REVIEW: Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Daleks invade the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular tour.
Daleks invade the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular tour.

The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular is certainly aptly named.

The show was a visual and musical feast for the packed audience of Whovians at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena tonight.

The concert paid a fitting tribute to the hit sci-fi show and its legions of fans were anything but disappointed as the famous monsters stormed the stage while the atmospheric music filled the room.

Made up of the emotive compositions of Murray Gold, that have accompanied the on-screen action for the last 10 years, the show was truly a spectacle of enormous magnitude.

The concert was hosted by Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, who the audience were clearly delighted to see in the flesh.

He was charming and alluring as he joked with the crowd and conductor Ben Foster.

Gold’s score was performed beautifully by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and captured the emotion that was felt when hearing the music for the first time.

Tracks like The Impossible Girl, 66 Seconds and This Is Gallifrey were instantly recognisable from the show and as clips were played on three giant screens, it brought back the powerful emotions that I felt when I originally watched them.

From Rose’s heartbreaking goodbye with Tenth Doctor David Tennant to Clara’s crushing torment over Danny’s death, every moment was as deeply excruciating as I remember, if not more so.

But the show also relived happy and hysterical moments from the show as well as paying tribute to all of the actors who have played the famous time-travelling hero and his companions.

The Doctor Peter Capaldi on the screen while Ben Foster conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC National Chorus of Wales with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and The Ood.

The Doctor Peter Capaldi on the screen while Ben Foster conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC National Chorus of Wales with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas and The Ood.

The powerful music was compelling and overpowering, sending shivers down my spine and causing goose pimples to cover my flesh.

With more than 100 performers on stage as well as the Doctor’s trusty TARDIS, the atmosphere was powerful, compelling and truly spectacular.

About half way through the first act, the Doctor’s most infamous enemy, the Daleks burst out into the audience, demanding that the people of Newcastle obeyed them or be exterminated.

Seeing the aliens approach children in the audience, as they waved enthusiastically one moment and cowered in fear the next, was wonderful.

The show culminated in the theme tune that has been proceeded the show for the last 50 years, and brought everyone to their feet in a thoroughly-deserved standing ovation.

Other monsters, including the Silents, the Jadoon, Cybermen and the Foretold also made appearances, simultaneously terrifying and delighting people in the crowd.

The orchestra played tremendously and the chorus sang beautifully and soloist Elin Manahan Thomas’ vocals were gorgeous, particularly during Abigail’s Song.

The show culminated in the theme tune that has proceeded the show for the last 50 years, and brought everyone to their feet in a thoroughly-deserved standing ovation.

Doctor Who is like no other show that has ever been seen on TV and has a unique cross-generational appeal.

Families were at the Symphonic to celebrate the show together. From new fans to the diehard been-there-from-the-start types, and fresh-faced youngsters to the more mature fan, the show brought together all those who love Doctor Who for an unforgettable evening.

Tonight’s performance really did blow me away. It’s one that will stay with me, and I’m sure the same goes for all those who had the pleasure of being a part of it.

Ben Foster conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC National Chorus of Wales.

Ben Foster conducts the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC National Chorus of Wales.

Twitter: @vickinewmanjp