Review: Torchwood's soundtrack is as adult as the show itself

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Everyone's happy that Torchwood is coming back for a fourth series, right? While you're waiting, you can check out the soundtrack for the third one, Torchwood: Children of Earth, the five-part mini-series, truncated season, whatever you want to call it, just released by Silva Screen.

This Doctor Who spinoff is more adult in theme and content than its parent show, and the music shows this maturity, tending toward the dark and ominous. Composer Ben Foster has done a fair bit of work on Doctor Who and a number of films. He has a fine symphonic sense and an ability to suggest scope in his music.

These qualities make the music for T:COE sound larger than life. This CD is comprised of 40 tracks, most of them fairly short (only two break the 4-minute mark), for a satisfying total of about 77 minutes of music. Another satisfying aspect of this disc is that it stands nicely on its own, providing a good listening experience without needing the show itself to add power and interest. That's rather rare in a soundtrack.

There are any number of highlights here, and Foster shows plenty of skill with differing emotional palettes, from the Enya-like opening measures of "Jack's Daughter" (3) to the startling "We Are Coming" (5), which would almost fit into Bernard Herrmann's score for Mysterious Island. Ianto Jones also gets his own full-fledged theme here, in "The Ballad of Ianto Jones" (26). Other favorites are "Requisition 31" (30) and "Fighting Back" (34), but every listener will find something to love here.

There is also some nice material in the booklet, including a long discussion with Ben Foster about the show's musical themes and their development, and a breakdown of the music on a "day by day" basis.