In the glossy programme, which I don’t buy (at £10) but borrow from a little boy, Doctor Who’s introduction promises “a dangerous and electrifying experience” and urges us to “have fun”. Well which is it, Matt? Danger or fun?
The first half of Doctor Who Live is neither. The premise of this arena-scale take on the TV series is that a character called Vorgenson, (Nigel Planer) an “intergalactic showman,” has captured the most scary monsters from the series and will bring them before us in a fashion-parade of evil, before capturing Doctor Who himself. The presentation of this part is disappointingly amateurish, and with half of the content edited footage from the telly version, a con.
Luckily, the second half delivers a lot more of the stuff me and 10,000 children came for. In spite of the annoying Planer, the monsters, ranging from Judoon to Weeping Angels to Daleks provide some delicious chills. Every time Matt Smith crops up on the giant screen, the mood lifts perceptibly: he is so charismatic, and our hero and friend, we forgive that he’s not really here.
Accompanied by stirring live music, there are enough special effects and action to leave a family audience cheered. The kids near me are certainly gratified. My favourite response is a six year old who points a plastic sonic screwdriver at a roaming Cyberman with the serious face of one who intends to destroy. Like Father Christmas, this show is best if you \"believe\".