Archive for ‘Reviews’
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…

May 18th, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The official Doctor Who Series 8 soundtrack has been released today (Monday).

Although it goes without saying, Murray Gold delivered yet another spectacular array of musical scores to accompany the long awaited arrival of Peter Capaldi as our titular Time Lord. The soundtrack catapulted the Twelfth Doctor’s first string of adventures into new levels of cinematic scale and his new theme in particular, A Good Man?, helped to set the tone for his era by establishing him as an honourable hero that’s not to be reckoned with. Just look at those eyebrows go!

The brand new soundtrack compiles the highlights – and then some – as it takes listeners on a thrilling journey through each episode, from the Victorian backdrop of Deep Breath to the festive wonderment of Last Christmas. Along the way, fans will recount their visit to Sherwood forest and their heart-stopping encounter with the Mummy on the Orient Express, while the atmospheric tones of Time Heist will set pulses racing all over again.

A special mention to the Doctor Who theme, complete with a mesmerising middle eight, but it all builds up to the climactic series finale, Dark Water/Deep Breath, which was made even more so by Murray’s music. It makes you laugh, cry and send you screaming behind the sofa (usually all at once!), and Doctor Who fans wouldn’t want it any other way.

May 15th, 2015
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

WhovianNet was recently invited to attend a special screening of CAPTCHA, a new indie short film starring Doctor Who’s very own Arthur Darvill. Here is our review.

“Do you believe in destiny…?”

Arthur Darvill is no stranger to weird and wonderful worlds and it’s safe to say that his exhilarating experiences aboard the TARDIS put him in good stead to take on his latest role in this new short film.

Well, we say ‘latest’. It’s actually taken 3 years for CAPTCHA to see the light of day (that’s the short film industry for you!), but fans of fantasy noir, and sci-fi in general, can rest assured that it’s definitely worth the wait.

The indie thriller stars the Rory Williams actor as Mel, an otherwise carefree character whose entire world is turned upside down – and then some – when he encounters an alluring assassin in the form of Katya, as played with copious amounts of glamorous gusto by Amy Beth Hayes (who eagle eyed Doctor Who fans will recognise as one of the Albino Servants from The Stolen Earth).

Although Darvill himself has noted that he has an ever growing track record of playing “nervous men”, his portrayal of this unassuming government scientist couldn’t be further away from his three year tenure as Rory the Roman if he tried. Or rather, if he were to be unknowingly spiked with a love implant. Which, by the way, he is.

Thus sets the precedent for a whirlwind of captivating chaos and confusion and it’s yet another endearing performance for the actor to add to his already reputable résumé. While the film itself only clocks in at 15 minutes, that’s all Arthur needs to affirm himself as his latest on screen alias and the depth of his characterisation serves to not only establish the mindset of his amicable alter ego, but the wider picture of the dystopian world in which he resides.

The cinematic scope of that world is brought to life by The Mill who have created an immersive VFX backdrop which puts you slap bang in the middle of the sentient 1940s steampunk society. The tangible London landscape is worlds away from the real thing but it’s still recognisable enough to feel disconcertingly familiar – a true testament to their hard work and efforts to bring the scale of the ambitious story to life. The spectacular soundtrack helps, too!

Written by Ed Tracey and Justin Trefgarne, CAPTCHA is an admirable advocate for short filmmaking which should encourage any aspiring creatives to pursue their own projects with the help of a talented team who are just as passionate about the final product. With an intriguing premise and an established ensemble of original characters, the film even comes with a dramatic motorbike chase sequence (it wouldn’t have been complete without one!) and it will leave you with an overriding sense that there’s still so much to explore.

Luckily, a feature-length film is in the early stages of development so it’ll be exciting to see what the future holds. In the meantime, Doctor Who fans should also keep an eye – or ear – out for the voice of Zoë Wanamaker who puppeteers the proceedings as the menacing Rosa, as well as Kayvan Novak (Handles in The Time of the Doctor). Definitely worth checking out as it sets out to explore the age old question, “Could love be used as a weapon?”. Something tells us Mel would say “yes”!

CAPTCHA is available to purchase globally on We Are Colony alongside a host of behind the scenes content including exclusive interviews and documentaries.

September 9th, 2013
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

A brand new series means a brand new array of music from score supremo Murray Gold – and it doesn’t disappoint!

In keeping with Series 7’s “blockbuster” motif, Gold’s music in our hero’s latest adventures effortlessly compliments and emphasises all the drama and emotions on screen. From the dark shadows of the Daleks’ Asylum to the rooftop of a New York sky scraper, these cinematic and memorable melodies continue to add a new level of sophistication to the series and its ever increasing quality and scale.

