Doctor Who and the Caves of Androzani

Composed By: Roger Limb and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Silva Screen has just announced the creation of their Fifty Years of Doctor Who commemorative website, featuring a wealth of new Doctor Who releases old and new.  Kicking things off is the release of the Doctor Who and the Caves of Androzani Soundtrack, featuring music from an episode that shows the regeneration of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and the Sixth (Colin Baker).  This episode first aired in 1984 and was voted the best in history by fans in 2009.

                The BBC Radiophonic Workshop began in 1958 as a sound effects unit charged with creating new effects and music for radio.  Over the years, it evolved to encompass a broader media scale.  A British composer specializing in electronic music, Roger Limb joined the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1972.  Having created music for a number of television series including The Justice Game, The December Rose and the Look and Read serials, Limb is perhaps best known for his work on the Doctor Who series from 1981 through 1985.

                Having listened to quite a few Doctor Who Soundtracks now, it was very obvious to me, before I even read the liner notes on this album, that Doctor Who and the Caves of Androzani Soundtrack featured music from the older television series.  The music was retro in style, featuring heavy synths and percussion and an occasional rattlesnake noise.  The music today would be more reminiscent of a murder mystery than a science fiction drama, but in the 80s, this was the style music used for sci-fi series.  All of the tracks seem to run into each other quite seamlessly and feature very dark undertones, possibly denoting the end of one era (the Fifth Doctor) and somberly ushering in the new (the Sixth Doctor).

                Fans of the earlier incarnation of the Doctor Who television series are going to love getting their hands on the Doctor Who and the Caves of Androzani Soundtrack.  Fans of the later incarnation might find it interesting to see how much earlier scoring for the series influenced the musical score of the series they know today.  In a way, the two styles are so different, but there are some definite similarities an astute student of musical scoring will be able to point out.  I found this soundtrack to be quite an interesting blast from the past.


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