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The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances (tx: 21 & 28/05/05)

Standing atop his formerly-invisible spaceship, dashing Time Agent Captain Jack is romancing Rose:

JACK: Do you like Glenn Miller?

With the flick of a snazzy button, 'Moonlight Serenade' fills the air, and they dance...

Later, the Doctor and Rose listen to the empty child's taunts through a disconnected radio reciever:

JACK (on-board his ship): I'll try to block out the signal. Least I can do. Remember this one, Rose?

Moonlight Serenade flows through the radio. The Doctor looks perplexed.

ROSE: Our song...



In Fiction: suspecting Rose of being a Time Agent who he can seduce and con into buying his doomed medical transporter, Captain Jack has stocked his own Tular spacecraft with the latest in 1945 chic: a Glenn Miller LP. With the flick of his remote control - the same button he uses to turn on the lights of Big Ben, incidentally - 'Moonlight Serenade' wafts melodically from his cockpit. Not to be out-done, the Doctor programmes the TARDIS to play exactly the same song as he rescues Jack from certain death... before switching tracks to the cool sounds of 'In The Mood' as he and Rose boogie-woogie in the console room.

The script at this point clearly indicates that the music is changed by a button on the TARDIS console, leaving us wondering just what has happened to the seventh and eighth Doctor's beloved gramophone? Has it been replaced with a digitised music library - perhaps at Rose's prompting? Or is it wired up to a jukebox or record player out of sight?

In Fact: the choice of music was clearly indicated by writer Stephen Moffatt in his scripts, and certainly recalls a more innocent, romantic era. Or, as Moffatt points out in his DVD commentary, "how gay is this episode?"

Both tracks had appeared in Doctor Who before - in the 1985 Colin Baker story, Revelation of the Daleks - but only as cover-versions performed by the Ted Heath orchestra; they appear here as originally recorded by Glenn Miller and his band band in the early 1940s. The best-selling singles charts were not fully combined and recorded until much later, but it is evident from the charts that were compiled at the time that these records were among the most popular of the day; Miller was even presented with the first ever golden acetate for 'Moonlight Serenade', to commemorate record-breaking sales: a tradition that continues today.

Moonlight Serenade & In the Mood - Glenn Miller

Cuts: Moonlight Serenade 1'32" plays inside Jack's ship, 26 minutes into The Empty Child, with a further 0'11" and 2'18" routed through the disconnected radio receiver 16 and 17 minutes into The Doctor Dances (with the scene interrupted by a cut to Nancy at the bomb site), continuing as the Doctor attempts to "resonate concrete" and reluctantly dances with Rose - before being teleported on-board Jack's ship. Finally, 0'53" is played inside the TARDIS console room, 39 minutes into the episode. In each case, the music is played from the beginning of the track with no cuts made.
In the Mood 0'48" plays during the final TARDIS console room scene in The Doctor Dances, with a natty light display to match. One edit is made, with the track cross-fading seamlessly from the beginning to the end of the recording to squeeze it into the episode.

Releases (select releases): Moonlight Serenade Glenn Miller’s own composition – his first international hit record, and the tune that propelled his orchestra to fame – was first released in America in 1939. It quickly became his orchestra's signature tune; the romantic and yearning melody gained a bittersweet poignancy when the group was reformed after Miller's disappearance in the Second World War. It was first released in 1939 (RCA Victor BS 035701-1, USA), and has been released so many times that no-one, no-where seems to have had the confidence to write a complete discography. We’re not about to buck that trend here.
In the Mood Glenn Miller’s big band orchestra originally released their distinctive arrangement of Joe Garland’s ‘In the Mood’ as an American 7” single in 1939. The 'Miller sound' - realised by a clarinet and tenor sax playing identical melodies with harmonies from three other saxophones - became the distinctive attraction that first set Miller's band apart. It was originally released as an American 7” single in 1939 (RCA Victor 20-1753, USA).

Availability (select releases): both tracks are readily available on albums such as ‘In The Mood – The Definitive Glenn Miller’ 2CD (BMG 82876560302), released October 2003.