Doctor Who - New New Music...

Below is some information and explanation about the music and especially the motifs (or cues) composed and used by Murray Gold in the New Series of Doctor Who. Information is categorized and presented... as I hear it.

Short-term special news!

July 24, 25 - Murray Gold's music for Doctor Who again featured at the BBC Proms concerts. There were 2 concerts, July 24 (evening) and 25 (daytime). The Saturday concert has been available for re-listening on the BBC Radio 3 iPlayer, and the concert should be broadcast on television in August. (UK people are expecting an "August bank holiday" date.) I have already changed a couple of my cue names below to their "Prom names." I had also blogged the topic before the event (including the ticketing rush on May 4).

July 12 - The fifth series/season of Doctor Who has concluded in the UK and soon will in the US. Meanwhile, filming is reported to begin this week in Cardiff for... either the next Christmas special and/or for Series 6.

May 16 - There will be a... Doctor Who "live arena show"! I blogged about it on the day (it was BBC Breaking News on their Twitter feed), but since then we've come to know that... apparently the UK tour will be of 9 cities and with multiple shows in each city. Ticketing began May 21. There are still seats available at some venues--but many prime seats went very quickly Friday morning... It will not have the actors as emcees (only with video recorded for the event's "storyline"), but at least 11 species of monsters will be live onstage, and there will be new rock/ensemble/small-orchestra arrangements of Murray Gold's music scored for the event and played live to the stage action.

Spring 2010 - I began a blog to describe this series' episodes (and other compatible topics). Mind, I'm already 'way behind the broadcast schedules, but here are my episode entries:

Naturally, you won't want to read these until you've seen the episodes! (And don't look at the charts below if you're worried about the cue names giving anything away!)

Music to buy!

The 2008-2010 "Specials" soundtrack has finally been announced; release date is expected to be September 20!

There are 3 Doctor Who soundtracks already released from Murray Gold. A further soundtrack from Series 5 are anticipated before the end of the year (probably close to the time of the DVD boxset release). The usual label (Silva Screen) is as eager as anyone for these to be released, so everyone be sure to be nice to them while we wait!

The latest released disc was the Series 4 soundtrack from November 2008; it is available on iTunes, your favorite CD retail sources, or directly from Silva Screen. I have personally had fast and responsive service from the folks at Silva Screen, so Americans needn't be wary of ordering from them.

Previous soundtracks are also available from these sources, i.e. the Doctor Who - Series 1 & 2 Soundtrack, and the Doctor Who - Series 3 Soundtrack.

The two Torchwood soundtracks are also available from these sources; they are primarily (and in the case of Children of Earth, I believe entirely) the work of Ben Foster.

Music in Words

David Ryan of West Virginia University's newspaper The Daily Athenaeum has printed a new (email) interview with Murray Gold, published June 22.

Michael Beek of has archived what was a Doctor Who December section on that website; three interviews with Murray Gold were presented in late 2009 and early 2010, and are still available:

There was previously a good fly-on-the-wall report on the same website, also by Michael Beek: Two Days With The Doctor: Recording & Mixing Doctor Who about what happens as the source music gets made and rough-mixed. That was from May 2008; it has recently been restored as a link on their site.

Otherwise there are the three very good DWM uncut articles by David Darlington via his website, under its "DWM" top header and "Murray Gold" sections.

My Series 3 article "The New Gold Standard" was published in Whotopia's Spring Special issue, March 2008, now freely downloadable as a PDF. (No, I didn't select the images used.)

The June 2007 issue of Sound On Sound has an extensive interview with Murray Gold which is now also free-access.

I wrote a (long!) essay about the Series One and InterSeries 2005 music; Gold-en Music: the New Series of Doctor Who (circa January 2006). Since its original host UNITNews seems to have disappeared, I have set it up as a legacy document in PDF form; click this link to download the essay. It was written before Series 2 (or the first soundtrack) and is a bit dated.

Music in Notation and Audio

I give some brief, skeletal examples of a few key melodies, on my Notes page. I mean a few notes of sheet music (charts). I'm also sadly out of date with them...

You can also get to those examples by clicking on the links in the tables below.

I am now experimenting with a few discrete audiolinks for identification purposes (see the Specials page) but this is a limited and temporary idea.

You can hear another fan's audio arrangements or "re-creations" of some pieces at the Doctor Who MIDI archive and the archive's Volume Two site. The more recent pieces (often under different names, at least for material not yet officially named on soundtracks) are on his new archive site Volume Three and also on his YouTube channel for Doctor Who Music Recreations. Amateur musicians take note--the new archive site has added some aids in terms of chord/lyric cheat sheets and regular sheet music for those folks trying to play a few tunes at home!

Certain of Murray's music cues are periodically released in the BBC's Doctor Who Advent(ure) Calendars. These include:

Unfortunately, media players on the BBC Doctor Who website pages often block access by non-UK residents, so people in the rest of the world may have to find alternate means to hear the audio.

Murray Gold has also (personally) released images of his "Vale Decem" score (from the finale of The End of Time part 2) via his Twitter account, on 21 June 2010.

Music in Tables

The most recent series will be presented here (below), and others will link via the index above.

Series 5 (the first Steven-Moffat-produced series) has brand new sound libraries. Musically, it's like Russell Davies' Series 1 all over again. I will not be referencing Murray's old cues in this chart; the slate is wiped clean.

As a result of online discussions at the end of the Specials Year, I am changing my definitions of "new" cues. Generally, if I feel that a melody (or, sometimes, a rhythmic vamp) is significantly different (new or mostly new) or that it had significant new material--I give it a new cue listing. However, I am now adding a new graphic listing--for distinctly different arrangements of a recognizable melody. For example, if there were such a distinct "variation" of the cue as was the case between (for example) Gallifrey in Utopia and Gallifrey in Last of the Time Lords (or in Doctor's Daughter!), the premiere of Gallifrey would continue to be "●", the premieres of the variations would be "◎", and re-uses of any would default to "○" as I had been using. (If known tunes, like "Jingle Bells," occur this year, I will change my symbols for first and repeat uses of those works to "◆" and "◇" starting this series.)

Given Steven Moffat's abilities to scare children of all ages, I am also adding a "horror/mystery" category this year.

This year, for the first time a series episode may have the same initials as other current or previous episodes, so I'm adapting as I go along...

New New arr./vars Re-use known known re-use

Series Five

  Series Five episodes
action I am the Doctor                    
I am the Doctor II /
Who da man?                        
Amy solves it                        
Dalek challenge                        
vamps prison escape                        
engines phasing                        
home invasion                        
plan B                        
hospital chase                        
directed dreaming                        
vator threat                        
masked sleuth                        
London threat                        
bomb threat                        
oblivion continuum                        
emotive Amy's Theme I (high)                      
Mad Man with a Box /
(magical TARDIS)
Amy's Theme II (low)                      
impossible truth                        
adagio I / choices                        
adagio II / epiphany                      
standing alone                        
dramatic London swoop                        
rural arrival                        
alien screwdriver                        
Dalek victory                        
new Dalek paradigm                        
Dalek control                        
Spitfires in space (suite)                        
humor glorious food                        
horror/mystery wall crack                        
prison wall                        
psychic link                        
starship UK                        
tendril attack                        
smiler threat                        
crack in time                        
Dalek denial                        
Doctor bluff                        
miscellany coma ward                        
video links                        
London Market                        
Amy's task                        
starship secret                        
Tower secret                        
secret weapon                        
devil's deals                        
unidentified object                        

Back to the top...

Copyright © 2010 L. Robin C. LaPasha.

Updated as of 07/31/2010. Comments and responses to Robin LaPasha