London 2012 Watch: Pandemonium Reigns at the Opening Ceremonies


“Pandemonium” was the theme at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. 

Depicting a living Facebook timeline of moments from British history, the XXX Olympiad kick-off included a mad mix of cultural references — a skydiving Queen with Daniel Craig as James Bond (nice promo for Skyfall), flying Mary Poppins, J.K. Rowling reading and a giant Voldemort from Harry Potter menacing a giant baby, Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean using an iPhone, a nod to the Mini, costumed villagers in a shire, chimney towers depicting the Industrial Revolution, a British musical medley featuring hits from Sir Paul McCartney (singing the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”), the Sex Pistols, Queen, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie (cue a rocketman), plus a speed boat driven by David Beckham, bird bikes and a tribute to web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee in the digital portion of the show — all orchestrated by Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, who tweeted “Thank you, everyone, for your kind words! Means the world to me.”

“Pandemonium” indeed — a theme and word chosen, according to the BBC, because it “was coined by poet John Milton (and) the name of the capital of Hell in Paradise Lost.”[more]

The BBC live-blog has more, while more pictures are on the London 2012 website. Below, a Reuters report and London 2012’s behind-the-scenes videos:


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