Torchwood - Ben Foster and Murray Gold

Ben Foster and Murray Gold - Torchwood TV soundtrack CD cover "Torchwood" is the spin-off series from "Doctor Who" starring John Barrowman, its title "Torchwood" is in fact an anagram of its long running parent show. The "Torchwood" theme was composed by resident "Doctor Who" composer Murray Gold, but most of the incidental music has been penned by Ben Foster (who served as Murray's orchestrator and conductor on "Doctor Who"), with only a couple of episodes written by Gold. The music clearly comes from the same heritage as "Doctor Who" and shares some of its characteristics, but the differences are also evident. Whereas "Doctor Who" is aimed at a child-friendly family audience, "Torchwood" was always conceived for a more adult audience familiar with "The X-Files" and similar series. The music is correspondingly more adult in a number of ways: it can be darker, emotionally deeper, and more likely to feature sustained development. Doctor Who's pacing aims for people with a limited attention span, frequently changing direction every few minutes, whereas Torchwood can focus on one or two key moods for a whole episode. Having said that there is still the same considerable variety between episodes so the music is equally varied.

The initial tracks on the album help to bring out the elements which characterise the musical style of Torchwood. "Everything Changes" from the first episode sets the scene with some electronic sound design, and minimal use of sound design techniques punctuate key moments in the series (often with "backward" sounds). "The Chase" introduces some Doctor Who-like action with a rhythmic beat and hints of the Torchwood theme and another theme later to be named as "Jack's Theme". Then there is a change of pace with "Ghosts" providing some eerie atmospheres with string dischords and slides. "Sleeper, Awake!" starts in suspenseful mode, and then builds into a thumping beat, while "Toshiko and Tommy" introduces one of several Love Themes on the album, when Tosh falls for a soldier from the past. A key mood-setting track is "Gray's Theme" sung by Annalise Whittlesea. "Gray" is Jack's brother and is introduced in flashbacks as a boy hence the sound of mysterious memories as we learn what separated the boys so long ago. Later there is a trilogy of generally sad tracks starting with "The Death of Dr. Owen Harper" who becomes "The King of the Weevils" before "Owen's Theme" is introduced in "Owen Fights Death". Then towards the end of the album there is another key trilogy starting with "Goodbyes" (which emerges from a slow sadder version of "Owen's Theme") and includes the "Death of Toshiko" and "The End is where we Start from". Murray Gold's "Torchwood Theme" itself is saved for the final track, and hints at the repeating 2-note figure from Clint Mansell's "Requiem for a Dream".

The album illustrate modern, dramatic television music at its best, and the CD is available at the following link on Amazon.co.uk.

Full track listing:


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