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Doctor Who - Series 4 (Original Television Soundtrack)

Murray Gold

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Album Review

The 13-episode length of a British television season and the genre here, science fiction, allow composer Murray Gold considerable latitude in creating his themes. Doctor Who, a series dating back to 1963, has been around almost as long as the James Bond movie franchise, and Gold sometimes includes Bond-like adventure music, notably in the cocktail jazz of "A Noble Girl About Town." But that's only at the start of nearly 77 minutes of excerpts, skillfully edited by Jake Jackson, who earns his co-production credit. Gold's music ranges from "Songs of Captivity and Freedom," a track that seems to have escaped from a Middle Ages cathedral, to (in the next selection) the fast-tempo drive of the aptly named "UNIT Rocks." When Jackson constructs a long cue, such as the ten-plus minutes of "Voyage of the Damned Suite," he encapsulates the diversity of Gold's music, going from the big martial theme that starts to a more ponderous passage, and then a waltz. The necessary bombast often gives way to delicacy, as in "All in the Mind," a gentle folk tune for acoustic guitar and pennywhistle. But Gold may be at his best when revving up to accompany action sequences, as he does frequently. Doctor Who seems poised to go on forever, and Gold seems prepared to keep providing its varied musical accompaniment.

Biography

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Described as the U.K.'s answer to Bear McCreary, Murray Gold is one of the most successful TV composers of the last decade. Born in Portsmouth in 1969, Gold started playing the piano at the age of six, and in his teens he arranged for high-school brass ensembles. After studying History at Cambridge University, he worked on a theater production at the Edinburgh Festival and became a scriptwriter for Channel 5 before his first score of a BBC-TV adaptation of Vanity Fair launched his composing career....
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