Yikes. Well, this one’s obviously a bootleg, but it’s the real thing and it appears to have beaten the official BBC releases to the punch.
Nice packaging and artwork (some of it borrowed from the BBC’s video covers – sheesh, who made these, and just how many copyright lawyers are they trying to honk off?) gives this Doctor Who CD a look that’s a notch or three above the average bootleg (hell, it looks nicer than some of the official releases that have gone before it!), but it would’ve been nice had the sound quality been up to the same level. To put it mildly, this CD is an almost blatantly obvious tape transfer, and the source tape has some occasional (but infrequent) speed and “warble” problems.
Technical problems aside, however, this release presents – for the first time – some of Paddy Kingsland’s contributions to the early 80s adventures of the Doctor. Kingsland’s Doctor Who scoring debut was 1980’s Full Circle, and he quickly proved to be one of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s most adept composers with his positively hummable melodies and mysterious suspense themes. Kingsland had a habit of building a small handful of themes and developing that material over the course of four episodes. By the time the end credits rolled on part four of a given story, this thematic material was burned into our brains.
This CD picks up with the opening pre-credits sequence of Castrovalva, the first outing for Peter Davison as the fifth incarnation of the Time Lord. Castrovalva initially restates the closing musical cue of Logopolis, the cliffhanger that leads into it, and then jumps into the main title. (Big whoop – the main title turns out to be the extended single version of the early 80s theme arrangement we’ve all heard a gazillion times.)
Much of the Castrovalva score is plagued by repetition. There are some hummable themes and interesting variations on those themes, but not a huge amount of variety.
Things look up with Mawdryn Undead, the score from a gimmicky 1983 four-parter which introduced the fifth Doctor to Brigadier Lethbridge- Stewart (as played by perennial fan favorite Nicholas Courtney). This story’s music was memorable, well-produced, and well-spotted. And the problem of musical variety is solved by a wide range of styles in the space of a single four-parter: from a synth-and-drum-machine pastiche of early 20th century jazz (“Turlough And Ibbotson Take A Ride”), to the tense, heavy-distorted-guitar strains of “Collision Course”, to the mysterious themes for Turlough (also introduced in this adventure) and the Black Guardian. One of the all-time best moments of Doctor Who incidental music is included: the track “Lethbridge-Stewart’s Flashback”, which accompanied a goosebump-inducing series of clips from the Brigadier’s past appearances in the show all the way back to 1967.
My recommendation, even if you should happen to run across one of these at a con or online, is to wait for the BBC’s upcoming compilations of Radiophonic Workshop music from the 1980s. At least that title will be remastered (very likely from the original tapes and not somebody’s cassette copy).
- The Death Of The Fourth Doctor (1:07)
- Main Title (2:41)
- Escape (1:04)
- The Master’s TARDIS (1:23)
- Cricket, Anyone? (0:12)
- The Zero Room (1:57)
- Deleting Rooms (0:50)
- Russian Roulette With The TARDIS (0:58)
- Journey To Castrovalva (2:58)
- Are You Sure This Is The Right Way? (0:53)
- We’ll Have To Think Of Something (0:44)
- He’s Gone! (0:38)
- The Tapestry (1:05)
- That’s Democracy For You (1:06)
- Recursive Occlusion (0:45)
- Tegan Takes Charge (1:27)
- The Master Revealed (1:08)
- Broken Glass (0:09)
- You Made Us, Man Of Evil (0:25)
- Shardovan’s Sacrifice (0:19)
- It Still Makes Sense To Mergrave (0:50)
- The Creator Of Castrovalva (0:29)
- Mergrave Attacks The Master (0:49)
- Trim Timeship And A Ship-Shape Team (1:29)
- The Brigadier’s Car (0:20)
- Turlough And Ibbotson Take A Ride (1:14)
- The Most Accomodating Of Partners (0:25)
- Collision Course (0:59)
- Queen Mary Or Marie Celeste? (2:37)
- The Wrath Of The Black Guardian (1:00)
- Turlough Stows Away (0:42)
- In The Name Of All That Is Evil (1:01)
- Reunion (0:28)
- Lethbridge-Stewart’s Flashback (1:53)
- Tegan’s Run (0:15)
- A Bit Of Bother (1:45)
- Perpetual Torment (1:31)
- The Brigadier Explores (0:44)
- Such Luxury (1:09)
- Find The TARDIS (0:17)
- The Regeneration Room (0:15)
- Reach Out Your Hand (1:52)
- Eternal Agony (1:05)
- Mawdryn’s Revenge (0:46)
- Turlough’s Reward (1:18)
- Return To Mawdryn’s Ship (1:26)
- End Title (0:52)
- Theme from K-9 and Company (1:00)
- Main Title (Extended) from The Five Doctors (0:59)
- End Credits from The Five Doctors (0:59)
Released by: ?
Release date: 2000?
Total running time: 52:50