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Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks

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REVIEW: Doctor Who Prom, Royal Albert Hall ????? .....

Who would have thought back in 1963 that a Saturday teatime children's adventure series would still be going today? Over 50 years Doctor Who has become a much-loved British institution. And for its anniversary year, it has returned to the Royal Albert Hall for a Doctor Who-themed Prom.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales played music from throughout Doctor Who's long history, from Sixties and Seventies electronica, through to the sweeping orchestral scores composed by Murray Gold for the show today. Conductor Ben Foster was provided with a sonic baton by The Doctor for the occasion.

We were also treated to classical pieces used in the series such as Carmen (featured in Asylum of the Daleks) and Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach. All this as monsters such as the Cybermen, Daleks and Weeping Angels stalked among the audience.

The Doctor himself, Matt Smith (with an incongruously short haircut) and latest companion Jenna Louise Coleman were on hand to present, with lizard-woman Madame Vastra, and Sontaran clone warrior Strax also providing some amusing linking material. There were also surprise appearances by Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor, and Carole Anne Ford, the very first companion.

Another special guest was composer Dudley Simpson, the show's most prolific composer, who was in the audience. The orchestra also played pieces composed by the winners of a 'Create a Soundtrack' competition, showcasing some great young talent.

It wasn't without the occasional misfire. New composition 'Song for Fifty', although heartfelt as a 'love letter to the show' was a bit of a lame Dalek. A muddle of styles and sentimentality, it made the mistake of taking Doctor Who rather too seriously and missed the show's self-deprecating charm.

If you're a fan of the show, this was a delight. With the Albert Hall packed with fans, the affection for The Doctor and his adventures was obvious, whooping and cheering whenever favourite Doctors, monsters and companions appeared.

This Prom was a strange mix of the sublime, heart-warming and ridiculous - and overall was rather delightful, much like Doctor Who itself.

The Doctor Who Prom was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and is available on iPlayer for seven days. It will be broadcast on television later in the year.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Woodbridge, Caleb (2013-07-15). Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks. Western Mail p. 33.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Woodbridge, Caleb. "Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks." Western Mail [add city] 2013-07-15, 33. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Woodbridge, Caleb. "Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks." Western Mail, edition, sec., 2013-07-15
  • Turabian: Woodbridge, Caleb. "Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks." Western Mail, 2013-07-15, section, 33 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks | url=,_Doctors_and_the_Daleks | work=Western Mail | pages=33 | date=2013-07-15 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 February 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Lots of pomp, Doctors and the Daleks | url=,_Doctors_and_the_Daleks | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 February 2024}}</ref>