Doctor Who: The Snowmen / The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe

Musical Score By: Murray Gold

Distributed by: Silva Screen Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Many television series out there have Christmas specials, but there aren't quite that many out there that do Christmas specials like the BBC's Doctor Who.  On October 21, 2013, Silva Screen Records released Doctor Who: The Snowmen / The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, a two CD album featuring the music from the Doctor Who specials aired on Christmas Day in 2011 and 2012.

            The first special covered is Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, which aired on December 25, 2011.  In this episode, the Doctor (Matt Smith) finds himself the caretaker of a recent widow (Claire Skinner) and her two children (Holly Earl and Maurice Cole) during Christmas.  His plans at giving the family a special Christmas are accidentally thwarted, but what he ends up giving them is even more precious.

            The second special covered is Doctor Who: The Snowmen, which aired on December 25, 2012.  In this episode of the sci-fi series, the Doctor (Matt Smith) is brought out of hiding by mysterious reports of sentient snowmen that build themselves.  He joins governess Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in her investigation and discovers that the snowmen are actually being animated by the Great Intelligence (Ian McKellen) with the help of Dr. Simeon (Richard E. Grant).

            The musical score of both Doctor Who Christmas specials was created by award-winning British composer Murray Gold, who has served as the musical director of the new incarnation of Doctor Who since 2005.  Though best known for his work on the Doctor Who series, Gold has created musical score for a number of mediums, including television, film, theater and radio.

            The first nineteen of the thirty-two tracks on this album feature music from The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe.  The music is a bit cartoonish at times, but definitely contains a Christmas feel with sleigh bells and a choir.  There is a lighter air about this segment of the album suggesting an air of comedy, a bit of lightheartedness added to what would otherwise be seen as a dramatic plot.  Most of the tracks on the album have that actiony fell with heavy percussion and fast-paced orchestral themes.

            I love that new Doctor Who theme and enjoyed the more Christmasy tracks.  Although I haven't seen the show, I have no doubt that Murray Gold captures the science fiction and dramatic themes quite well through his music.  The musical score created for this album is enjoyable for someone who has never watched the show.  That being said, I could imagine that a huge fan of the series would love to get their hands on this album and I am more than certain that they would be able to picture the events transpiring on the show with each and every passing track on the album. 

            The Doctor Who: The Snowmen / The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe album features a booklet that is reverse printed, containing information from both episodes and two separate covers.  With just over an hour's worth of music, the price of the album may be a bit steep at $19.00US, but Doctor Who fans will probably scoff at the price for a chance to own the music from two very special Christmas specials.


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