The Worlds Of Doctor Who

World of Doctor WhoThe last hurrah for Silva Screen’s license to release Doctor Who music on CD in the 1990s, Worlds Of Doctor Who largely consists of music you’ve heard before if you’ve heard the same label’s other Doctor Who output, give or take a surprise or two.

The album opens and closes with two new versions of the famous theme music, the “Lightning Version” at the beginning and the lively “Spoons Version” at the end. As you might’ve guessed, the latter rendition of the theme is practically built around a guest performance on the spoons by Sylvester McCoy himself; it’s an interesting novelty, right up there with Jon Pertwee’s “I Am The Doctor”, but not much more than that. Both of these new arrangements wouldn’t have been out of place on the Variations On A Theme EP.

After the “Lightning Version”, things proceed very much along the lines of Silva’s original Earthshock compilation CD, providing classic clips arranged more or less chronologically, starting with the original BBC 45 version of the 1960s theme tune and then going straight into the Dudley Simpson single “The World Of Doctor Who” (built around music from the 1971 Pertwee adventure The Mind Of Evil). Selections from The Sea Devils and several Tom Baker adventures follow, the latter material coming from Heathcliff Blair’s Pyramids Of Mars re-recordings of classic Simpson scores from that era. At least some canny choices were made here to present the most listenable and accessible material.

After the 1980 Doctor Who theme arranged by Peter Howell, we segue into the more modern, synth-heavy sound of the Davison era; again, the material heard here has been heard before (not just on previous Silva Doctor Who soundtrack compilations, but on the 1980s BBC LP releases that those compilations drew from). To vary things up a bit, material that isn’t necessarily strictly from Doctor Who begins sneaking into the playlist during the 80s section, including Mark Ayres’ theme for the Myth Makers interview videos. This material, too, has been presented before by Silva, on Ayres’ Myths And Other Legends solo release.

Things get a bit more interesting with the suites of Ayres’ music from the last two seasons of the original series. The material has been heard before, but here it’s edited into three eight-minute-or-longer suites (one each for The Greatest Show In The Galaxy, Ghost Light and The Curse Of Fenric) where, again, the best material is brought to the fore. Those three episode scores have also been released in their entirety by Silva, but Ayres picked out his own best material (and it has to be said that I agree with him just about 100% on the selections he made for the suites) and put it all into a single track per episode. No new interstitial material tries to introduce cohesion to the suites; there are stops, starts and pauses between individual cues, but nothing too jarring.

Things are capped off with the first CD release of Ayres’ “Return To Devils’ End” suite, composed for a documentary video of the same name which reunited the cast and crew of the Pertwee-era classic story The Daemons at the original shooting locations. A true Dudley Simpson afficionado, Ayres creates an even better homage to “the Simpson sound” here than Heathcliff Blair managed with the original Simpson sheet music. The “Spoons Version” of the theme music wraps things up.

3 out of 4If you’re wondering about the music from Shakedown: Return Of The Sontarans and Downtime, two of the better fan-produced video drama spinoffs of the 90s, both of those projects’ scores were released in their entirety on Silva CDs as well, but not until after this CD’s release.

It’s a nice sampler CD of Doctor Who soundtrack cues, with a smidgeon of new (but hardly canonical) material, so there are worse ways for Silva Screen to have closed out their Who catalog.

Order this CD

  1. Doctor Who (Lightning Version) (5:17)
  2. TARDIS – Doctor Who (2:37)
  3. The World Of Doctor Who (2:39)
  4. The Sea Devils (3:19)
  5. The Ark In Space (0:50)
  6. Pyramids Of Mars (3:59)
  7. The Brain Of Morbius (3:11)
  8. Doctor Who Theme: 1980-85 (2:37)
  9. Meglos (1:32)
  10. The Five Doctors (5:24)
  11. The Caves Of Androzani (6:07)
  12. Myth Makers Theme (2:11)
  13. Doctor Who (Terror Version) (4:16)
  14. Terror In Totters Lane (1:55)
  15. The Greatest Show In The Galaxy (8:31)
  16. Ghost Light (8:05)
  17. The Curse Of Fenric (8:57)
  18. Return To Devils’ End (2:51)
  19. Doctor Who (Spoon Version) (4:27)

Released by: Silva Screen
Release date: 1994
Total running time: 78:45

Doctor Who: Pyramids Of Mars

Doctor Who: Pyramids Of Mars soundtrackI couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this one advertised. Wow! The Dudley Simpson scores from the 1970s? Where did they find them? Well…they didn’t. You see, the music on this CD was re-created on synthesizers by the talented Heathcliff Blair, since the original tapes of the Dudley Simpson music which became the sonic trademark of pre-80s Doctor Who have long been lost. Blair’s new recordings of the music from such all-time classic episodes as Ark In Space, Genesis Of The Daleks, Pyramids Of Mars and more are incredibly faithful…but they’re so obviously synthesized. In a few places, Blair manages to squeeze something not unlike the acoustic warmth of the original performances out of his synths, but the fact is, contrary to popular perception, the music from Doctor Who was not always entirely synth-based, and with the best intentions and equipment, even these lovingly crafted 3 out of 4results of a tribute to the show’s past sound a little off. You be the judge. Personally, I like it, because it’s as close as we’re ever likely to get to having a collection of music from that period of Doctor Who’s history. And if you do enjoy Pyramids Of Mars, I strongly urge you to check out the similar arrangements and style on Mark Ayres’ soundtrack for the related video Shakedown.

Order this CD

    The Ark In Space

  1. The Violation (0:54)
  2. Cryogenic Sleepers (3:14)
  3. Wirrn Attacks (1:24)
  4. Noah’s Humanity (1:51)
  5. The Trap (1:14)

    Genesis Of The Daleks

  6. The Battlefield (0:58)
  7. Futile Escape (1:08)
  8. Sarah Pursued / The Prototype (1:16)
  9. Genocide (1:41)
  10. Davros’s Megalomania (2:37)
  11. Explosives and Detonators (1:06)
  12. Sneaky Nyder (1:35)
  13. Good From Evil (2:02)

    Pyramids Of Mars

  14. Egyptian Expidition / TARDIS Attacked (2:29)
  15. Clements and the Mummies (4:35)
  16. Sutekh Descends (1:40)
  17. Cottage Under Siege (1:41)
  18. Sutekh’s End – The Doctor Wins (4:30)

    Planet of Evil

  19. Nightfall on Zeta Minor (4:53)
  20. The Thing in the Pit / The Big Fall (2:23)
  21. Anti-Man (4:26)
  22. Redemption (4:54)

    The Brain Of Morbius

  23. The Doctor’s Mickey Finn (2:02)
  24. Portrait of Morbius (1:14)
  25. The Sisterhood of Karn (1:01)
  26. Condo’s Death / Monster Rampage (4:22)
  27. Cyanide (1:07)
  28. The Mind-Bending Contest (1:08)
  29. The End of Morbius (1:35)
  30. Self-Sacrifice (0:30)
  31. The Doctor’s Theme (3:27)

Released by: Silva Screen
Release date: 1993
Total running time: 68:57