Showcasing the Soundtracks of Doctor Who

Delia DerbyshireThis week is perhaps less of an article and more of an interactive list, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Rather than babbling on about why each soundtrack is amazing and making up some rubbish on how different instruments are used for different effects, I thought you’d prefer to let the music do the talking.

I have attempted to put the soundtrack pieces in some sort of order, however there are so many I have left out that I really wanted to put on the list. Whether or not the lists are my actual top 15s doesn’t really matter though, what does matter is the fact that the 30 tracks below showcase just how good (and important) the music of Doctor Who really is. Enjoy!


Classic

15. Mawdryn Undead Suite (Skip to 10:20)
Paddy Kingsland, Mawdryn Undead


14. Here’s to the Future (Skip to 4:18)
Keff McCulloch, Delta and the Bannermen

13. The Caves of Androzani (Alternative Suite) (Skip to 29:04)
Roger Limb, The Caves of Androzani 

12. The Ambush (Skip to 9:24)
Tristram Cary, The Daleks

11. Warriors of the Deep Suite (Skip to 20:08)
Jonathan Gibbs, Warriors of the Deep

10. Remembrance of the Daleks Suite (Skip to 9:17)
Keff McCulloch, Remembrance of the Daleks

9. Survival Suite (Skip to 29:30)
Dominic Glynn, Survival

8. The Seeds of Death Titles (Skip to 23:32)
Dudley Simpson, The Seeds of Death

7. The Five Doctors Suite (Skip to 14:38)
Peter Howell, The Five Doctors

6. Space Adventure Pt. 2 (Skip to 24:42)
Martin Slavin, The Tenth Planet

5. Three Guitars Mood 2 (Skip to 2:21)
Derek Nelson, An Unearthly Child

4. The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Skip to 14:50)
Mark Ayres, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 

3. The Curse of Fenric Suite (Skip to 22:56)
Mark Ayres, The Curse of Fenric

2. March of the Cybermen (Skip to 5:06)
Malcolm Clarke, Earthshock

1. Resurrection of the Daleks Suite (Skip to 24:02)
Malcolm Clarke, Resurrection of the Daleks 


New

15. Onwards
Murray Gold, The Big Bang


14. The Master Vainglorious
Murray Gold, The Sound of Drums

13. The Carrionites Swarm
Murray Gold, The Shakespeare Code

12. The Stowaway
Murray Gold, Voyage of the Damned

11. Rose’s Theme
Murray Gold, The End of the World

10. The Daleks
Murray Gold, The Parting of the Ways

9. The Master Suite
Murray Gold, The End of Time

8. Love Don’t Roam
Neil Hannon, The Runaway Bride

7. Song for Ten
Neil Hannon, The Christmas Invasion

6. Father’s Day
Murray Gold, Father’s Day

5. The Cybermen
Murray Gold, The Age of Steel

4. Tooth and Claw
Murray Gold, Tooth and Claw

3. Midnight
Murray Gold, Midnight

2. The Time of Angels
Murray Gold, The Time of Angels

1. All the Strange Strange Creatures
Murray Gold, Gridlock

Next: Vote for your favourite stories of Season 5 and Series 3 

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Review #9 – Black Orchid

Black Orchid


7Unfairly criticised for its lack of monsters, Black Orchid may not be one of the best episodes ever, but I can’t help but love it. It’s great to see the TARDIS team having a great time for once (especially this bunch considering the amount of turmoil they’ve been through over the past series and a bit). It’s particularly nice to see Tegan having a good time too. Sure she was a gobby Australian for a few stories, but here we really start to see her change into the Tegan we all know and love today. Oh, and the Doctor plays cricket!

This story is often put down amongst fans for having no serious threat or sci-fi elements. It’s almost like they’ve forgotten the brilliant historicals we used to get during the First and Second Doctors’ eras; Marco Polo, The Aztecs, The Massacre, the list goes on. So why is it they don’t like it during the Fifth Doctor’s era? Thing is, when it was first broadcast, it had been 15 years since the audience had seen a historical episode and it probably seemed a bit of a let down after all the aliens. However, even now, when we can mix and match the eras to watch 1st Doctor historicals alongside 5th Doctor historicals, Black Orchid is still unfairly put aside, which I don’t get. It’s such a refreshing change amidst the death and destruction surrounding it and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

The trouble with four crew members taking part in a small two-parter is that they don’t all get a major part to play; but all them will make you smile in some shape, way or form. Adric, though pretty useless in this story, has a great time at the buffet table. Tegan, who also doesn’t really do a lot for the story, finally lightens up and does a nice solo on the dancefloor. Nyssa, who discovers she has an uncanny lookalike named Ann, casues mischief by dressing up in the same fancy dress costume as her Earth counterpart. Finally, The Doctor shows us why he wears his cricket whites with a sterling performance on the cricket pitch.

