upon myself to create a listing of my top 21 tracks from Series 8 from the unreleased music I found on YouTube. The sole purpose of this list is to make Series 8’s fantastic music evident to all (many seem to have missed it entirely) and to enjoy it together whilst waiting for the actual soundtrack’s release.
Now before we get started there are certain things that I’d like to get out of the way. Firstly, as this list is strictly about Series 8 music, I’ve left out tracks that have already been released (in previous soundtracks) like Song for Four (when Eleven calls from Trenzalore) or Pain Everlasting (when Twelve finds out that Missy lied to him about Gallifrey).
Secondly, there are certain tracks which are short in duration but I’ve still included them because of their prominence throughout the series and because I like them. Thirdly, as there are certain tracks which have been repeatedly used throughout the Series, I’ve tried to go with titles for tracks according to the scenes where they have made the most profound impression on me so please don’t jump me when you don’t see “The Twelfth Doctor’s Theme” as the title. Okay…phew, now let’s get cracking.
21. Series 8 Title Theme
I had to include this because it’s a really big part of the Series 8 experience for me. Frankly while anticipating Series 8 this was not what I had in mind, perhaps something more akin to the Series 4 or Series 7 title theme, something heavy with more bass but I loved it as soon as I heard it. I can clearly see, or in this case hear, what Murray Gold was going for – a classic era vibe. Directly inspired by the Second, Third and Fourth Doctor’s themes, it is definitely a nod to this show’s brilliant past. It is for the revived era fans, a breath of fresh air and for the old fans, something to instil nostalgia. I wish I could say the same about the accompanying title sequence. God I miss the old blue and red time-vortex.
20. Two Lives
A fun and whimsical track for a fun episode. The Caretaker starts off with this very brassy track which then quickly evolves into a fun and rhythmic one that follows Clara as she tries to keep her dual lives in control. It so different and jazzy and amusing; I couldn’t stop myself from constantly re-viewing the whole starting sequence just to listen to this brilliant piece of music.
19. Let’s Be Heroes
Are you ready for an adventure with Robin Hood? If yes then this is the track for you. The variations from epic and exciting to slow and gentle and then back again are pretty spot on and my subsequent revisits have only increased my appreciation of this track. While it was used to highlight the duel between the Doctor and Robin Hood, I hope I am not alone when I say that this track is so much more, something that reminds me of castles, and kings and most of all legendary heroes, which predictably is the very theme of Robots of Sherwood so put on your heroic masks and get ready to fight the good fight. Ha Ha Ha…
18. I’ve Got Plans
Murray Gold must really love this track because as far as I know it’s his only track which he has explicitly liked on YouTube. What? Don’t believe me? Search “TerrifiedDuck” on YouTube and see for yourself. Now coming back to the topic at hand, this track is used in Time Heist and Flatline to complement the light and friendly moments between Clara and the Doctor. It’s fun to listen to and has a breezy and fresh feel to it. What I particularly like about it is the strange Pink Panther-ish vibe it has, a sort of multi-layered feel, that maybe there is something more than meets the eye.
17. Deep Cover
Remember those old black and white Charlie Chaplin movies; well this is a track straight out of them extremely funny and hyper films. It follows Clara as she tries to deal with the Doctor and his deep cover in Coal Hill High and then the Doctor as he goes about the school doing mundane caretaking and setting up a trap for Skovox Blitzer. Interesting, light and delightful, enough to lift your mood and make you smile. It’s a pure fun romp.
16. The Promised Land
Okay so this one really freaks me out every time I listen to it. The perfect leitmotif for Nethersphere. The alluring vocals feel hypnotizing as if calling from far away, reaching out, seducing and drawing but the real power of this track comes from the overall effect which is very dark and foreboding, enough to give me the heebie-jeebies. A very experimental and different track when compared to Murray Gold’s previous work but efficacious nonetheless.
15. Santa’s Arrival
A dream that’s trying to save the world, reindeer, toy robots and slinkies. How do you portray all this bizarreness and still retain the “Gangster-Santa” feel. Well the answer to that question is this beautiful and uplifting track. A melodious instrumental intertwined with soothing vocals – strangely reminding of The Salvation of Kahler Jex, especially through the vocals. A perfect blend of strange and Christmassy elements. Believe me, Santa will never be the same again.
14. In Little Rupert’s Bedroom
More of an atmospheric piece, this track is absolutely spine-chilling. A companion to one of the most frightening and spooky moments in all of Doctor Who history, this track is bizarre blend of eerie tones and sharp sounds, all of which come together and engender a sense of danger and something sinister. It captures the darkness and intensity of the plot to the tee and then adds more to it. Given the atmospheric nature of this track, I recommend listening to whole thing in a dark and isolated place, alone. Go on. I dare you.
13. The Doctor to the Rescue
The Doctor riding a horse to save a dinosaur from burning up in the middle of London. Need I say more? A very audacious and madcap tune. This marks the first moment when we see Twelve in a proper action-adventurey avatar post regeneration and it is nothing short of spectacular. The intensity, the coarseness and the boldness of the music all feel to be emanating from the very idea of Twelve as Snarling-old-beast with a devil-may-care attitude.
12. Psi’s Sacrifice/The Teller
Fast pulsating beats with an absolutely grand instrumental progression, this tracks is for the adrenaline junkies. It sounds empowering and exhilarating and an almost perfect answer to I Am The Doctor. So is this really the Twelfth Doctor’s theme? Well that’s for you to decide but personally I don’t consider it to be so. Sprinkled throughout Series 8 – Deep Breath, Time Heist, Kill the Moon, Mummy on the Orient Express and Last Christmas, this has all the makings of a proper theme but I see it more as recurring theme of the Twelfth Doctor’s era than explicitly his own theme, especially owing to fact that it is used more broadly that I Am The Doctor and all its variants.
Another interesting variant…
This brings us to the end of the first part of this musical journey, Come back next time for a whopper of a finale to this journey where I unveil the remaining 11 tracks…