Star Trek: The Motion Picture – 20th Anniversary Edition

Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack 20th Anniversary EditionThank God! After years of waiting – literally years – the remastered Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack is available. Up until the 11th hour in December 1998, this 2-CD set was intended to be released at the same time as Star Trek: Insurrection‘s soundtrack and Ron Jones’ original music from the CD-ROM game Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. But Paramount’s marketing wing blanched at the thought of three simultaneous Star Trek music releases, and demanded that this collection and the Starfleet Academy album be held back indefinitely. Alas, Sonic Images’ Starfleet Academy CD has yet to see the light of day, but after hearing this digitally remastered soundtrack with its wealth of previously unreleased material, I begin to see why the Paramount brass was so worried. The power, exotic beauty and timelessness of the first Trek film’s soundtrack – even though composed by the same man who scored Star Trek: Insurrection – easily outshines damn near any other Star Trek CD that could’ve been released at the same time.

Disc one not only adds nearly half an hour of previously unreleased music from that first movie, but every cue is crisply remastered and sequenced in order of its original appearance in the movie. This places the lovely theme for the short-lived Lt. Ilia first on the disc, since it appeared in the movie as an overture over a blank screen. The second disc includes the entire contents of the hitherto hard-to-find Inside Star Trek LP released by Columbia in 1976. Inside Star Trek features several late luminaries – Gene Roddenberry, Mark Lenard, Isaac Asimov – discussing and lecturing on science fiction in general, and of course, Star Trek in particular. William Shatner and DeForest Kelley also appear on the album, which now has newly-recorded introductory and closing material by Nichelle Nichols. Inside Star Trek is seriously fannish novelty material. I have the original LP, given to me by a friend several years ago, and having heard it long ago, never expected to see an official CD release.

But back to the music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. One quickly realizes that most of the material which is being heard on CD for the first time here makes up some of the score’s quieter moments – “Total Logic”, the cue which accompanies Spock’s rejection of Kolinahr; “Games”, a nicely understated cue which played under a scene of Decker trying to reacquaint an alien probe in the form of Lt. Ilia with her original memories, and a few others. Many of them are less otherworldly-sounding than the blaster beam laden V’Ger cues, but all of them are epic in scale and amazing to hear at full blast.

4 out of 4Though the “bonus CD” renders this a slightly more expensive purchase than usual, I cannot recommend the 20th anniversary edition of the Star Trek: The Motion Picture soundtrack highly enough. Though the long wait for this release has been frustrating, to say the least, it’s definitely worth the wait.

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    Disc one

  1. Ilia’s Theme (3:01)
  2. Main Title (1:23)
  3. Klingon Attack (5:27)
  4. Total Logic (3:34)
  5. Floating Office (1:03)
  6. The Enterprise (5:59)
  7. Leaving Drydock (3:29)
  8. Spock’s Arrival (1:58)
  9. The Cloud (4:58)
  10. V’Ger Flyover (4:57)
  11. The Force Field (5:03)
  12. Games (3:41)
  13. Spock Walk (4:19)
  14. Inner Workings (3:09)
  15. V’Ger Speaks (3:50)
  16. The Meld (3:09)
  17. A Good Start (2:26)
  18. End Title (3:16)
    Disc two

  1. Star Trek Theme (1:34)
  2. Introduction – Nichelle Nichols (1:13)
  3. Inside Star Trek (1:04)
  4. William Shatner Meets Captain Kirk (9:12)
  5. Introduction to live show (0:25)
  6. About Science Fiction (0:40)
  7. The Origin of Spock (1:45)
  8. Sarek’s Son Spock – Mark Lenard (7:21)
  9. The Questor Affair (3:49)
  10. The Genesis II Pilot (2:34)
  11. Cyborg Tools and E.T. Life Forms (4:06)
  12. McCoy’s Rx for Life – DeForest Kelley (6:14)
  13. The Star Trek Philosophy – Gene Roddenberry (4:40)
  14. Asimov’s World of Science Fiction – Isaac Asimov (6:27)
  15. The Enterprise Runs Aground (1:50)
  16. A Letter from a Network Censor – Gene Roddenberry (5:03)
  17. The Star Trek Dream (Ballad I/Ballad II) (5:43)
  18. Sign-Off – Nichelle Nichols (0:50)

Released by: Columbia / Sony Legacy
Release date: 1999
Disc one total running time: 67:12
Disc two total running time: