Audio Review: Vintage Beeb: Doctor Who Sound Effects

WHO fans growing up in the 1970s were relatively starved of merchandise compared to today, with just a handful of Target paperbacks, the odd annual and special items like the Radio Times 10th anniversary special filling their shelves.

So it was that the arrival of the Doctor Who Sound Effects LP in 1978 came as a breath of fresh air, offering a variety of audio snatches reflecting the Time Lord’s otherworldly adventures on a host of alien worlds.

This made available for the first time such evocative aural fare as Sutekh’s Time Tunnel, the Shrine of the Sisterhood of Karn, a Gallifreyan staser gun, Dalek hatching tanks on Skaro, the sonic screwdriver and even “Inside Doctor Who’s mind” courtesy of an extract from The Invisible Enemy.

Produced by Dick Mills and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, these fascinating sounds inspired a generation of fans, many of whom went on to work on the Doctor Who audio adventures range produced by Big Finish.

Not exactly the sort of album you stick on for background music, ultimately being little more than a collection of electronic noises, but still a fascinating record of the work of the talented Radiophonic Workshop, and a neat slice of Who history.

This new release from the Vintage Beeb range not only features a copy of the original sleeve (complete with working titles for many of the stories featured), but also a special mock-vinyl CD design aimed at recollecting those bygone days of turntables.