Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular, Wembley, London – May 2015

Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular TARDIS

Welcome back and today I am reviewing the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular!

I was given tickets to the Symphonic Spectacular for Christmas (thank you Nanna!) and I have been looking forward to it ever since! The day finally arrived last Sunday and I was a bit nervous wondering what to expect but very excited! The show was nearly cancelled because an unexploded World War 2 bomb was discovered in Wembley – maybe it was the Daleks trying to get at their old enemy Winston Churchill!

Wembley arena

This was the first time I had taken my TARDIS to Wembley so I had a good explore and looked round the outside of Wembley Stadium and visited the Bobby Moore statue. The League One play-offs were being held that afternoon so lots of supporters were arriving too!

SSE Arena

Outside the SSE Arena I saw the Square of Fame where celebrities had put their handprints.  I saw Kylie Minogue’s handprints – Kylie played the waitress Astrid Peth in the Doctor Who Christmas Special  Voyage of the Damned (2007).

Kylie Minogue WEmbley Arena handprints

When I entered the building I saw A LOT of Doctor Who fans – people of all ages were there and many were dressed up. I saw fezzes, bowties, scarves and even a Stetson! I also saw lots of people wearing a TARDIS hoodie just like me! I bought an official tour programme as a souvenir of my special day and so I could learn more about the performance.

Doctor Who Zymphonic Spectacular programme

When I entered the arena I was surprised at how many people were there and I was pleased that my seat was close to the stage near where all the action was! When I was waiting for the music to start I met my old pal, monster actor Jon Davey, who has worked on Doctor Who for 10 years and has appeared in over 30 episodes (to date). Jon was recently seen guarding Missy in Death in Heaven but unfortunately it didn’t quite work – ha ha! It was great to be reunited with Jon again, I first met him at Fleet Air Arm Museum and again at the Timeless Collector’s Fair. Jon has recently been to Australia and New Zealand for the Symphonic Spectacular and is now on the UK Tour. He has been super busy and told us how the bomb scare had cost a lot of time and everyone had to work superhard so that the show could go on!
Jon Davey Doctor Symphonic Spectacular

When the music started I was amazed at how good it was – and how loud! It was the first orchestra performance I had been to. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it but the National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ben Foster, performed the music that Murray Gold has written for Doctor Who. Whilst they were playing monsters were coming out amongst the crowd and clips from Doctor Who were played on the big screen. I loved watching all the scenes from past episodes reminding me of all the Doctor’s incarnations.

The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison, presented the show and made a lot of jokes about his fellow Doctors. Then came a big surprise – he introduced the Secretary of his Fan Club to the crowd, PETER CAPALDI! The Twelfth Doctor himself was waving from the stands – he had come along on his day off to listen to the brilliant Doctor Whosic!

Peter Capaldi at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I cannot choose a favourite performance as they were all fantastic – the orchestra did a really good job! I wasn’t scared of the monsters. I used to be very nervous and scared when I met a Doctor Who monster but now I have met Jon I know everything is ok! Another monster actor was Nick Briggs, voice of the Daleks and Executive Producer of Big Finish.

Cyberman at the Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

The show wrapped up as Ben Foster said he had to dash off and play a snooker match and I was very sad that the show had finished. As soon as we were out of our seats the crew started packing up ready to move the show on to Cardiff! I left via the nearest door and later found out that I had missed another golden opportunity to get Peter Capaldi’s autograph! Peter had stayed behind to meet the fans but I didn’t see him. GUTTED. One day I will get another chance!

On my way back to the TARDIS I did meet creature performer Paul Kasey. Paul is a choreographer and movement director too and has appeared in many episodes of Doctor Who. Fun fact – he is also ‘Foxy’ in the Foxybingo adverts! Paul was very cheerful and friendly and was really pleased when I told him I thought the show was AMAZING!
Paul Casey Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular

I had a great time at the Symphonic Spectacular – I hope it will be on every year! Thanks for reading and I will see you soon for another location report. Did you go to the Symphonic Spectacular? Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought!

In the words of Winston Churchill – K.B.O!

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Pompeii, Italy – April 2015

Pompeii and Vesuvius

Salve!

In this post I am back in Italy and this time I am in Pompeii! In my last adventure I visited Cinecitta, Doctor Who filming location for The Fires of Pompeii (2008) but today I am visiting Pompeii, the actual story location! David Tennant also went to Pompeii for the episode’s Doctor Who Confidential and was amazed by what he saw.

