Doctor Who: Series 5Following hot on the heels of the Series 4 – The Specials 2-CD set, Doctor Who: Series 5 uses much the same format – two CDs again, and as with The Specials, most of the music is presented as unedited individual cues instead of compilations. Most of the season’s episodes are represented here, so there’s something to keep everyone happy.

Following the suddenly-more-gothic-than-it-used-to-be new rendition of the theme music, The Eleventh Hour storms out of the gates, with Murray Gold’s music sounding very much as it did during the tenure of showrunner Russell T. Davies. But as the music from the season opener progresses, we get a very different musical picture than what we’re used to: darker, heavier with synths, and altogether more moody. Moments of traditional Gold bombast do crop up in several scores, but the brass section isn’t necessarily getting a workout with every episode.

It should be pointed out that this is not a bad thing. Without a change of composer, the new season of Doctor Who managed to sound like a completely different show after the opening titles rolled for The Eleventh Hour. Sinister things are afoot throughout the season, and they’re handled with sinister, slithering music. The major themes for the Doctor, Amy (both young and younger) and the lingering threat of Prisoner Zero / the Atraxi / the Silence (which, we are told repeatedly, will fall) are rolled out fairly early on, and the whole thing has a more mystical feel to it. Highlights of the first disc include the quirky “Fish Custard”, “Amy In The TARDIS”, the unnervingly abstract “Time Of The Angels”, and both tracks from “Amy’s Choice”, an episode that’s atypical both musically and in a narrative sense. Those looking for the Murray Gold sound of old won’t be let down: seek out “Down To Earth”, “Battle In The Sky” (from Victory Of The Daleks‘ silly Spitfires-in-space scene) and “The Silurians”.

Disc two kicks off with the season’s musical highlight, Vincent And The Doctor. I’m going to put my cards on the table and say that the track “With Love, Vincent” – accompanying a scene in which Vincent van Gogh helps the Doctor and Amy visualize the night sky as one of his paintings – is the best piece of music that anyone’s put on our TV screens in the past twelve months, with the only serious challenger to that being the music from Lost’s Ab Aeterno episode.

Other highlights on the second CD include “A Useful Striker” (underscoring a true oddity: a Doctor Who sports montage, from The Lodger), and the music heralding perhaps the quietest Doctor Who cliffhanger in the show’s storied history, “The Life and Death of Amy Pond”. Just about every note of music from the season-ending two-parter is found on this disc, from big set pieces (“Words Win Wars”) to nearly fairy-tale material (“Into The Museum”). I found the cue-by-cue approach – which was unfamiliar ground with the Series 4 – The Specials album – worked very well here. The music of the fifth season of new Who was much more interconnected than the disjointed (and disparately scheduled) final batch of Tennant episodes, and it’s interesting to hear the themes develop.

Minor complaint: as with Series 4 – The Specials, there are two iTunes exclusive tracks that mean you’d have to buy the album all over again in digital if you sprang for the physical CDs. Cut it out, guys. Even assuming 74-minute discs, there was enough room for these tracks on the CDs as well. (For the record, one track was from Victory Of The Daleks, and the other from Amy’s Choice.)

Murray Gold can still do music that makes it sound like the house is on fire, but where I was tiring of some of his orchestra-playing-to-a-rock-beat material under Russell T. Davies’ reign, he’s giving the 4 out of 4Moffat era a very fresh and enjoyable sound. At one point, I hoped that the shakeup of personnel might usher in a new composer, but after hearing Doctor Who: Series 5, I’m now of the opinion that Murray Gold can stick around as long as Dudley Simpson if he so chooses.

Order this CD

    Disc One

  1. Doctor Who XI (1:04)

    The Eleventh Hour

  2. Down To Earth (1:06)
  3. Little Amy (1:45)
  4. Fish Custard (2:00)
  5. Can I Come With You? (1:38)
  6. Little Amy: The Apple (1:12)
  7. The Sun’s Gone Wibbly (2:25)
  8. Zero (1:42)
  9. I Am The Doctor (4:04)
  10. The Mad Man With A Box (2:11)
  11. Amy In The TARDIS (4:18)

    The Beast Below

  12. The Beast Below (1:49)
  13. Amy’s Theme (2:06)
  14. A Lonely Decision (3:24)

    Victory Of The Daleks

  15. A Tyrannical Menace (2:03)
  16. Victory Of The Daleks (1:14)
  17. Battle In The Sky (3:25)

    The Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone

  18. River’s Path (1:17)
  19. The Time Of Angels (3:59)

    The Vampires Of Venice

  20. I Offer You My Daughter (1:37)
  21. Chicken Casanova (1:24)
  22. Signora Rosanna Calvierri (4:26)
  23. Cab For Amy Pond (2:08)
  24. The Vampires Of Venice (4:50)

    Amy’s Choice

  25. Wedded Bliss (1:07)
  26. This Is The Dream (2:53)

    The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood

  27. Rio de Cwmtaff (4:03)
  28. The Silurians (2:02)
    Disc Two
    Vincent And The Doctor

  1. Paint (0:35)
  2. Vincent (2:00)
  3. Hidden Treasures (1:01)
  4. A Troubled Man (2:30)
  5. With Love, Vincent (3:27)

    The Lodger

  6. Adrift In The TARDIS (0:45)
  7. Friends And Neighbours (1:16)
  8. Doctor Gastronomy (1:08)
  9. You Must Like It Here (0:53)
  10. A Useful Striker (1:34)
  11. A Painful Exchange (1:11)
  12. Kiss The Girl (5:14)
  13. Thank You Craig (0:45)

    The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang

  14. River Runs Through It (1:28)
  15. Away On Horseback (1:25)
  16. Beneath Stonehenge (3:45)
  17. Who Else Is Coming (1:52)
  18. Amy And Rory (0:46)
  19. The Pandorica (2:00)
  20. Words Win Wars (1:49)
  21. The Life And Death Of Amy Pond (3:12)
  22. Amy’s Starless Life (1:41)
  23. Into The Museum (1:17)
  24. This Is Where It Gets Complicated (1:08)
  25. Roman Paradox (1:22)
  26. The Patient Centurion (2:49)
  27. The Same Sonic (0:55)
  28. Honey, I’m Home (2:13)
  29. The Perfect Prison (2:41)
  30. A River Of Tears (1:00)
  31. The Sad Man With A Box (3:18)
  32. You And Me, Amy (2:27)
  33. The Big Day (2:20)
  34. I Remember You (1:53)
  35. Onwards! (0:58)

Released by: Silva Screen
Release date: 2010
Disc one total running time: 67:12
Disc two total running time: 64:38