Murray Gold Talks BBC Proms And Composing For The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

Murray Gold was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Front Row yesterday when he talked about scoring Doctor Who, his new composition for the 50th Anniversary and the thrill of having his music played as part of the BBC Proms. The interview also included clips of his earlier compositions, including Vale Decem, the song played during David Tennant's regeneration scene. He said of having his music featured at such as prestigious event as the Proms, 

"It's a great privilege. I think everyone who writes background music would like to have the same treatment."

Murray's new composition Song For 50 will be premiered at the concert on Saturday, a piece of music written in tribute to five decades of the Doctor. He says, 

"We thought it would be appropriate to write something to commemorate the birthday. It's essentially happy birthday to a lovely TV show. I think the last words are 'Happy Birthday Doctor You', which I'm sure the whole audience is going to mishear and say, 'You must never call him by that name!' But because I've been in the Royal Albert Hall with this body of music I know how people react, and it's a real privilege to be able to write directly for an audience that you know, so I wrote, effectively, a long song to speak for everybody in that room."

Murray finds it quite easy to imagine his score performed as individual, titled compositions.

"Something I've always done is I've tried to give something very memorable from the outset and play it enough times that it's stuck by the end of the first episode. 

"I like to have a slow, developing melody with a sense of triumph about it ...the idea of embattled people, in the case of the Doctor,not that he's embattled but he is a bit of a nerd - a bit like the way The Smiths would write anthems for the defeated. You want it to travel, you want it to resonate with as many people as possible as quickly as possible."

He has no idea who might be in line to take up the role of the Twelfth Doctor following Matt Smith's departure at Christmas.

"I'm just the organ-grinder. So long as they get good scripts, so long as it's full of heart and generosity, that's all that matters with the show - masses of imagination on top of a lot of heart and generosity"

Finally, he talked about working on the score for the 50th Anniversary special, some of which he did on a recent plane trip.

"I flew over and I had the 50th on my laptop and I did constantly check over my shoulder for any potential Doctor Who spies. But it was mostly stewardesses asking me what I was up to. I said, 'Oh, it's just a hobby!'"

Listen to the whole interview on BBC Radio 4's Front Row - the programme also includes a feature on Olivia Colman's new drama Run.

The Doctor Who Prom takes place on BBC Radio 3 from 7.30pm BST on Saturday 13th July and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. You can listen worldwide here

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special stars Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper, John Hurt and Joanna Page. It will be shown on BBC One on Saturday 23rd November. Keep up with all of the latest news on our website