Saturday, 13 July 2013

The (Audio) Prom Review

I missed out on tickets for this year's Doctor Who Proms, and the lure of Battersea Park in the sunshine (31 degrees) was too much to keep me away from trying to queue for any last minute tickets.
Instead I settled down with some nice cold beers and listened to the proceedings on BBC Radio 3.
No doubt there will be various clips released on You Tube on the morn, and the official website is going to release a couple, so I did  not have the visual experience to enjoy (there will be a showing on TV later in the year). Therefore the music was divorced from the numerous big screen clips, and we didn't get to see the various monsters wandering amongst the promenaders.
The first thing I would say is that I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of classic Who represented. At 9.10pm, Peter Davison came on stage to introduce a medley of music from the Classic Series - including the original 1960's Cyberman march (reused by the Yeti in The Web of Fear), Dudley Simpson's lush score for The City of Death, and items from Peter Howell and Mark Ayres who were on stage. Just prior to this, Jenna Coleman announced that Dudley was in the audience.
After some Dalek music, with Nick Briggs again verbally tormenting conductor Ben Foster, Carole Ann Ford took the stage to talk about the earliest years of the programme. She then introduced music from the last series finale.
Earlier, we had quite a few of our favourite Murray Gold pieces, including I Am The Doctor and All The Strange, Strange Creatures. There was a Companion piece suite covering Rose, Martha and Donna themes.
Other music from the last series included the song from The Rings of Akhaten, a suite from The Angels Take Manhattan, and The Impossible Girl (or Clara's theme).
Most of the introductions were presented by Madam Vastra and Strax.
At 9.44 Matt Smith and Jenna introduced the newly composed Song For Fifty. "Doctor Who - The Opera" can't be too far away. The piece actually ended with the words "Happy Birthday To Who".
The Prom ended, as it only could, with Vale Decem, followed by the latest arrangement of Ron Grainer's theme music.
No audience participation item this year. There was a short pre-filmed sequence at the start of the concert with the Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS a few streets away from the Royal Albert Hall - having failed to get tickets. They transported themselves into the auditorium (which was supposed to displace two of the audience naked into the street) but ended up in the orchestra pit.
A marvellous two and a half hours, and I look forward to seeing how the visuals fit with the glorious music.

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