As with the previous volume, this one is solely dedicated
to compositions by Alistair Lock. Wouldn't it have been fairer
to give the work of Nicholas Briggs or Russell Stone some
exposure before returning to Mr Lock?
other respects, the compilation offers rather less than its
predecessor. The music of only three stories is featured -
The Last of the Titans, The Shadow of the Scourge
and The Fires of Vulcan - as opposed to the previous
standard of four. There are no dialogue clips this time around,
and the stories in question all starred Sylvester McCoy, which
makes the cover design a little misleading.
Last of the Titans was a single-part story included on
a special CD given away with issue 300 of Doctor Who Magazine.
The music features mock-creepy themes with shades of Sapphire
and Steel-type percussion. These themes get slightly darker
as the piece develops, but the medley is rather lightweight,
reflecting the brevity of the story.
Shadow of the Scourge demonstrates a greater range of
themes, although these also exhibit a predominance of gloomy
refrains. Not for the first time, the work of McCoy-era musician
Mark Ayres proves to be inspirational, as is evident in the
moody synths that signify the ethereal plane of the alien
Scourge, and in a few bars of Ghost Light-style organ
music. The occasional funkier moment lightens the mood slightly,
but the jauntiness of Benny's theme (a variation on the original
signature tune to Big Finish's New Adventures) still
comes as something of a relief.
that The Fires of Vulcan was set during the last days
of Pompeii, its music - the best of the three selections on
this CD - is surprisingly free of doom and gloom. It opens
with some gentler instrumentation and choral samples, evoking
a simpler way of life at this point in history. Strident,
booming drums suggest the might of the Roman Empire as well
as the violence of its gladiatorial arenas. Eventually, a
tolling bell presages the inevitable destruction of the city
disappointing second volume, then. Hopefully the third will
provide more variety.