TME > Audio > Incidental Music

DVD Music Features


Taken from the carefully restored master tapes, audio tracks featuring only the incidental music are added to each DVD release of the classic series whenever enough material survives in the archives. Sixties and Seventies stories tended to be scored by freelance musicians, whose personal collections would have to be plundered (and the composers paid) for any releases of their music; yet later music - especially those scores penned by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - reside in full within the BBC's own libraries, and so long as the music is synched along to the visuals (ie, not presented on it's own - as was The Five Doctors:Special Edition soundtrack in November 1999), no extra fee is owed to the composers, and an isolated soundtrack becomes an affordable and welcome bonus feature.

Below are a list of the releases that have featured isolated soundtracks, with any notes worth mentioning. Ayres explained at the RT forum in January 2009 that the Doctor Who DVDs are produced to BBC broadcast standards, meaning that their dynamic range is squeezed slightly to match the original episodes, with a nominal 10dB of 'headroom' (making the tracks relatively quiet) and compression to around one tenth of their original file size. It should be pointed out, therefore, that the audio quality of these soundtracks, although digital, is not as good as their respective (or prospective!) releases on CD.

Isolated Soundtracks

Doctor Who and the Silurians by Cary Blyton (January 2008)
  • suites of rerecorded music from this serial had previously been released on CD; the survival of Blyton's original score was a huge surprise.

    The Sea Devils by Malcolm Clarke (January 2008)
  • presented in mono; the full score had previously been released in stereo on Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 2: New Beginnings.

    The Leisure Hive by Peter Howell (BBCDVD#1351, October 2004)
  • presented in mono, as per the original master tapes; these had been treated with a pseudo-stereo effect for release on CD (as Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 3: The Leisure Hive) in 2002. By the time the DVD was assembled, Mark Ayres had located the original make-up tapes and was able to produce a genuine stereo mix for the 5.1 soundtrack.
  • an earlier stereo suite had been released on the tie-in single 'K9 & Company' in 1982, later compiled on Doctor Who: The Music, Earthshock and the US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume 1.

    Full Circle by Paddy Kingsland (January 2009)
  • presented in mono; a pseudo-stereo mix had been released on CD in 2002 (as Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 4: Meglos and Full Circle)

    State of Decay by Paddy Kingsland (January 2009)

    Warriors Gate by Peter Howell (January 2009)

    The Keeper of Traken by Roger Limb (BBCDVD#1331(A), January 2007)
  • presented in mono; three short stereo cues had been released on the LP Doctor Who: The Music in 1983, re-packaged as Earthshock in 1992. The US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume 1 edited the three tracks into one, titled simply 'The Keeper of Traken'. Some of this music was used in The Curse of Fatal Death (1999).

    Logopolis by Paddy Kingsland (BBCDVD#1331(B), January 2007)
  • much demanded by Doctor Who music collectors, this score was proposed for release on a mid-90s Silva Screen CD and would have formed part of the series of 'Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop' BBC Music CDs had the range continued in the early 2000s. Some of the music had secretly featured in The Curse of Fatal Death (1999)

    Castrovalva by Paddy Kingsland (BBCDVD#1331(C), January 2007)
  • selected highlights from the score had been released on cassette by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, titled Corridor of Eternity (1990). A bootleg CD of the same material was often packaged and sold at conventions.

    The Visitation by Paddy Kingsland (BBCDVD#1329, January 2004)

    Earthshock by Malcolm Clarke (BBCDVD#1153, August 2003)
  • presented in mono; stereo excerpts from the soundtrack had previously been released on the BBC Records release Doctor Who: The Music, and restored by Mark Ayres for the Silva Screen CD Earthshock.

    Arc of Infinity by Roger Limb (August 2007)

    The Five Doctors by Peter Howell (November 1999/March 2008)
  • the original 1999 DVD featured a separate menu where the stereo soundtrack from the SE could be played in 8 suites. Unfortunately, mastering problems resulted in the music playing 4% slower than it should have done - a noticeable drop in both pitch and rhythm - and though this was corrected for the US release (WHV E1596, September 2001) that version missed off the final suite.
  • the 25th Anniversary DVD boasted an isolated soundtrack of the original mono music on Disc 1 and the stereo version as an isolated soundtrack on Disc 2
  • a lengthly stereo suite (of the original televised version's score) was released on Doctor Who: The Music II, remastered by Mark Ayres for the Silva Screen CD The Five Doctors, and shortened slightly for appearances on The Worlds of Doctor Who and the US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume I.