I travelled to Pompeii via train from Rome and had a little stop off at Naples on the way. I then took a train on the Circumvesuviana line and enjoyed looking at the mountains and the Bay of Naples for the short ride.

People believed Pompeii was destroyed in 79AD when Vesuvius erupted, but it was actually buried and now it has been uncovered we can see what life was like in Ancient Pompeii. When I arrived at the excavations of Pompeii I first went in to the Suburban baths which were the public baths for the residents of Pompeii. I prefer a bath at home myself!

In the Fires of Pompeii the Pyrovile want to make earth their new planet and are using Vesuvius to set up a fusion matrix to convert the human race into Pyroviles! They would use energy from Vesuvius which would stop the eruption but the Doctor knows he must let the eruption go ahead or the whole world would become Pyrovile.

Overlooked by Vesuvius

Vesuvius is the first volcano I have seen and it was breathtaking. I felt a little bit unsafe being so close to a volcano but I knew that people monitor it to check when it will erupt. Vesuvius has erupted 30 times since Pompeii’s tragic moment and last erupted in 1944 killing 26 people. With more than 3 million people living around the base of Vesuvius it is considered the most dangerous volcano in the world!

I walked up to the Foro which is just like the Town Centre. This is where the Pompeians came to shop, trade and worship all under the shadow of Vesuvius. This is where Lobus Caecilius (played by Peter Capaldi)  would have sold his marble sculptures and where he bought the TARDIS as a piece of Modern Art!

The Macellum was an indoor fruit and veg market so it would have been like popping to the supermarket for the Pompeians. In a glass case was a plaster cast of a body which was not nice to see. There were many casts to see at Pompeii preserving bodies at the moment of death which made me sad for the real people who were caught in the grip of the eruption.

Pompeii Macellum

After the Foro I walked up the Via di Mercurio to see the houses and I pictured Caecilius and his family living in one of the houses. There was even artwork on the walls which reminded me of Caecilius’ family worshipping their household Gods. On the way back from the houses I enjoyed a mystery flavour Gelato – possibly kumquat – then I explored some more baths! I am very glad that I have a bath in my own house!

Lobus Caecilius Fires of Pompeii

 

Pompeii was BIG! Next I set off right across town to where all the entertainment was held. The Amphitheatre is the oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre and was used for gladiatorial  fights – nowadays it is sometimes used for concerts. I would not want to see a gladiator fight as it is cruel but for the Pompeians it would be entertainment. I think those people were sick! All over Pompeii I kept finding little lizards but in the Amphitheatre I found over 50!

Pompeii amphitheatre

From the amphitheatre I walked past the sports stadium, which was closed off, and made my way to the Teatro. The theatre was where Pompeians would watch performances of comedies and tragedies. I would have liked to have seen some of the comedies but not the tragedies as I prefer laughing to crying.

Pompeii theatre

I spent over 5 hours exploring Pompeii and by the end my body felt like jelly on a plate, I was worn out by exploring in the ridiculously hot heat. I had an amazing day and learnt a lot of things and felt so sad for the people who lost their lives in 79AD. I wish there really had been a Doctor to prevent the eruption but then the world would be in someone else’s hands.

Pompeii

Thank you for reading my post about Pompeii, I hope you have learnt a bit and have enjoyed reading about my adventure. I hope you will join me again another time.

Vale!

Winner announced – Project Indigo 1st Anniversary Competition

Hello everyone –

The prize - A Big Finish Audio Adventure!

now I shall tell you who the lucky winner is of a Doctor Who Limited Special Edition Audio Adventure – The Romance of Crime and The English Way of Death. These stories were written by Gareth Roberts and star Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson.

Thank you to Big Finish for donating this amazing prize! I am still listening to my copy and enjoying it very much.

I asked the question:

What would you like to give to the Doctor as a gift?

I picked the winner at random by numbering the entries and using a Random Number Generator.

Congratulations to the winner, Andrew H!

He said:

A weekend spa break so he can relax after a tough monster run-in.

Big Finish at the beach...

Thank you again to everyone who entered, I enjoyed reading all 91 of your entries and I can see you put a lot of thought into your answers. Please take a look at the comments here if you want to read all the absolutely delightful answers.

Andrew has received his prize and said:

I am absolutely delighted, thank you very much!

I hope you enjoy your prize Andrew!

There will a new post coming up soon – I am going to tell you all about a special Italian location associated with the Doctor.

Goodbye!