In Which I Fangirl Over the Brilliant Music of Doctor Who

Hey all! Sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve posted, I was on vacation. I’ve been planning this post for a really long time now, and if you can’t guess from the title, it’s me rambling on about the musical score for my latest obsession, Doctor Who. Not only is the TV show wonderful, but the music is absolutely brilliant. I have just begun season five and I have already encountered many tracks that I am now thoroughly attached to. Here is a list of ten of my favorites, in no particular order:

1. Rose’s Theme

I love this song for several reasons. First of all, it fit’s Rose’s character perfectly. It’s very beautiful and sweet, but very sad too. Beautifully tragic songs are always my favorites, and you’ll be seeing a lot of those in this post. I also really like this song because I think the string instruments and the piano work so marvelously well together.

2. The Doctor’s Theme

I kept hearing this throughout season one, and the eerie beauty of it always gave me chills. Part of the reason why I love this one so much is because when it’s played softly during moments of dramatic realization (such as a certain scene in “The Parting of Ways”) it creates the perfect striking effect. Also, it’s simple, yet strange and mysterious and wonderful, like the Doctor.

3. Doomsday

I listened to this before I saw the actual episode, and even then it made me cry, as only a piece of powerful music can. And then I watched the episode and cried even more. This is the absolute perfect song of parting for Rose. It fit the scene wonderfully well, and it just added to the emotional weight of the song. Another one of those “beautifully tragic” pieces I mentioned. Basically, to me anyway, it sounds like someone ripped my heart out, squeezed all the sadness out, and turned that sadness into an indescribable harmonious masterpiece.

4. Martha’s Theme

Although Martha isn’t my favorite companion, her theme is one of my favorites out of the pieces I have selected. I kept hearing it played during various episodes of season three and wondering what it was because I loved it so much. Martha’s theme is a bit reminiscent of Rose’s (which cannonically makes sense), but not quite as sad at some parts. It has slow and thoughtful moments, but also parts that seem almost magical and heavy with gladness.

5. The Doctor Forever

This is another song I just can’t get enough of. To me this song is the Tenth Doctor. It’s slow and sorrowful at some moments, grand and heroic at others, bursting with energy at some points, yet with an underlayer of darkness creeping in at times. Parts of this song appear throughout the season, and like with “Martha’s Theme”, I desperately wanted to find out what song it was. In addition to being Ten perfectly represented in music, this song has a little bit of nearly all the best musical moments in season three.

6. Blink (Suite)

I love this song because it is beautifully creepy. For a little over the first half of the song several string instruments and a piano work in counterpoint to form a simple melody that is very pretty but gives off an irresistible urge to look behind you. Later on it gets very dramatic, and the last thirty seconds or so are downright scary when the song is listened to at night in a dark room. I find this part creepy even when it’s not dark, really, but it’s part of why I like the song.

7. The Doctor’s Theme (Series Four)

Just as with this song’s previous regeneration, I get chills when listening to it. I love how it uses some of the same melody as the first theme but is also a wonderful new take on it. Whereas the first theme is only sung by one vocalist, this one uses a chorus, which starts softly, barely able to be heard over the instruments, filling the song with excitement and building tension. Then the sound explodes and the tune carries off in new ways and everything is very majestic, then there’s more dramatic tension, and then the original theme comes back, grander than ever before. Just as I love the eerie simplicity of the former theme, I think the majesty of this later version is wonderful as well, and especially perfect for Ten’s last season.

8. Turn Left

I really like the way this song starts out, mystical and strange, but my favorite part of this song is definitely 1:10 and onwards. When the bit at 1:18 played during the episode, I got chills (which seems to be a recurring theme here), but that was partially because of the content of the episode. Needless to say I now try to avoid turning right. I love how this song adds in elements of The Doctor’s Theme, but with a new take.

9. Songs of Captivity and Freedom

The violin at the beginning of this piece is absolutely gorgeous, and then when the soprano vocals join in…no wonder it nearly reduced Donna to tears. Around halfway through this song the transition is made from slow and sad to joyful, but I like the first half better, though both are very beautiful. I mainly like the first half because of the violin, but the second half is great too because it feels wonderfully hopeful, which is unusual in Doctor Who music.

10. The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble

Like with “Doomsday”, I listened to this song before I saw it used in the show, and it had as similar effect on me as the former song. Just as “Doomsday” was the perfect departure song for Rose, this piece is perfect for Donna’s fate (which I will not mention because of spoilers). It’s so very Donna-y, a bit overdramatic at the beginning but still very sad, which is another reason why I love it. And again, it’s a beautifully tragic song. Gotta love those beautifully tragic songs.

So, those are ten of my favorite songs from Doctor Who. I will most definitely be doing this again, because I’m bound to encounter more songs I love. And I haven’t even begun to mention my series five favorites so far yet, like “Amy’s Theme” and “I Am the Doctor”. I don’t know how to end this post, but I wish you a very timey-wimey day, whatever that my mean.

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10 thoughts on “In Which I Fangirl Over the Brilliant Music of Doctor Who

  1. I completely understand why you love the music. It is gorgeous and Murray Gold is a genius! I personally really like “With Love, Vincent”, “Melody Pond” and “Clara’s Theme” from the newer episodes.

  2. This post is super helpful as I make my way through Doctor Who. šŸ˜€ Thanks for writing it!
    My favorites so far are probably Rose’s Theme, the themes for Nine/Ten/Eleven, Doomsday, and This is Gallifrey.
    Oh yes, and the actual intro for Nine (or whenever else they used that theme… wasn’t it series one through three?).

    • I believe it was series one through three, if we are thinking of the same thing. I’m glad this post was helpful for you. Likely there will be one…or two…or three like it in the future. I really enjoyed writing this post.

  3. Pingback: Three Reasons Why I Love Film Scores | Musings From Neville's Navel

  4. What the hey, I actually bothered to listen to The Doctor’s Theme (series four) and I realized it was one of my favorites from the show, I just usually listen to a different version…

  5. Pingback: “We Will Sing To You, Doctor.” | Musings From Neville's Navel

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