Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Transported by tunes of the Tardis

From The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search

No image available. However there is a transcription available.

Do you have an image? Email us: whovian@cuttingsarchive.org


[edit]

IT IS one of the most recognised theme tunes, with its galloping bass line, whooshing electronics, sinister hissing and hair-prickling sonic scream, the music of Doctor Who has hypnotised viewers for decades. And now it's coming here. Forty years after Australian composer Ron Grainer scribbled the first notes on a piece of paper and sent it to the BBC, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra brings the music to life in the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, based on the success of a similar show at the 2010 London Proms. Also heading this way are a collection of Doctor Who's arch enemies; namely the Daleks, the Silence - those weird aliens in business suits who look as if they were modelled on Edvard Munch's painting The Scream - and those heartless tin men, the Cybermen.

They will all wander the aisles of Plenary Hall. "It's never been beyond London and Cardiff, so this is exciting," conductor and orchestrator Ben Foster says. "It's nice that the music has a life outside the show." Indeed it has. There are CDs, sheet music and endless YouTube clips of the interpretations of Doctor Who music, including one played on didgeridoo, as well as many versions by bands that have paid homage with cover versions. There has also been much debate and wonderment expressed at how Delia Derbyshire - the woman credited with putting the "whoo" in Doctor Who - turned Grainer's simple score into such a complex piece of musical wizardry in 1963, when there was little technology. Derbyshire - a Cambridge maths and music graduate - was given the job of realising Grainer's score, which called for acoustic interpretations of wind bubbles and clouds. The result was a labour of love; each note is handcrafted by the seamless cutting, splicing, speeding up and slowing down of recordings of white noise and the waveforms of test-tone oscillators. When Doctor Who bounced back on the screen in 2005 after a 16-year absence (bar the 1996 TV film), the new producers wanted more emotion in the music as ninth doctor Christopher Eccleston and his successor, David Tennant, were more touchy-feely. Enter composer Murray Gold and the BBC Orchestra of Wales. The theme tune went classical. "When we brought in the orchestra it was great because it added another layer of warmth and heart," says Foster, who works with Gold as his arranger. The result was not only a change in the theme tune but also music specifically composed for the cast of characters, such as the heartfelt piano and string piece for companion Rose Tyler. Gold was nominated for a BAFTA in 2008 and, in 2010, the Doctor Who theme entered British radio station Classic FM's Hall of Fame, testimony to how engrained the world's longest running sci-fi program is in the British psyche. "We take this music very seriously because we know it will be canonised," Foster says. "Yes, it's pops but it has a serious resonance. We try to exploit all different colours of the orchestra. There are certain tricks that I use which are familiar in orchestral sounds that you'd find in works by Stravinsky or Philip Glass." Growing up in Liverpool in the early '80s, Foster can remember being terrified by Doctor Who - but in the nicest way. "The music was very electronic, which was part of the scariness because it sounded unworldly. I was brought up on classical music so to hear all this electronic stuff was something new," he says. "What I try to do with the orchestra is to create interesting sounds that kids haven't heard before. It's great to see their faces at the concert looking around to see what's making the noise." "The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular invades Plenary Hall at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, February 4, 2pm and 7pm.

GRAPHIC: PHOTO: Dr Who creatures will roam the hall.

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Evans, Kathy (2012-01-21). Transported by tunes of the Tardis. The Age p. 19.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Evans, Kathy. "Transported by tunes of the Tardis." The Age [add city] 2012-01-21, 19. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Evans, Kathy. "Transported by tunes of the Tardis." The Age, edition, sec., 2012-01-21
  • Turabian: Evans, Kathy. "Transported by tunes of the Tardis." The Age, 2012-01-21, section, 19 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Transported by tunes of the Tardis | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Transported_by_tunes_of_the_Tardis | work=The Age | pages=19 | date=2012-01-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=5 March 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Transported by tunes of the Tardis | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Transported_by_tunes_of_the_Tardis | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=5 March 2024}}</ref>