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Published on October 15th, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

Gold: We Didn’t Plan On Themes

If you’ve been to Digital Spy lately, you may have seen a video interview with Who music composer Murray Gold there, shot around the backstage frenzy that is Doctor Who Live.

Upon being asked if he enjoyed coming up with all the themes for each Doctor he’s been around for (Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith), Gold responds…

Nobody knew, I suppose, that it was going to have light motive or thematic music through it right at the very beginning, it was, um… it was… A Judoon’s just arrived, look!

The interview pauses as a rhinoceros police officer marches into the room.

Um… (laughs) That is a Judoon, isn’t it?  Um, what was I saying?  I have no idea…

As various Doctor Who monsters and workers flutter in and out of the room, Gold finally manages to finish his thought.

We didn’t know that the Doctors would have music themes.  There was a piece of music that played over Rose and it seemed to work later on for Rose.  Same with Christopher Eccleston’s music at the beginning which was a sort of Time Lordy thing; it became his music.  And then I suppose I consciously…

Gold pauses as a Cyberman passes him at very close range.


He stares at the Judoon, who now stands quietly behind him in the frame.

He’s been following me all day!

Watch the interview here:

If you managed to pick out Gold’s point among all the interview-crashing by monsters, it was that Gold and Davies and the rest of the comeback crew that reignited the Who flame originally did not intend to supply the wonderful Time Lord and companion themes that we hear in the music today.  This implies that the original plan might have been to stick to the original format of minimal-music-as-it-was-needed of the olden days, barring of course the McCoy era.  Naturally, this would have been a spectacular idea, but it seems that the Whoniverse has benefited from the introduction of themes; to think, without them we’d have no Proms, and probably a less-amazing Live!

Three points to the reader who can capture the Judoon.  We want him alive.


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About the Author


Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.

4 Responses to Gold: We Didn’t Plan On Themes

  1. avatar Andrew says:

    I can’t stand most of Gold’s music, boring and uninspired. No where near as inventive or indeed influential as the old radiophonic work shop.

  2. avatar Jez Noir says:

    I’d love it if, just for one episode, we could go back to the eerie electronica of old rather than the Disney bombast of new. It would change the tone of an episode completely into something more alien and scary.

  3. I sort of said this in the article but I personally believe that it was the original plan to do the music the good ol’ fashioned way; go back and watch the EcclesSeason and you may notice a good chunk of the music (though not all) sounds a lot more synthesized and a lot less, for lack of a better word, cinematic.

    And Jez, I agree, that would be an excellent twist over what NuWho viewers have come to expect!

  4. Father’s Day in particular has an excellent synthesized score, although I’ve long wondered if this is simply to “place” it in historial context

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