After working on my Six Degrees of Who: Life on Mars article, it put me in a musical frame of mind. Plus, having just spent nearly 7 hours on an accounting project, my brain is ready to shut down and let music ease the pain. Not to mention, it’s been quite a while since we’ve checked out the Vinyl section of our Junkyard, so let’s pop over there again and see what we find.
The selection is a little on the light side today so I’ll select a couple of albums that make two of our senses happy: sight and sound. Allow me to introduce the two Doctor Who picture discs of the classic series.
The thing is, they’re a bit of a letdown. Side one opens with the wonderful sound of the TARDIS materializing followed by the classic theme. The Sea Devils follows immediately afterward with that classic opening burst. The music jumps around the time stream as much as the Doctor does, visiting Meglos, playing Nyssa’s theme, marching to the Leisure Hive (a highlight piece) and celebrating at Kassia’s wedding, to name a few. But then side two goes for a number of sound effect pieces that we’ve heard before on the Doctor Who Collectors Set. The Dalek control room , Metebellis III’s atmosphere and Sutekh’s time tunnel all still sound great, but it’s too much of “been there, done that”. I guess the one advantage is that you usually want the picture discs preserved so at least there’s another option so we can still be able to listen to those tracks. It’s all still great fun, but then you get to the second picture disc and something odd happens…
Again, starting with side two, we get the remaining sound effects from the Doctor Who collectors set! It suddenly becomes clear why that was the collectors set; it put all the sound effects in one place! The Kraal Disorientation Chamber, an atomic reactor running wild, several sounds from within the TARDIS, a Tesh gun, sonic screwdriver, Dematerialization gun, even the dragon ray gun. It’s an odd choice since some tracks are less than 10 seconds in length.
Like the other disc, side one is where it’s at! The banqueting music and the March of the Cybermen are the standouts, prior to getting the Doctor Who theme again.
The pictures on those discs are as strange as the choices of music, there’s an image of Ogrons, Gallifreyan guards, the Doctor on an operating table from The Invisible Enemy, a scene from The Horns of Nimon (long live Soldeed), a marshman and Rubin in the lighthouse of Horror of Fang Rock. There’s also the odd choice of splitting the disc into 3 colored sections. It’s eye catching, but like so many stories, it doesn’t make sense. Why make an album that could clash with Colin Baker’s jacket?
By contrast, the first disc has a very bland image of the TARDIS taking center stage, lacking the light on top at that, but the real victory is the artistic image that adorns side two: the five Doctors, with the TARDIS against a small black starfield. Like the show itself, it does some crazy things, but you can’t help but love the ambition. And they make for some nice display pieces for any collector’s library. ML