The 10th Kingdom is a five-part TV mini-series. It "draws a
discontented New York waitress and her crabby caretaker into the Kingdoms
of Fantasy. They experience numerous adventures trying to find the magic
mirror that can get them home and resolve their emotional problems along
the way" so saith the handout. 'Sounds like The Wizard of Oz seasone d with
Anyway Anne Dudley fashions a broad romantic score putting some new spin
on all the treasured clichés the genre demands: romantic yearnings,
magical little bells/stardust awe and wonder material, brooding, eerie
atmospherics, comic rumbustious stuff and of course the nasty menacing monsters
music - seasoned with the odd synth updatings.
The opening cue, 'The 4 Who Saved Nine Kingdoms' captures all the score's
essence, a broad romantic bit of a theme (I'll elaborate on this remark later)
frog-croaking-like electronic antics and swirling eerie evil troll-like menaces.
I will not go into detail about the rather repetitive score but just select
one or two of the more interesting cues on which to comment. 'Six Glorious
Wishes' is great galumphing fun with xylophone and woodwinds and percussion
enjoying a merry, swaggering ride. 'Addicted to Magic' is sheer sparkling
enchantment with a hint of a modern beat and agitated tremolandos and glissandi
all adding to a rich, magical cue. 'A Stepmother's Curse' is a vivid devil's
kitchen of a concoction with what sound like pots and pans being bashed about
amongst swirling mists and witches howlings; scary, scary (not for little
Generally speaking Anne Dudley's score is big on atmosphere and characterisation.
However, unlike George Fenton in slightly similar Ever After mode,
she cannot spin out a memorable melody; all we get is some meanderings around
material that could comprise a melody. If Dudley can hone this facility for
writing a truly memorable melody she would have a great future.