Sherlock Holmes Meets Dr. Who

Sherlock Holmes Meets Dr. WhoWhen is a Doctor Who soundtrack not a Doctor Who soundtrack? When it’s a tiny portion of a collected works CD by an artist renowned for work other than his three scores for the Time Lord’s 1970s adventures.

British composer Carey Blyton’s best-known television work may, in fact, be what your toddlers were humming about four or five years ago, for it was Mr. Blyton who was responsible for the theme song to Bananas In Pajamas. But before you dismiss him as a man who created music for a couple of elongated fruit whose primary pastimes included chasing teddy bears, know that Carey Blyton also created music for Silurians, Daleks and Cybermen!

Blyton’s style of composition is suited to small ensembles, and he very much favored saxophones and clarinets in his arrangements. His music for 1970’s terrifying Doctor Who And The Silurians used kazoo-like sounds to signify the otherworldliness of the titular bipedal reptiles, and at times his music for Death To The Daleks is almost amusing and, in places, soothing – though the Gregorian-inspired Exxilon chants lose a little something when played by a quartet of saxes, rather than the original interpretation belted out gutturally by male vocalists. Blyton’s treatment of 1975’s Revenge Of The Cybermen is a little more generic. Silurians stands out as the most memorable of Blyton’s three Doctor Who scores, with nice themes established for the Brigadier and UNIT, as well as the Silurians themselves. That score is also perhaps the one most enthusiastically played. Blyton’s work on a never-completed animated Sherlock Holmes television series is also represented here for the first time in recorded form.

Though not officially a Doctor Who soundtrack album, Carey Blyton’s collection earns its slot on my shelf by virtue of being the only place any of this music can be heard. As with most of the early 1970s stories, Blyton’s 3 out of 4original sessions tapes are lost forever, and we’re lucky to have any new recording at all, even if in some cases the sound is vastly different from the original arrangements. There’s a certain charm to hearing them this way – stripped down to bare bones, the music still stands on its own. How much television music can make the same claim today?

Order this CD

    Sherlock Holmes Suite:

  1. March: The Game’s Afoot! (0:43)
  2. Baker Street Conversation (2:20)
  3. Porky Johnson and the Baker Street Irregulars (0:58)
  4. Scenes from Holmes’ London (2:14)
  5. Professional Colleages (2:21)
  6. Professor Moriarty – “The Napoleon of Crime” (1:06)
  7. Finale – Victoria Triumphans! (1:11)
    Pasticheries:
  8. The Return of Bulgy Gogo (1:21)
  9. The Velvet Gentleman (2:19)
  10. Up The Farington Road! (2:01)
  11. Sweet & Sour Rag (3:42)
  12. Hark! The Merry Gentlemen (3:06)
  13. Eilgut-Galope (2:22)
    The Silurian Suite:
  14. In The Caves (2:01)
  15. A Close Encounter (1:11)
  16. March: The Brigadier (2:03)
    The Vogan Suite:
  17. Deep Space (1:29)
  18. Vogan March (1:50)
  19. “All’s Well…That Ends Well!” (0:54)
    The Dalek Suite:
  20. A Desolate Landscape (1:41)
  21. Chants & Variants (4:05)
  22. Dalek “March” and Retreat (1:31)<
    Six Epigrams:
  23. Idyll (1:29)
  24. March (0:53)
  25. Blues (1:31)
  26. Scherzo (0:52)
  27. Homage to Czerny (1:23)
  28. Echoes (0:57)
  29. In Memoriam: Scott Fitzgerald (2:24)
  30. Mock Joplin (2:08)
  31. Saxe Blue (3:02)
  32. Captain Bowsprit’s Blues (2:17)

Released by: UpBeat Classics
Release date: 1998
Total running time: 61:31