<GEEK ALERT! NON-DR WHO FANS NEED NOT READ THIS POST. Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, but my camera was not up to the conditions. You’ll get some idea, though, of what it was like.>
Those three words in the heading are my mini-review of the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, this afternoon at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
But that was the worst thing about it. It was great fun to see many of the monsters that the good Doctor has fought, even if they were too often in the dark (the lighting seemed a bit haphazard when showing the roving creatures) and too far way, on the other side of the theatre.
Actor Mark Sheppard (who played Canton Delaware III in Dr Who and Badger in Firefly) hosted. I’m used to hearing him with an American accent, but he’s a Brit who has made a solid career as a sci-fi actor in the US.
I loved hearing the music live (composer Murray Gold and conductor Ben Foster came all the way from the UK), played by the Melbourne Symphonic Orchestra and featuring the music mainly from new series 6 (Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, with a bit of 10th Doctor David Tennant thrown in). There was a bit of a hiccup when Ben seemed to miss the cue to play, so they had to stop the video (on a couple of large video screens showing edited scenes from the show). He apologised and we waited in silence for the music to re-start. Suddenly there was the sound of a sonic screwdriver – from the audience! Then at least 50 sonic screwdrivers glowed in the dark and whirred. Aficionados will know that the Doctor whips out his sonic screw driver to fix almost anything (it’s sometimes a too-convenient get-out-of-trouble tool). They must have worked, as we were soon back in business.
Like many Australians, I’ve been watching the show since 1964 (but I missed Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy in the role while travelling overseas) so appreciate the “classic” series as well as the new which started in 2005.
You can see another attendee’s photos here. UPDATE: Of course there’s now a zillion videos on YouTube, too.
There were a lot of families with young kids, and many unfamilied “fans”. I thought more fans would dress up more fully, even though there were many bowties and red fezzes among both men and women, and many TARDIS or Doctor Who T-shirts (I didn’t wear my Cardiff Weevil Retrieval Team T-shirt, so I shouldn’t complain). This fellow, from Newcastle, north of Sydney (some attendees came from as far away as Singapore), went to a lot of trouble …
Towards the end, the video screens showed brief regeneration scenes of all of the Doctors and the audience clapped for their favourites. The David Tennant fangirls (and -boys) screamed the loudest, followed by the Matt Smith-ers.
It was huge amounts of fun to attend, and I hope they do it again sometime. Both concerts sold out, so the organisers will know they have supporters. Who-hoo!