The rambunctious Opening Ceremony to the XXXth Olympiad began with a sylvan vista of faux fields and pastiche pastoral. From there, Danny Boyle's epic retelling of British History weaved in our smokey industrial heritage, the great cultural output of the 20th Century, and the technological present.
It was an evening filled with highlights, oddities and cameos; here are a few random thoughts:
- QUESTION: Who would win in a fight between Voldemort and Mary Poppins? ANSWER: The NHS.
- On reflection, Bradley Wiggins was a better choice to ring the Olympic Bell than Jeremy Hunt.
- Brunel, Tim Berners-Lee and a balloon launch to the edges of space...this was the Opening Ceremony where science, technology and engineering took equal billing with the arts.
- The Beatles made a telling contribution to the Industrial Revolution, it seems.
- The Queen already has an IMDB page, but should now get an entry as an actress and extreme sports enthusiast.
- Although the TARDIS could be heard at one point, there was no appearance for Doctor Who. Danny Boyle has apparently altered a fixed point in time, jeopardizing the Universe. Beat that, Rio.
- Daniel Craig cemented his place as one of the great James Bonds, but was almost upstaged by David Beckham's speedboat antics.
- Still cool: The Red Arrows, Dizzee Rascal, Arctic Monkeys, Michael Fish.
- Still the coolest: Muhammad Ali.
- Danny Boyle and Thomas Heatherwick are shoe-ins for knighthoods.
- Rowan Atkinson is still funny, if only in small doses.
- Paul McCartney is still an entertainer, if only in small doses.
- The Ceremony received 27 million views on BBC1, the largest audience in modern times.
What were your highlights?