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Published on October 12th, 2010 | by Patrick Riley

Living the Live!

Doctor Who Live is no longer just an exciting concept we’ve been awaiting for months; it’s now officially a traveling show that has revealed itself to the public!  As such, the first reviews are beginning to trickle in, and the majority of them have nice things to say about The Greatest Show in the Galaxy…

The Guardian brings up the never-ending debate on whether Doctor Who is a show for children, adults, or the whole family, and, while praising Live, suggests that it tends to err on the side of the kids:

…the first thing to say is that it’s unashamedly for the children. The sort of people who moan on the internet about the lack of ‘hard sci-fi’ (and they are legion) need not bother turning up. It will be their loss. For children, and those in touch with their inner child, it’s tremendous fun.

The Institute of Commercial Management sheds further light on what is so “tremendously fun” about the show:

…the main attraction was of course the monsters, and the revived series’ most iconic enemies were all on display: Silurian race the Homo Reptilia; the creepy animated Scarecrows; rhino-headed Judoon; Venetian vampire-ladies – and in an inspired set-piece the Grandma’s footsteps-inspired game of ‘blink’, from the show’s celebrated Weeping Angels stories, was played out in the arena itself. The event climaxed in a battle between the show’s two most iconic villains – the Cybermen and the controversially redesigned Daleks.

The live show was conceived as being a canonical story in itself. Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, who was also present in the audience, had shot original scripted material for the story, which was intended as a sequel to the Jon Pertwee-era Carnival Of Monsters.

“What?” you say, “Matt Smith was there?”  That’s nothing.  Wait’ll you find out who else was in the crowd, as mentioned by the Press Association:

Composer Murray Gold led the live soundtrack from a 16-piece orchestra. Also among guests for the first night were Catherine Tate, Richard Curtis and Jo Whiley.

So Catherine Tate was present, eh?  Wouldn’t it be something if Live featured the return of a certain Noble companion?  Ah, well, we can dream!

Not every review was 100% positive.  The Daily Express, while apparently enjoying the spectacle otherwise, was disappointed with the story:

An ‘inter-galactic showman’ called Vorgenson (Nigel Planer), a villain in the panto style – the audience was booing and hissing with glee – has created something called a minimiser, which he uses to capture all the monsters and keep them in his private zoo.

The Doctor gets wind of it and rides to the rescue (via video screen) and, er, that’s it.

I guess you can’t win ‘em all, can you?  But you can win most of ‘em, especially when, as mentioned before, there’s an on-stage battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks.  Come to think of it, YouTube user string210 has been kind enough to post it for us!  Watch it below, but beware of spoilers if you plan to go see the show yourself; this clip gives away the ending, after all!

Doctor Who Live’s next stop is in Sheffield (today and tomorrow), and the show should make its way to Glasgow before the week is over.  Future locations include Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham Trent, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Belfast, which should all have seen a performance by mid-November.  Get into a show via Ticketmaster!

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About the Author

Patrick is a temporal hitchhiker who spends most of his time in the future. His favourite Doctor is the Fourteenth. If you're especially lucky, you might even hear him tweet to all you merry folk in the past @10PatrickRiley.




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