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  1. #1
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    Default Deadly Dudley and his Radiophonic Synth

    Season 8 is the first season where Dudley Simpson writes all the incidental music.

    Season 8 is also the first season where electronic music is used exclusively on the show.

    The two combine to produce possibly the weirdest music ever heard on the show...

    What are your thoughts on this season's music? Was going synth a good thing or bad?

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2

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    I still get in my head the incidental music where the tramp is riding his bike in Claws Of Axos. (Dit dit der ner der dit. Dit dit ner der duh der.)
    And I still love his Master theme. And best of all, Dudley Simpson in 1971 was ahead of Pink Floyd, as they had to record their synth parts one note at a time as they didn't know you could record more than one note at the same time?
    (Either Dudley's a genius or he read the instruction book? )

  3. #3
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    Love the Master's signature tune. Some of the other music is a bit bizarre sounding though.
    'Steed is one of my most valuable subjects he's too valuable to lose'

  4. #4
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    I adore Dudley's music but I'm not that keen on the stuff he did during the early Pertwee seasons (Master theme aside). It's far too clunky and intrusive for me - I don't think it really settled down until Season 10, and by the following season it had evolved into the familiar and IMHO much better Baker-era style.

  5. #5
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    The Master Theme is great. I also love his Doctor's Theme (from the Baker era).

    I like Dudley's Stuff. I do prefer what came later from Season 18 onwards but there's a lovely warmth to Dudley's stuff.
    I can listen to that heathcliffe Blair CD over and over again!!!

  6. #6
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    Default

    The music in season is both brilliant and annoying, all at once sometimes.

    I think it was a brave move to switch to totally electronic music, especially wehn the synths were in their infancy (Doctor Who was the very first big comission for the Synthi 100- Delaware synth at the Radiophonic Workshop) and the technology was largely untried. That it came out even as well as it did was a miracle, considering the synth would detune if the door was opened and some of the heat left the room or considering that the synth itself couldn't remember settings and they all had to meticulously noted down after use if Simpson and Hodgson wanted the same sounds again the following day.

    I don't think it quite all works and the pallete of sounds available is obviously rather small, but I'm glad they tried.

    Personally I really like the music in Terror of the Autons, where its simply trying to be electronic and weird, rather than Claws of Axos where it just seems loud, random and annoying (I think the About Time book says that the end of the story sounds like Simpson playing randomly just to fill up the time!). The Master's Theme is wonderful and wouldn't sound nearly so good played on conventional instruments.

    So well done for trying, but really Doctor Who and electronic music wouldn't mix brilliantly until 1980 when the technology has moved on to make it easier to do and easier on the ear.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  7. #7
    Captain Tancredi Guest

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    One thing which occurs to me is that this is the first season where every story has a specially composed score (I have a feeling that at least some of Delia Derbyshire's 'Inferno' mood effects were recycled).

    I think the electronic music fits well with Barry Letts's theory of making Who the show which experimented constantly and in theory electronic music should have meshed well with the increased use of sound effects and electronic visual effects. Perhaps the problem with Simpson's approach is that it's actually too conventional- it's still based around themes, as his later instrumental scores showed- but various directors have commented over the years on how good he was at coming up with music to mark time. Audible wallpaper, if you like, to cover visually uninteresting moments getting from A to B.

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