Olympics Watch: What Was Your Favorite Moment From the 2012 Opening Ceremonies?

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Simply smashing! That pretty much sums up Friday night’s spectacular, occasionally mind-bending, and wonderfully irreverent (Queen Elizabeth, you go girl!) Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Trying to single out a most memorable moment from NBC’s extensive primetime coverage would be akin to choosing the most dazzling shot in a Roger Federer five-setter, but here goes.

Amidst all the Union Jack-inspired pageantry, angel-voiced school children, and cameos showcasing Britain’s most shining stars –- Kenneth Branagh, J.K. Rowling, Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr. Bean), David Beckham, Sir Paul McCartney, to name a few — my absolute favorite moment had to be the eye-popping sight of Queen Elizabeth II (the real one, not Helen Mirren) arriving at the opening ceremonies by popping out of a helicopter and parachuting her way into Olympic Stadium, with companion James “007″ Bond (Daniel Craig) in tow.

Cue the Bond theme, Liz is in da howse! Let the Games begin!

Of course, the 85-year-old monarch’s spectacularly daring entrance was actually part of a short film (watch it here) directed by London resident and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (also the opening ceremony’s Artistic Director, talk about multi-tasking!), but I loved the unabashedly British wit and “let’s not take ourselves so seriously” sentiment. This promises to be a Summer Games to remember.

What was your favorite or most inspiring moment from the Opening Ceremonies? Which flag bearer rocked his or her country’s costumes the best? Leave your comments below!–Mitch Rustad



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Comments (159)

  • Suuuuuuucked.

    Comment by lariet50 – July 27, 2012 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d have preferred Sean Connery in the segment with QEII. Or, better yet, have her escorted by Sean, Roger, Timothy, Pierce etc. The Sgt. Pepper Parade should have included Beatles hair [head and facial]. Other than that, I loved it.

      Comment by Templar – July 28, 2012 09:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Loved the Mr. Bean/Chariots of Fire segment!! And Mr. Canada carries his flag adorably!! :)

    Comment by Lindsey – July 27, 2012 09:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yeah, Simon Whitfield (Canada’s flag bearer) is a great guy – I saw his triathlon victory during Sydney on TV. Mr. Bean had me in hysterics and the Daniel Craig/Queen bit was awesome. Absolutely loved how they did the cauldron

      Comment by Stephanie – July 27, 2012 10:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The end.

    Comment by Vivi – July 27, 2012 09:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree!!! The best moment.

      Comment by alexde80 – July 28, 2012 05:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • NBC cut an extremely moving number dedicated to the victims of the London terror attacks to air their Phelps interview. Uncalled for. I hope they release an explanation.

    Comment by Amanda – July 27, 2012 09:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • As someone on Twitter speculated: “Thousands of altheletes are coming together from throughout the world. Let’s see how we can make this about Michael Phelps” -NBC. Thank goodness you can see it online. :)

      Comment by Alicia – July 27, 2012 09:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I dont know..being that there were commercials every 5 minutes and NBC cut/censored some things out of the broadcast and the inane “commentary” between Meredith, Matt and Bob its hard for me to pick anything specific. However if I had to choose…probably the actual lighting of the flame…the Bond thing was mildly amusing (much like the Queen’s reaction the whole evening).

    Why couldn’t this be run live then repeated during prime time with no commentary? NBC just butchered it.

    Comment by PB – July 27, 2012 09:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The benefit of being in Canada on Friday was that we could watch the Opening Ceremonies live at 4pm eastern, and CTV did it almost completely without commentary (although they had their inane moments, too). Then, I watched NBC’s version in prime time for about 20 minutes before I had to give up. I agree completely with PB. I like Meredith, Bob and Matt, but they would not stop talking!!! I turned it off and went back to what I recorded from the live broadcast.

      Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 03:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree! There were so many inane and bad comments such as ” These are all young athletes who play sports”. Also the commentators kept describing all the music. Why wouldn’t they just shut up so we could listen to the music instead of some poor description of it??

      Comment by Alice – July 28, 2012 08:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was waiting for Doctor Who the whole time :(

    Comment by polly – July 27, 2012 09:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s right! There was no Dr. Who! What’s up with that?

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 27, 2012 10:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Technically the Tardis sound played during the Frankie and June segment, but that was it. Very disappointed.

