Imagine receiving an email containing an episode of Doctor Who without music – that’s what UK composer Murray Gold finds in his inbox each time a new segment has been filmed.
For a musician who is also a Doctor Who fan, Gold has a dream job. He has composed the music for every episode in every series since 2005 when the cult TV show had its renaissance.
Gold’s role in creating the massive following that the TV show commands is just as important as that of actor Peter Capaldi, the latest Doctor Who.
“Film music is making a huge comeback live,” says Gold. “There’s an appetite around the world to play the music for drama in live venues – quite often when you take away the story, the acting, the dialogue, you suddenly hear what’s going on.
“Doctor Who without music feels kind of empty, like nothing that is happening is that important.
“When I receive an email with a new episode that has no music, I sit at the piano and start playing along to it. The process of composing starts almost immediately.
“The music adds a sense of adventure, a sense of optimism, a sense of excitement and the simple joy of being alive.”
Think about it. Doctor Who music isn’t just about that dramatic, emblematic theme tune; there’s so much more to the action that you see on the screen.
“Doctor Who music is orchestral music on a massive in scale,” says Gold. “There are 85 people in the orchestra when we do an average episode.”
And when the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular performs in Adelaide for the first time in January at the Entertainment Centre, 145 members of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra will be on stage giving Gold’s music the fullest force they can muster.
“Doctor Who music expresses a breaking down of frontiers, the searching for truth – very romantic ideas, so orchestras work really well with that,” explains Gold.
The show will be hosted by the fifth doctor, Peter Davison, and conducted by Ben Foster. Davison and Foster will take to the stage alongside Daleks, Cybermen and a host of other Doctor Who monsters.
Specially edited sequences of Peter Capaldi’s debut as the Twelfth Doctor will be screened in the background, as well as fan favourites from recent series and classic nostalgic footage.
“And audiences will be able to hear the first public performances of music from the Capaldi era, encapsulating the dizzy rush and excitement of a new Doctor,” says Gold.
“Music makes things feel like they matter and that they are important.”
The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular will be performed at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on January 24. Tickets and information are available here.
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