Robert Reed, Tom Newman & Les Penning -
Theme From Dr Who

(EPCD 2018, 25:00, Tiger Moth Records)

The tracks:
  1- Theme From Doctor Who(2:42)
  2- Indigo (Chimpan A Remix)(4:34)
  3- Selinger's Round (Les Penning)(1:22)
  4- Uriel's Secret (Tom Newman)(3:06)
  5- Theme From Doctor Who(2:31)
  6- Happy Chickens (Tom Newman)(1:57)
  7- Sanctuary Part Two (Ommakache Remix)(3:10)
  8- The Lyme(5:09)

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Probably many readers of Background Magazine do know Doctor Who. This is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Even more popular is The Doctor Who theme music. This is a piece of music written by Australian composer Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Created in 1963, it was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television. The theme for the science fiction program Doctor Who has been adapted and covered many times. More names can be added to the long list now. Namely those of Robert Reed, Tom Newman and Les Penning. Together they released the EPCD Theme From Dr Who.

Reed, Newman and Penning collaborated on Sanctuary 3. The chemistry between the three was so great that they worked out and played their own version of the Dr Who theme tune out of fun. Friends then advised the trio to release the music. This has now been done in the form of this EP. In addition a funny video was filmed, where all participants obviously had fun in the matter.

The EP Theme From Doctor Who includes the theme tune in 2 slightly different versions.
The bustling Newman and Reed arranged the familiar melody less science-fiction-wise, more like a mix of several Mike Oldfield albums such as QE2 (1980 ), Platinum (1979 ) and Tubular Bells (1973), with their symptomatic lead guitars, glockenspiels, flutes and bagpipe-like sounds. This is moderately original but nice, since the melody is quite well known. Furthermore, there are 2 songs each from the solo albums of Tom Newman and Les Penning as well as excerpts from Sanctuary 3 in alternative versions. The short Happy Chickens may not be very serious.

Les Pennings Sellinger's Round is in a way a reincarnation of Oldfield's In Dulci Jubilo and as such quite well done. The rest of the compositions, except for the completely redundant dialogue between Tom Newman and his chickens on Happy Chickens, could easily fit into one of Oldfields works.

Among the countless revisions, variations and cover versions of the theme song of the English cult series it is nice to have a different and most of all special version of this piece of music. It is most of all the fans of Mike Oldfield who will enjoy this release and are recommended to check out this nice EP.

*** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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