      Comment by Nessie – July 27, 2012 11:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • At least there was something Doctor Who related. I was waiting for some reference to Monty Python. I was hoping John Cleese would light the torch as the Minister of Silly Walks, but I realize that was a little much to hope for. ;-)

        Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 03:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • John Cleese did appear on a screen in a still from Fawlty Towers, hard to know if any Monty Python was shown as the screen was not always in shot.

          Comment by Gripper – July 28, 2012 04:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Thanks, Gripper. I’ve watched three times and missed that every time! I’ll try not to blink the next time I watch! ;-) I LOVED Fawlty Towers!

            Comment by TV Gord – July 29, 2012 07:49 AM PDT  
          • I’ve got friends over watching it again, and I’m watching it more intently. Yes, I did see Basil this time. :-) Thanks, again!

            Comment by TV Gord – July 29, 2012 12:00 PM PDT  
        • I was waiting for Python as well. I would have loved to see Karl Pilkington… I adore him! He’s just hilarious.

          Comment by Ana – July 28, 2012 08:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. No Doctor Who tribute. I mean come on, 49 years of Doctor Who on TV and no tribute? The only other thing we talked about was how boring it was over-all and the possibility it was dazzling at the stadium but didn’t translate to television. If the latter was the case I’d be shocked because generally Danny Boyle is a brilliant man and works with great people, so what happened?

      Comment by Ana – July 28, 2012 08:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Me, too. I’m just hoping that they saved Doctor Who for the closing ceremonies.

      Comment by Jade – July 28, 2012 08:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I am glad I was not the only one waiting for The Doctor! Why wouldn’t they include him? Nothing says England like the Doctor!

      Comment by Dee Kottkamp – July 28, 2012 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ken Branagh & Shakespeare!! Rowan Atkinson & Chariots of Fire!! The Queen & James Bond!! Loved it!!!!

    Comment by jrkity – July 27, 2012 09:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Amazingly those were the 3 things I was going to list too. We are twinners.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 27, 2012 10:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Definitely the best three moments. A cool olympic torch as well though, since I was trying to think of my favourite bit outside of those three.

      Comment by ben – July 28, 2012 03:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was laughing so hard with the Queen/James Bond bit! Kudos to her for being a good sport!

    2nd Favorite part was Mr. Bean and his piano part LOL

    Comment by Leanna – July 27, 2012 09:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No Doctor Who made me sad. And yes NBC coverage SUCKED please take the Olympics off of NBC

    Comment by ggny – July 27, 2012 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremony was like ABC’s coverage of the Diamond Jubilee concert – so much cut out and chopped up and talked over by poor commentators that made both sound like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, not to mention both aired on delay and with extensive commercials. Both networks failed in covering these British events.

      All that said, the nicest moment was when the individual “petals” were lit and raised to form the cauldron. But otherwise, the whole thing seemed a bit of a mess and disjointed – not sure if that’s the fault of Danny Boyle or NBC though.

      Comment by Tess – July 28, 2012 06:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The whole ceremony was awful. Depressing, disjointed, confusing, dull.

    Comment by Kel – July 27, 2012 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • totally agree… we fell asleep waiting for something spectacular to happen.

      Comment by bahamamama – July 28, 2012 08:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes. Sheep and Smoke stacks. Wow! Sir, can I please have more?

      Not!

      Comment by Alienate – July 29, 2012 10:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As a massive Harry Potter fan, I really liked JK Rowling’s appearance and the Mary Poppins/Voldemort faceoff. The Industrial Revolution part was really good, too.

    Comment by Brandon – July 27, 2012 09:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Watching from Canada, I saw the whole shindig earlier, live and uncensored, and I must say the children’s story sequence with the hospital beds, Voldemort, Rowling herself, and Mary Poppins’s was my favorite. It was beautifully done.

    Comment by Melanie – July 27, 2012 09:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • What I like about the Canadian coverage is how they include everyone, all countries, and never makes it just about itself. :) I wasn’t overly fussy on the first part of the ceremony but there were great moments throughout. I thought the section before the parade of nations, was more fitted for the theater. I enjoyed it far more after the athletes came in. :)

      Comment by Kim R – July 28, 2012 09:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I watched the earlier Canadian broadcast as well. Clicked over to the NBC one later and it was so much worse, too many breaks and Matt and Meredith kept talking over everything. Very obnoxious.

