Babylon 5: The Lost Tales – music by Christopher Franke

Returning to the musical world of Babylon 5 for the first time since 2002’s one-off Legend Of The Rangers pilot, Christopher Franke makes it seem as though he never went away. The Lost Tales’ music is rife with sounds that I associate with late 80s and early 90s electronic music, which takes me right back to the beginnings of Babylon 5 itself, while his compositional style feels like season 5 is still running Wednesday nights on TNT.

As has already been noted in the DVD review, The Lost Tales is split into two segments on a single DVD, and as such the soundtrack follows suit. At just under 40 minutes, The Lost Tales may seem like a throwback to the days of the one-score-per-disc “episodic” CDs of the late ’90s, but as The Lost Tales itself is abbreviated, with both of its stories not quite racking up 80 minutes total, this isn’t a complete surprise. The music is presented in order, starting with the underscore for the incredibly effective intro sequence and going straight into Lochley’s side of the story, Over Here. Comprising the first 13 tracks, Over Here is largely a rumbling, menacing low drone, with a few moments of apocalyptic flavoring (the church organ in “Energy” and the heartbeat-as-rhythm in “Devil Threat”). While it all sounds authentically Babylon 5 just by virtue of being Christopher Franke music, it’s subtly different from his episode scores of the past.

As with the DVD itself, things really kick into gear starting with track 14 and Sheridan’s story, Over There. The music becomes quite a bit more active, with Franke bringing some of the industrial rhythms and pulsing strings into play that characterized the music from the first season of Babylon 5. In that way, the music from Over There almost goes back in time further than the story itself does, but it’s good stuff. But the end title music, which had no dialogue or effects to compete with, is where Franke finally cuts completely loose, hitting us with apocalyptic choir that surely would’ve spruced things up in Over Here. The Lost Tales on CD is a soundtrack where I got to the end and suddenly thought that the composer was holding back too much during the body of the show itself.

Curiously, while there are opportunities to quote material from the show’s past, Franke chooses only to return to the theme from the end of Sleeping In Light and the opening title theme from season five. Sheridan himself had quite a striking theme in season two, and the show itself had a more enduring theme early on than the season five variant.

3 out of 4The good news is that, as with the DVD itself, the music of the Lost Tales has room for improvement in the future, provided of course that this direct-to-DVD series drums up sales figures that merit its continuation (and if the same holds true for the soundtrack). While I didn’t think the DVD (or its musical score) was perfect, I’m enthusiastic enough about the potential of the Lost Tales to come along for another ride – and another listen.

Order this CD

  1. Intro 1 (0:51)
  2. Main Title (0:33)
  3. Opening (1:23)
  4. The Priest (1:24)
  5. Exorcism (1:13)
  6. The Stench (0:54)
  7. Your Name (4:07)
  8. Energy (1:24)
  9. Devil Threat (2:15)
  10. The Dream (0:57)
  11. Log Search (1:18)
  12. Send Back (3:15)
  13. Epilogue 1 (1:39)
  14. Intro 2 (1:36)
  15. Londo (0:44)
  16. G’Kar (1:57)
  17. Hyperspace (0:34)
  18. Destruction (1:05)
  19. Kill (1:58)
  20. I’m Save (1:00)
  21. Describe (1:16)
  22. The Station (1:08)
  23. Starfury (1:11)
  24. Prepare (2:28)
  25. Landing (0:36)
  26. Party (0:30)
  27. Epilogue 2 (0:36)
  28. End Credits (1:32)

Released by: Varese Sarabande
Release date: 2007
Total running time: 39:25