|Arranged by Mark Ayers.|
Groovy! by Joe Ford 3/2/04
Oh this is just brilliant! On every conceivable level this CD rocks big time! Never before has a CD running at such a short length provided me with so many hours of endless amusement.
Doctor Who at its best is capable of many wonderful things, not unlike myself. The television series could reach the heights of The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Caves of Androzani and Revelation of the Daleks... gorgeous looking telly backed up with superb scripts. The books could produce wonders such as The Also People, Father Time and Camera Obscura, intelligent, literate pieces that show just how far Doctor Who can go. And as for Big Finish, paving the way forwards with audio experimentation... The Wormery, Scherzo... these masterpieces are a delight on the ear.
Thank God for the rest of Doctor Who being largely wonderful because this is without a doubt the worst dreck I have ever heard. The tracks on this CD are so mind numbingly awful it is almost hypnotic, the Time and the Rani/The Slow Empire/Zagreus level of quality on display here forces you to see it through and then to listen to it again and again and again... is this all a part of Mark Aryes' plan to dominate the world? Possibly, probably... perhaps we'll never know.
What on earth possessed these people to release such travesties? It is madness on an inconceivable level. And yet the truth is that this is a highly entertaining package if you are in the right mood. I think RPM are hoping we are because unless you were a die-hard fan or suicidal and in desperate need of a laugh you would have to be lobotomised at birth to even consider making such a purchase. Nothing could prepare me for the sight of Simon hopping around the house with the dog in his arms, grooving to 'I want to spend my Christmas with a Dalek' or our spontaneous laughter when Frazer Hines' stultifyingly awful Who's Dr Who. Trust me if you buy this CD you will never, ever have a bad mood ever again, just slip in the next time your girlfriend dumps you/your tax bill arrives/you watch some Peter Davison stories and you will be laughing until your sides burst open.
It ranges from the diabolical... Jon Pertwee's wistful delivery of Who is the Doctor? manages to be the best track on the CD simply because he doesn't try to sing. But the lyrics are still garbage ("Through cosmic wastes the TARDIS flies" sounds like something from a Craig Hinton book!) and at the end of the day its just Pertwee chatting away. Hardly a thrill. His second track, 'Pure Mystery' sounds like a cabaret number in outer space... Pertwee delivers it with his famed showman's panache but it's still nonsense.
It has forced me into a retreat when it comes to my tirade against the Pop Idols of age, Simon adores the Wills and Gareths and all the pretty boy pop singers (please, give me Justin Timberlake anyday!) and I am forever ripping their number ones up as the talentless manufactured bubblegum music they are. But after slipping this in on Christmas Day I had to admit to a smug and satisfied Simon that popular music had hit a brand new nadir and by some stretch. Yes of course I refer to I'm gonna spend my Christmas with a Dalek by the Go Gos, aural vomit in every sense. Besides my aversion to 'cute kids' (I have dreamed a million exquisite ways to kill Squeak from Survival) and crap Dalek voices (Dalek Invasion of Earth is a rare example), the very idea of one of the most evil creatures in the universe saying 'Please may I have some more plum pud-ding and cus-tard?' reminds me there are new depths of insanity for the human race to explore (besides the League of Gentleman's Papa Lazarou. "Hello Dave!"). Listen to this song; all the horrors of the world cannot hope to match its vile, lecherous, sugary nastiness.
There are three tracks from the blockbusting movies from the sixties, Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks 2150 AD. Hmm, this would be sheer genius if the music from said films wasn't so camp and unatmospheric and well... so sixties. Just below Malcolm Clarke's incidental scores in my book, quality wise and I'm still suing for the damage inflicted on my eardrums during The Sea Devils.
Frazer Hines! What a dish! Capitalising on the success of his part as Jamie he released a song devoted to his legacy. This is all good in principle until you hear dear Frazer open his mouth and start to sing. Simon and I were on tenterhooks during the introductory music (Simon fancies the pants of Jamie) and were dismayed when we realised has the blandest singing voice outside of Jennifer Lopez. His attempts at hip Beatles-like coolness are sabotaged when halfway through the song he is joined by... an annoying cute kid!
I beg with you buy this album. It will force your Big Finish collection into sharp focus, every single CD; even Zagreus will suddenly be relishable. Once you have heard it once I promise you will want another listen. It is an excellent snapshot of an era long past that would allow for such tuneless pap to pass as music. Relish in the sheer dated feel of the songs and thank your lucky stars that nobody has tried to release another Doctor Who song since The Timelords.
But hey with the new series around the corner we could be due for another. Who do you reckon it will be? Kylie? Justin? Puff Daddy? If this collection is an example of what can be achieved with Doctor Who influences we are sure in for a treat...