      Comment by Amanda – July 28, 2012 10:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was enjoying it until that 4 decade time-warp. Then I just felt like I wasn’t going to enjoy it because I didn’t take drugs.
    Cool parts:
    1. QE2 and 007
    2. Rowan Atkinson
    3. The cauldron
    4. Mary Poppins defeats Voldemort, although I didn’t really dig the hour-long NHS commercial.

    Comment by Alicia – July 27, 2012 09:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Uh, the NHS is free. It’s a health service. You use it when you need to. It was honouring our public service men and women (I’m British). How can you have a ‘commercial’ for a free public service?

      Comment by Nat – July 29, 2012 10:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite moment was Benedict Cumberbatch’sintro for the BBC… Sadly, not aired on NBC.

    Comment by NilesJ – July 27, 2012 09:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Benny introed on the BBC?! Ugh, I need to get to England.

      Comment by Flora – July 27, 2012 10:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Crap, that’s another person I was waiting to see. I’m so sorry I missed him. Thanks, NBC.

      Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 27, 2012 10:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Try YT… there are at least two versions (high/low quality) with that intro there :-)

        Comment by Niki – July 28, 2012 02:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I liked that the Parade of Nations moved quickly and the athletes were mingling, more like the closing ceremony. On a side note, when did Sir Paul get old?

    Comment by petunia – July 27, 2012 09:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • About 10 years ago…

      Comment by Eli – July 28, 2012 04:38 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best parts
    1. Bond/Queen
    2. Mr Bean and the LSO
    3. The torch lighting
    And
    4. Hearing the TARDIS

    Comment by Bridget – July 27, 2012 09:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rowan Atkinson was my absolute favorite. I almost died laughing.

    However, the absence of Monty Python didn’t go unnoticed. I was a little disappointed at all the other things they could have added to really show Britain.

    Comment by Cara – July 27, 2012 10:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I fully agree! I can’t believe the only Monty Python reference was in that very very beginning bit, and totally fleeting……..always the closing ceremonies though?

      Comment by Claire – July 28, 2012 01:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This was just bad. The Queen and Bond, Mr. Bean and the Olympic rings were good but that was about it. We are pretty disappointed.

    Comment by Laurie S. – July 27, 2012 10:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was genuinely awful. All of it except for the Arctic Monkeys bit because the visuals were good. The Frankie/June sequence was epically bad.

    Comment by TMW – July 27, 2012 10:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • ARCTIC MONKEYS

    Comment by Dick Whitman – July 27, 2012 10:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes!

      Comment by andy – July 28, 2012 12:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I didn’t know you kept up with such modern bands Mr. Draper…

      Comment by alana – July 28, 2012 12:35 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yes! I was so surprised and happy to see them there! they rocked as usual…

      Comment by magali – July 28, 2012 02:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think I really would have enjoyed them if Bob & Matt would have SHUT UP long enough for me to actually hear them.

      Comment by Deena – July 28, 2012 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 1. The Queen and Bond
    2. TARDIS sound

    Comment by Morgan – July 27, 2012 10:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I absolutely loved the cauldron lighting. Thought that was beautiful. I also enjoyed seeing how much of a badass the Queen can be =p. But…seriously, NBC. You should be EMBARRASSED by how disrespectful you were to viewers, subjecting us to useless, obnoxious drivel spewing from the mouths of Meredith, Matt and Bob. I really regret not watching it live online when I could have. So many commercial breaks and needless explanations of moments that needed no explanation. I would rather see the terrorist attack tribute than watch yet another Michael Phelps interview. By RYAN SEACREST no less. That almost made abandon the ceremony all together.

    Comment by topoftheworld18 – July 27, 2012 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So lame.

    Comment by melissa breit (@LissaB99) – July 27, 2012 10:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The NBC commentary ruined the entire thing. We were yelling “SHUT UP, MEREDITH!” at the TV. I loved the music from “The Dark Side of the Moon” as the final torch was lit. Rowan Atkinson is a frigging genius! The forging of the rings (from the pastoral to the industrial to the digital) rocked. The Queen and Bond sequence (the CORGIS!!!!) was very clever. “SHUT UP, MEREDITH!” The tor is very, very lovely.

    Comment by Evil Pam – July 27, 2012 10:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Everyone in the world was yelling SHUT UP *insert name*, each single nation had its own annoying commentors, I know I hated mine

      Comment by Hannah – July 28, 2012 01:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Actually, here in New Zealand, I was wondering where our commentators had gone – we could have used just a little more of them telling us what was going on.

        Comment by ben – July 28, 2012 03:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I appreciated the commentary but was still confused in parts.

