7/22/10

Let's alienate some readers by talking about Doctor Who

Not the show, really, just the theme music. This video stitches together every Doctor Who opening theme since the 60s into one video. Woohoo!

The main takeaway for me is that the current theme music ranks amongst the tackiest of the versions.

9 comments:

  1. Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the most recent version....

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  2. I have found myself more interested by this piece than I have ever been interested in the program. I really like the analog synth sounds in the original incarnations and by the end the entire production is overblown and shitty and little remains of the magical elements in the original.

    After having listened a few times I found myself wishing that the producers had kept the analog synth aesthetic and allowed the musical themes to evolve. Instead they clung to the two main musical themes in the original piece and allowed the production to evolve, and as Jeff Lynn taught us, that is never any good.

    To explore this musical collage while having no association to the underlying tele-dramas was perhaps not the point, but here are my highlights:

    [0:00 - 2:21] This is the good stuff. Only very slight changes to the original ideas and a few extra synth voices added to generally good effect.

    [2:22] At this point a new set of instruments is taking over and there is very brief, but important bit of what I call Trans Siberian foreshadowing.

    [2:31] No real innovations yet, just more instruments. The first percussion instrument appears here, tho I think it's still a synthesizer and not a proper drum.

    [3:39] Starting here we're really beginning to hear the crap to come. The main themes are still intact at this point, but we're starting to see that there's nothing sacred.

    [4:20] It was during my second time listening to it that I began to call this the Triumphalist Period. Here a new theme is introduced and while the two original themes are still evident the new theme is the star. The mood is much less mysterious and much more grand and feux inspirational in the way that only a bad television program theme can be.

    [5:11] around this point I think it is clear that the inmates have taken over the asylum. It's not as bad as it's going to be, but we can hear all of the producers sitting around a meeting room saying silly things like, "It needs to soar more!"

    [5:23] I don't know how many years past between the music at 2:22 and here, but if the previous bit was foreshadowing then this is the full realization of the Trans Siberian dream. The music is unfocused, overproduced, and seems to be made to support an elaborate light show for patrons who are willing to pay a grossly inflated ticket price in order to feel that they have slightly more culture than the stoned crowd at the Paramount watching the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show.

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  6. I apologize for the multiple deleted comments. I was a little confused by the commenting interface after getting home from watching the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show at the Paramount.

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  9. Bill, what you describe as the new triumphalist theme is actually part of the original composition (and sounds better in the context of the composition). The credit sequence that idiotically features it as the central theme is from the Doctor Who movie, which I knew would suck as soon as that terrible theme played. That dumb theme also drastically diminishes the bass line.

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