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Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps

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Doctor Who music arranger and conductor Ben Foster has taken up a sonic baton against the Daleks in Wellington today, writes Chris Gardner.

THE DETAILS Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, TSB Bank Arena, today at 2pm and 6.30pm.

BEN FOSTER has a plan to defeat the impending Dalek invasion of New Zealand.

The Bafta-winning British composer, who has arranged and conducted composer Murray Gold's Doctor Who scores since the show returned in 2005, is in the capital today with a special Dalek-defeating weapon. "I have my very own sonic baton ... It was given to me by the Doctor to defend the orchestra against the potential invasion of Daleks, which seems to happen pretty regularly at these concerts," Foster says.

The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, opened last night at the TSB Bank Arena and ends with two more concerts today. The BBC's third Doctor Who at the Proms event filled London's Royal Albert Hall with music and monsters from the show, which turned 50 on November 23.

"I have been custodian of the sonic baton ever since," Foster boasts. "I will have it in my hand until my dying day. It's a little dangerous, sometimes you can take a few cellos out with it.

"If you're sitting on the ends of rows, you might want to keep your hands in. There are a lot of unwelcome visitors in the TSB Arena.

"When you see a Doctor Who monster face-to-face it's a fairly serious, exciting and slightly scary prospect. It's incredible that we are allowed to bring them out and play with them, they are iconic and probably pretty valuable. We have also got some amazing new pieces, surprise pieces I think is the best way to describe it, featuring some Doctor Who favourites," Foster says.

He, Gold and producer Paul Bullock choose what makes the show. "We sit down and go through what we had in the past which worked. Things like Vale Decem, the farewell to [10th Doctor] David Tennant, things like Gallifrey, which is a big anthem that Murray wrote way back in Series 3. Those pieces are kind of evergreen and they stick around."

New material includes music from The Rings of Akhaten, the musical episode penned by Wellingtonian Neil Cross, which quickly became a fan favourite.

Series 8, with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, is in production and Foster signalled a possible change in musical tone. "Murray hasn't written anything yet, at least I haven't heard anything's written," Foster says. "Whether or not we go for the bagpipes orchestra to reflect Peter's Scottish history, it remains to be seen. There was a change in tone when Matt arrived and the music became a little leaner, a little darker, a little less exuberant, I guess in a way to mirror his personality ... so inevitably there will be a reflection of how Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat decide to play the, gosh, the 12th - I have not said that before - the 12th Doctor."

Foster hopes this weekend's events and future Doctor Who symphonies pull in all ages. "We saw an opportunity to involve kids in orchestral presentation and honestly, at the heart of it, I still feel that that's a very important spot to pick educationally. This orchestral music is something that should be taken seriously and something that hopefully will inspire kids to get involved in music." Fairfax NZ


Music for mechanicals: Look out for Daleks among the audience at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular in Wellington today.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Gardner, Chris (2014-02-22). Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps. The Dominion Post p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Gardner, Chris. "Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps." The Dominion Post [add city] 2014-02-22, 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Gardner, Chris. "Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps." The Dominion Post, edition, sec., 2014-02-22
  • Turabian: Gardner, Chris. "Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps." The Dominion Post, 2014-02-22, section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps | url= | work=The Dominion Post | pages=12 | date=2014-02-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 May 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Face-To-Face With Doctor Who Creeps | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=29 May 2024}}</ref>