          Comment by Denise – July 28, 2012 07:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Canada kept the commentary to a minimum and it was fantastic. As I mentioned above, I couldn’t watch NBC with all of the talking. Less is more.

        Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 04:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I thought the Canadian commentators were excellent and thank goodness for them because I was so confused for the entire first section. :) haha

          Comment by Kim R – July 28, 2012 09:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • OMG yes – in Australia we had Eddie McGuire, who is possibly the most hated/over exposed tv personality in the country and we all had to put up with hearing his useless trivia and bad jokes for 4 hours…

        Comment by Bec Lawson – July 28, 2012 09:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The BBC commentary was amazing! Hardly any speaking apart from when they were changing over to the next bit, no-one has mentioned it but I really did enjoy the bit with all the songs from the 50′s to the present and with Dizzee Rascal and with all the dancing!

      Comment by CrimTV – July 28, 2012 06:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the whole thing was spectacular. Good on Britain!

    Comment by Peter Anthony Holder – July 27, 2012 10:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sir Paul at the end.

    Comment by Ann – July 27, 2012 10:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really liked the beginning with Ewan McGregor narrating, the whole Industrial Revolution changeover, Kenneth Branagh, the Queen/Bond, Rowan Atkinson, JK Rowling, seeing some of the literary characters and the Tardis sound. BUT, I didn’t like the long NHS segment, the silly choreography with the kids jumping on the bed, and the awkward Frankie/June teen section. But the worst? I kept waiting for the Doctor to show up. The Tardis sound was such a horrible tease. In the Chariots of Fire/Rowan section I kept waiting for the Doctor to suddenly appear, run past him and win. While I would have loved to have seen David Tennant because of “Fear Her,” I would have loved to see Matt Smith almost as much! I would have been happy to see either one to be frank. And was it just me, but did anyone else think it should have been the chauffeur Branson from Downton Abbey driving the old-fashioned car to help Mr. Bean cheat? That would have been fantastic. Overall it was really good, but ultimately I can’t help but feel let down because of the lack of the Doctor.

    Comment by AT – July 27, 2012 10:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You felt let down because your random fandoms didn’t make it into the ceremonies?

      Comment by Ruby – July 27, 2012 10:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Random fandom? Obviously you don’t understand just how ingrained Doctor Who is in British popular culture. It’s the longest running science fiction show in history and has influenced the genre greatly. It’s been a national institution for 50 years (despite it being off-air for 15 years) and you’d be hard pressed to find people from across the pond who don’t have some experience with it.

        I can understand why it wasn’t included, but at the same time it’s not a leap to think it might have been and I can firmly say I’m disappointed that there wasn’t more then an iconic sound from it added.

        Comment by Nessie – July 27, 2012 11:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • By the same token, where was Coronation Street. You can’t please everyone.

          Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 04:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Coronation Street had clips played on the side of the house

            Comment by Martina – July 28, 2012 07:01 AM PDT  
          • Thanks, Martina! :-)

            Comment by TV Gord – July 29, 2012 07:52 AM PDT  
        • Here’s an idea: nobody outside the UK cares about your stupid Doctor Who.

          Comment by Eli – July 28, 2012 04:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • so not true! I happen to be Louisiana born and bred… Dr. Who is one of my favorite shows and I was hoping for a cameo from it all night.

            Comment by Becca Porter – July 28, 2012 06:46 AM PDT  
          • I’m from Australia and I was also disappointed by the lack of the Doctor, as were many of my friends…

            Comment by deuxamis – July 28, 2012 09:02 AM PDT  
          • Dr Who is on the cover of EW this week so I think people care. It’s a pretty huge show around the world and a British institution.

            Comment by Deena – July 28, 2012 11:04 AM PDT  
          • Eli, you’re showing you’re ignorance. Dr Who is a worldwide phenomenon as well as the longest-running sci fi show. Stop trying to project your preferences on everyone else. I, for one, love Dr Who – and I’m not from the UK or any of its Commonwealth-member nations.

            Comment by arial2 – July 28, 2012 12:56 PM PDT  
    • I echo Ruby’s comment. If they had included more from Doctor Who, I could just imagine all the bickering among the fandom about which Doctor was included and which ones were left out. I say be happy there was something and realize there was a lot of British history to include in a relatively short amount of time.

      Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 03:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sorry TV Gord but any television show that has had 49 seasons and was extremely popular in England should have been recognized in some way other than the Tardis sound. It’s been part of British culture for almost half a century. Even if they turned the house shaped video screen into the Tardis for 30 seconds would have been enough of a nod toward the Doctor and it wouldn’t have been hard to do. Looking beyond the lack of a real Doctor nod, the reality is the opening ceremonies wasn’t that great, which is sad. There were a few stellar moments (Bond, Atkinson, McCartney, Arctic Monkeys, and the music used in the Frankie and June sequence but beyond that it was either (1) boring, or (2) didn’t translate well to television.

        Comment by Ana – July 28, 2012 08:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Oh that would have been lovely to have the house turn into the Tardis! It would completely remove the question of which Doctor to include while giving the perfect nod to the series. Good on you for thinking of that (wish Danny Boyle had!).

          Comment by Nessie – July 29, 2012 03:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was hoping that they would have the Rolling Stones seeing as this is their 50th year of being a band.

    Comment by Maddy – July 27, 2012 10:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’m a Games Maker at the Olympic Park. Ronnie Wood was busy being in the audience with his girlfriend ;) It was pretty awesome when we had to ticket scan him!!

      Comment by Becky – July 28, 2012 03:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The lighting of the torch was spectacular. So cool that every country brought in a piece of the torch. And the fireworks were just beyond spectacular.

    Comment by Ruby – July 27, 2012 10:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Apparently when the games are over the cauldron will be dismantled and the pieces will be given back to each country’s Olympic committee

      Comment by Pat – July 28, 2012 01:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kenneth Branagh doing The Tempest, The Queen parachuting with James Bond, Rowan Atkinson racing in Chariot of Fires, and the Arctic Monkeys playing while dudes in butterfly wings rode bikes around the stadium. Cool looking, and just weird enough to work.

    Comment by Britta Unfiltered – July 27, 2012 10:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “Cool looking, and just weird enough to work.”

      Great line! Right on!

      Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 04:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The opening ceremony felt kind of disjointed to me. I really didn’t understand the point of the Frankie/June segment. I get what they were going for, but the concept felt more American than British to me, British music aside and despite the fact that a Briton created the World Wide Web. The US has had a much greater influence on social media than Great Britain (via. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Apple products, etc.) I feel like Danny Boyle could have chosen to honor British musicians/music in a more fitting way.

    Comment by Kat – July 27, 2012 11:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “…despite the fact that a Briton created the World Wide Web. The US has had a much greater influence on social media than Great Britain”.

      so, the dude who CREATED THE INTERNET is less important in regards to social media than some guys who used that internet to just set up some websites (and the like).

      don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re an idiot.

      Comment by darcy macawsomington – July 28, 2012 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • He did not create the internet. He created the World Wide Web. You obviously don’t understand this distinction, yet I’m the idiot? The Frankie/June sketch did not highlight this fact. Obviously my point would be null if did. It was a tribute to social media and truly incredible British music, not the World Wide Web. The social media aspect is what I’m questioning. In my opinion, Boyle could have honored British music in a more fitting way. That is my argument, and I am sticking to it.

        Comment by Kat – July 28, 2012 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Think the point being made is that the WWW is the foundations on which Social Media were built. “This is for everyone” is what he put on the first website along with instructions on how to create your own website so he tweeted “this is for everyone” live from the ceremony to promote how the Digital Age has developed since his first website.

          Comment by coke24 – July 28, 2012 04:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The closing ceremony will be a complete tribute to British music apparently!

      Comment by crimtv – July 28, 2012 06:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I really enjoyed the whole thing, but I would have preferred to see it live, uncut, and with a British commentator who could have given more insight. The only part that really confused me was the Frankie/June/Internet portion. I liked the music, but the storyline was… peculiar. I do have to say, though, that my favorite part was the surprise cameo from Stephen Campbell Moore (the guy Rowan Atkinson tripped) in the Chariots of Fire bit. One of the more poignant moments for me was when Muhammad Ali was struggling so hard even to wave to the crowd. It brought a tear to my eye, as did Sir Paul McCartney choking up at the beginning of “Hey, Jude.”

    Bravo, Mr. Boyle. Uniquely British from start to finish.

    Comment by Claire – July 27, 2012 11:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I think the point he was going for was that the industrial revolution changed the world and so too did the digital revolution.

      Comment by Martina – July 28, 2012 07:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I got goosebumps at ‘Heroes’ kicking in just as Chris Hoy appeared! The whole thing was emotional and inspiring. Bravo!

