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mygif

The fall of the Radiophonic Workshop, and thusly the need to have plain old *music* in Doctor Who, was truly a sad thing.

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mygif

Oh man, I agree with you completely (odd, seeing as I only seem to comment on this blog when I disagree with something you’ve said) the current Who theme is ridiculously busy. To me it represents the way in which Doctor Who 2000 has become increasingly bloated and weighed down by it’s own self mythologising as it has rumbled on. Hopefully Moffat will improve it.

But no mention of the Delia Derybshire theme? For shame man. For shame.

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mygif

That’s not an EARLY serial. is an EARLY serial.

mygif

… I was about to ask why waste time downloading illegally when you can watch online at the BBC website.

Then it occurred to me that this might not work outside the UK. In which case I’ll be over here, making with the mocking laughter at the entire freakin’ planet.

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mygif

Online at the BBC, all I’ve been able to find is clips.

Besides, I like watching full-screen with good resolution, and I’m never around when the CBC plays it on perfectly legal telly. I consider downloading in this instance to be a reasonable extrapolation of fair use rights that Canadians should have under law (but don’t, not statutorily anyway).

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mygif

Will. I-Player doesn’t work for the foreign devils. But don’t let on, the poor devils have enough to deal with already. What with not being British and all.

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mygif

I like the new theme actually – what bugs me is that they changed it for the Christmas With Kylie episode, and then changed it Again, for the new series

However, your criticism of anything related to Sylvester means I shall go to the corner and sulk. Because Sylvester was awesome.

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Andrew W. said on June 6th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I couldn’t even sit through all of the last one. And it’s only 41 seconds. I got to 20, and had to stop.

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mygif

I download because I am wildly impatient, but I buy the season sets on the release date, no exception. I consider it an unspoken contract–if I download your show, I am making a commitment to purchase it if it becomes commercially available. (If it doesn’t ever become commercially available, then I don’t feel bad about buying bootlegs. This is why I own ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’ without guilt. Shame, of course, is another matter.)

Moving on topic, I agree with you that this season’s version of the theme is not as good as last season; but no picking on the McCoy harpsichord version, man. I have a soft spot for that one. Save your wrath for the ’96 TV movie version, which sounds like they handed it to the guy who did the music for ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and said, “Bland this down for us, willya?”

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mygif

While I understand why us “foreign devils” aren’t allowed to watch the show at the BBC archives (your licesning fees, etc,etc), what I don’t understand is why I can’t even access the website for news and whatnot. The last time I tried ( a few months ago to see pictures of the new companion), I was denied access because I was from outside the UK. Not denied access to episodes or video clips, but even from promotional stills…

Being a citizen of a first world nation sliding into second world status is no fun these days…

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Eric TF Bat said on June 6th, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I rewatched the three videos because I was fairly sure I’d agree with you — but I’m shocked to find I don’t. The original feels very dated to me: a product of the times when the Radiophonic Workshop was a bench, a microphone and a prototype ZX-81 with the whopping 1.5 kilobyte RAM expansion pack (and pop! there goes the BBC’s entire effects budget for 1979, which explains the Talons of Weng Chiang). Whereas the original has a bit of a kick to it. It’s updated, just like the character — because if there’s one word you could have used to infallibly describe all the Doctors from Hartnell to McCoy, it’s avuncular. And Eccles and Teninch don’t act like anybody’s uncle, unless you have a very weird family dynamic. So a change makes sense.

Of course, if they finally cast Mr Dursley as the Doctor when Teninch eventually snogs himself to death, then they can change it back…

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mygif

Gotta disagree; the new theme (which I believe actually debuted in “Last Of The Time Lords”) just fucking kicks. It’s as if it’s calling its’ shot as to how much it’s going to kick the shit out of American sci-fi. And make no mistake — Who KILLED Heroes last year.

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ithidet said on June 6th, 2008 at 9:26 pm

HOT DAMN!
I can listen to that all freakin day!

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mygif

Must we focus on the niggling details? Can we not instead be united in how surprisingly awesome Donna Noble is?

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Andrew W. said on June 6th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

@NCallahan: Of course not. As people who watch Sci-Fi, it is our duty to argue over minute details like an old married couple.

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Zenrage said on June 7th, 2008 at 1:00 am

I am now off to download the Doctor Who song (Eccleston) from Amazon with my pepsi points.

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mygif

The only theme song I’m thinking about right now is the HNIC one, which will no longer be airing on the CBC!

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mygif

It sounds too much like Irish rock music for me. (Not that Irish rock is bad or anything.)

I think this one’s still the weakest, though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA1BM_3dnms

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mygif

I thought this would’ve been more about Ten being Tinkerbell!Jesus. :/

Besides, Not OUR fault in the colonies we can’t get Torchwood on SciFi.

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mygif

Hey don’t look at me Shipwrack, if it was up to me Johnny Foreigner would be allowed full access to all i-player services on payment of a small subscription to cover the running costs.

