Doctor Who: Murray Gold teases 50th prom song

News Cameron K McEwan 12 Jul 2013 - 07:25

Murray Gold tells Den of Geek what the story is behind new Doctor Who anniversary composition, Song For Fifty...

Doctor Who composer Murray Gold has been talking exclusively to Den of Geek about the special "birthday song" for the 50th Anniversary of the show, due to premiere at the Proms this weekend. 

The eleven-minute composition, described by Gold as an "opera," is a celebration of fifty years of the BBC science-fiction show and promises to be an emotional ride for fans. Murray told us how he approached Song For Fifty:

"I thought, 'If I were to write a song for the fiftieth anniversary, what would it be?' And I thought about something more modernist, more complicated, more knotty, more serious but no, in the end, seriousness isn't about how complicated something is, or how difficult something is to do. Seriousness is about the quality of your perception and your feeling." 

Elaborating on the song, to be sung by a full choir at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday and Sunday, Murray spoke about the lyrics:

"I wanted to write about The Doctor and everything that I've talked about in interviews, since I started on the job, about this character that I love. I took a line from The Girl in the Fireplace about the 'slow road'. It's a song that constantly juxtaposes all of us in the Royal Albert Hall as being on the slow road, taking life one day, one month at a time - with no escape from that. During that time, some of us have had kids, some of us have lost people, some of us have grown extra family members but everybody in that hall will have one way or another to relate to that idea. 

By the third verse, where the tenor says, 'So, my dear friend. You're getting kind of old now,' we're actually talking about this person who's been in our lives as a reference point. People, in all kinds of the moments in their lives, have said, 'I wish I could be The Doctor and just go back and fix it.'" 

We asked Murray if Song for Fifty, which will have some pleasing nods to the show's history and some surprises, will have have fans crying, the writer explained:

"If it touches them. They're not a million miles from me, I don't think - 'Anthems for the Defeated' [Laughs]. I hope they get it, I think they'll get it - they'll understand it." 

Our full interview with Murray Gold, where he talks about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary, composing for a new Doctor, Series 8, and much, much more, will be posted next week. 

The Doctor Who Proms takes place this weekend at the Royal Albert Hall, both events are currently sold out.

Please, if you can, support our charity horror stories ebook, Den Of Eek!, raising money for Geeks Vs Cancer. Details here.

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So this is going to be like Doctor in Distress for the 21st Century?

If this was anyone but Murray Gold, I'd be saying it sounded terrible.

On the subject of Doctor Who music (well, loosely on the subject) I think there needs to be a campaign to get Doctorin' The Tardis to Number 1 for the 50th anniversary week.

Love Murray Gold! Will be gutted when he decides to leave the show. Look forward to hearing this.

Nice thought but I don't think that's the right song


Who cares?!?! Please Murray, for the 50th anniversary, just give someone else a chance to compose for the show. Your inappropriate music has run its course. I've spent the last 8 years turning this guy's music down in my surround sound mix everytime I watch Doctor Who. It's become old and tiresome. The Prom thing is the only time his music is any good. In the context of the show, I just can't take it anymore!!! I have no doubt I'll be hearing it from all the Murray Gold buttsmoochers who wouldn't know good incidental music if they were slapped right in the face with go ahead people....

How 'bout a remix performed by Andrew Scott?

Finally, someone sees the light! Zaphod99, I love you buddy.I almost never comment here, but I just had to tell you I can't stand Murray either. His music at times is just as inappropriate as Keff McCulloch's music was. And to top it all off, he's a conceited, arrogant prick in interviews. He actually thinks he's the best thing about the show. New Who fans only love him because they've never heard anyone else compose for the show. Hopefully, we get that chance soon! Bear would be amazing, but he's in such high demand that'd never happen.

Crayford, is this a prank? Am I being baited here? If not, you're my new best friend! No-one ever agrees with me. I was expecting the first comment to be from someone saying "Murray is God", and "How dare you talk that way about my Murray".....As a TV composer I think he's a flat-out hack. He'd be far better off just conducting and performing...this is where his true talents lie.

So you think it'll sound good because Murray's name is attached to it, but if someone else's name was attached it'd be terrible? This is my problem with Murray fans; they don't like his stuff coz it's any good...they like it coz it has Murray Gold's name on it...totally sad!

I'm not baiting you. I haven't like Gold right from the get-go. Even my wife thinks it's bad and she doesn't normally notice music at all. However, apart from Murray, I love everything about Doctor Who.

Um, I haven't actually heard it yet. All I was saying is that the description makes it sound tacky and rubbish, but on Murray's usual form I have faith that it will be great. If it isn't, I'll have no problem in saying so.

I think what Wizza meant was that the idea for the song doesn't sound good, but because it is the talented Murray Gold whose idea it is, he can make it work.when it is put into practice. It's the same as hearing a terrible premise for a film and then having a talented writer turn it into something brilliant.

The key words in "I think he's a flat-out hack" are "I think". It is merely your opinion. That's fine, you can have that opinion, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I, however, like some of his work on the show. Granted, most of his tracks don't really grab me in a big way, but when he writes some really awesome compositions he writes really awesome compositions. That's just my opinion..

You're right, sometimes he writes some really awesome compositions. Some of them are great cranked up on the stereo for sure. However, as an accompaniment to a scene from the show it lets me down on almost every level all the time. Who fans just don't notice for some reason because we haven't yet had someone new. Music for TV is supposed to serve one function only: enhance the mood of what's there...not interfere with it. You shouldn't suddenly be taking yourself out of the scene going, "Wow, what a really cool piece of music, that sounds really really....wait, what's going on again, what did they just say?" Murray needs to learn when composing background music, that it is background music and less is always more. I'm not just some guy ranting. I am a musician and I know of what I speak. Most shows would never allow Murray's music on their programs; it's just too self-congratulatory. When you watch a show like Lost or BSG and see how much better that music serves the scenes, it's really quite embarrassing. People can argue all they want, but I really want Murray gone.

Murray Golds score made Doctor Who Amazing, Season One was amazing with its dark music , Doomsday was brilliant and the Daleks theme, And Sontaran stratagem and Journeys end score was Epic, I loved his Epic music and the Vale dream as well as All of his music up to season 4. He's the best, Shame he reuses I am the doctor all the time, I hope the 50th episode is devoid of that tune. The Vampires of Venice score was better.

I Am the Doctor was barely heard in series 7?

I don't know about putting lyrics in, but I'm still looking forward to it.

Now THIS should be good!

Hahahahahahahahahaha XD

I noticed that too... maybe to signify Eleven's changed attitude after the Pond's departure? Either way I hope it's brought back,,, imagine 10 and 11 running around London with that playing in the background... oh god, yes. And maybe a sad version for the regeneration.

More to do with the "movie of the week" approach I think, it was mostly unique compositions.

Terrible, deafening music.

Does anyone know if the Doctor Who Prom is going to be broadcast on TV? I seem to remember last year it wasn't shown until some time after the live show, and I want to make sure I don't miss it!

Today's music buying kids are gonna have absolutely no idea what is so funny about a Dalek saying "bosh bosh bosh loadsamoney"!

Bring back Roger Limb & Paddy Kingsland. Their haunting electronic music (and the sadly departed Malcolm Clarke's) was the soundtrack to my childhood!

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