    Comment by FixatedOn – July 27, 2012 11:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was dull! Sorry, I felt like it didn’t have enough excitement. Sure there were some parts that were good, but overall I will say I was disappointed. Perhaps China set the bar really high back in 2008, but I couldn’t get into it this year. Plus the Queen looked bored. Did anyone catch that? She never onced smiled and she was even looking at her nails as Great Britain team entered.

    Comment by Allyson – July 27, 2012 11:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree it felt disjointed. No one seems to have liked the Frankie & June part. Paul McCartney was awesome! Arctic Monkeys were a close second. The fireworks, the skydiving, and the Queen/007 were great. Although the Queen did seem to be overly interested in it all lol. And I also wonder why the Prime Minister didn’t open the Games, being the actual leader of the country. Mr. Bean kills as usual. The torch was cool and new with them each bringing in a piece. The commentators said a couple of things that were borderline if not over the line offensive about a couple of the countries that have poor relations with the US. I found that distasteful since the Olympics are about putting aside differences and competing with respect and dignity. I hope Phelps wins, but I would rather have seen the tribute to the victims of the London bombing. Yet another absolutely disrespectful decision by NBC.

    Comment by Chuck Finley (AJ) – July 27, 2012 11:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • The prime minister is the Head of Government in the UK, but the Queen remains the Head of State. As the Olympics are supposed to be free of politics, it was more appropriate for the Head of State to open the games. Here in the US, the head of government and head of state both rest with the President.

      Comment by MLV – July 28, 2012 03:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That’s almost right, the Queen is Head of State but also technically head of Government too but she is not allowed to express political opinion publicly. All legislation must go through her though via weekly meeting with the PM and she signs it off. But you are right in the sense that it’s the head of State who should open the Olympics (the Queen opened the Olympics in Canada, but sent Philip in her place to open the Australian games)

        Comment by coke24 – July 28, 2012 05:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I especially liked the part where they completely forgot about Doctor Who and Monthy Python -___-

    Comment by Polly – July 28, 2012 12:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Does Mr Bean cheating, even in a dream, really give the right impression for the Olympics. It may be funny to some Brits but would the rest of the World trully understand.

    The show should have been a-religious and a-political. And what would the Germans think of the Dam Busters tune being played.

    I think we could have done better but that is only my opinion.

    Comment by John – July 28, 2012 12:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes, Mr Bean cheating does give the right impression, just like Mr Bean screwing up as part of the LSO does. Thats because the right impression is that Britain laughs at itself, and has fun. I don’t think anyone could possibly take out of that sequence that its ok to cheat, don’t try and PC Mr Bean.

      Comment by ben – July 28, 2012 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • the arctic freaking monkeys! And Sir Paul of course… I love how much they emphasized music by the way, I’m not being unpatriotic but from a solely musical point of view I really wish I was british.

    Comment by florence – July 28, 2012 12:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I totally agree SHUT UP Meredith ,Matt & Bob …. We could have figured out what was going on without their pre- written ” spontaneous ” drivel !!! And they didn’t let Ann Curry come because????? At least she doesn’t have an annoying voice!!!
    And NBC left out Benedict Cumberbatch???? FOOLS!!!!!
    Only thing in their defense is I guess they couldn’t get all the great stuff on because of the endless commercials( being sarcastic about commercials )
    The Queen did show her sense if humor as a Bond girl… Bean was bean …. And if you watch bean on BBC you would know he would be the comic…..
    Truly if everything everyone wanted was in the opening ceremonies – it would be over in 17 days…. The opening ceremonies that is!!!!!!!!
    Just enjoy them or change the channel …. Most people gave about 1200 channels to choose from!!!

    Comment by Lyla – July 28, 2012 12:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Overall this olympic opening didn`t compare to the last two especially chinas! I was overall confused and felt very disjointed in the first hour. I was actually disappointed when they showed the `second start to the right, straight on til morning quote,`yet did not have a physical real peter pan =( Loved JK Rowling`s appearance though but from what my co worker had told me I thought there would have been a real life voldemort (ralph fiennes anyone!) not a blow-up.

    Loved Rowan Atkinson`s and 007. Annoyed on the CTV coverage which said london was the first `social media olympics`…. uhh Canada`s was just 2 years ago….

