No, it’s not an episode of The Big Bang Theory… that would have been a marginally less painful way of wasting thirty minutes of my life, had I been in an uncharacteristically undemanding mood. This is a radio episode of Dr Who from 2010, one of four that were made from 1,200 scripts submitted by fans in a BBC competition.
Recently rebroadcast on Radio 4Extra, Rick Briggs’ effort (directed here by Ken Bentley) tells of The Doctor (Peter Davison)’s visit to the music library planet of Concordum with assistant Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) in which they encounter a composition (“White Waves, Soft Haze”) which infects all other music with which it comes into contact and ultimately “rends the flesh from the bone” of those unwise enough to listen to it… and you thought backwards masking was scary!
To stop WWSH from immolating every sentient being, The Doc and Nyssa travel in The Tardis back to 1968, where noted Prog musician Geoff “Coop” Cooper is invoking primal sonics, entropy sirens, the music of the spheres and all manner of related quantum shenanigans. Can our heroes (aided only by the BBC sound effects department and an outdated dictionary of hippy lingo) head off The Apocalypse? More pertinently, was the phrase really “Prog Rock” in general usage during 1968? (Nah, didn’t think so…)
Adding insult to injury, Davison’s Doc wastes no opportunity to diss and bitch about Prog. Thanks, pal… have I ever mentioned that you’re just about the lamest Tardis jockey of them all? You’re welcome. Have a nice eternity…
This review previously appeared on the now defunct Bootroom Of Ozymandias blog.