Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle's
Isles of Wonder wowed a TV audience of 1 billion during Friday's opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London.
The show, which Boyle called
a celebration of the creativity, exuberance and, above all, the generosity of the British people, brought viewers on a tour of British history -- sports and otherwise -- beginning with bucolic scenes of livestock and maypole dancing followed by a transformation of the landscape into a quasi-nightmarish industrial arena and culminating with the Olympic rings forged from molten metal, the BBC reported.
At one point a troupe of Mary Poppinses descended from the sky to chase off Harry Potter villain Voldemort during a section of the show honoring the United Kingdom's National Health Service.
The production, described as a live film, incorporated several recorded scenes, including Daniel Craig as James Bond escorting Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic stadium via helicopter and parachute. The queen then appeared in the royal box alongside the duke of Edinburgh and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge.
British cyclist and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins struck the world's largest harmonically tuned bell to open the official ceremony, which was prefaced by a flyover by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, better known as the Red Arrows, trailing red, white and blue smoke, the BBC said.