Dr Who Live: For kids of all ages
There are many ways in which I see myself as basically a large child somehow existing in the adult world, al la Tom Hanks in “Big”. I cannot sit still for a minute, love cartoons, will happily eat a whole box of cocoa pops in one sitting if nobody stops me, my principal hobby is playing video games and I occasionally get so excited talking about something I struggle to catch my breath…. That something is often cocoa pops, a cartoon or a video game.
Another thing I share with kids is an enduring, fanatical love of Dr Who. As a bairn I used to love watching Dr Who; even though during most of the time I remember it in the mid to late 80s they were starting to really mess around with the character, but I used to really love watching the old classic episodes they used to show on Sunday morning on BBC2.
A love of Dr Who is something I also share with my mother; though not to quite the same fanatical degree, she is *nuts* for Dr Who. She owns a Dalek costume (for kids I think, though Mother isn’t particularly tall so it fits her well!), Dalek mask, radio control Dalek, well you get the theme here!
So my kid brother and I decided got get Mumsy dearest a couple of tickets to see Dr Who live in Cardiff (mother lives in Bristol so relatively near!). Luckily for me Mum’s husband does not share in her fanatical devotion to all things Gallifreyan! And thus Mum asked me to come along with her.
Brief warning this review contains some pretty major spoilers, so if you have tickets to one of the remaining shows then probably best to go and read something else!
So you still with me then? Cool!
The first thing I noticed as we were rocking up to the venue was there were a lot of kids there, and there did not appear to be all that many unaccompanied adults, not many at all… I mentioned this to my Mum. She said “I’m here with my child!, what is your excuse?” Hmmm… This impression was more than borne out once we were in the hall. There were lots of kids there, what surprised us was how often though it seemed to take 4-5 adults to accompany 2 children to the show!
So Dr Who live itself the show is basically “Dr Who: The Pantomime” what you had ostensibly was The Magnificent Vorgenson (Nigel Planer) having a kind of Victorian show in which various captured Who baddies were displayed and wondered around. This then manifested itself into a plot to kidnap the Doctor (who wasn’t actually there but had lots of pre-recorded video bits) as the plot thickened as to which Dr Who villain was really behind everything (I am sure you can all take an educated guess as to that one!)
There was lots of shouting (even a “he’s behind you” at one point), booing, and with Dr Who bad guys coming into the audience to scare the kids. There was a live band/electric orchestra for the whole thing and it was frankly marvellous from start to finish.
Nigel Planer was just fabulous in the role of Vorgenson, prancing around the stage in a wonderful OTT extravagant panto role he made everything just seem really good. I really, really hope that Vorgenson features on the tell-o-vision at some point.
It was good to see lots of favourites from the show wondering the aisles scaring the bejesus out of the little kids. The Scarecrows from “The Family of Blood” were really good, a couple of kids (and frankly parents) jumped out of their skin at their sudden movements. I was particularly taken, for some unknowable reason, with the beautiful and buxom Calveirri girls from “The Vampires of Venice”, funny that 😉 !
Onto the stage the Weeping Angles were done especially well, though I did notice that the sequence really did distress some of the younger children around, a number of whom had to be taken out of the Arena by their folks. I must say I was somewhat reticent about blinking myself for the rest of the day…
Of course the “main event” is always going to be the Daleks turning up. And boy they didn’t disappoint. As ever the Daleks are great (mind you I would love them to have the next series of Dr Who off to preserve their threat, possibly this should be the topic of a separate blog post). I wont go into any detail but suffice to say we were bursting with excitement come the end (three words: convincing flying Dalek).
Mother and I were barely able to contain our excitement in telling everyone who would listen, and most of those who wouldn’t, all about it for the best part of the evening.
The reality is if you do not like Dr Who, or Pantomimes, then you are not going to enjoy seeing Dr Who live. If you do they get yerself a ticket because it is frankly amazingly good fun. For kids of all ages!