Murray Gold

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Murray Gold (born 28 February 1969[1]) was the composer for the revived series of Doctor Who from 2005 to 2017 and since 2023. He also composed for Torchwood in its first and fourth series.

During his time working for BBC Wales Doctor Who, Gold arranged many versions of the "Doctor Who theme", as heard on Doctor Who, Doctor Who Confidential, Doctor Who Extra and Totally Doctor Who. He also composed the theme music for Torchwood, Torchwood Declassified, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Sarah Jane's Alien Files.

Doctor Who[[edit]]

Gold was assigned as Doctor Who's composer in 2004 after an email from Russell T Davies who asked him to work on the show. Gold immediately took up the offer. The music from Series 1 was composed and created by himself using sampled instruments at his digital music studio in his flat in Frognal (Hampstead), London. All of the music was created digitally, except for Gold's use of the Crouch End Festival Chorus for heavy choral parts, most notably the Dalek motifs. He went on to form a good relationship with the choir, as demonstrated in his further use of them in the following seasons.

Shortly after the airing of Series 1, Gold and the producers proposed that the music should be written and adapted to be performed orchestrally. The show’s growing popularity and increased budget catered for this and so Gold began his involvement with Ben Foster and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, which continued until partway through series 9, though the National Orchestra of Wales, under conductor and orchestrator Alastair King, continued to work with Gold for future stories. The 2005 Christmas Special was the first episode to feature orchestral music, however Gold continued creating many minor pieces completely digitally using sampled instruments until around Series 3.

In 2007 Gold moved to, and mainly based himself in New York and Los Angeles, though he often travels between the US and the UK. As shown in a 2008 Confidential episode, recording sessions of music were viewed by him through a digital video link in order for him to communicate with the orchestra, conductor and music team.

Gold's most prominent work for the DWU has likely been new arrangements of the "Doctor Who theme". He has arranged multiple different versions of the theme for broadcast and several more for live performance. Gold has therefore created more official arrangements of the theme than any other Doctor Who franchise composer.

Gold has also written seven non-score based lyrical songs for the series: "Song for Ten" (The Christmas Invasion), "Love Don't Roam" (The Runaway Bride), "My Angel Put the Devil in Me" (Daleks in Manhattan), "The Stowaway" (Voyage of the Damned), "Song of Freedom" (Planet of the Ood and Journey's End), "Vale Decem" (The End of Time) and "Abigail's Song (Silence Is All You Know)" (A Christmas Carol). Murray Gold also appeared, in a cameo role, as a guitarist in Voyage of the Damned. (DWMSE 20)

He was interviewed about his DW music by "Sound On Sound" magazine in the June 2007 issue. (See [1])

Gold remained as composer for the Steven Moffat era, composing two versions of the Doctor Who theme for the Eleventh Doctor and one for the Twelfth Doctor.

He also contributed to the charity reference book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.

Gold initially left his role as composer after the 2017 Christmas Special and the final Moffat era story Twice Upon a Time. Segun Akinola took over as composer from series 11 until the BBC Centenary Special The Power of the Doctor, consisting of Chris Chibnall's entire run as head writer. Gold returned for the second Russell T Davies era, starting with the 2023 specials, again collaborating with the National Orchestra of Wales and Alastair King.

Soundtrack releases[[edit]]

Several soundtracks for Gold's Doctor Who work have been released. He has been active in the production of each release.

Additionally, two soundtracks for spin-off series Torchwood have been released since 2008, with Murray Gold working alongside fellow Torchwood composer, Ben Foster, on the initial release.

As of 2023, the soundtrack for Series 10, has not been released, despite the release of Akinola's soundtracks and the fans demanding the final soundtrack of Gold's era. It is unknown if the lack of release is down to the BBC, Silva Screen or Gold himself. However, Gold has hinted that he is working on potentially having the soundtrack produced. On an interview for BBC Radio Solent, Murray confessed his hesitation to work on a Series 10 Soundtrack due to the Series 9 Soundtrack being leaked prior to release, additionally claiming it takes 2 months to work on a soundtrack release to which he hadn't had 2 free months since 2017.

Spin-offs[[edit]]

Gold has written the theme for both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as Torchwood Declassified and Sarah Jane's Alien Files which featured re-arrangements of the themes of their parent series. Although two Torchwood CDs have been released, none have been released for SJA as of 2011. Gold also composed the theme for the Whoniverse ident which opens most Doctor Who content as of 2023.

He has not been heavily involved in the incidental music scores for the spin-offs. With the exception of a few early episodes in the first series of Torchwood, he has mostly only scored the parent programme. However, he was the main composer for Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Relationship with RTD[[edit]]

Gold has enjoyed a long working relationship with Russell T Davies and has scored virtually all of RTD's productions since 1999, including Queer as Folk, The Second Coming with Christopher Eccleston and Lesley Sharp, and Casanova with David Tennant, Shaun Parkes and Nina Sosanya, directed by Sheree Folkson, and It's a Sin with Lydia West and Keeley Hawes and directed by Peter Hoar.

Other work[[edit]]

Despite a close relationship with RTD, Gold is far from "RTD's composer". He has gained notoriety on a variety of non-RTD projects. For instance, he started work on the TV series Shameless at about the same time as Doctor Who, and has been scoring both series for the same amount of time. In the early 2000s, his theme music for Clocking Off — a show that featured the talents of actors Christopher Eccleston, Lesley Sharp and Sarah Lancashire, and director Geoffrey Sax — was RTS-nominated. More recently, he was the composer on David Tennant's Single Father mini-series and of the Suranne Jones/Lesley Sharp police procedural, Scott & Bailey.

Awards[[edit]]

Though nominated four times for different projects, including Doctor Who, Gold has never won a BAFTA award. He has, however, won a Royal Television Society Award for his work on Queer as Folk.

Credits[[edit]]

Music[[edit]]

Title music[[edit]]

External links[[edit]]

Footnotes[[edit]]