EricTFBat – The Derbyshire through to Baker themes all have one thing in common; creepy. The 80s theme replaced campy synthpop and the Eccleston theme was ADVENTURE, which was great – even though my tastes in Who would place Horror and Humour over Action. The new theme is sliding back into overblown pomposity with about thirty different levels of sound all running over each other to try and be heard.

NCallahan – Suprising is the word. As someone who confidentially predicted she would ruin Who I am amazed to find Donna Noble is the best new series companion (streets ahead of teary Rose and bland Martha) – and possibly edges into the top five of old school companions.

Dave O’Neill – Sylvester McCoy wasn’t awesome – although he had the clear potential to be. The Darrrrrrrrrk Doctorrrrrrrr era of the show is possibly one of it’s lowest ebbs when they decided to turn the show’s hero into a manipulative God in a crap jumper. This despite the fact that McCoy’s strength as an actor was clearly melancholy whimsy rather than righteous wrath. Add in the immensely patronising racial politics of Andrew Cartmell (“White Kids did it.” Oh please) and a former kid’s tv presenter trying to convince as a borderline psychotic arsonist who wasn’t allowed to swear and the show’s cancellation begins to look increasingly like a mercy killing. Believe it or not his first season with Mel and the fifteen or so minutes in the TV movie is probably his finest hour for me.

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mygif

Piranthchew – It’s not your fault you don’t get Torchwood? I should say it was your good fortune not to get Torchwood.

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mygif

The McCoy era wins points just for the fact that the main companion was a borderline psychotic arsonist. As the audience POV character on a children’s TV programme. I think that shows an acute understanding of the juvenile mindset.

Also, she shot a Dalek in the face.

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mygif

“Wicked! Mega! Get away from me bog features!”

Oh yes. The natural argot of the pschotic teenage arsonist as written by a 40 year old man.

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mygif

The poor execution does not take away from the fact that at some point the BBC approved the idea of presenting a juvenile delinquent with a penchant for (crappily represented) explosives as a role model for the nation’s children.

And this, if my recall is accurate, was in an era when cartoons were still not allowed to show people punching each other, in case kiddies got the wrong idea.

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mygif

I’m honestly surprised at the change in the music since the start of the relaunch. I hadn’t really noticed. I do like the new music, as it feels more intense and slightly manic, which is a good fit for Tennant’s Doctor. But on the other hand, most of the older music sounds like MIDI tracks from the late 80s to my ear. Particularly the theme from the ’96 movie. that was wretched.

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mygif

I haven’t seen any of the current Dr. Who era (more out of laziness and my wife’s abject disinterest than any sort of old school fan purism), so the current versions of the theme were new to me.  That said, I’ve got to agree.  The Eccleston one isn’t my preferred direction, but it’s not bad.  That Tennant one — unacceptable.

Another thing: I fucking love the psychedelic visuals in the intros for the first few doctors.  Youtube is a fucking treasure trove of this stuff.

Finally, I recommend opening playing three or four of these openings (except maybe that new shitty one) simultaneously, starting them a few seconds apart.  Now that’s what I call fun.

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mygif

I liked the Eccleston theme, and I really liked the little tweaks they made to full orchestration for the First Tennant theme, but the latest one is probably taking it a bit far. They had it pretty much perfect, and then they tweaked it a little too much and it kind of sucked again.

And MGK, I love the Baker theme, and even the original, but even you must admit they wouldn’t fit the show as it currently stands.

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mygif

Pah. Leela killed chinese stereotypes with poisoned darts and cut people’s throat with stone daggers. 😉

I take your point that there is something amusingly off about the audience insertion character being mentally unstable, but the execution WAS so crappy I just can’t take it seriously. It was like the writers had never met a TEENAGER let alone a juvenile delinquent.

On a companion related tangent – the new series should bring back the Ian/Barbara Harry/Sarah Polly/Ben dynamic between the companions. Companions and the Doctor being in wuv got played out with Rose and the Doctor – brining back a bit of sexual tension between two assistants would enable them to keep the emotional stuff that was a big part of the show’s succesful break out from the fanboy ghetto without repeating themselves.

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mygif

That above comment was mostly @Will by the way. Sorry about that chaps.

DiscoStu – you’re right the Baker theme wouldn’t be appropriate for most of the stories – but I can see it fitting episodes like Blink and Silence in the Library pretty well. When Steven Moffat takes over I think (hope) that we will see more of an emphasis on horror and “creepy” than on Big Adventure.

Incidentally did anyone see the Lawerence Miles/Steven Moffat wankfest last week? Gave me a few chuckles before an exam.

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mygif

Like everyone else here, apparently, I’ve been analyzing this stuff with undue diligence…

My initial exposure was to the 1980s episodes and their title sequences, Davison’s in particular, and I still appreciate their clean, electric look and sound — previous versions, when I finally heard them, struck me as thin and murky. To me, while the original is floaty and creepy, the descending electronic screech at the beginning of the 1980s variants really said “cliffhanger,” and I love the vwommp-BOOF ending.

