On Saturday, July 13, the first of two ‘Doctor Who’ Proms took place. The musical extravaganza celebrating the melodic tones of the series were recreated live by the London Philharmonic Choir and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and featured clips and footage from the series played over large screens, appearances from several monsters from the series and introductions of the pieces by various characters from the ‘Doctor Who’ series. Strax (Dan Starkey), Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh ) and of course, Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and the Doctor (Matt Smith) were all there to celebrate the music of Murray Gold and other composers (both classic and modern alike) that been heard throughout the show’s history.
Much like the ‘Doctor Who Experience’, the ‘Doctor Who’ Prom is a must attend event for any Whovian. For those who weren’t able to get tickets, BBC Radio 3 streamed the first night of the ‘Doctor Who’ Prom live so that Whovians around the world could listen in, and we have some of the highlights for you to share!
Because the theme was the music from the ‘Doctor Who’ series, the Prom would not have been complete without an appearance from the Doctor who, in true Doctor fashion, decided to conduct the orchestra with Maestro Ben Cooper’s sonic baton himself:
It was a surprise to see that Smith’s hair still needs a bit more growing as it was cut for his lead role in Ryan Goslings’ ‘How to Catch a Monster’. Clara’s comment on his new do (or rather lack of) was a nice touch. It begs to wonder if an explanation of his hair will be made for the Christmas episode or will Smith be donning a wig? Hopefully the filming for the episode can be pushed back as much as possible to allow time for his locks to return.
There were a few funny bits in the show such as Strax trying to teach the crowd the Sontaran battle song, his field report (“I appear to be in a large room filled with human scum.”) and the Daleks telling conductor Cooper to “Remain on that platform and stop over acting!”
The music, however, was the star of the night. Several pieces performed included a montage of all the Nu-Who companions ‘ themes as well as sound tracks from episodes such a ‘Rings of Akhaten’, ‘Angels Take Manhattan’, and ‘The Name of the Doctor’ with bits of footage showcasing the episodes playing on the screens. Hearing the music performed live as the Doctor’s speeches from ‘The Pandorica Opens’ and ‘The Rings of Akhenaten’ were heard seemed so much more moving at the Prom than seeing it play out on the telly:
Other highlights included an appearance from the 5th Doctor Peter Davidson and the Doctor’s very first companion, Susan Foreman, played by Carol Ann Ford. While short, both Davidson’s and Ford’s speech about their time on ‘Doctor Who’ was heartfelt and touching.
Having the music from a few classic ‘Doctor Who’ episodes brought the right amount of nostalgia for the Doctor’s 50th as not only did Albert Hall fill with the music of ‘First We Are Daleks’ but there was also a tribute to Dudley Simpson’s work on the series.
One of the most anticipated songs during the program was a special one written by Murray Gold especially for the 50th anniversary of the show titled ‘Song for Fifty’.
(special thanks to Vanessa Aisha M)
The Prom closed with a tribute to the Doctor’s regenerations (in a nod to Smith’s departure) to the music of ‘Vale Decem’ (the song the Ood sang just prior to the 10th Doctor regenerated into the 11th) followed by a slightly reworked version of the show’s theme song:
Oftentimes, many contribute the success of a show or episode with the writing not realizing that the soundtrack and background music of a program can also make or break a scene. If anyone doubts how important music is to ‘Doctor Who’, all they need to do is listen to a ‘Doctor Who’ Prom.
Luckily, the BBC has made the Prom available to listen for a limited time on their BBC iPlayer. The actual Prom starts 2 minutes in, so settle back and get ready to listen to this wonderful over 2 hour program.
In addition, this year’s ‘Doctor Who’ Prom was recorded and will be televised on BBC One in the Fall, but no word yet if BBC America will also be airing the extravaganza or when, but once we find out, we’ll let you know!
After you’ve listened to the ‘Doctor Who Prom’, let us know how much you enjoyed it in the comments below!
Images From the ‘Doctor Who Prom’:
Source: BBC Radio 3