THE MISSING was a great series that aired on ITV in the UK back in October 2014, it was a compelling series and one that touched upon things that maybe other such programmes in the same ilk did not, or maybe avoided or skimmed over treating them as taboo but to be honest I don’t think that there has ever been anything quite like THE MISSING before. I found that watching the series brought to the surface so many emotions, sadness, fear, frustration and in fact sheer devastation at certain times, James Nesbitt was wonderful in his role as Tony a Father who becomes frantically obsessed with finding his son Oliver who has been abducted whilst the family holiday in France and I don’t think that any other male leading actor could have brought anymore emotion, realism or depth to the role. The series became essential viewing and it was composer Dominik Scherrer’s atmospheric soundtrack that not only introduced THE MISSING each week but underlined the events unfolding each time , the composer providing a sound-scape of electronic and conventional instrumentation which supported and also heightened the darkness, frustration and exhaustive anxiousness of each episode. I have to say that away from the images the score is surprisingly listenable which I did not think it would be, but saying this I at times indeed did not notice the music whilst watching the series because the action was so riveting and compelling, but then I think if you don’t notice the music whilst watching a TV series or movie the music is in fact doing the job it is intended to do, embellish, elevate and enhance without being overbearing and intrusive. The composer certainly achieved this with his score and even if one does not notice the music in the context of the film it made an invaluable contribution to the proceedings and was a vital component becoming not just music but part of the actual film, it was an extension of the characters personalities and purveyed and underpinned perfectly the feelings of these characters, the score being integral and supportive at all times and an essential part of the filmmaking process. The opening song COME HOME is something that sets the scene perfectly for what it to follow, it is an eerie almost uncomfortable listen, and although a brief performance it immediately gets the attention of the viewer and kind of draws them in. There are in fact two versions of the song on the compact disc release, the out going or final track on the disc is in my opinion arranged in what I think is a very 1950,s like fashion, with near lush and romantic strings in the background and stroked timpani accompanied and punctuated by bass, whilst the female vocalist (Inne Eysermans) performs in a somewhat blurry and downbeat way, never the less it is highly effective and very haunting.
The version that opened the series each week, is more dramatic, but still not in a grandiose way, penned by AMATORSKI the Belgium pop rock band who also perform the beguiling and somewhat unsettling song, the sound that they achieve being original and mesmerising. The song which was not written specifically for the series, fitted it like the proverbial glove, the style that the group employ can in many ways be compared to that of PORTISHEAD. Dominik Scherrer’s score is in no way a grand affair, in fact it is quite sparse, but this I think is what is attractive about it and also why it worked so well for the series, a big lush or fully symphonic work would have simply swamped the storyline, Scherrer’s soundtrack is intimate, apprehensive and compelling, definitely one to add to your collection.
Available on MSM.