Scott Robinson



Ever wonder what a person could become, what one could be capable of, if all of their mental and physical potential were fully and completely realized? What if a regimen of intensive, scientific training and physical exercise were undertaken from childhood, overseen by a team of specialists dedicated to raising every capability of the human body and mind to the highest possible level of development? What if not one day, one moment, were wasted in the relentless pursuit of such a goal?

Most would probably snap under the strain. But perhaps one in a million would become a great scientist, inventor, and thinker, possessing phenomenal strength and iron determination, with an unmatched keenness of perception and an astonishing memory for the smallest detail. Add to that a strong moral character and an intense drive to be of service to humanity, and you would have someone capable of incredible accomplishments - someone able to assist humanity on a grand scale. You would have Doc Savage.

Described as the "man of bronze", a physical giant whose "strangely compelling eyes" are like "pools of flake gold continually stirred by tiny winds", Doc's physique is actually the least interesting thing about him. He is a leader in the fields of chemistry, electrical engineering, and brain surgery. He is a prolific inventor whose well-equipped laboratory produces a stream of startling scientific devices. He is an expert pilot whose Hudson River hangers (disguised as decrepit warehouses) house an eye-popping collection of airplanes, dirigibles, and autogyros of his own design. He is a noted composer whose violin music has been performed at Carnegie Hall. But, above all, it is the dangerous work of saving lives and "righting wrongs" to which he brings his remarkable abilities to bear.

In nearly 200 pulp novels published in the thirties and forties, Doc matches wits with a succession of villains such as "Mandroff" and "the fiendish Var", and invariably spoils their party. He has saved hidden civilizations from destruction, prevented evil gangs from toppling world governments, and even fended off an invasion of space aliens armed with a deadly melody -- a succession of tones that no human brain can withstand.

Far-fetched? Sure. But these books are also prophetic in many ways. In a 1933 episode, Doc has a "robotic answering device" which records phone calls on a piece of wire. In 1937 he flies what is clearly a jet aircraft. Doc also served as a model for many later characters who borrowed heavily from his ideas, such as James Bond (all those gadgets), Superman (the Arctic laboratory retreat known as the "Fortress of Solitude"), and Mr. Spock of Star Trek (the paralyzing neck pinch). Doc was, in many ways, ahead of his time.

And how can one not hear music when contemplating such titles as "The Man Who Shook the Earth" and "The Secret in the Sky"? Here, then, is music inspired by the amazing worlds of Doc Savage.

- Scott Robinson

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