Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Review of "Doctor Who At The Proms 2010"

Presented by Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill And Matt Smith
Directed by Rhodri Huw

Karen Gillan: “I am a huge fan of Murray Gold’s music but I think my theme is the best.”

Similar joking words were echoed by Freema Agyeman in 2008 due the first Proms for Doctor Who and two years later, is it any surprise that Karen Gillan would be presenting another Proms for the show? Err, not really.

Opinions on Amy Pond as a character are as divisive as ever but one thing that can be agreed on is how likeable Karen Gillan is. She’s got a naturally bubbly personality, making her the perfect choice for the position of main host and she worked incredibly well with the crowd and introducing the majority of music in the 90 minute edition that I watched on Friday.

Murray Gold’s music for Doctor Who has become such a big deal that actually watching him and Ben Foster in action on stage for the second time is a treat. The music here is predominantly from Season 5 but it’s cracking to see all of it on stage, especially given the visual flair on top of things.

Where else would you have been in an audience where saucy Saturnyne vampire girls come on to the stage as Silurians all hover menacingly around Ben Foster and Cybermen and Judoon manage to get as many people jumping as possible? Oh and the use of one Weeping Angel was more unnerving than seeing an Ironside Dalek dismissed by the newly revamped Supreme Dalek.

In terms of the music itself, there were plenty of favourites to be had. I certainly enjoyed the luscious new mix for “Amy’s Theme”, the uplifting “I Am The Doctor”, the wonderful composition of “Liz, Lizards, Vampires And Vincent” as well as the predicted ending of the latest version of the Doctor Who theme itself.

However the music piece that stood out the most was the use of “This Is Gallifrey” and “Vale Decem”, used to display all 11 Doctors on stage via archived clips. Karen Gillan wasn’t joking when she gushed about Mark Chambers vocals. He really was impressive.

As for Arthur Darvill, he looked great and had a similar natural ease like Karen but I wished that we had seen a little more of him. Matt Smith however managed to show as both the Doctor for an amusing sketch and towards the end when deserved praise was being heaped on the orchestra.

- BBC3 aired both 60 minute and 90 minute versions of these Proms this week. The latter was better.
- Other music in this included “Mars (Bringer Of War)” and Rise Of The Valkyries”.
- I had to smile at seeing at least three kids donning fezzes during the Proms.
- Special congrats to the little boy Ellis for being a good sport during the Doctor sketch.

Definitely a fun filled thing for the family and proof that Doctor Who really has continued to be a powerful institution and if the upcoming Live Tour is as good as this was, then it’s going to be another success for the series.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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