    Yeah this just made me want to go back and watch beijings haha

    Comment by fiona – July 28, 2012 12:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Mistake # 1: Comparing any Opening Ceremonies to any other Opening Ceremonies. They should all stand for themselves, as all countries do. It’s too bad that you missed the point, and therefore missed a spectacular display that was brilliant in its own right.

      Comment by TV Gord – July 29, 2012 07:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was total cop-out to have a bunch of unknown young kids light the cauldron. The rest of the presentation was just okay. Nothing will ever compare to Beijing show and Sydney’s cauldron lighting.

    Comment by GeoDiva – July 28, 2012 12:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree that it’s different that a bunch of unknown young kids lit the cauldron, but as much as the Olympics are about celebrating past athletes, I think it’s just as much about inspiring the future athletes and so I’m actually really proud that they decided to honour the idea that these young athletes may one day be here competing and give them hope and show the younger generation that it’s possible…..but that’s just my opinion :-)

      Comment by Claire – July 28, 2012 01:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • There were actually 7 British champions who were to light the cauldron but they “sacrificed the honour” in favour of 7 young athletes they personally nominated (1 each) to light the cauldron on their behalf. It’s symbolic of the “Inspire a generation” theme of this years Olympics.

        Britain could never top the intracity of Beijing’s open, but why would we? China are a very intricate nation we are not and that’s what Danny Boyle was trying to achieve.

        Also, in response to the other posters who wanted Dr Who or Monty Python, completely agree but I did hear Danny Boyle had to cut 30 mins of the ceremony short notice so he maybe did have something planned. Like you though, I hope they make it to the closing ceremony. Maybe the Dr will travel back to the opening and make an appearance! ;)

        Comment by ColReg – July 28, 2012 04:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Don’t forget Mohammed Ali’s lighting of the Torch, I think nothing will ever top that lighting!!!

      Comment by Lana – July 28, 2012 07:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I agree with the first poster that the 7 British Champions shouldn’t have “sacrificed the honour” in favour of the 7 young athletes…people wanted to see champions. It doesn’t inspire anyone. And why was Mohammed Ali lighting the torch? He’s American.

        Comment by Lori (@PennagirlWBO) – July 30, 2012 07:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I know it seems like a cop out at first, but these young unknown athletes were each nominated by an “Olympic Great” to be a torch lighter, to fit in with the slogan for this year’s Olympic Games: Inspire a Generation. The whole point was that no one celebrity or high-achieving sportsman was greater than that message. I went from confusion to absolutely loving the idea.

      Comment by RyanC – July 28, 2012 03:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Way to go Britain! You gave Beijing a run for their money. Good job in general.

    I loved all the music celebrating British composers and rock bands, far superior to Beijing.

    Yeah, I wish Monty Python had been represented, and Dr. Who represented more, as well as Lonnie Donnegan, a few other “British Invasion” music groups from the 60s, and some other British comedians like The Goon Show, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, French and Saunders, Little Britain, and other famous BBC comedians who are seen in the USA on PBS and BBC-America.

    One thing that would have been great to add to the Queen’s helicopter dive: She could have still had on her parachute as she entered live into the stadium, with about a dozen servants loyally holding up her chute like they do with a long bridal veil at a Royal Wedding, then quickly detaching it from her just before she sits down. That would have brought the gag full circle.

    I enjoyed the whole thing in spite of NBC’s usual butchering and inane commentary.

    Good show, all !!

    Dan Fiebiger
    Portland, Oregon, USA..

    Comment by Dan Fiebiger – July 28, 2012 12:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • An addendum to my above comment:

    I loved the people dressed up in Beatles Sergeant Pepper outfits and the Yellow Submarine float.

    Another idea for the Queen’s segment: Mightn’t have been okay to have ALL the actors who played James Bond over the years (and decades) arrive at her palace together and ALL of them escort her to the copter, with the newest James Bond getting on the copter as he did? The already established “surrealness” of the whole thing would have allowed for a reunion of all the Bond actors, maybe eyeing each other competitively as they walked down the halls to the Queen’s office, and a moment of them even politely competing for the privilege of getting the Queen’s initial attention as they arrive.

    Maybe even showing a quick shot of the Prime Minister as the pilot of the copter.

    Reading some of the other comments about sequences cut by NBC makes me wanna see it uncut (and commentary free) on the net.

    Yeah, maybe some sequences weren’t as well conceived and directed as they could have been but I still think the people of Britain did a great job with the whole thing.