Particular stand out tracks on the album include Oswin Oswald which made its debut with Jenna Coleman in Asylum of the Daleks, Together Or Not At All: The Song of Amy and Rory, the ominous track – performed by Halia Meguid – which played over Amy and Rory’s tear-jerking sacrifice in The Angels Take Manhattan and The Long Song, the inspirational song that accompanied the Doctor’s speech in The Rings of Akhaten. And if you’re ever in the mood for a fairytale, we recommend you listen to Clara?, which will bring back fond memories of the impossible girl looking for the TARDIS in the snow…

Overall the Series 7 soundtrack, released by Silva Screen Records, is another classic for the collection which affirms Murray Gold’s status as one of the best TV composers today.

WhovianNet’s Rating: ****

Find out more about the soundtrack HERE and buy it from Amazon HERE.

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

April 23rd, 2013

The BBC’s replica of the Fourth Doctor’s scarf is on sale now and the company behind it Lovarzi have kindly sent us one to review!

The first thing to say about this scarf is its striking likeness to the original – as worn by Tom Baker throughout his Time Lord era the multi-coloured accessory has arguably become as iconic as the TARDIS and Daleks. It’s surprising it’s taken so long for this official replica to surface, but when better to bring it to fruition than in the show’s 50th year?

If you’re eager to expand your merchandise collections whilst celebrating the Doctors of time gone by then this scarf should definitely be added to your ever growing caboodle of timey wimey goodies. At 13ft (3.9 metres) in length it’s definitely value for money as the piece of the Fourth Doctor’s attire makes a welcome addition to any Whovian wardrobe.

Perfect for those cold autumn afternoon walks, your own cosplaying adventures or just to keep as a commemorative collectible, the Fourth Doctor’s replica scarf makes a great gift for any Doctor devotee, ensuring you’ll always have a part of the Doctor with you, everywhere you go! All you need now is a packet of jelly babies to complete the image…

Win a Fourth Doctor scarf: As part of our Fourth Doctor festivities this April, we are giving away one Fourth Doctor scarf. For your chance to win it simply enter the question below. The winner will be contacted on Tuesday 30th April. Best of luck to all entrees!

Sorry, this competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

The scarf is out now (£49.99) from retailers including Forbidden Planet and Amazon.

February 14th, 2011

We’re thrilled to have been sent a preview copy of the official A Christmas Carol soundtrack which will be available to buy and download from next month!

After listening to all of the tracks (and playing Abigail’s Song on a continuous loop…), we’ve reviewed the release and you can find out what we thought of it by clicking here.

Thumbs up from us! You can pre-order your copy on various online retailers, including Amazon, Play and HMV.

January 29th, 2011

Back in December we brought you details of the exciting new range of 2-in-1 Doctor Who novels that will be launching next month.

Ahead of its release, Penguin Books have very kindly sent us a copy of the first book in the series, which features the action–packed stories Death Riders by Justin Richards, and Heart of Stone by Trevor Baxendale. You can read our review of the adventures by clicking here - the book comes highly recommended from us!

December 4th, 2010

Thanks to Aurum Press, we recently recieved a review copy of a new book which is sure to be a welcome edition to the bookshelves of many Doctor Who fans, particularly ones interested in the production aspect of the series.

BBC VFX: The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department does exactly what it says on the tin. Across the 240 pages, the definitive story of the world’s first, largest and longest-running FX department is uncovered with exclusive insights, images and sketches.

Although the department closed its doors in 2003, for almost half a century it was responsible for some of the most iconic images to grace our TV screens, including those seen in Doctor Who, which is naturally featured prominently within the book!

The book has been written by two long-serving members of the department, Mat Irvine, who served as Doctor Who’s Visual Effects Designer in the 1970s, and Mike Tucker, who, as well as having worked on the effects for both the classic and revived series, has written several Doctor Who novels.

They serve up a fascinating and in-depth account of just how the special effects for the classic series – including pyrotechnics, modelwork and explosions – made it to the screen, and there’s also an interesting look at how the effects have been achieved since 2005. As you’ll know, the production techniques have changed somewhat over the years, but you might not realise just how much until you have read these pages!

In a nutshell, BBC VFX is a great opportunity for TV fans to experience the world behind the cameras, and it truly makes you appreciate just how much work goes into creating something as everyday as a Dalek invasion, a Sea Devil and an exploding spaceship!

BBC VFX: The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department is out now, RRP £30.

December 4th, 2010

Back in October, we told you about the two new limited edition 3D Series 5 posters from Radio Times, and, now that Christmas is just around the corner, it’s not too late to get your own!

We’d just like to say a huge thanks to Radio Times, who recently sent us a copy of the TARDIS poster, and we have to say that it’s definitely a gift that would make a Doctor Who fanatic very happy this season! Click here to read the full details and for the printable order form!

November 4th, 2010

As you’ll all probably know by now, next Monday (8th November) will see the release of the long-awaited Series 5 Official Soundtrack!

Thanks to Silva Screen Records, we were given a copy of the 2-disc set to review, and you can find out what we thought of the tracks by clicking here!

You can find out everything else you need to know about the CD here.

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