The best way to get one in the mood for what a series wants to make one feel is to be enraptured by its music. Doctor Who plays this aspect to perfection, going so far as to creating themes for the Doctors in question along with their companions. Among the many songs featured in the series, there are certain ones that have hit all the right points.
These pertain to situations that are anything from sad, adventurous, to inspiring. Being aware of why exactly the soundtracks create such emotions the way they do makes listening to them all the more satisfying. To this end, it’s worth checking out which themes have been the best in the series so far.
10 “Martha’s Theme”
It’s a shame that Martha Jones is such an underrated companion, as her innate feeling of loneliness and unreciprocated love has certain layers to it. This is best captured by her theme, which is dominated by the voice of a woman who sounds like she’s lost everything.
It’s not altogether a hopeless cause, though, as the tune turns itself up halfway through to represent Martha’s fighting spirit. Overall, the track isn’t so much about unhappiness as it is about acknowledging one’s pain and soldering on.
9 “The Long Song”
When the topic of the best songs composed by Murray Gold for the series comes up, “The Long Song” has to get a mention. This track instantly resonates within a person for its heartfelt message, with the interpretation up to the listener if it refers to a person returning from death or living in the afterlife.
The winning note has to be the chorus where an entire choir backs up the vocals. It’s simultaneously a heartwarming and heartbreaking song that stirs up that fiery spirit in one’s chest.
8 “Amy’s Theme”
Those who heard this for the first time were made aware that Amy Pond was going to be perhaps the best companion ever on Doctor Who. The theme sparks a sense of marvelous wonder, coupled with a palpable feeling of hope in the grand scheme of things.
The track builds up slowly as to carry the listener into the emotions Amy felt, those being the search for the purpose she always desired. Eventually, the theme climaxes into a surge of thematic quality, as the intention is to make it clear that Amy will always be curious and it is this quality that brings her hope.
7 “Goodbye Pond”
No matter how anyone feels over the placing of Amy in the list of companions, there’s no doubt her departure was a definite tearjerker. This track was a continuation of the one heard in “The Beast Below,” with the build-up to the chorus magnified in its deep sense of loss.
The combination of violin and piano hits straight into one’s heartstrings, as the main part of the theme is to evoke the same feelings of loss and despair that the Doctor was struck by after reading the final message Amy left him.
6 “Vale Decem”
As time went by, the Tenth Doctor became so wrapped into his own ego that he became worse and worse in many respects. This led him to develop a fear of his fated death, which finally came to pass in the New Year’s special episode of 2010.
The song that hyped this moment can tear anyone apart, as it sets up with an incredible amount of foreboding nature that signals the end of the Tenth Doctor. The track is a tribute to the Doctor’s “oncoming storm” personality but doesn’t hold back in its explosive execution as the choir unloads on the tragedy that follows.
It’s remarkable how a track heard so many times before can shatter your soul when played by a different instrument. This was played by Peter Capaldi himself, who covered Clara’s theme song on the guitar, portraying the heartbreaking separation between the Doctor and Clara in music form.
The slow strumming of the guitar reflects the Doctor’s yearning to remember Clara again, while also capturing Clara’s own lost hope that they might be reunited someday and have the relationship they once enjoyed. It’s a deeply moving track that is just all kinds of sad mixed with terrible beauty.
4 “Where There’s Tears There’s Hope”
Despite being the last story for Bill and the Doctor’s adventures, it was still a very inspiring episode. The ending combines the concept of sadness and hope, with Bill’s tears giving way for her return and the Doctor’s resurrection.
The theme here accompanies the scene the whole time, never rising to higher levels but remaining in a calm flow that lets the emotions intended to wash over the listener. There’s a fine balance between the sad and uplifting bits, as the track starts off on a sorrowful note before transitioning into a hopeful one.
Even in separation, the Doctor and Rose remained relationship goals. Their parting had to start off on a shocking note, which the soundtrack does marvelously well. The opening seconds only have a hum and a few piano keys playing, allowing for the grief to take its time to set in.
Gradually, the track begins to build up steam as the despair surely crashes onto both the Doctor and Rose and the listener. Even though it’s an altogether hopeless sentiment, the song is just what’s needed to communicate how it feels when two lovers are ripped apart.
2 “The Shephard’s Boy”
If there was ever a theme for bravery, it would have to be this one. The track was so appropriate to the Twelfth Doctor that the final portion of the soundtrack was repeated for his regeneration scene. The original scene had to do with him escaping the confinement of his confession dial.
The music briefly flirts with the idea of hopelessness, before quickly transitioning into higher lengths as various instruments begin accompanying the theme. Just like the scene repeats, so does the music go in a loop that serves as a flurry of emotions that hit that courageous spirit hard.
1 “Doctor Who Theme”
Of course, the series theme song is always going to be mentioned no matter how old it gets. It’s something of an alien tune, in that it has a retro and techno aspect that makes it so unique. Overall, the theme perfectly captures how the Doctor is.
The extended piece carries forward the Doctor’s love for adventure and exploration, as it continues the track with a glorious mix of the flowing theme. Even though it leans quite a bit on the techno side, it certainly is appropriate given the spirit of the series and the character it represents.
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