Audio Mixer: Jake Jackson.
Liner Note Author: Murray Gold.
Recording information: Abbey Road Studios, London; Air Studios, London; BBC Hoddinott Hall.
Composer Murray Gold, a very busy and prolific musician, came up with another season's worth of background scoring for the 13 episodes of the venerable British science fiction series Doctor Who in 2010, and it is compressed into about 131 minutes on this two-CD set. Matt Smith, the 11th actor to play the title character since the show began in 1963, is given a typically galloping new theme, "Doctor Who XI," to lead things off, and then he is launched into encounters with angels, vampires, and other odd creatures in one show after another. If the music is any indication, the fifth series (in the latter-day manifestation of the program, that is) begins lighter and more action-filled, then turns more thoughtful and complex. At least, the first disc tends to have showier and more adventurous music. Gold devotes over half of the second disc, the last 21 of 34 tracks, to the final two episodes, "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang," and, as the 24th track put it, "This Is Where It Gets Complicated." The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with some participation by the Crouch End Festival Chorus for wordless vocal expressions, gets put through some challenging paces in music that rewards the orchestral sweep it requires. Gold notes that the two-disc format was used for the previous album, Series 4: The Specials, and since that one made the U.K. Top 50, it may be the standard going forward as Doctor Who approaches the half-century mark. ~ William Ruhlmann