Sarah and Harry head for the Kaled dome to warn of the impending attack
while the Doctor remains behind in the Thal base to try to sabotage the rocket.
A Thal guard activates a defense system and the Doctor convulses in pain
as an electrified fence sends waves of current through him.
of the synopsis of the Dr. Who episode,
“Genesis of the
Daleks”, Season 12 (1974-75)
I’ve never seen an episode of the BBC series “Dr. Who” that ran from
1963 until 1996 (utilizing eight different doctors over the years).
It ran on PBS for some time, but science fiction has never been my thing
so I skipped it. But there was something about the show that caught
the fancy of composer David Maslanka, as well as pianist Barney Childs,
who commissioned the work. Here’s a short blurb Maslanka provides
about the "Music for Dr. Who":
"Dr. Who" is the BBC space fantasy series. This piece has no official
connection to the series, but is a reflection on a single incident in one
of the shows; one of my favorite brief pieces.
The single incident he refers to - I’ve been told - was Dr. Who being
electrocuted, so I’m assuming the opening quote is from the correct episode.
With a good minute of the bassoonist pummeling the listeners with jarring
multiphonics and the pianist pounding the keyboard, there’s just about only
one way for a listener to interpret the sound: “Well, it sounds like someone’s
being electrocuted.” Fortunately, this short work also celebrates the
heroics of Dr. Who (who somehow manages to save the universe because of his
actions). The conclusion exhibits a peculiar beauty, with the bassoonist
playing chorale-like chords, once again utilizing multiphonics, and the pianist
gently fading away, to me possibly depicting Dr. Who’s ascent to heaven (although
the series did go on for twenty-two more years).
David Maslanka was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1943. He attended
the Oberlin College Conservatory and spent a year at the Mozarteum in Salzburg,
Austria, He did graduate work in composition at Michigan State University
and has served on the faculties of the State University of New York at
Geneseo, Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, and Kingsborough
College of the City University of New York. He now lives in Missoula, Montana
“Music for Dr. Who” was premiered by pianist Barney Childs and
bassoonist John Steinmetz, a renowned studio bassoonist in the Los Angeles
area and a talented composer in his own right. His work, “Fish Phase”
for Two Contrabassoons and Goldfish will be on a New Music Agency concert
sometime in the immediate future.