Thursday, September 05, 2013

My Review of Doctor Who Proms 2013

Presented by Various
Directed by Rhodri Huw

Madame Vastra: "Today we are all here to celebrate our friend, the Doctor. I'm told that you humans have been following the Doctor's adventures for almost five decades. Some of us have known him much longer."

In the space of five years we've had three occasions in which Doctor Who became a perfect template for the BBC Proms and given that it's the show's 50th year, not having one this year would've been something of an oversight. Thankfully the Proms and the BBC made sure that we did get one after all.

Filmed in July and screened last month on BBC1 during the afternoon (a step up considering the previous two were only aired on BBC3 in 2008 and 2010 respectively), the edited version on television gave us a wonderful minxture of music to behold from the show's fifty years.

Granted the focus of music was mainly on the recent seventh series of the revived series with highlights from episodes such as Asylum Of The Daleks, The Bells Of Saint John, Nightmare In Silver and The Name Of The Doctor along with Clara's theme but previous eras were certainly not ignored. Dalek music from the fourth series finale could also be heard along with the classic All The Strange, Strage Creatures from the third series as well while those who attended the actual event itself got to listen to a suite from previous companions.

However the highlight of this year's Proms wasn't just the recent music or the display of monsters but more the fact of seeing both Peter Davison and Carole Ann Ford on stage at different points (when we didn't see Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Neve McIntosh and Dan Starkey, all of whom were in their respective characters) during the event and a wonderful medley of music from classic stories such as The Tomb Of The Cybermen, The Sea Devils, City Of Death, The Caves Of Androzani and The Curse Of Fenric as well as a classic take on the original theme as well. For me this was certainly the highlight of an enjoyable Bank Holiday bit of television.

- There was a short scene with the Doctor and Clara in which they got access to the Proms and an explanation for Matt Smith's haircut too. The scene is available to air on YouTube.
- The usual monsters we've seen in past Proms were there too along with newbies such as Skaldak, the Silence as well as the revamped Cybermen.
- I know Murray Gold's Song For Fifty has divided fans but I was actually disappointed it wasn't included in the TV version of the Proms. Though it's length rather than quality might have factored into that.
- I think the BBC missed another opportunity here to air a trailer or preview for either the 50th anniversary episode or upcoming biopic An Adventure In Space And Time.

Overall, this was another success story. Doctor Who really does suit the Proms. It's music is epic and atmospheric enough for the event. I now just hope that unlike the second edition that we had in 2010, this does end up on a special DVD set for Matt Smith's final episodes.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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