    Congrats to all of you and good luck in the competitions !!

    Dan Fiebiger
    Portland, Oregon, USA

    Comment by Dan Fiebiger – July 28, 2012 01:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sean Connery would never have done it, for starters. He’s a staunch believer in Scottish independence, so his political beliefs would have kept him from being involved.

      Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 03:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • After so many people lauding the Beijing Opening Ceremonies, now I really want to find it and watch. Mr. Nean was actually kind of bland. I liked the Queen bit the best. It was pretty amusing and cool that she participated in that way.

    Comment by N. – July 28, 2012 01:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *Mr. Bean. Typos. :/ I like some of his stuff I’ve seen in the past though. Good luck to all the competitors this year. :)

      Comment by N. – July 28, 2012 02:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For one I thought was brilliant! Soooo different from what we saw in Beijing, so much less… pompous and formal.

    I loved the first part about the industrial revolution, the fact that EVERY volunteer had a part to play in the picture, with choreography or a bit of comedy, all the musics, and the fun and crazy tmosphere of the homage to bristish musical an TV culture, the funny bits with the Queen and Mr Bean… and I was VERY moved by the way they decided to light the torch. It was so much more meaningful than having a single athlete do it, and that “flower”, with the petals slowly rising to reunite at the top… very moving and visually beautiful.

    Comment by Céline – July 28, 2012 02:49 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I loved it all, but I will never forget the goosebumps I got when I realized the Queen was involved in the Bond part! Bloody brilliant!

    Danny Boyle is the SlumGOD Millionaire! I will never forget that amazing spectacle!!!

    Comment by TV Gord – July 28, 2012 03:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was B-O-R-I-N-G.

    Comment by Mary – July 28, 2012 03:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • when there are events like these I’m glad I live in Germany. cause we got to see the whole thing without stupid commercials or stupid interviews in between. and it was awesome. really liked the beginning when they showed Britain’s change throughout the history, their way to becoming an industrial nation and then the 5 rings rising up in the air. #goosebumps-moment
    and the end… 100 000 people singing “Hey Jude” with Paul McCartney… still haven’t gotten that song out of my head :D
    but the James Bond bit and Rowan Atkinson were pretty awesome too.
    overall a great opening ceremony

    Comment by TheCat – July 28, 2012 04:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Really? Mr. Poschmann and the two co-commentators were terrible!!! They didn’t give informations when necessary but talked about rawing and swimming whenever they could…AWESOME…
      .

      Comment by kateshomesick – July 28, 2012 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mr Bean and JK Rowling.
    But I enjoy almost every part of it. It was pretty amazing.(except the part with the countries, endless procession…)

    Comment by Lilith – July 28, 2012 04:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • As a Brit I’m very proud of the ceremony last night.

    I liked the way they included real people instead of just performers, like the hospital staff in the NHS section and the real Queen in the Bond bit, that make me smile.

    I also liked the way they celebrated the volunteers that weren’t picked on the dresses in the parade of nations, which was a little bizarre but a nice touch and then the honour guard of builders for the flame was a nice thank you to them.

    Oh and the sign language choir singing the National Anthem was great, another symbol of inclusion that seemed to be a theme throughout.

    But my favourite part was the cauldron, 204 individual petals lit and then brought together in a symbol embodying the olympic ideal.

    Good job My Boyle.

    Comment by Matt – July 28, 2012 05:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I must say to all Brits you have every right to be proud, the opening ceremony was wonderful!. I love that you had humor and the music was the best and I happen to love your history so the more I learn the more I love. Thank you. I agree there was too much talking, that you could hear the announcers there and could read so you really didn’t need bob and meridith and matt and whoever. In fact they completely dropped the ball about the fact that a nobel peace prize winner was one of the people carrying the olympic flag, I had to rewind several times to hear the annoucer over bob or matt,to tell me who she was. I’m very sorry I missed any thing because all I had was NBC’s coverage but thats okay and trust me there are thousands of Americans who know and love Dr. Who, no matter who the Dr. is ( my personal favorite is Tenant, but I love the others too) and of course Mr Bean and Monty Python and so on. I do admit that June and Frankie didn’t do it for me but that may be my age, however the music was awesome. I love the Royals and I have to admit my very favorite thing was the Queen and Bond and she stole my heart with that also her corgies. I am a big Olympics freak and can’t wait to see more of your beautiful country as I continue to watch my games.

      Comment by Lana – July 28, 2012 07:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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