Dr Who fans unite for symphonic spectacular

MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA: A clip accompanied by music at the wonderful Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington.
MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA: A clip accompanied by music at the wonderful Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington.

Doctor Who fans unite.

There are more of us now than ever before if the turn out at last night's Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular at the TSB Bank Arena in Wellington is any measure.

The venue was almost packed to the rafters with fans of all ages, some dressed as character's from the world's longest running science fiction show which turned 50 last year.

If a picture can tell a thousand words then music transcends them - which is why this review could never do the concert justice. It was just sublime.

Composer Murray Gold, orchestrator and conductor Ben Foster and producer Paul Bullock had take some of the best video clips from the show, edited them together and projected them on a big screen and got the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to play some of Gold's best pieces to it.

It didn't matter one jot that it was not the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, which has played the music for the series since 2005 when it was bought back to the television screen by Russell T Davies.

That is not that long ago, in the broad scheme of things, but the concert was a powerful trip down memory lane in which Foster brought memories back of some of the Doctor's tightest jams as Cybermen, Daleks, Weeping Angels, The Silence and all manner of other alien menaces prowled the auditorium.

The first half of the show was so emotionally packed, the music so overpowering, that the hair on the back of my neck stood up on end. I couldn't keep my eyes dry for the reminders of the companions who have stood by the Doctor's side through thick and thin. 

The audience gasped as Rose Tyler said her farewells to the Doctor at Bad Wolf Bay, and Martha Jones walked out on him because he didn't notice her, and then exhaled a bigger collective sigh of joy when the brilliant Donna Noble appeared on screen as she went gallivanting through time and space with her mate.

It was a tear stained tribute which had the audience's hearts breaking all over again - and surely would have even broken the Doctor's twin hearts.

But this wasn't all about the new version of the show.

The host was fifth Doctor Peter Davison, who made light of his Edwardian cricket garb and linked it back to the Black Caps.

He was a super host, hamming it up with Foster during the interludes.

But the biggest surprise were a couple of special video messages from the fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker, who is now in his 80s.

After turning his back on the show 30 years ago Baker is now back, booming voice and all, and thankful to the fans who have bought Doctor Who back to the public consciousness.

His messages were like that of a favourite uncle, all smiles, glinting eyes, winks and nods.

His appearance in the 50th anniversary special, last year, wasn't a one off after all.

Kiwi mezzo soprano Anna Pierard was the icing on the cake, adding the human element to an already sublime score in places.

It's a shame Wellington based screenwriter Neil Cross wasn't in the audience to appreciate the music from his music centric episode The Rings of Akhatan. He's flat out overseas on his series Crossbones which stars John Malkovich as Blackbeard.

When you see all the best bits spliced together on the big screen you realise just what a mad, wonderful, innocent, fun, silly, deep show Doctor Who has become.

Tickets are still available for a matinee this afternoon and tonight's closing show.

Fairfax Media