Doctor Who at the Proms

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Doctor Who at the Proms was a series of concerts held in the Royal Albert Hall in London, as part of the annual BBC Proms concert series. The concerts, dating back to 1895, focused primarily on classical music.

The Doctor Who events featured music from the revived series, composed by Murray Gold, as well as some classical pieces. For the 2013 prom, a suite of music was included from the 1963 version of the show. To date the Doctor Who Prom has been held in 2008, 2010, and 2013. Each featured original material, and characters from the series.

In November 2023, the televised edits of all three events were added to BBC iPlayer's Whoniverse catalog of Doctor Who content.


Main article: Doctor Who at the Proms (2008)

The first Doctor Who at the Proms was held on 27 July 2008. The event was hosted by Freema Agyeman with a special appearance by Catherine Tate, and featured appearances by several monsters from the series, including a Sontaran, Davros and Cybermen.

A highlight of the event was a 7-minute mini-episode entitled Music of the Spheres. Written by Russell T Davies and featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, the episode broke the fourth wall by having the Doctor directly address the audience and involve them in an adventure. During the mini-episode, the Doctor claims to have been a performer in the first Proms in 1895, playing the tuba.

Tim Phillips also performed a full rendition of "Song for Ten" as part of the concert, which concluded with a performance of the Doctor Who theme. The theme was the only piece of music in the programme from the show not composed by Gold.

Doctor Who at the Proms was originally aired live on BBC Radio. It was also videotaped for later broadcast and DVD release, and aired on the BBC in early 2009. It was later included as a bonus feature on the DVD release of TV: The Next Doctor. In early 2010 it was also included in the Complete 2009 Specials box set, both in DVD and Blu-Ray formats. The home video release differs from the original broadcast; among other changes, Phillips' performance is not included, and a surprise appearance by Delia Derbyshire's original 1963 arrangement of the Doctor Who theme at the end of Music of the Spheres was likewise removed, along with the opening credits for the mini-episode, which used the then-current opening sequence.

The BBC announced the Proms concert at a press event on 9 April 2008, during which noted violinist Nigel Kennedy, promoting his own appearance at the Proms, played a radically rearranged rendition of the Doctor Who theme.[1] This event led to speculation that Kennedy would perform at the Proms show itself, but this did not occur.


Main article: Doctor Who at the Proms (2010)

A second Doctor Who at the Proms concert, again featuring the music of Murray Gold, was performed twice, on 24 and 25 July 2010. Each aired live on BBC Radio 3 and was later broadcast on BBC Three television. Karen Gillan hosted both the shows with special appearances by Arthur Darvill and Matt Smith.

As with the 2008 concert, music from the revival series was featured, primarily from Series 5, although a few pieces from earlier seasons were included. Several non-Gold classical pieces were also performed, as well as the 2010 arrangement of the Doctor Who Theme (unlike the 2008 concert, the 2010 event featured the current version of the theme rather than another arrangement).

Just as with the 2008 Doctor Who at the Proms, there was a special untitled mini-episode performed, featuring Matt Smith. Starting out in the same manner as Music of the Spheres, the story featured Matt Smith, in character as the Eleventh Doctor, performing in the Royal Albert Hall itself in front of the audience. Just as with Music of the Spheres, it broke the fourth wall to include audience participation.

Clips from Doctor Who at the Proms were used in the trailer for Doctor Who: The Monsters Are Coming!


Main article: Doctor Who at the Proms (2013)

A third Doctor Who Prom concert was performed on 13 and 14 July 2013, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. The first performance aired live on BBC Radio 3. Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman hosted both the shows with special appearances by Neve McIntosh (in character as Madame Vastra), Dan Starkey (in character as Strax), Peter Davison, the Daleks and Carole Ann Ford.

As with both previous concerts, music from the revival series was featured, primarily from series 7, although a few pieces from earlier seasons were included. A suite of music from the classic series was also performed, including the regeneration of the Fourth Doctor. Several non-Gold classical pieces that had appeared in part in the series were also performed, and the 2012 arrangement of the Doctor Who theme was performed again.

The 13 July performance was the world première of Murray Gold's celebration of Doctor Who for its fiftieth anniversary, "Song for Fifty".