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An Adventure in Space and Time
  • Composed by Edmund Butt
  • Silva Screen / 2014 / 39m

A tv movie commissioned as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations surrounding Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time tells of the genesis of the BBC’s popular show, chronicling its creation and early difficulties while it was in its infancy. Providing the score was not the sci-fi show’s current composer Murray Gold but instead Edmund Butt, who has done much impressive work on British film and television (his unreleased Yellowstone is an absolute gem).  His warm score is a real joy, hitting just the right balance between a kind of nostalgic glow and a vibrant and vital sense of adventure and excitement.  It begins on an unexpectedly comedic tone – there’s an Elfman/Burton feel to the brief opening titles – before finding its voice.  An early highlight is the fantastic “The Daleks”, a great piece of action music that would be right at home in a modern blockbuster (in fact, it would be notably better than most music in modern blockbusters).  Indeed, while there’s a smoke-filled-room 1960s feel at times, the bulk of the score is quite modern, with occasional electronics joining the orchestra.

The album runs a shade under 40 minutes but the composer works a great many different styles in there during that time.  There are some real “awe and wonder” moments, notably the terrific “What Dimension”, “This is My Show” and “The TARDIS”.  “Autograph Hunting” is a florid, colourful delight, a magically playful air running through it.  “JFK Assassinated” is as you might expect a tense, dark piece which despite its very different tone, somehow doesn’t feel jarring (Butt’s command of an orchestra is evident throughout, delightful little touches always just around the corner).  A beautiful touch of emotion is felt in “I’m So Sorry, Bill” with particularly elegant violin and piano solos.  My favourite moments are the two most soaring pieces – the unabashedly romantic “Goodbye Susan” and the magical “The New Doctor”.  An Adventure in Space and Time is a delightful album, warm-hearted, colourful and with no small dose of magic.

Rating: **** | |

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Saturday 22 March, 2014 at 12:33

    I find this composer’s name to be quite objectionable.