Saturday 28 December 2013

BBC Proms: Dr Who Prom broadcast Xmas Day 2013

I was so looking forward to watching the BBC Dr Who Prom on Christmas Day. The snatches of music I'd heard from it on the radio earlier in the year had whetted my appetite and, although it had been broadcast in full of the radio, I wanted to see the TV version with all of the characters from the Dr Who series included. Daleks and Cybermen are not nearly as scary on the radio!

Oh how disappointed I was by it!  If I were to sum it up in one sentence, that would be, "Too much Matt and Jenna." 

Apart from the 8 minute tribute to the classic Dr Who era, with the inclusion of the superb Radiophonic Workshop sounds and the presence of Mark Ayres and Peter Howell (two of the composers from the classic series era), and a section of Dudley Simpson's score for Tom Baker's 1979 adventure, The City of Death,  most of the music seemed to focus on the Matt Smith period of the Doctor. What of the haunting Abigail's Song, superbly performed in the 2010 Christmas Special by Katherine Jenkins? Where was the Doomsday Theme from the parting of the Doctor and his companion, Rose Tyler? 

On the big screens flashed scenes from various episodes over the years, but there was no mention of several of the Doctors: the second Doctor - Patrick Troughton; the dark Doctor who resurrected the series - Christopher Eccleston; and the wonderfully humorous David Tennant were all noticeable by their absence from clips and script, whilst Tom Baker, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann all had but a token acknowledgement.

Also noticeable by their absence were many of the companions, and although it was lovely to see Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford) introduce one piece, where were Rose Tyler (Billie Piper),  Jo Grant (Katy Manning),  Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)?  I spotted Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and River Song (Alex Kingston) in one clip each, but they were such big parts of the Dr Who story surely they should have been seen more?  And what about Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) who appeared in the 2005 series and went onto star in the spin-off series Torchwood?

In addition to the doctors and companions already mentioned, I missed K9 too!

A BBC Prom to celebrate 50 years of the iconic Dr Who series was a great idea which could have been realised in a much better way, by not focusing on Matt and Jenna, but on covering the whole history of the Doctor and his companions!

Saturday 14 December 2013

"Do you know what..." it drives me bonkers!

"Do you know what..." 

It seems to be the phrase of the year. Having replaced the ubiquitous "you know" which, for years past, fell from the lips of interviewers and interviewees alike on both radio and television, the new buzz phrase that I hear everywhere is, "Do you know what..." before the person speaking says what they want to say.

"Why?" I wonder, do people feel the need to prefix everything with such a buzz phrase... is it a verbal clearing of the throat?  Is it a nerve-suppressing prefix to speech? Is it just trendy and hip and what all the beautiful people are saying now?

Whatever the reason for this mindless phrase, it is driving me to distraction. I first heard it on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two, where every comment seems to be prefixed by this inanity. Today I heard it on <gasp of horror> BBC Radio 4, that bastion of intellectualism and sensibility!

I suppose I should rejoice in the demise of "you know", which was amazingly irritating, but I regret that it has been replaced by another, equally irritating buzz phrase. Can people not just speak, without presaging their oratory with unnecessary twaddle?!