If you're after the full visual and percussive effect you can only really be stout of heart and tackle the crowds, alas if the current low level cloud persists even then you'll be mostly peering through heavy smoke from the explosions. Pray for clear skies.
Thanks everyone, I thought as much. This is my first New Year in SE1 so I thought I would brave the weather and wrap up warm and wander down to TB as no public transport necessary - I will keep an eye on the clouds!
Go to the southbank between the eye and the oxo tower, it's horribly crowded but is generally the best view. It's not much of a walk from TBR, and will be lovely if the sky's clear and it's icy (as long as you remember your gloves of course...).