Friday, August 14, 2009

BBB5 - Doctor Who and the Silurians 5



Let's take some time to properly salute Carey Blyton, composer of the worst incidental music in Doctor Who history. He worked on three stories, and all three were tragic misses. We'll have time to carve up his work for his later stories when it comes time to review them, but at least his work does improve with each successive story.

Well, it seems like it improves after Silurians, but then, how could it not? Carey Blyton's score for Doctor Who and the Silurians gets my vote for worst music score in history. In the scenes set in the caves, any potential atmosphere and tension are completely ruined by Blyton's inappropriately jaunty score. For the sound that often accompanies the Silurians, Blyton chose a medieval instrument called a crumhorn. When used in the score, the crumhorn sounds like what you would get if you used a ball peen hammer to drive a kazoo into the circuit board of a Moog synthesizer.

The vast majority of the music in this story (apart from the admittedly lovely bit of music played over the introductory scene of Squire's farm) is, quite frankly, embarrassing. I wouldn't feel comfortable in showing this story to an outsider because I know that the music would grate and take that person's attention away from the well written story it is trying to enhance. The music annoyed me when I first saw this 20 years ago, and it is the main reason why this story sits so low in my list of favourites today.

Which is a shame because this has been a very good story thus far.

5 comments:

Luke said...

I love the music on this story, yes it's a bit to jaunty, but I can't help liming it.

Steven said...

"Liming"? Haha! You mistyped something! I win the argument!

Seriously? Love it?

Travis McGuire said...

As a person working on a second Master of Music degree in Music History and, therefore, a certified snob, I have to say that . . . (cliffhanger)


not only are you exactly right about the crumhorn, I believe that from now on I will cite your description when teaching medieval music. Too funny.

Luke said...

Ok maybe loving it is a bit to far, but I do genuinely lime it (sorry, like it).

stellafelius said...

I have to say I fully agree about the Music. It made me think that the Silurians were some sort of species of clown, rather then an ancient and intelligent pre-human sapient species that they were supposed to be.

(Although it's a pity that they didn't bring it back for their next appearance in the Davidson era, at least they LOOK the part of a clown species, what with that fixed grin that make them look like they've just taken an inordinate amount of something highly narcotic.)

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