mfiles logo

Murray Gold - the Music Doctor

Murray Gold photo - copyright Katie Vandyck The music of Murray Gold will be familar to a large part of the UK audience since he has contributed to a number of very popular television shows, including those icons of BBC programming, Doctor Who and "Blue Peter". Gold was born in Portsmouth and started his career as a writer for radio and the theatre, before making his mark as a composer. In that latter capacity he has provided the music for a number of films including "Beautiful Creatures", "Wild About Harry", "Miranda" and "Death at a Funeral", and several television productions including "Vanity Fair", "Hawking" and "Shameless", and has been nominated several times by BAFTA for his original music for television. Much of his most well-known television work has been in collaboration with writer and producer Russel T Davies.

Murray Gold - Doctor Who Series 1 and 2 soundtrack CD cover Gold's collaboration with Davies started with "Queer as Folk" (1 and 2) and included "The Second Coming" and "Casanova" before taking on the busy role of music director for the new revamped series of "Doctor Who". The music of the original Doctor Who series has always been innovative, particular in its use of electronic sounds, but when the series returned with a fresh look in 2005 it had a more cinematic quality both with larger-budget effects and with a stronger emotional connection to its audience. This demanded a new approach to the music and Murray has frequently used a large orchestral sound with the help of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster. The music has such an intimate association with the series, that a special concert event was held in November 2006 in Wales' capital city of Cardiff, and similar Doctor Who Prom Concerts held in London's Royal Albert Hall in 2008, 2010 and 2013. The latest version of the shows is completely dedicated to Gold's music the the TV series and called the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular.

Murray Gold - Vanity Fair soundtrack CD cover The new Doctor Who series has included a number of Christmas Special episodes and also spawned two spin-off series - a more adult series called Torchwood (an anagram of "Doctor Who") and a series aimed at children of all ages called "The Sarah Jane Adventures" which features one of the best-loved companions of the Doctor. Murray Gold himself has featured in a cameo part in the Doctor Who 2007 Christmas Special episode "Voyage of the Damned" which also featured the singer and actress Kylie Minoque in a non-singing part. The story had a spaceship in the shape of the original Titanic and Gold was one of the players in the band playing on board the futuristic liner. See also our overviews of the growing number of Doctor Who music albums - including Series 1 and 2, Series 3, Series 4, Series 4 The Specials and Series 5, and our article on Electronic Music which describes how the original theme music was constructed by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

In addition to his work as a composer, Gold has also written a number of plays including "Electricity" one of whose productions starred former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston. Gold has recently written a musical play where a dying Franz Kafka plays himself (or in true kafkaesque style, imagines playing himself) in a musical about himself. A production of "Kafka: The Musical" was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and this starred another former Doctor David Tennant as Franz Kafka.

Gold's piece "When My Brother Fell Into The River" was recently given its world premiere at London's Barbican Centre as part of the Crouch End Festival Chorus 30th Anniversary Year celebrations. In addition to numerous classical and other recordings and appearances, The Crouch End Festival Chorus have frequently performed the choral music heard on certain episodes of Doctor Who. Gold composed the music for former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies' adaptation of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" which was shown by BBC 1 in 2016, and he was to work with Davies on his drama series "Years and Years" shown in 2019. Gold also composed music for BalletLorent's 2016 production of Snow White. It was announced in 2018 that Murray Gold (along with the core cast and crew) would be leaving Doctor Who. Segun Akinola is the new Doctor Who composer, but Gold's music is still hitting the small screen with both "Years and Years" and "Gentleman Jack".

Murray Gold photo courtesy of Katie Vandyck

Films by Murray Gold:

    Murray Gold - Doctor Who Series 1 and 2 soundtrack CD reverse
  • Mojo
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • Wild About Harry
  • Miranda
  • Kiss of Life
  • Alien Autopsy - the one starring Ant and Dec
  • Death at a Funeral - a comedy with Matthew MacFadyen
  • Veronika Decides to Die - starring Sarah Michelle Gellar
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil - animation

TV music by Murray Gold:

    Murray Gold - Doctor Who Series 3 soundtrack CD cover
  • Vanity Fair - TV Mini-Series for the BBC
  • Queer as Folk - TV series for Russel T Davies
  • Queer as Folk 2 - one-off television film sequel
  • Love in the 21st Century
  • Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)- the re-made TV series with Reeves and Mortimer whose theme was written by David Arnold
  • Clocking Off - TV series
  • The Second Coming - one-off TV drama, also for Russel T Davies and starring Christopher Eccleston
  • Hawking - TV drama about the scientist Stephen Hawking
  • Casanova - series written by Russel T Davies and starring David Tennant
  • Canterbury Tales
  • Shameless - long-running TV series for Channel 4
  • Blue Peter - latest revamp of the nautical theme music for this long-running children's programme
  • Doctor Who - resident composer for the new TV series which started in 2005
  • Torchwood - theme for Doctor Who spin-off with most episodes scored by Ben Foster, however Gold is taking over from Foster (and assisted by Stu Kennedy) for the 10-episode series (largely set in the US) called "Torchwood: Miracle Day"
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures - theme for the other spin-off aimed at younger viewers
  • Perfect Parents - TV movie
  • New Street Law - theme music for the series
  • The Devil's Whore - Mini-Series
  • Single Father - Mini-Series
  • Scott & Bailey - theme music and sharing composer duties with Ben Foster
  • Last Tango in Halifax - TV series
  • The Musketeers - starring Peter Capaldi as Cardinal Richelieu
  • Life Story - latest Natural History series narrated by David Attenborough
  • Cucumber - TV Series
  • Come Home - Series starring Christopher Eccleston
  • A Very English Scandal - mini-series based on a book about Jeremy Thorpe adapted for TV by Russell T. Davies with Thorpe played by Hugh Grant
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream - TV movie/Dance/Ballet
  • Years and Years - for Russell T. Davies
  • Gentleman Jack - Sally Wainwright's adaptation based on the coded diaries of Anne Lister

Murray Gold Recommendations:

Murray Gold does not yet have a huge number of non-Doctor Who soundtrack albums available, but we have listed below the BBC's soundtrack of music from Vanity Fair. However the Doctor Who soundtrack album releases alone are coming out an an accelerating rate. Here are some links to get you started:

Murray Gold - Memorabilia:

Here is a CD cover signed by Murray Gold. Our thanks to Petr Kocanda for permission to use his collection of autographed CDs. Click the thumbnail below to see the image full size in a separate window.

Murray Gold: Doctor Who Series 4 - signed CD