Doctor Who – Series 4: The Specials

Doctor Who: The Specials soundtrackProbably one of the last pieces of merchandise that will adorn the image of David Tennant, this collection of pieces of music from the run of specials is a reminder of just how important the works of Murray Gold are to the series.

The “Vale”, a stunning and moving piece bookends the release, reminding us that we knew what was going to happen and creates the dark shadow that would haunt The Doctor through these specials. Then it’s into romp mode with tracks from The Next Doctor with what possibly is the most Avengers style piece the series has had. Tracks such as the celebratory 2A Victorian Christmas” and the almost Batman-esque “Hidden In The Closet” are worthy of many repeat listens, whilst “The Wonder Of Balloons” is a gentle reminder about how delicate and subtle the show can be.

Moving onto Planet Of The Dead this is a more mystical and electronic selection of tracks. “The Cat Burglar” is slight with heavy strings whilst “Alone In The Desert” takes its cues from Arabian style music but with a subtle twist. “A Special Sort Of Bus” is family Murray Gold territory, heavy on the brass with an increasing sense of dread.

The selections from the Waters Of Mars holds some beautiful moments including the gentle yet engrossing opening piece “Letter To Earth”. “The Fate Of Little Adelaide” is one of the stand out moments of this release. Peppered with slight electronic beeps across a sweeping orchestra playing by with its heart, it signals a mature turning point for the series and helps lead the way for the terror that was to follow.

Disc two is dedicated to The End Of Time and opens with the choral “We Shall Fare Well” and the jazz infused “A Frosty Ood”. All In The Balance has the trumpets “parping” in overtime whilst Wilf’s Wiggle is a foot-tapper of epic proportions.” Gallifrey” is a movement that is deep, thoughtful and immediately conjures up images of that battle torn world. And it keeps getting darker but with the bombastic enthusiasm we have come to expect from Mr Gold. Not a negative thing at all for the tracks just keep getting better; “The Master Suite” and “A Chaotic Escape” hark to the action sequences and then it stops for the beautiful and emotional “A Lot of Life Behind Us” which backed one of the finest scenes of the show which was between the Doctor and Wilf.

Entering the final selection on the disc we enter the time of hope with the optimistic “The Clouds Pass” which is crushed by the “Four Knocks” track which, well we all know signals the end of Ten. Gentle, as if to gently whisper into the ear the piece sums the whole adventure up in one swift and tender movement. “Song For Ten (Reprise)” helps us to recall the good times that we’ve had, all the strange, strange creatures we’ve met and in this gentle, orchestrated version it will make even the hardest of fans shed at least one tear. Simply beautiful. And the tears continue into “Vale Decem” and “Vale” which brings the Doctor to his regeneration, the end of his era but it’s soon washed away by “The New Doctor”, heralding a new start for the series, a new cast and crew and new music.

This stunning collection is a must, it really is and encapsulates exactly why Murray Gold is as important to the series as the Doctor himself. Bravo, Mr Gold, bravo!


James has been a Doctor Who fan for as long as he can recall. A child of the 70s and 80s, he weathered all the storms and controversies the show encountered, though he didn’t buy the “Doctor In Distress” single.

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