Originally issued at the time of the show’s anniversary as a legendary square CD (now highly prized and priced by collectors), Variations On A Theme is exactly what the title suggests: a collection of four different takes on the main title music from Doctor Who. The low-key, new-age-esque “Mood Version”, arranged by Mark Ayres (who, at the time, had only just begun scoring episodes of the show), kicks things off nicely, but the real gem is Dominic Glynn’s “Terror Version”, which lends an appropriately creepy atmoshphere to the proceedings – just as it should be. Keff McCulloch, who scored most of the episodes in the 24th and 25th seasons of the series, brings us the amusingly sunny “Latin Version”, which some fans will recognize as the version of the theme used to open the “Years” documentary videos. Ayres closes out the four-track disc with the “Panopticon Eight Regeneration Mix”, which strikes the balance between doom and gloom and dance music nicely.
Is this disc worth the search? Absolutely, in my opinion. I’ve always enjoyed this collection, brief though it is, and a reissue is long overdue, perhaps with some other artists’ interpretations of the Doctor Who theme (Orbital and all-string ensemble Fourplay come to mind immediately) in tow.
- Doctor Who: Mood Version (3:12)
- Doctor Who: Terror Version (4:15)
- Doctor Who: Latin Version (6:38)
- Doctor Who: Panopticon 8 Regeneration Mix (5:37)
Released by: Silva Screen
Release date: 1989
Total running time: 19:42