It is a time of great change for Doctor Who fans, with the upcoming departure of current Showrunner Steven Moffat, and Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi paving the way for new Showrunner Chris Chibnall, and Jodie Whittaker, the first woman to step into the role of The Doctor. Now, they may have to face another big change, with rumours suggesting that composer Murray Gold is also set to leave the show.
Gold has worked as Doctor Who's composer since the beginning of the revival series in 2005, and has produced many memorable pieces of score for the show during that time, as well as a few reworkings of the show's iconic theme song. His music is loved enough that it inspired a touring orchestral show, the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, as well as a show at The Proms for D Fans are understandably upset at his potential departure, at least Gold has given us plenty of great work to remember.
1. 'The Doctor's Theme'
'The Doctor's Theme' was one of the first pieces of music produced for the revival series, heard quite often in the early days of the show. As a character theme for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, it was mostly used in Series One through Four.
Though simple, the theme was memorable, and did exactly what it needed to do for the revived Doctor Who in its early days. Otherworldly enough to remind new fans that, human as he looked, The Doctor was definitely an alien, and also melancholy enough to suit both the Ninth and Tenth Doctors in their more sombre moments.
As the finale of Series 2 rolled around, Murray Gold wrote a piece of music that can still break the heart of many Doctor Who fans who hear it. This is especially true for those fans of the relationship between The Doctor and Rose. Sharing the title of the episode in which it was most prominently used, 'Doomsday' plays throughout the Series 2 finale's final few minutes.
Ominous from the moment it is first heard, the music's few sweeping highs and sinking lows make it the perfect heart-shattering soundtrack to The Doctor's final goodbye to Rose Tyler. An excerpt from the track is used in the closing moments of Series 4 Premiere 'Partners In Crime', when Rose first mysteriously reappears, briefly encountering new companion Donna Noble.
3. 'All The Strange, Strange Creatures'
First written to accompany the trailer for Series 3, it wasn't long before 'All The Strange, Strange Creatures made its way into the show. With a slow-burn opening that builds into fast-paced fun, the track was perfect for chase scenes and action sequences.
Another memorable use of the piece came in Series Four's penultimate episode, 'Turn Left', after Donna delivers Rose's 'Bad Wolf' message to The Doctor, leading him to finally see all the ways she has been trying to contact him. In the 2015 version of The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, 'All The Strange, Strange Creatures' was played alongside an epic montage of both new and classic Doctors and their most memorable enemies.
4. 'This Is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home'
In Series Three's three-part finale, 'Utopia'/'The Sound Of Drums'/'Last Of The Time Lords', It was revealed that The Doctor was in fact not the last Time Lord, and that his childhood friend/nemesis The Master had also survived the Time War. With this reveal came the need for music linking to The Doctor's past, which led Murray Gold to produce the brilliant leit motif 'This is Gallifrey'. The track was absolutely perfect for what it needed to do, some parts of the song invoking danger, and sadness, while others sound hopeful.
'This Is Gallifrey' debuted during the aforementioned three-parter, with the track and rearrangements of it being re-used in the series ever since, such as when The Master and The Doctor discuss their childhoods in 'The End Of Time'. Another notable example was in 'The Name Of The Doctor, during the opening montage of Clara's many encounters with The Doctor. A new rearrangement of 'This Is Gallifrey' reappeared in multiple series 10 episodes, cementing its place as one of the most enduring pieces Gold produced for the show.
5. 'The Greatest Story Never Told'
When Gold wrote 'The Greatest Story Never Told' for the Series Four two-part episode 'Silence In The Library/'Forest Of The Dead, he likely had no idea how important Professor River Song, the character with whom the piece has become most strongly identified, would become in the history of the show. He could have phoned it in, and no one would have been any the wiser. Instead, he created one of the most memorable single-episode pieces of score in Doctor Who's history. 'The Greatest Story Never Told' perfectly merges the tragedy of River's sacrifice with hope for the future life The Doctor still has to live with her.
In the single episode in which the piece appears, it becomes the backdrop for a number of iconic moments, including River's death, and The Doctor's epic race to save her consciousness in the library's computer. It remains one of the most popular pieces of music produced for the show.
6. 'I Am The Doctor'
With both a new show-runner and a new Doctor debuting in Series Five, Murray Gold was tasked with creating a new character theme for the Eleventh incarnation of the beloved Time Lord, played by Matt Smith. The result of his work was 'I Am The Doctor', easily the most popular piece of music gold has produced for Doctor Who. From the moment the music plays, viewers are swept up in the action, knowing instantly that something awesome was about to happen. The theme plays at least once during nearly every episode of The Eleventh Doctor era.
The theme is wildly popular among Whovians, with many musically inclined fans posting videos of themselves covering the piece. 'I Am The Doctor' is almost certain to get stuck in your head every time it is heard.
7. 'The Majestic Tale Of A Madman With A Box'
First used in Series Six, 'The Majestic Tale Of A Madman With A Box' is another much-loved Track produced by Gold during the Eleventh Doctor's tenure. It is similar to 'I Am The Doctor', sharing many notes and melodies, but boosted to an even grander scale. This made it perfect for use in high-stakes action sequences.
The first major use of the track, during River Song's gunfight with the Silence in 'Day Of The Moon' is a perfect example. However, 'The Majestic Tale Of A Madman With A Box' truly cements its place in Doctor Who history through its inclusion in the scene of all Thirteen Doctors uniting to save Gallifrey in 'Day Of The Doctor'.
8. 'The Wedding Of River Song'
Whether you are a fan of the relationship between The Doctor and River Song or not, it is impossible to deny that this piece of score is impressive. Sharing a name with the episode in which it first appears, 'The Wedding Of River Song' proves a perfect backing track for the action. It is hard not to get swept up in the romance of River and The Doctor's marriage, or the growing urgency for the pair to restore the correct flow of time.
While 'The Wedding Of River Song' will always be most strongly identified with the event it represents, it has been used on at least one other occasion. It provides an epic backing track for Clara's leap into The Doctor's timeline in 'The Name Of The Doctor'
9. 'The Long Song'
While the song itself, and the episode in which it appears divide fans, 'The Long Song' still deserves a place among Murray Gold's most memorable work on Doctor Who. Why? See below.
'The Long Song' plays alongside one of the all-time great Doctor Who speeches, in a moment fans agree is one of Matt Smith's best performances as The Doctor. Many Past Doctors have been asked to perform the speech at conventions in the years since.
10. 'A Good Man?'
'I Am The Doctor', as popular and iconic as it has become in the minds of Whovians, was always going to be a tough act to follow. With 'A Good Man?', the theme produced for Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor, Gold made a valiant effort. 'A Good Man?' builds more slowly, as opposed to the previous theme jumping right into the action. This reflects The Twelfth Doctor's doubt early in his tenure over whether he really is a good man. It is a darker piece than fans of Eleven would have been used to, but Twelve, particularly in the early days, was a darker character.
If Murray Gold is departing the show, rumours say his last work for Doctor Who will come in the 2017 Christmas special, 'Twice Upon A Time'. After working on the show for over a decade, it may well be that Gold is ready to move on and try new things.
Whatever occurs, one thing is certain: Anyone who steps in to replace him will have very big shoes to fill.