Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doctor Who: Series 5

I decided to give the Doctor another try. This time, I chose the two-disc set from season five. The eleventh doctor's first season received the first 2-CD set for the show. The music seems far different in tone from the first disc I purchased ( which I also reviewed here). There is a more unified sound, with a touch of remote control in the music. Particular episodes are highlighted, rather than compiled into suites.

Murray Gold does a superb job at capturing the essence of Matt Smith's Doctor. The new Doctor's theme starts simply, then develops into a full-blown, orchestral blast. The core of the new theme is a figure which ascends with four notes, descends with four and repeats. It often appears in a minor key, though with major and minor harmonics. A secondary figure is layered on top, and is used as a leavening of what could be an otherwise moody action theme.

Gold has also re-orchestrated Ron Grainer's theme for the third time. The introductory segment is the most notable difference between this and the previous two incarnations. Its faster and more frenetic than the earlier renditions. The two CD set features only one full performance of the theme, unlike the first CD I reviewed earlier, which had the opening credits and the full version book ending the presentation. It would have been a nice way to finish the second disc, which seems to end abruptly.

There are many highlight tracks throughout the set, notably the new theme for the Doctor, which can be heard in "I am the Doctor" and "Onwards!", and "Amy's Theme". The set is a warmly recommended addition to any CD collection. ****

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