Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular UK Tour 2015 review

Posted on May 31, 2015


Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Sunday 24 May 2015 London

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular Sunday 24 May 2015 London
Picture courtesy of

Last Sunday around 11am I was getting ready to head off to Wembley arena to see the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular UK Tour (#DWSS on twitter). I was very tired at the time and did not feel up to going but by god did I wake up when I got there!

I have been going to Wembley for years to see shows and concerts and suchlike so know the area reasonably well but I was even surprised at the development going on around the area of the Stadium and Arena that includes a large shopping centre and hundreds of flats in high rise buildings that I imagine cost the earth. I even very briefly felt I had lost my way a little because of all the changes so was surprised when I found the Arena where it usually is. The new development is that large it is easy to get a little confused around there. I could not see the conference centre and I think it may have sadly been knocked down to build these homes and shopping centre. Anyway, I digress!

Once we battled through the throng of rowdy football fans who were headed to the Stadium, I instantly felt that I was in another world as I gazed at the stage looking at the instruments all set ready. To the right of the stage stood a copy of the Tardis looking amazing and I felt a thrill of excitement at what was to come.

Kids were dressed as Matt Smith’s regeneration as the Doctor and looked dapper in their suit jackets and bow ties. In fact a women behind me stated that if this is what Doctor Who does for kids then all the better for it and them, a sentiment I agree with wholeheartedly. There were a few adults too who were dressed as their favourite Timelord but it was the kids who brought a smile to my face.

Suddenly the orchestra came on the stage followed by the great Peter Davison, one of my favourite Doctor’s (I was 9 years old when he became the fifth Doctor so he was mine along with Tom Baker) who presented the show. he was warm and welcoming and quite funny cracking jokes about Colin Baker and the recent find of a World War II bomb nearby. He was a perfect host.

As for the music, well, what can I say in only that it blew me and everyone else away. Conducted by Ben Foster, he started off with A Good Man? that introduced the brilliant Peter Capaldi to the world as our favourite time traveller.

Not long after Peter Davison came on the stage and pointed up into the audience near where my friend and I were sitting to show Peter Capaldi himself sitting above and watching the show. The crowd were ecstatic and could not believe he was there. We all hoped that he would be there until the end to do some signing of the programmes.

So the show went on for an hour belting out familiar music from the television show until there was a twenty minute interval. We needed it to give us time to breathe and take it all in from the powerful voice of Elin Manahan Thomas and the beautiful music of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC National Chorus of Wales!

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular picture courtesy of

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular
picture courtesy of

And then there were the monsters who came into the crowd much to the delight of all. The couple in front of me moved away from the aisle into the middle; whether for a better view or to escape any monsters coming up I have no idea? I think it was the man anyway and I joked was it because he was scared of them and he just shuffled by whilst his girlfriend laughed and gave me a cheeky smile.

The second part came and we were thrust into the world of Doctor Who once again and before we knew it it was pretty much over. But wait, the main title music had not been played yet. Peter Davison and Ben Foster joked around for a few minutes until finally it came on and the whole orchestra beat in our being and the hairs stood on arms and the back of our necks as it played; dumdedum dumdedum dumdedum dumdum dumdedum dumdedum dumdedum woohoooo whooohooo….

And then it was over. The two hours were up and it was time to go. I wanted to but a programme for my nephew and I as well as something else so I went to the merchandise shop where I was told by the girl serving me that Peter-somebody-or-other was doing signings downstairs in the forum if we wanted to go down. My nephew would have been happy indeed to get an autograph and would be very proud indeed so we tried to find our way down and staff kindly guided us outside to another entrance only to be told that there was no re-entry much to our confusion and frustration! Suddenly more and more people came to the same entrance only to be told the same thing and then a small child in a wheelchair came with his parents and they too were told no, that they were not allowed re-entry.

As you can imagine there were a lot of fuming and angry people there and I am sure that if Peter Capaldi knew what was going on he would have asked for some of us to be let in for there were not many of us trying to get back in; around twenty I would say? Yes, the queue inside looked long but it did not seem huge and we were gutted that we could not go inside. We tried everything but were rebuffed at every door. I even thought of trying to gain entry using a method learned from Davison’s own Five(ish) Doctors just to meet Peter Capaldi, get a quick photo and stuff signed for my seven year old nephew but decided against it. We went to the exit where it looked like the orchestra and others from the show would come out to their waiting coaches that would take them to Wales that evening but no-one seemed to be coming so in the end we gave up and went home. It would have been perfect to get both Peter Davison and Peter Capaldi’s autographs as well as shake their hands for a job well done and for keeping reality away for a hour or so a week as well as spurring the imagination.

The Foretold Mummy from Mummy on the Orient Express  Picture courtesy of Tom Harris ‏(@MrTCHarris)

The Foretold Mummy from Mummy on the Orient Express
Picture courtesy of Tom Harris ‏(@MrTCHarris)

It was a frustrating and sad end to a brilliant show and some of the staff of Wembley are not in my good books now but the show was brilliant and I recommend anyone who like orchestra, science fiction or just music and theatre to go. It had something for everyone. Go, sit back and enjoy. Just be wary of the staff at the venue who want your money but not to help you.

Host – Peter Davison
Conducter – Ben Foster
Soloist – Elin Manahan Thomas

BBC National Orchestra of Wales
BBC National Chorus of Wales

Act 1:

1: A Good Man?
2: Whereever. Whenever (Anywhere in Time and Space)
3: Doctor’s Theme/Song of Freedom
4: The Companions
5: To Darkness
6: Last Christmas Suite

Act 2:

1: All The Strange Strange Creatures
2: The Impossible Girl
3: 66 Seconds
4: The Pandorica Suite
5: Abigail’s Song
6: Fifty – This is Gallifrey
7: Death In heaven Suite

Posted in: Entertainment, Music