Doctor Who composer, Murray Gold, spoke to Radio 4’s Front Row about scoring the 50th anniversary special and how he feels when he hears his music performed live at the Royal Albert Hall.
In preparation for this weekend’s Doctor Who Proms, Murray says what most surprised him about his music for the show at the proms was the hush before it begin, and the scale of it:
“I write quite big. I write to be heard on the back row so that suits an audience being present because there’s a lot of strong rather than subtle emotions flying around and when you have strong emotions in an auditorium, it’s a really great feeling.”
He announces that he’s written a very special track, Song For 50, to celebrate the show’s anniversary in November – a track which will debut at the Proms, He says:
“We thought it would be appropriate to write something to commemorate the birthday; essentially happy birthday to a lovely television show… But it was really the fact that because I’ve been in the Royal Albert Hall twice with this body of music, I know how people react and it’s a real privilege to be able to write directly for an audience that you know. So I wrote this – well, it’s effectively a long song to speak for everybody in that room.”
And yes, he’s seen the special, and he recalls trying to score it during a flight!
“I flew over the night before last and I had the 50th on my lap and I did constantly check over my shoulder for any potential Doctor Who spies. But it was mostly stewardesses just asking me what I was up to and I just said, ‘ah, it’s just a hobby.’”
He also talks about how he hopes his soundtracks have a particular resonation on TV, which he calls a “democratic medium.”
Naturally, the conversation strays onto the upcoming Twelfth Doctor, whose identity is, of course, still unknown. He says:
“I was just sitting downstairs and the new exec producer of Doctor Who [Brian Minchin] walked in and said, ‘Murray, you’re supposed to be in America! What are you doing here?’ And I said, ‘I’m just doing Front Row; what are you doing here?’ He just winked at me. And I said, ‘I’m going to steal your Filofax – it’s in there, isn’t it?’ And he said, ‘No’… I honestly have no idea.”
It’s a really nice interview with the man who’s been working on the show since its return in 2005, and is well worth a listen. Even if it’s just to catch a snippet of I Am The Doctor.