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TV Review: The Doctor Who Prom, BBC One, New Year’s Day, 1.50pm

By ShinyMedia on January 1st, 2009 3 comments

doctor_rose3.jpgMurray Gold’s music for Doctor Who often gets a bit of a critical bashing, whether for being too intrusive, too overly-dramatic or too derivative. This summer, though, the BBC and it’s Philharmonic Orchestra threw its weight behind him by dedicating a whole Proms performance to his work – and judging by the cut-down version broadcast this afternoon, they had every right.

The night, it has to be said, looks like it was a real hoot. Presented by Freema Agyeman, the show was made into an event thanks to the inclusion of Cybermen, Daleks, Davros, and Sontarans all being brought into the Royal Albert Hall auditorium and interacting with the kids, most of whom looked completely awestruck to the point of genuine terror. Good stuff.

There was also a cleverly done pre-recorded mini-episode with David Tennant, called Music Of The Spheres, in which he passed music he’d written through a portal in the Tardis into the auditorium for the orchestra to play. Catherine Tate and Murray Gold himself also made appearances, but in the end, it truly was the music itself which was the star of the show.

I’ve no doubt that it’s the association we make with certain scenes that made the renditions of the likes of Rose’s Theme, Doomsday, This Is Gallifrey and The Doctor Forever so affecting, but it can’t all be down to that – those themes are also genuinely haunting in and of themselves. Combine that with screens showing some of the best scenes from New Who – Rose using the power of the Tardis in Parting Of The Ways, her separation from and eventual reunion with the Doctor, the Master’s regeneration, and so on – and you’ve got a hugely powerful performance.

It was a joy to watch it on the TV, so I can only imagine that it was magical to be there on the night itself.

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  • DS

    Nice review, but not enough credit goes to the performers/orchestra.

  • scardis

    Nice review with just one error. The Doctor Who prom was a Lunchtime performance, not a night show. I was listening in when the event was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

  • annalowman

    I had a feeling that may be the case actually, thanks scardis. And yes DS, huge kudos must go to the talented performers.

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