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The Music of Timeslip

The Theme Music

  There's several things that people always recall of Timeslip but none evoke the memories of scary cliffhangers and dramatic revelations more than the series' distinctive theme music.

And it often comes as a surpise when they realise that it is little more than a piece of record library music and wasn't composed especially for the series.

Viewers of Timeslip will note that there appears to be two distinctive versions of the theme music used over the opening and closing credits. Both suggesting different arrangements of the same piece.

One is a slow menacing build up (sometimes used on the opening titles) whilst the other is a more strident imposing version which builds to a dramatic climax. The latter is the one generally chosen for the end credits.

The two pieces are in fact both taken from a single track of library music. It is called "La Rite de Terre" ("The Rite of Earth" or "Earth Rite") and is actually one of four "rites" composed by the British composer, Edouard Michael.

For more information on Edouard Michael - click here...

The full 'rite' runs for 2 minutes 20 seconds. The quiet menacing theme hails from the piece's start whilst the more imposing version of the theme forms the end of it. A section from the middle of the piece can also be heard over some of the commercial break captions seen in the series.

The track hails from the DeWolfe music library. DeWolfe has supplied library music to the entertainment industry for many decades and has contributed to such programmes as Doctor Who, The Sweeney and many, many others. An album of some of their more famous "stock" tracks was released in the mid-nineties.


Other Music from TIMESLIP

On the whole the series did not use much in the way of incidental music. When on the very rare occasions that it did, more library music was employed.

For The Time of the Ice Box, tracks from an album of synthesised music issued by Standard Music Library were employed. In Part one, two tracks were utilised to provide further atmosphere for the snowy wastes of the Antarctic. These were "Lure of the Space Goddess" by Russe/St.George and "Whirring Menace" by St. George. Another track, the industrial sounding percussive piece, "Battle Theme" by Russe, is used in the final episode over shots of the Ice Box freezing over. This last track is familiar to Doctor Who fans since it was also used that same year in the Jon Pertwee story "Inferno".

(As a note of interest, the credited composers of the pieces, 'Russe' and 'St. George', are actually pseudonyms for two composers more familiar for their work on Doctor Who through the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Russe is Delia Derbyshire: a woman who is credited with creating the distinctive sound of the original Doctor Who theme. St. George is Brian Hodgson who, for many years, created the special sound effects for the series including the famous sound effects for the TARDIS's landings and departures.)

There's also a more conventional piece of 'chase' music used heavily in the latter half of Part seven of The Year of the Burn Up where the refugees from Beth's community are being chased across the waste-land by Traynor and the Alpha clones as well as a number of single-note 'stings' used in The Day of the Clone; notably when our heroes are 'shocked' at their sudden sight of the manniquin figures at R1.


(with thanks to Mark Ayres)

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