Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Review of Doctor Who's "Music And Monsters"

Narrated by Anthony Stewart Head
Directed by Rhoudri Huw

David Tennant: “It’s like being a pop star at the moment. When I came on stage, I felt like Robbie Williams.”

Doctor Who and Children In Need continue to go hand in hand and compliment each other. In 2005, audiences got their first taste of David Tennant as The Doctor in the “Pudsey Cutaway” scene and now the lovely man is hosting a concert dedicated to the music from the series.

In fairness, you’re not five minutes into watching this concert that it’s told to us by David Tennant, Julie Gardner and Murray Gold that the concert had been on the card for a good part of a year. While they also might have pointed out the time and effort it takes into preparing such an event, it’s unsurprising that they come up trump.

David Tennant himself makes for a good host as he calmly plays audience participation (not that it took much to get the audience going) and relayed the history of the new series as well as bits from the old series during takes. When he wasn’t on hosting duties, he was being asked about several things such as “The Runaway Bride”, Season Three and the show’s theme.

Musically if you owe the soundtrack from Seasons One and Two, then you’re good to go really. All the familiar stuff is drummed out during the hour long concert with music dedicated to the Daleks, Cybermen, Sycorax, Clockwork Droids, Rose’s theme, the music from episodes such as “The Girl In The Fireplace” and “Doomsday” to name a few and of course, the theme tune itself.

There’s a good few minutes dedicated to the discussion of Delia Derbyshire’s theme tune with David Tennant, Russell T. Davies, Murray Gold and Ben Foster all offering their own thoughts in the matter. Overall this show has one of the most enduring themes going with some versions obviously sounding better than others. I’m particularly fond of the Jon Pertwee era of it.

Probably the best part of this entire concert is the fact that we get a behind the scenes look of “The Runaway Bride”. While it’s hard not to notice the blinding sun during the making of this episode (it was after all filmed in July), as a viewer who watched this on Christmas Day, it was a nice way of psyching myself up for the episode so to speak.

It was also the first time that not only did we have to think about Rose being gone but it was also around this time that Donna was being introduced. Catherine Tate herself looked in fine form as she described Donna to be an untraditional companion for The Doctor. Plus we got some music for the episode itself.

More importantly what really spirited this concert was the use of Daleks, Cybermen, Clockwork Droids, Sycorax and the occasional possessed group of people. With the audiences (especially the youngsters) clearly lapping it up, it’s clear that Doctor Who’s ongoing partnership with Children In Need is safe for many a year to come.

- The concert opened with a showing of clips of the Ninth Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Rose, Martha, Donna, Jackie, Mickey, a Dalek and a Cybermen. Shame about the lack of Jack or Sarah Jane.
- I spotted Freema Agyeman in the audience. The cameras even showed her off at one point.
- Noel Clarke and Camille Coduri really are great. You can tell like every cast member that they totally enjoyed working on Doctor Who.
- This concert aired on Christmas Day, six hours before “The Runaway Bride” and is available on the Season Three DVD.
- Anthony Stewart Head narrated this and has pretty much been narrating Doctor Who Confidential since then.
- David Tennant does have the most flamboyant of dress senses for a straight man. That’s all I’m saying on the matter.

Quote, Unquote

Murray Gold: “This show in a very un English way is very passionate. It came back in a big way and has a voice.”

“Music And Monsters” was definitely an appropriate title and it succeeded in it’s delivery for both Children In Need and just for being essential entertainment. As well as the brilliant scripts and acting, the music also brings Doctor Who to life and this wonderful concert is a nice reminder of that.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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