Doc­tor Who Sym­phonic Spec­tac­u­lar

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25 May 2015, Mo­tor­point Arena, Cardiff

One hardly needs re­mind­ing that Cardiff ’s now the home of Doc­tor Who, but it cer­tainly un­der­lines the point when you find your­self sit­ting three yards from Mur­ray Gold as he hap­pily nods along to his own tunes… The se­ries’ reg­u­lar com­poser since 2005 was just one of hun­dreds present when Who’s latest mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza stopped off in the Welsh cap­i­tal.

Thanks to the suc­cess of the Doc­tor Who Proms, Who­vians are fa­mil­iar with the con­cept of the BBC Na­tional Or­ches­tra Of Wales per­form­ing Gold’s scores live, but this long- over­due tour­ing show made the ex­pe­ri­ence ac­ces­si­ble to fans as far north as New­cas­tle and Glas­gow.

Over the course of sev­eral hours in Cardiff, it both re­vis­ited themes that can now be con­sid­ered clas­sics ( like the ac­com­pa­ni­ment to Rose and the Tenth Doc­tor’s blub- in­duc­ing Bad Wolf Bay bye- byes) and gave a first public air­ing to se­ries eight cues ( like a suite of mu­sic from “Death In Heaven”), re­mind­ing all present that Gold’s com­po­si­tions – by turns stir­ring, haunting and mar­tial – have been a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the show’s suc­cess.

Although the fo­cus was on mu­sic from the re­vived se­ries, there was still ac­knowl­edg­ment of the show’s history, with, for ex­am­ple, clips of all the Doc­tors in a re­gen­er­a­tion mon­tage, and the pres­ence of Peter Dav­i­son – who even whipped out his orig­i­nal Fifth Doc­tor coat for the fi­nale. Act­ing as com­pere, Dav­i­son ab­so­lutely smashed it; he’s got a wry sense of hu­mour, and his ban­ter with con­duc­tor Ben Foster and sly digs at suc­ces­sor Colin Baker added an ex­tra di­men­sion to the evening – as did ap­pear­ances by a host of Who mon­sters, with the likes of Cy­ber­men and the Fore­told stalk­ing the aisles.

If we have one com­plaint it’s that oc­ca­sion­ally the mu­sic was not al­lowed to speak for it­self, with over­laid di­a­logue some­times an un­wel­come dis­trac­tion; no mat­ter how good a speech is, you come to a con­cert like this to ap­pre­ci­ate the mu­sic, not the words. But that’s a petty grouse. Hope­fully the Sym­phonic Spec­tac­u­lar will now be­come a reg­u­lar fix­ture. If it comes to a town near you, don’t miss it. http:// bit. ly/ WhoSpec­tac­u­lar

Cy­ber­men po­si­tioned and ready to kill ev­ery­one, and the or­ches­tra kept play­ing. That’s pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Peter Ca­paldi is watch­ing you… Ex­ter­mi­nate! An­ni­hi­late! De­stroy! Ben Foster con­ducts or­ches­tra and the


Are you my mummy?

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