But more really is less: by the time of Colin Baker’s final season, the visuals and audio had been completely overdone. Starting over was not a bad idea for McCoy’s run, but the execution was weakest of all, the music abandoning all of the juicy bass goodness for thin, high, fast MIDI twiddling, and the 3D CG visuals falling short of the previous decades’ optical effects.

The 1996 TV movie version, being completely orchestrated, at least has some weight to it, but like the orchestral arrangement of Tubular Bells it really misses the point of the original without coming up with anything new. (My appreciation for both the Delia Derbyshire theme and Tubular Bells is definitely informed by the knowledge of how painstakingly they were constructed, and despite all of the work that obviously goes into an orchestral score I fall for the hacked equipment, razor blades, and sticky tape.)

I agree entirely that the very latest Tennant version is too much. The extra layers obscure the really good, driving strings that propelled the previous version. Nothing to stop watching over, though, and the incidental music has improved with each season (well, really, just a reduction in the frequency of EXCITING CHASE! music is what I’m talking about, I guess, though it reared its head most inappropriately this season with Pompeii).

Re: Moffatt: as long as he’s gone to the “creepy voice repeats phrase over and over” well for the last time, I’m happy enough to endorse him.

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mygif

I like it, I wouldn’t say it’s any better or worse than the previous themes, just different.

it means I can add it to my playlist and get annoyed later when I’ve heard 5 different versions of the same damn song over a 2 hour period.

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mygif

I’ve also noticed some sort of alternate theme during the two episodes set away from Earth. It’s like a slower version of the Eccleston theme.

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mygif

Having listened to all the ones posted (and the film’s), I’m going to have to agree with Evan about the sixth Doctor theme being the worst.

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mygif

I gotta go with the Seventh Doctor credits as the worst. I got “The Curse Of Fenric” on DVD from the library, and while the imagery’s pretty good, the music tanks. Oh, and McCoy winks at us. I’ll be honest…any Doctor doing that would be a little off-putting. A musical tweak to the current credits is a tiny but annoying, but it’s not as bad as, say, Smallville swiping musical cues from Torchwood.

Will…Ace shot a Dalek in the face? I saw a salute to her set to Pink’s “Trouble” on YouTube, and I thought she just tried to beat the hell out of one with a bat.

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mygif

Never was a fan of the Tom Baker Doctor (dodges a barrage of heavy and pointy things). It use to interrupt or tabletop gaming sessions (we played Champions, as if that makes it any less geeky). And I hated Adric.

Now the new series has been nothing but incredible. Thank god for the Sci-Fi channel (and it’s one year delay, damn you).

Try playing all three at once and you’ll find bliss.

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mygif

Regarding Doctor Who’s awesomeness [vague spoilers of Martha season’s finale]:

Cyborg descendants of the human race Designed Only for Killing being brought back in time by their designer to enslave modern humanity was the darkest shit I’d ever seen.

I found retconning that in the next episode to be disappointing, but it was a “Doctor saves the day / is a badass” moment, so that’s forgivable.

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Lister Sage said on June 9th, 2008 at 8:41 am

I honestly hope that Moffatt fires Murry Gold as there were to many times in the first series and the last two episodes where the “terror” music was way to fucking loud. Music should NOT be fighting sound effects and DIALOG to be heard on a sound track.

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drmanbot said on June 9th, 2008 at 9:20 am

Oh gods with the nittie pickies. We should all be grateful this show is on the air and kicks as much ass as it does. Heaven forbid the Doctor next year discovers he may or may not be a Cyberman after all this time and we descend into melodrama and poundy drums.

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Lister Sage said on June 9th, 2008 at 11:18 am

We shouldn’t have to compramize are ideals simpliy because of gratitude. If someone doesn’t tell them what needs to be fixed it won’t get fixed. It could even get worse. Granted you can’t please everyone, but if even 30% of your fans are telling you “This isn’t working” then it should get looked into.

Gold’s music can be irritatging, especially if I can’t hear the dialog of the story (the reason I’m watching the show) so he can blast “LOOK! THERE’S A FUCKING CHASE GOING ON!” music at me. Music in a tv show should only be empasized in the opening and closing credits. Even during an otherwise silent scene the music shouldn’t overpower the visuals (I’m reminded of the scene from Family of Blood last series, though I can’t honestly point to anything specific). Normally I wouldn’t complain about the music, but the last two episodes were poorly done on that end and I found it very irritating.

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mygif

A second vote here for the McGann TV Movie version of the theme being the absolute worst of them all. A transparent attempt to force a classic theme into a dull, overexposed “current default forSF TV themes” mold.
The current version doesn’t come within miles of being nearly as bad as this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JxzYtbtZ4U

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