Doctor Who, Volume 2: New Beginnings 1970-1979

Doctor Who, Volume 2: New Beginnings 1970-1979 soundtrackThis selection of freshly unearthed, newly remastered music and sound effects from the 1970s, arguably Doctor Who’s heyday with the role being played by Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker (the two longest-serving actors in the part), is quite an interesting listen.

Central to this lengthy CD is a suite of cues from Malcolm Clarke’s score for the 1972 six-parter The Sea Devils, which had previously been represented on an earlier Silva Screen collection by a track of “edited highlights.” Clarke’s abstract electronic music, in fourteen tracks of its full glory, will likely still be inaccessible to many listeners. This is electronic music at its most abstract and challenging. Mark Ayres’ liner notes aren’t kidding when they cite Clarke’s Sea Devils score as “undoubtedly some of the most uncompromising electronic music ever to feature in mainstream popular entertaiment.” In places, the music sounds more like sound effects gone berzerk, and yet in other places, there are clear, tonal ideas being explored. To be honest, I’m actually able to grok the Sea Devils music more now than I did when I first watched the six-parter from which the music originated.

Other gems include some previously unreleased Dudley Simpson cues from The Mind Of Evil and The Claws Of Axos; though Simpson was a freelance composer, he did experiment with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s capabilities early in the 1970s. A brief selection of sound effects, none of which – thankfully – were previously released in 1993 as part of 30 Years at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, draws material from the period between Jon Pertwee’s last season as the Doctor and Tom Baker’s penultimate year in the part.

The real Holy Grail of this whole endeavour comes in the form of two tracks toward the end of the CD. These never-before-heard cues by Peter Howell, who composed many of the better Radiophonic Workshop scores for Doctor Who in the 1980s, were part of a demo recorded to scenes of a 1979 episode to demonstrate to the series’ then-new producer John Nathan-Turner that the Radiophonic Workshop was up to the task of scoring entire episodes in addition to providing sound effects.

Also included is the pre-requisite selection of different versions of the theme music, including the 1970 “stutter-start” edit (which, truth be told, I’ve always rather liked), the infamous “Delaware” version, and other minor variations.

3 out of 4Is this second volume of the Radiophonic Workshop series worth picking up? Well…maybe. I like it, but the Sea Devils suite may be musical anathaema to those with more traditional tastes, and since that is what takes up most of Volume Two, that will probably determine whether or not you care to shell out your hard-earned money to buy it.

Order this CD

  1. Music: Doctor Who (opening title theme, 1970) (0:46)
  2. FX: Tardis control on & warp transfer (0:22)
  3. Blue Veils & Golden Sands (3:25)
  4. The Delian Mode (3:33)
  5. The Master’s Theme (0:43)
  6. Dover Castle (0:39)
  7. FX: Keller Machine appears/vanishes (0:23)
  8. Keller Machine Theme (0:42)
  9. FX: Brain centre atmosphere (0:21)
  10. The Axons Approach (1:45)
  11. TARDIS lands (0:22)
  12. Doctor Who (closing title theme, 1970 (1:13)
  13. The Prison (1:19)
  14. The Master (2:05)
  15. The Naval Base (1:28)
  16. The Sea Fort (2:13)
  17. Stranded (2:39)
  18. The Sea Devil (2:43)
  19. The Master At Large (3:04)
  20. Air Conditioning Problem (0:48)
  21. Duel (1:44)
  22. The Master’s Plan (1:31)
  23. The Submarine (1:52)
  24. Jo Frees The Doctor (1:11)
  25. Rock Bottom (1:15)
  26. The Beach (1:57)
  27. The Minefield (0:23)
  28. Devil Underwater (1:18)
  29. The Doctor And Jo On The Run (0:35)
  30. The Sea Devils Take The Prison (3:24)
  31. The Diving Bell (1:23)
  32. Mr. Walker’s War (3:05)
  33. Torpedo (1:28)
  34. Attack In Force (2:02)
  35. Ventilation Shaft (1:20)
  36. Sea Chase (2:06)
  37. Escape (0:46)
  38. Doctor Who (stereo version, 1972) (2:21)
  39. Doctor Who (Delaware version, 1972) (2:08)
  40. FX: Aggedor’s temple atmosphere, Peladon (0:59)
  41. FX: Metebelis 3 atmosphere (1:51)
  42. FX: Nerva Beacon infrastructure & T-Mat couch (1:42)
  43. FX: The Planet Karn (1:49)
  44. FX: The Shrine of the Sisterhood of Karn (1:13)
  45. FX: The Mandragora Helix (0:46)
  46. FX: Nova Device Countdown & Explosion (0:12)
  47. Demo 1 (1:13)
  48. Demo 2 (1:07)
  49. Doctor Who (new theme, 1980) (2:42)

Released by: BBC Music
Release date: 2000
Total running time: 78:19