WhovianNet Review: Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

May 31st, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

WhovianNet attended the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Birmingham this week. Here is our review of what was the musical extravaganza to end them all…

The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular made its long awaited UK debut this week after receiving critical and fan acclaim in Australia and New Zealand. As soon as the show begins you can’t help but wonder why it’s taken so long to reach the Doctor’s home turf, but fans can rest assured that it’s definitely been worth the wait. And then some!

Doctor Who devotees haven’t exactly been stuck for choice when it comes to stage extravaganzas celebrating the music and monsters of TV’s favourite Time Lord. Fans young and old have descended on the Royal Albert Hall year after year for the praised Doctor Who Proms and in 2010 a menagerie of the show’s iconic adversaries hit the road for Doctor Who Live: The Monsters Are Coming.

The Symphonic Spectacular, though, is something new. Although it follows the now familiar format of the show’s soundtrack being accompanied by video montages of the Doctor’s most memorable moments (while a host of aliens invade the audience, naturally!), this is solely a celebration of Murray Gold’s music and it doesn’t get much better than hearing his mesmerising melodies being performed by a live orchestra in all their glory.

Murray’s music really is the beating heart(s) of this show. Audience members are taken on a thrilling journey through time and space as they’re reminded just how much of an impact his compositions have had on the series since its return to our screens in 2005. His scores add another dimension to our hero’s ongoing extra terrestrial escapades and it wouldn’t be the Doctor Who we all know and love without them.

The only problem is, there just isn’t enough of it! As always whenever the Doctor is concerned, time flies when you’re having fun and it feels like it’s over before it’s even begun. With over 10 years of beloved music on Murray’s reputable résumé, it was always going to be hard to narrow it down into a limited two hour performance. The final running order perfectly channels the power of his music, though, with a focus on the Twelfth Doctor’s recent adventures  - through electrifying tracks such as A Good Man? and Death in Heaven Suite - with a handful of blasts from the past for the older generation to enjoy, too (most notably Fifty – This is Gallifrey and the anthemic Vale Decem).

The biggest blast from the past of them all is, of course, the magnificent Peter Davison, who hosts the proceedings with the usual wit and charm that fans have come to expect from the real life alter ego of their hero’s fifth incarnation. All in all, the Symphonic Spectacular is a love letter to fans and the audience appreciation for the Doctor is tangible, as it is on stage from those bringing the show to life. The atmosphere in the arena was electric and, as it reached its breathtaking climax with a rendition of the universally adored theme tune, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Congratulations to Murray Gold, Ben Foster, Peter Davison, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, soloist Elin Manahan Thomas and everyone else who was involved in the production of the Symphonic Spectacular. Its next stop is New York in October, and it’s safe to say that US fans really are in for a treat!

Did you go to a Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular this week? Share your reviews below…

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