Once again, Doctor Who invaded the Proms, the annual celebration of classical music at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Michael Hann in the Guardian sighs his way somewhat exasperatedly through his report:
One has to feel a little sorry for the musicians at Prom 10 – the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster and Grant Llewellyn, and the London Philharmonic Choir, plus solo singers Mark Chambers and Yamit Mamo. For everyone in the Albert Hall knew they were the supporting cast to the stars of Doctor Who, who introduced each piece, and the monsters, who appeared during many of them.
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.
Clemency Burton-Hill in The Independent sounds a little more fanboy:
While the queues for Sunday morning’s Doctor Who Prom snaked, as usual, past the Royal Albert Hall, once inside it was clear that this was no ordinary Prom audience. There were tweed jackets and velvet bowties galore, and the arena was filled with children clutching cardboard cut-outs of Daleks and pointing at the Tardis, which had somehow landed on stage next to the old bust of Henry Wood.
Then again, this was no ordinary Prom. Presented by the fabulous Karen Gillan (who plays Amy Pond), and Matt Smith, whose thrilling entrance as the Doctor caused wild excitement in the hall, the concert featured the music of the show’s resident composer, Murray Gold, alongside time- and space-themed classical pieces, including Gustav Holst’s “Mars” from The Planets and John Adams’s Short Ride in a Fast Machine.
Look at the looks on the faces of those kids in the bottom left:
Pure worship. Is Matt Smith saying something to them that is making the two women on the far right laugh like that? (I assume video of this will show up on a box set at some point… maybe even on the first Matt Smith set due in November. And then we’ll know.)
Look how snazzy Smith, Karen Gillan, and Arthur Darvill look in their dress-up clothes!
Doctor Who at the Proms always makes me think of that famous Beatles lyric: “And now we now how many nerds it takes to fill the Albert Hall.”
(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)