While it’s a nice change to have a nicer story for once, the trouble is that it’s hard to write a menacing cliffhanger. While it’s quite scary for a guy dressed up as a Doctor to go around killing people, we can’t exactly be on the edge of our seats when the credits roll in because we don’t even know if it’s Nyssa or Ann laying unconscious on the floor. One thing’s for sure though, if you ever fancy a Doctor Who story to cheer you up or make you smile, I reckon Black Orchid is the one for you (even if the end/resolution is a little sad).

Review #8 – Turn Left

Turn Left9I nearly gave this story a ten out of ten. If it were to be released as a target novel, it would be one of the best because the script and the plot were so new and different; and they really worked. Unfortunately, as much as I fancy Billie Piper, Rose’s return was as exciting as a damp squib (not squid as I used to think it was). However, this story does show just how good Catherine Tate was as the awesome Donna Noble; and Jacqueline King and Bernard Cribbins get a chance to shine too…

A world without the Doctor was going to be chaotic and dangerous, however the dark, bleak, and depressing world that Russell T. Davies imagined was not what I expected from him and I was seriously impressed. It’s a very hard-hitting story that captures the imagination in a way that the show never really has before. It’s almost like we’ve been taking the Doctor and his companions for granted for so long that we never reflect on the past episode and think “what would’ve happened if the Doctor hadn’t been there?”. One of Davies’ best ideas, for sure.

Now, onto the matter of Billie Piper and her rather different portrayal of Rose. The brief reappearances of Rose Tyler throughout Series 4, particularly the ones in Partners in Crime and Midnight, sent shivers down my spine and a thousand thoughts rushing through my head. However, when we started watching her in full swing, it was almost like watching a different character. During the one/two years between Series 2 and Series 4, Billie Piper began playing posher parts for different TV shows and, when she got back, was so used to this that she’d almost ‘forgotten’ how to play Rose Tyler. She’s not a bad actress but, for the reasons above, Turn Left was a bit like the 80’s era where better stories were dampened by guest cast. I guess I liked it when she used Time Lord words though and, by the end of the story, it was starting to feel like Piper had begun to find her ‘inner Rose’ again. However, her weaker performance did mean that the three main characters of the story were given a chance to shine.

Catherine Tate’s portrayal of Donna Noble is one of my favourites throughout the entire 50 years of Doctor Who. When they announced she was returning, I was a bit of a sheep and arrogant and thought she’d be a bit dull. Now, I feel so dumb and stupid because when I watched Series 4, I was blown away at how much I loved Donna Noble. This story in particular, opposite a weak Rose Tyler, really sets in stone the fact that Donna is one of the best, and most human companions, we’ve ever had on the show. She was a character many could relate to very well because she was as human and normal as they come. Both Jacqueline King and Bernard Cribbins also outshone Billie Piper in this story as Sylvia Noble and Wilfred Mott, and all three really made us believe just how devastating this new world is.

While this story got darker and more depressing as the story goes on, towards the start there were some more comical moments, especially the office scene where Donna is fired. Quotes like “BEATRICE!” and “Well isn’t that wizard?!” made me laugh out loud more than I should have, but when I consider all the different emotions I felt while watching this story, it makes me love it more and more.

All in all, this is a fantastic script with great direction (Graeme Harper is just too good for words) and production (Phil Collinson) behind the scenes. The rollercoaster ride this story takes you on, getting darker and darker as it goes on, is quite unique for Doctor Who, but nonetheless fantastically breathtaking. Billie Piper’s performance is one of her weakest here (she does drastically improve for the 50th however) and while her reasons are understandable, it doesn’t make it any less of a shame. Catherine Tate however gives one of the best companion performance ever, and the scene where she runs off after the labour camp truck is heartbreaking. Such a good story, and again, it’s a real shame that it’s like watching a completely different Rose Tyler, but I wouldn’t have given it such a high score if it were so terrible; and it’s always nice to see two companions working together to save the day. Oh, and the protest for new series Target novellisations start here!

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My Favourite TARDIS Teams, Continued

The other day, I posted an article of my fav2nd Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Pollyourite TARDIS teams. For my number one spot, I chickened out as I couldn’t decide my favourite Patrick Troughton team; so, I put them all at the top spot labelled “The 2nd Doctor and Jamie (plus other Companions)”. However, after some deliberation, I’ve decided my favourite TARDIS team is in fact The 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly (so sad there isn’t a story in its entirety for them!)

