don't know what annoys me more - people bashing RTD or Moffat or people who bash Murray Gold's music. Personally I consider him the best TV composer we've seen in years, right up there with Jerry Goldsmith, Barry Gray and Ron Grainer in my books. Most TV (and film) music is just elevator muzak to me, but Gold's stuff stands on its own to be enjoyed even without the visuals of the TV series accompanying it.
I've been critical of Gold's work, though I recently picked up the fifth season soundtrack and I've reappraised my opinion somewhat.
I think Gold is fiercely inventive, and he has a real talent at pastiching other styles. "The Eleventh Hour" was very Elfmanesque, and there's one episode's suites that are positively Gershwin. (I don't recall which episode off-hand, sorry.) I don't dispute Gold's talent at all
, and I've found the fifth season soundtrack to be an enjoyable listening experience on its own.
My issue with the use of Gold's music stems from 1) the way Gold's suites are butchered in the editing room and 2) rather than having a new piece written for an episode that incorporates one of Gold's motifs in a new way an extant suite will be repurposed for the scene.
Basically, Gold's music isn't written for the purpose. He's not seeing an early cut, he's not in the editing room spotting his score. He's writing suites, and then they're slotted in. There's nothing wrong with this approach -- it's the way George Lucas and James Cameron work with composers -- but it also means that sometimes the music just doesn't fit
. The music isn't organic to what's on screen.
To give you an example, I love "I am the Doctor." I don't
love hearing it exactly
the same way thirteen times a year, and I find it especially
jarring when watching a marathon of episodes on BBC America. I'm not criticizing Gold for that, though; it's not his fault that the producers have chosen the edited suite approach for scoring the episodes. It's a cheaper way to work, and Doctor Who
is a series on a budget. Yet I'd love to see what Gold could do if he were allowed to score directly
for the episodes.