I just listened to the new S4 soundtrack album, and I was very disappointed. I get the feeling Murray Gold’s been a lot less involved this time around. Even the sleeve notes sound a bit perfunctory. And to be honest, there’s hardly a memorable melody in the whole thing. Strange, because there were quite a few in S4. But this is all atonal, minor key stuff. Never seems to build to a good, rousing climax at all.
I think what depresses me most is there’s so little of Donna in this collection. Apart from the opening music from PiC, nothing reflects her, or indeed the note of hope that there was through most of the series. She was warm, human, direct, funny. This music conveys very little of those things.
Nothing has that forward drive you got in "Strange, Strange, Creatures", or the slow, stately, epic build of "This is Gallifrey" (And why didn’t we have the beautiful bassoon version of that from his talk with Jenny?) The VOTD suite is nice but I wouldn’t mind never hearing it again, and I keenly felt the lack of a Christmas song to move along the plot and bridge the emotional gap between series and Specials.
The finale music comes out a little better, although the two pieces that reference Donna do nothing for me. The evil Dalek choir is okay, I suppose. And so we come to the Song of Freedom, the one we’re all meant to get excited about.
It’s good, yeah, probably the best new piece of the collection. Trouble is, that scene is forever undermined in our memories now by the horrors that followed, isn’t it? RTD’s original plan for the end of the finale was to have the Doctor broadcasting to the Earth that he’d always defend the human race. Now if that had been scored by Song of Freedom it would have been awesome.
One thing about Song of Freedom – the opening is very reminiscent to the final movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony "After the Storm" – a piece I’ve always loved, even if my granny ruined it for me by singing "The cat’s got the measles," to the melody line.
But as it stands, meh. I’m not encouraged to fork out for the DVDs by this at all.