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Published on July 26th, 2010 | by Andrew Reynolds

Doctor Who Prom Reviews

Doctor Who PromsDrum roll please…the verdict for the Doctor Who Prom at this years BBC proms is…cymbal crash… Excellent.  Though while the spectacle was loved by children and similarly excited parents, some reviewers have scoff at the event calling it a “Pantomime.”

The Guardian while quick to praise any event that tries to foster a love of classical music in children accepted that the event was not about the music but about the brand.

“Gold’s themes, of course, are written as accompaniment, so no disservice was done them by having 5,000 or so people craning towards the screens, rather than gazing at the conductor, and the gasps of excitement as Silurians, Judoon, Cybermen and the Vampires of Venice patrolled among the prommers made plain that the main attraction of the evening was not the music, but the chance to feel part of an adored televisual institution.”

As well as showcasing Murray Gold’s excellent contribution to the show, the prom also threw in some recognisable classics such as surfer’s favourite Richard Wagners’ Die Walküre – The Ride of the Valkyries and John Adams Short Ride in a Fast Machine.

The evening was ably hosted by Karen Gillan with help from an in character Matt Smith, who received special praise in The Daily Telegraph.

“In the end, however, it was all about the Doctor – witness the rock-star welcome that greeted Matt Smith’s second-half appearance. Smith’s Doctor gave his customary manic performance, enlisting the help of a mini-me audience member in braces and bowtie to save the Albert Hall from a ‘wibbly-wobby, explodey-wodey thing’.”

Doctor Who Proms 2010The Prom also featured many of the Doctors greatest foes including an ‘Ironside’ Dalek who rose from a platform to offered the audience tea and biscuits before being told to ‘decend or be exterminated’ by a Persil-white Supreme Dalek who then bossed composer Ben Foster to play the Dalek’s theme.

The delectable Vampires (from Venice) enticed a man in the audience with a bewitching dance. While others such as the Silurians, Cybermen, Judoon  and the Weeping Angels all roamed the audience looking for the Doctor.

BBC News have a video showing clips from the concert and reaction from one particular family whose two boys denied they were scared of the Cybermen- they were (Incidentally, check out costumes worn by some fans in the background of this clip.)

The two hour show featured the London Philharmonic Choir, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Singers Yamit Mamo (Doctor Who, Death at a Funeral)  and Mark Chambers (Singing voice of the Ood,  The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) and Composers Ben Foster (Doctor Who, Nine) and Grant Llewellyn (BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales)

A recording done for BBC Radio 3  is available in two parts on the iPlayer until the 1st August while the event itself will be broadcast on BBC Three next month.

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Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




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