The See Me On CBBC tour set a high precedent in Manchester a fortnight ago. With its epic scale, well-structured organisation and a solid team of reps to back it up - how could the BBC Events crew possibly perfect on perfection? Seems they were up to the challenge, though, 'cause if the great Saturday I had at the Thames Festival in London is any indication; the best...just got better!
The weather couldn't have been more ideal, with the sun shining down hard on a cloudless day and the soaring heat bringing crowds to the Thames Festival by their hundreds! This was the See Me on CBBC tour's flagship event, and in recognition of this the Beeb really took everything up a notch!
The CBBC Registration tent was was so in demand for spots on the SJA activity, they needed four members of staff to cater for all the eager fans wishing to take part! Kids queuing up were given the same goody bags that were passed out at the Manchester event, but with one rather squeetastic addition!
They gave away a DVD made specially for the event, containing *faint* The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith two-parter! No logos or anything! T'was like getting the second series boxset two months early, what a fab treat! *dork*
Though, the real squeegasms came when I saw what an amazing job they'd done with the faux Mr Smith set this time around:
The layout, the lighting, the set dressing - the real Mr Smith screensaver as opposed to a budget one? All totally spot-on and as close to the real thing as it could've been! They even ditched the somewhat garish sofa that was sitting in the corner back in Manchester and made it look like a living space people wouldn't mind having in their own homes! Superb job to whoever was incharge of putting that together, I couldn't have been more impressed - or envious! Gah, I wanna visit the attic set at Upper Boat now more than ever. :P
As an aside, I kinda noticed this object that wasn't in the faux-attic set in Manchester, nor is it something I recall seeing on the show before. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks it may be a Series 3 prop, put on display as yet another treat for fans. I'm sure it's probably just a piece of junk, though!
And just for those dorky few who love debating where all the doors in Sarah Jane's attic lead to, seems this particular one goes backstage! I have an inkling the same may be true of the door on the Upper Boat set(!)
As for the performances, I thought most of the kids taking part in the show were surprisingly good at acting! A few slip-ups with the lines here and there, o'course, but when it came to giving their roles passion, conviction and above all, enthusiasm - I honestly believe some of the children performing could've given the real SJA cast a run for their money! Stars in the making, I'm sure! No doubt the unseen instructions the kids received backstage helped bring out the best in 'em, so the CBBC reps may deserve a little credit in that regard.
None moreso than one Mike Burnett, a BBC Events rep who took on a Master of Ceremonies-type role during the SJA activity and helped dozens of participating children feel at ease during their performances whilst simultaneously engaging the spectating audience with near effortless humour and wit. Even adorkable Geoff made a comeback as the pseudo-alien the kids acted with during their rehearsals, before the real thing came out on-set!
Despite the Beeb not using the Berserker storyline they'd planned to perform, which was probably for the best considering it was the weakest of the three mini-scripts, there's little doubt in my mind that the SJA reenactment was an unequivocal success and shone out as the pinnacle of the See Me on CBBC tour :) It would've been the best thing about the Thame's Festival, were it not for a surprise live performance by the Diversity [of Britain's Got Talent fame], who delivered an extended version of their winning BGT routine! *squee!*
WARNING: The screams from the following viddy may make your ears bleed. :P
[Video content no longer available]
Many thanks to Aaron [phoenix123 over @ Gallifrey Base] for providing me with the use of his pictures and recordings in writing up this report. His camera was an invaluable asset after my own kinda went missing between a hotdog and a TARDIS! *facepalm* Don't ask :P Suffice it to say, were it not for him, I would've missed out on getting über-dorky pictures like this!
You'll probably see more of Aaron being featured on SARAH-JANE.tv in the future, when he and I jet off to Los Angeles in a few months to meet the likes of Tommy Knight, Gary Russell, Phil Ford, Alice Troughton and Graeme Harper [amongst other Who royalty] at the oh-so prestigious GallifreyOne. Stay tuned!