Not so Noble

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.


9 thoughts on “Not so Noble

  1. I got so tired of all that Dalek choral stuff on the first two CDs. There’s more on this one? Gah! I do like a lot of the first CD and I listen to it now and then, but the second one disappointed me. I like “Strange Strange Creatures” and “Martha’s Quest” and I ADORE the gorgeous music that plays when John Smith sees his possible future (“Dreaming of A Normal Death”? Is that the name? And they played it again at the end of S4 when he’s standing in the rain and it made me cry!). Other than that I don’t remember any music from S4 that really got to me. Pooh.

  2. The only reason I would buy it is for the music from the silent exchange in PiC. From what I understand, that’s not even on there, so I’m not bothering to pick it up.

  3. Hmm. Yeah, I can kinda see what you mean. Maybe it’s too much to hope for more genius classics like “This is Gallifrey” (I want that TDD version too!), or “Strange, Strange, Creatures”, as those are beautiful, amazing pieces. Hard to top stuff like that.
    However there are some tracks I really do adore, like Turn Left, The Doctors Theme S4, Hanging by a Tablaphone, A Dazzling End, A Noble Girl About Town. But I have to agree with you that over all it’s not as good as the S3 soundtrack. 😛 I was a little underwhelmed when I listened to it. I guess I was expecting more. S3 was totally the best with teh muziks! \o/
    I’ll still be majorly bummed if Murray Gold leaves DW after the specials, though. His music is so beautiful, and I’ll dearly miss it if he leaves.

  4. You and my sister really should get to know each other. She was desperate to see Sigur Ros perform in the UK, but work made her go to Switzerland on the day she had tickets to see them. They only did four UK dates this year.

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