I have held back on saying anything about the new Doctor Who. Not the man himself; I reckon Peter Capaldi will do as well as most of the others. And Clara remains Clara, whatever we think of her. But I’ve not been 100% sold on the first couple of episodes. OK if you want to watch something, but not stirring stuff.
Not that Doctor Who has to be all that special. It’s only a television programme, after all. But occasionally they start off with a gem, getting viewers excited, before it fizzles out. This time it took three tries before they got anywhere at all, but looking at social media I see most people found last night not terribly good.
Oh, well. We can’t all be the same.
Which brings me to the serendipitous moment we finished with the Doctor and ended up with Last Night of the Proms, Glasgow version. We joined just as Katherine Jenkins sang about a union, before going on to sing it was time to say goodbye. Both excellent songs. Neither of them on the programme by mistake, I imagine.
Ever the turncoat, I stayed on for the second half from Albert Hall, although reading a book at the same time, so as not to pay too much attention to south of the border. I do actually like those ‘contentious’ pieces of music, traditionally played at the end. Not because of what they supposedly stand for. They just sound good.
You can hijack anything for any purpose. I first heard Land of Hope and Glory on a television programme about the Empire, many years ago. I loved it. I had no idea what it stood for, and thought it was something they had arranged for the programme. I think that’s the thing about coming fresh to stuff. You have none of the emotional baggage people who were born to it do.
So I like Elgar, and not for any empire or union or political party or anything else. Nor do I believe Holst would have wanted to support the Yes campaign, but I see no reason not to use his music. It’s a wonderful piece, and the ‘coincidence’ was quite amusing.
As was Sakari Oramo as conductor. I thought this supposedly silent Finn would never stop talking! But his outfit was nice. And so was his smile at the end, as he watched his audience sing Auld Lang Syne.
Besides, Doctor Who is Scottish. And he’s not the first one, either.