My Top 10 Doctor Who Revival Tracks

September 4, 2015

Raise your hand if you love Murray Gold’s work! Okay… Well I can’t actually see your hands, but I’m sure many of you agree with me that Murray Gold is pretty fantastic.

Our Murray Gold has been writing the show’s music since 2005. In fact, Murray Gold is so fantastic that it’s even difficult to choose only ten of his pieces to call amazing. I think he’s just gotten better and better as the new series has progressed. I can’t even rank them because they’re all just too great. So, without further ado, I give you 10 of my favorite tracks, in no particular order.

Spoonheads (Series 7, The Bells of St. John)

Let me start out by saying this: I really have a liking for Series 7, as well as for Matt Smith’s Doctor. I know many fans would disagree with me for liking series 7, but I still do. To me, Matt left on such a high note. Series 7 wasn’t as good as Series 5, but it still receives a lot of unwarranted hate. The Bells of St. John really was a fantastic episode, even though it was about people being uploaded into the Wi-Fi. Our whole fandom sounds pretty bonkers if you think about it. A man who can regenerate travels around with earthlings to see the universe, and his biggest enemies are megalomaniac pepper shakers (not judging the Daleks by saying that). It sounds a bit crazy but it’s amazing at the same time. It’s drama in some of it’s best forms. This idea is why episodes about people being uploaded into the Wi-Fi (or similar ideas) work well. If you don’t like the episode or the series it’s from, that’s quite alright. I can respect that.

The Doctor Forever (Series 3-4, various)

David Tennant was my first Doctor, so I will always have a place in my hearts for him. Typically, him and Smith are at the top of my list. Some times David comes out top, and sometimes Matt comes out top. It’s a bit wibbly-wobbly. This track, which is David’s main theme (you almost can’t say it isn’t when this theme started playing in the 50th anniversary special), is really quite nice. To me, this track really captures the Tenth Doctor’s darker hues with accuracy. It’s a nearly perfect theme for such a fan-loved character.

“All the Strange Strange Creatures” (Series 3, various)

This really is a great piece. Perfect disaster music. Top notch. Love it.

“The Dark and Endless Dalek Night” (Series 4, various)

The Daleks really are great enemies, even though they can be overused a bunch at times. This is a perfectly chilling theme for the Daleks. One that I’m glad has stuck around a bit.

The Sun’s Gone Wibbly (Series 5)

Okay, let’s face it, Series 5 was amazing. You don’t think so? Ah, well I’ll let you off the hook I suppose. This track is really quite good. The Eleventh Hour also just so happens to be what I consider the best introduction episode for a Doctor. More on “I am the Doctor” a little later.

“The Majestic Tale” (Series 5-7, various)

Ah, Series 6. Really quite amazing. It’s a struggle to compare this to Series 5, as I feel they are both quite fantastic. Series 5 however has the stronger run of episodes, so it wins. I personally loved the Lake Silencio story-arc. The fact that it was convoluted and over-complicated only made it better. Besides, how can you have a list like this and not have “The Majestic Tale”? It’s wonderful. It’s astounding. It’s Matt Smith’s Doctor in music form. “I am the Doctor” is above this only because it came first; it’s the original (since “The Majestic Tale” is arguably a variation of “I am the Doctor”). More on “I am the Doctor” further on.

Flying Home for Christmas (The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe)

Okay, I’m also going to get people disagreeing with me for this, but The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe really wasn’t that bad. Not the best Christmas special, no, but it’s not on my list of worst episodes.

“A Sadman with a Box” (Series 5-7, various)

Another one from the Smith era, your thinking. Well, the Eleventh Doctor really did have some of the best music. “The Sadman with a Box” captures Matt’s darker, more serious side. It does this, and yet it has happy elements as well. Sort of like Smith’s character himself, an adventurous man who’s got a lot of sadness in him, yet still is hopeful in the bad situations. It’s a perfect fairy tale theme. It really brings the essence of Series 5 to you in musical format.

A Good Man, an Incredible Liar (Series 8: Variation of “A Good Man”)

Next we have a variation of the Twelfth Doctor’s theme, “A Good Man”. This track doesn’t top “I am the Doctor”, but it certainly has that Doctor-y feel to it. The part I love the most about this track is you can sort of hear the bravery and tragic heroism in it. I know that sounds cheesy, but really. It’s cool.

