BBC Proms: Doctor Who, Royal Albert Hall, London

Reviewed,Clemency Burton-Hill
Tuesday 27 July 2010 00:00

While the queues for Sunday morning's Doctor Who Prom snaked, as usual, past the Royal Albert Hall, once inside it was clear that this was no ordinary Prom audience. There were tweed jackets and velvet bowties galore, and the arena was filled with children clutching cardboard cut-outs of Daleks and pointing at the Tardis, which had somehow landed on stage next to the old bust of Henry Wood.

Then again, this was no ordinary Prom. Presented by the fabulous Karen Gillan (who plays Amy Pond), and Matt Smith, whose thrilling entrance as the Doctor caused wild excitement in the hall, the concert featured the music of the show's resident composer, Murray Gold, alongside time- and space-themed classical pieces, including Gustav Holst's "Mars" from The Planets and John Adams's Short Ride in a Fast Machine.

No doubt some purists will feel that composers such as Wagner should be honoured in a six-hour Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as per the previous weekend, rather than with a rambunctious "Ride of the Valkyries" performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (on cracking form under conductors Ben Foster and Grant Llewellyn) as they dodged the streams of Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians and Judoons that infiltrated the hall. But that would be to miss the point.

The Proms are a magnificent musical party to which everyone is invited; these two concerts were among the fastest-selling concerts in the festival's history – including the previous weekend's Prom with opera singer Plácido Domingo. "It's all part of the same thing," Proms director Roger Wright explained after the Daleks had finally left the building. 'Domingo, Doctor Who... It's about taking people on a musical journey, at the very highest level, the like of which they have never experienced before."

The Doctor Who Prom will be broadcast on BBC3 later in the season

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