BBC Proms reviews

Prom 13: Doctor Who Prom @ Royal Albert Hall, London

27 July 2008

An empty auditorium at the Royal Albert Hall

An empty auditorium at the Royal Albert Hall (Photo: Christie Goodwin/Royal Albert Hall)

Unless you’ve been trapped in a parallel universe, you will have heard that this year’s family concert at the BBC Proms was on a Doctor Who theme. The regenerated franchise, which is now one of the corporation’s most successful products, proved an ideal platform for a programme of music and a spectacular display that saw the Royal Albert Hall taken over by Daleks and other extraterrestrials. Our 10 year old reporter was in the thick of it.

The 27th of July was the day of the first ever Doctor Who prom. It was presented by Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) and guest presented by Noel Clarke (Micky Smith) and Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler). Also Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) popped in! The music was conducted by Ben Foster and Stephen Bell. They conducted the wonderful but scary music of Murray Gold.

I thought the music was really good and, with the monsters roaming around, it became quite scary. There were Cybermen roaming free and they walked right in the crowd. The Judoon were scaring everyone! Someone said “look out!” when one was right by me, my brother Fred and my mum, and we were really scared when a Judoon with a helmet on stood right in front of us!

There was a short Doctor Who episode called “Music of the Spheres” with David Tennant (he wasn’t there because he is doing Hamlet). It was about a monster called a Graske that was in the Tardis, who came to warn the Doctor about a time portal, leading to the Royal Albert Hall. Suddenly, the Graske went through it and he was running loose. The Doctor saved us and dropped a piece of music he wrote (“The Music of the Spheres”) through the portal and the BBC Philharmonic played it to us. It sounded like the orchestra warming up!

There was an interval and after it there was a piece of music that brought a Dalek and Davros in! Davros was right behind us, and the Dalek hypnotised the conductor to play the Daleks’ music. It was all fantastic and at the end Tim Phillips sang Murray Gold’s Song for Ten. I thought he could have added performance to it; otherwise, the whole thing was brilliant.

When the BBC Philharmonic played Holst’s The Planets: Jupiter, you could really feel you were in space. My mum said that it exceeded expectations but at the end it should have been John Barrowman singing because he would have livened up Song for Ten. But she still gave it five stars! My brother Fred said that it only gets four stars because “when the monsters came out, I felt as if I was about to have a heart attack!” I give it five stars for the wonderful music and the scary monsters.

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