“I am the Doctor” (Series 5, various)

This is the one track I can easily call my favorite. As for all the rest, I simply cannot rank them. “I am the Doctor” took many musical fans by storm. It became a thing of legend in a way that the other tracks hadn’t done yet. It was Series 5 where Murray Gold really fully got into his most wonderful moments, even though he was still great before this series. I believe Series 5 made music more important to the show then it ever had been, and a lot of reason for that was behind this track. In fact, this piece is so Doctor-y it would probably charge the TARDIS if it ever broke down without any other means of repair.

You can disagree with me on all this if you’d like, but it’s just my two cents.

What are your favorite tracks from Doctor Who since 2005?

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12 comments on “My Top 10 Doctor Who Revival Tracks

  1. Edward Delingford Sep 4, 2015

    Great article. While I love the series 5 music and think ‘I am the Doctor’ is pretty well the best thing Gold has ever written and the show’s default theme, I do have a soft spot for the series 6 music and also ‘A Good Man’ theme from series 8 and pretty well everything in ‘Last Christmas’. I don’t think I really noticed the music much prior to series 5 except it was often very intrusive and loud and on occasions drowned out the dialogue. I must admit that I only have the OST for series 5, 6 and 8 downloaded but find I am going back to series 6 quite a lot recently. Gold seemed to hit his groove in series 5 and like so much on the show, he seems to have undergone a bit of a creative renaissance since Capaldi came on board. Perhaps it’s that elusive ‘Capaldi effect’ again?

  2. Planet of the Deaf Sep 4, 2015

    Good luck with narrowing it down to 10 tracks! A top 50 would be better. All your choices are great, but off the top of my head I MIGHT pick…

    Vale Decem
    Little Amy
    Mad man in a box
    1969
    Pay attention grown ups
    The Wedding of River Song
    The Terrible Truth
    Whose Enigma
    Infinite potential
    Every Christmas is last Christmas (but only with the vocals put back)

    • Planet of the Deaf Sep 4, 2015

      Very good!
      I once saw an analysis of the lyrics by an expert in Latin. The lyrics were clearly chosen to ‘sound’ good, but do make sense in Latin even if they are not 100% grammatically correct!

  3. FrancoPabloDiablo Sep 4, 2015

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but can anybody tell me the name of the track which featured in The Sontaran Stratagem when Donna gets dropped back home and has flashbacks to her previous adventures? (it was featured in other stories to, including Time Crash)

    • Dr. Moo Sep 4, 2015

      I think (and I may be remembering wrong so if someone can correct me please do) it’s a variation of “Martha’s Theme” from series three.

  4. Dr. Moo Sep 4, 2015

    Personal favourites include Song of Freedom, Vale Decem, I Am The Doctor, The Long Song and A Good Man.

    We’re so lucky to have a talented musician/composer as Murray Gold. He’s easily one of the best composers working today.

    • Cassandra Atticum Sep 4, 2015

      I also loved the music from The Impossible Planet.

  5. Rick714 Sep 4, 2015

    Amongst the many great songs created by Murray, “I am the Doctor” is easily the finest, mostly because it’s really the only time the The Doctor had an honest to goodness theme song so perfectly suited to the time Lord. I know there was music that was assigned to Tennant, Eccleston and Capaldi but none have ever come close to the majesty of this theme. I can’t ever really remember any other theme off the top of my head for any of the other Doctors but “I am the Doctor”? Oh, so good.

    In fact, the original Delia Derbyshire theme to for the show all those many years ago is a science fiction classic and probably the best theme song to any show anywhere. It’s obviously the most important tune in Doctor Who history. Well, I’d place “I am the Doctor” right there in second place.

    • Edward Delingford Sep 4, 2015

      Yes. It’s the gold standard for themes for the Doctors. I can’t even recall the others that well, although I do like Peter’s and occasionally I do find myself humming that one. I find most of the music prior to series 5 very bland and forgettable anyway.
      There’s just something really majestic about 11’s theme that sets it well above anything else Murray has written for the series. I think it could just be the creative bounce everyone got from the changeover in showrunners or maybe Matt was just so inspiring! Either way, it’s an amazing high point for Murray and to date hasn’t been bettered. I think it is going to stand up with the Delie Derbyshire theme as the definitive music from the show. Just glorious in all of its forms and variants.

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