 

Why You NEED to Give Old Sixie a Chance

I’ll tell you now; I am sick and tired of reading hate for Colin Baker and the 6th Doctor. Despite how unfairly treated he was during his time on Doctor Who, he has stayed extremely loyal to the show and it’s fans; yet lots of us still insist on expressing such a dislike for him. The 6th wasn’t a terrible Doctor and Colin Baker does nothing but attend convention after convention for the fans, so why do some insist on insulting him over and over again? I am desperate to address these fans so I hope this gets across to lots of people because it’s getting disgusting…

Before I watched any Classic Doctor Who, I got a book for my birthday called ‘The Legend Continues’ which is basically a massive guide to all of Doctor Who. This was the only knowledge I had of Classic Doctor Who, yet somehow it was put in my head beforehand that I wouldn’t like Colin Baker, so I stayed away. The only way I could’ve thought this was because it was common for other Doctor Who fans to say they thought he was a terrible Doctor. It’s almost like Doctor Who fans don’t even want to give him a chance. They want to fit in with other fans and so they arrogantly say they don’t like him. What I’m trying to get across here is that because a new fan to Doctor Who reads or hears that they shouldn’t like the 6th Doctor, they probably won’t; and this has gone on so long that people have convinced themselves they don’t like him and continue to voice their spiteful opinions to please the people around them.

What’s even more extraordinary about newer fans not liking Six’s era is that Season 22 has the same structure as the new series. 13 episodes, 45 minutes in length, and loads of classic villains; the Cybermen, Sil, The Rani, The Master, Sontarans, The Daleks, Davros. Surely this is a possible gateway into Classic Doctor Who, not ‘the season you should skip’?


Using the scene where the Doctor strangles Peri in The Twin Dilemma is not a valid reason as to why you do not like Colin Baker’s Doctor. This is one scene from one story where he is in an unbalanced post-regenerative state; this does not make him heartless and horrible. The reason this is not a valid excuse is because there are far more moments from Old Sixie’s era where his kindness and empathy counteract this one scene of unintention. Oh, and the coat is not a valid reason either.

While Doctor Number 6 was arrogant and sometimes overbearing, as I mentioned above he was also very kind and possibly the most empathetic Doctor of the lot. In Vengeance on Varos, when Peri was nearly transformed into a bird, she managed to survive thanks to the love and care that he showed her. In The Mark of the Rani, when the Doctor was about to be killed by the Luddites, rather than escape, the first thing he did was warn Peri to stay back because he’d rather have her safe than for her to risk her life trying to save him.

Colin Baker’s plans for the 6th Doctor were to start him off as someone less easy to get used before mellowing into a Doctor we’d know and love. For the second half of The Trial of a Timelord, the Doctor was joined by Mel and, love her or loathe her, she began to mellow him and we starting to see a new side to the 6th Doctor of less arrogance and more compassion. Colin Baker’s plans were starting to unfold nicely. However, his time was cut short for what seems to be personal reasons behind the scenes. For this reason, we never got to see the direction Colin Baker was heading in and so the fans were left with a slightly less likeable side to the 6th Doctor, hence the unjustified hate he gets today.

Now, this is where I really want to encourage anyone who still refuses to like the 6th Doctor to give him a chance. If you really believe you cannot stand him on television, then please please please try out his Big Finish audios. Colin Baker finally got a chance to take Old Sixie where he planned to in the first place and his Doctor is most definitely more bearable on audio. If you will stop being so arrogant and give some of his TV adventures a first/another try, then rather than watch them in order, perhaps watch Revelation of the Daleks and The Two Doctors. Revelation is a fantastic story and so by the end, because the story was good, you might begin to subconsciously like him (plus this story is actually his best performance in my opinion). The Two Doctors on the other hand is where we see him fighting Sontarans with the 2nd Doctor and Jamie. Familiar enemies and familiar faces that you love already may detract from your dislike of Colin’s Doctor and, like Revelation, by the end you might think to yourself “actually, that wasn’t so bad after all”.

I hope I haven’t come across as too unpleasant and angry and, like Old Sixie, I’ve mellowed throughout the article. It’s just it makes me so livid when I read the same generic comments about the 6th Doctor that have clearly been written because the writer has been too sheep-like to form their own opinion. Colin Baker plays the Doctor just as well as the others, but only if you’re willing to give him a chance…

Next: Vote for your favourite stories in Season 4 and Series 2