    Warriors of the Deep by Jonathan Gibbs (January 2008)
  • presented in mono; a suite of stereo music had been included on Doctor Who: The Music II, remastered by Mark Ayres for the Silva Screen CD The Five Doctors.
  • the master tapes for this score were in poor condition, often featuring break-through sounds such as click-tracks and dialogue. With limited time and expenses the isolated soundtrack was given only minimal remastering; Mark Ayres has said that he may be able to remove these elements should a CD release of the score ever happen.

    Resurrection of the Daleks by Malcolm Clarke (BBCDVD#1100, December 2002)
  • presented in mono; a stereo suite from music from this soundtrack had been released back in 1985 on the BBC Records LP Doctor Who: The Music II, remastered by Mark Ayres for the Silva Screen CD The Five Doctors.

    The Caves of Androzani by Roger Limb (BBCDVD#1042, June 2001)
  • presented in mono; a stereo suite from music from this soundtrack had been released back in 1985 on the BBC Records LP Doctor Who: The Music II, remastered by Mark Ayres for the Silva Screen CDs The Five Doctors, The Worlds of Doctor Who and the US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume I.
  • several short 'sting' cues were found to be missing from the Radiophonic Workshop archives.

    The Mark of the Rani by Jonathan Gibbs (BBCDVD#2224, September 2006)
  • original composer John Lewis's unfinished score to Part One was included as an additional extra.

    The Two Doctors by Peter Howell (BBCDVD#1213, September 2003)

    Revelation of the Daleks by Roger Limb (BBCDVD1357, July 2005)

    Time and the Rani by Keff McCulloch (September 2010)
    There was no isolated soundtrack feature on this disc, though the Photo Gallery featured a suite of stereo incidental music cues (8:16), as follows:
    Paradise Towers by Keff McCulloch (July 2011)
    There was no isolated soundtrack feature on this disc, though the Photo Gallery featured a suite of stereo incidental music cues (4:35), as follows:
    Delta and the Bannermen by Keff McCulloch (June 2009)
    There was no isolated soundtrack feature on this disc, though the Photo Gallery featured a suite of stereo incidental music cues (8:21), as follows:
    Dragonfire by Dominic Glynn (May 2012)
    The DVD featured a full isolated score, presenting the music in mono (as-broadcast), although it had been recorded and mixed in stereo. 17 minutes of stereo music had previously been released on cassette (as part of Black Light: The Doctor Who Music of Dominic Glynn in 1990), and the DVD Photo Gallery included a unique suite of stereo cues mixed with sound effects (4:48), as follows:
    Remembrance of the Daleks by Keff McCulloch (BBCDVD#1040, February 2001/November 2007)
  • the BBC master tapes could not be located, so the score was sourced from Keff McCulloch's own minidiscs. Includes two unused cues (in Parts Three and Four) and slightly extended versions of numerous other pieces.
  • several cues from the score had been released shortly after transmission on the BBC Records release The 25th Anniversary Album.
  • the Special Edition DVD featured a revised version of the isolated soundtrack, newly remastered and digitally cleaned-up by Mark Ayres. Some cues were retracked slightly in the DVD's 5.1 soundtrack.

    Battlefield by Keff McCulloch (December 2008)

    Ghost Light by Mark Ayres (BBCDVD#1352, September 2004)
  • a near-complete soundtrack CD had been released on Silva Screen Records, with edited suites from the score appearing on The Worlds of Doctor Who and the US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume 2.

    The Curse of Fenric by Mark Ayres (BBCDVD#1154, October 2003)
  • presented in full with title music (Parts One, Two & Four) and title sequence sound effects (Part Three)
  • a near-complete (and in places slightly extended) soundtrack CD had been released over ten years earlier on Silva Screen Records, with edited suites from the score appearing on The Worlds of Doctor Who and the US-only CD The Best of Doctor Who - Volume 2.
  • the special Movie Edition of the story featured a completely remade soundtrack; sadly there was no isolated soundtrack for this new version.

    Survival by Dominic Glynn (April 2007)
  • some short cues in Part Three were missing from the archives and were sourced from the Music+Effects track, featuring some birdsong ambience.

    The Movie by John Debney, John Sponsler and Louis Febre (BBCDVD#1043, August 2001)
  • the isolated soundtrack deviates from the finished movie at several points (often mirroring the differences on the soundtrack CD released in 1997).
  • interestingly, due to the film being converted for British formats, the isolated soundtrack plays at a slower speed (and thus a lower pitch) than the American CD. So does the film itself.
  • some short cues were taken from the Music+Effects track (distributed with the main feature for international dubbing) and feature background sound effects. More details can be found here.

    Audio-Only DVD Features

    Several DVDs, whilst not featuring a full isolated soundtrack, included snatches of previously-unreleased incidental music on their animated menus.