The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

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Friday 29th May 2015: the final night of the UK leg of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular tour is staged at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

The evening began with Am I Good Man? (the Twelfth Doctor’s theme) played over clips of the Twelfth Doctor alone in the TARDIS: at the controls, at his desk, or scribbling away on the blackboard. It helps build the idea he spends much of his time travelling solo, occasionally calling on Clara when he has something to share or needs her help. This other life is glimpsed in Into the Dalek and Listen, then when she phones him for assistance in Dark Water.

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The first dialogue played from the TV show was one of the defining scenes from series eight: the Flatline finale where the Doctor addresses the two-dimensional aliens from within the TARDIS. In the story his voice is amplified out into the train tunnel, and his words echoing across the arena to the accompaniment of the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales was the first of many moments to raise the hairs on the back of the neck. There followed a compilation of clips showing this Doctor in action and gaining the upper hand, reminiscent of the ‘the Doctor in Charge’ segment on the 1992 documentary Resistance is Useless.

Peter Davison proved a perfect host for the occasion, punctuating the musical scores with wit and charm. He had some entertaining back-and-forth with conductor Ben Foster, and read out text messages from his fellow Doctors, or at least the heightened versions of them drawn from his The Five(isn) Doctors Reboot. 

The second half takes things up a notch with All the Strange, Strange Creatures, as a cavalcade of aliens were on hand to stalk among the audience and terrify small children; their ranks swelled probably most creepily by the Foretold from Mummy on the Orient ExpressHis shuffling gait completely authentic as he bore down on an unsuspecting member of the audience.

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Particularly effective was the music from Tenth Doctor swan song The End of Time played over regeneration clips. Not the usual montage of regenerations that we’re used to seeing, in order from The Tenth Planet to the most recent; but cutting between all over them, the music building as each Doctor approaches the moment of change. Then, with the music reaching a crescendo, seeing all the regenerations in quick succession.

The show ends with the latest version of the theme tune. Not a favourite arrangement when watching on television, it’s a different experience hearing it performed by what Davison calls ‘the Doctor Who house band’. It sounds amazing. The large screens showed the various logos appearing during every iteration of the opening titles, and the faces of each of the Doctors. A suitably rousing end to a great night of entertainment.

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Order the Doctor Who Series 8 soundtrack from Amazon:

Doctor Who – Series 8 (Original Television Soundtrack)

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