The long awaited Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular has begun its week long tour of the UK in stunning style, with two magnificent shows at the SSE Wembley Arena in London.
The show gives fans a chance to hear the amazing music Murray Gold has written for the series, played live by a full orchestra, and its an experience no fan should miss.
The music is performed brilliantly by the BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales, who have been playing the music on the Doctor Who soundtrack since Christmas 2005, and certainly know their stuff. Their very existence is a tribute to the diversity of the BBC and one which should be celebrated. The orchestra are once more under the sonic baton of Ben Foster, who has orchestrated many of the pieces for the series and who, as well leading the musicians, gets to battle a Dalek on stage.
Peter Davison makes for an affable host, witty and entertaining as he guides the audience through the programme of events. He obviously enjoys the feedback from the live audience as he keeps the show bubbling along. Davison is in a unique position, being not only the fifth Doctor, but the father-in-law of the Tenth, a situation he uses for comic effect.
The music is drawn from the past ten years of the show, with the various suites evoking powerful memories. The show starts with the Twelfth Doctor's theme A Good Man? before recalling the breadth of the series in Wherever, Whenever. The Companions features the themes written for Rose, Martha, Donna and Amy and the first act comes to a stunning climax with Last Christmas.
Part Two kicks off with All the Strange Strange Creatures and The Impossible Girl before 66 Seconds gives the audience a chance to be frightened as a Foretold lurches its way around the arena. The Pandorica Suite is followed by the haunting Abigail's Song from A Christmas Carol which gives soloist Elin Manahan Thomas a chance to shine. The show concludes with This is Gallifrey from The Day of the Doctor and the Death in Heaven Suite.
Of course, there is an encore, and it really is a case of saving the best until last when one of the most evocative, most moving pieces Gold has written for the series, Vale Decem, gets a well deserved outing, complete with images from the entire history of the show.
The tingles really do flow down the spine at the climax of the show, when Foster leads the orchestra, conducting that iconic theme tune, first heard in 1963, and never sounding better than when played by a talented orchestra, in front of an arena full of adoring fans.
The show continues at Wembley on Sunday, with performances following throughout the week in Cardiff, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle andGlasgow. Ticket information is on the BBC Events Website.