Logan’s Run: The Series

Logan's Run: The Series soundtrackIt’s hard to follow Jerry Goldsmith. Take Star Trek: Voyager, for example – each week, Goldsmith’s sweeping theme would often be followed by something that, despite the valiant efforts of the composers who scored each episode (and due to the restraints imposed on them by the show’s producers), simply couldn’t be in the same league. When MGM decided to continue the story of Logan’s Run on the small screen in the late 1970s, the decision was made to “reboot” the story – to essentially retell the movie in a different context that would lead seamlessly into an ongoing series of adventures. The main roles were recast, and so too was the music; gone were the futuristic city setting and Jerry Goldsmith’s avant-garde electronics, replaced by something much more traditional and, perhaps, not a million miles away from Fantasy Island (a thought that I had before opening the liner notes booklet and seeing that composer Bruce Broughton, who scored other episodes represented on this CD, said the same thing). This CD from Film Score Monthly presents the highlights from the entire series, written by several different composers.

Laurence Rosenthal was tapped for the extended-length pilot, several early episodes, and the theme music that would open every subsequent episode. The difference between all of the music on this CD and the score to the movie that inspired the series is stark – where the movie score achieves a little bit of timelessness through unusual instrumentation and unconventional musical thinking, the TV scores are clearly rooted in the pre-Star Wars 1970s. To a greater or lesser extent, depending on who composed it, virtually every track references Rosenthal’s main theme, but instead of being used as an adaptable leitmotif, the theme is quoted almost in its entirety every time it appears.

The theme itself is a snapshot out of time, with a Yamaha organ providing an electronic “siren” effect that, to put it lightly, hasn’t exactly aged gracefully. (It almost sounds like someone had a hot game of Asteroids going during the recording session.) And that’s about as electronic as this iteration of Logan’s Run gets.

The episode score suites do occasionally bear a certain similarity to some of the movie’s action cues, however, particularly those by Rosenthal himself. Bruce Broughton contributes a couple of decent tracks from two of his episodes, two more tracks are from Jerrold Immel’s score, and another track features score music by Jeff Alexander. The rest of the music is by Rosenthal, including a brief selection of “commercial break bumpers” that heralded a commercial interruption.

Now, I’m not judging this music solely on its similarity or lack thereof to a movie score by Jerry Goldsmith; the TV series was aimed squarely at family viewing time, and as such it’s pitched as a whole different animal. But it’s hard not to have the comparison in the back of one’s mind – how much more different could two projects bearing the same name and underlying premise be? The music itself is pleasant enough, though occasionally the age of the source material shows where audio fidelity is concerned. But in the end, there’s a phrase in a paragraph in the booklet describing one of the tracks, explaining that the track is comprised of brief excerpts of a score that wouldn’t have stood up to extended CD listening. To a certain degree, that applies to this CD as a whole. It’s neat to have another vintage SF series musically unearthed and lavished with packaging that’s as informative as it is attractive (Film Score Monthly is the best in the business at that), but as a listening experience, it’s an exercise in how well some music dates…and how well some doesn’t.

rating: 4 out of 4I can really only recommend this one to fans of the show – a show which, I’ll admit, I barely remember myself. Though the liner notes booklet, whose extensive episode guide reveals that such luminaries as D.C. Fontana, David Gerrold, Shimon Wincelberg and even Harlan Ellison worked on the series, makes me hope that a DVD release is in the planning stages somewhere; maybe then I’ll have a better appreciation of this version of Logan’s Run, and its music.

Order this CD

  1. Main Title (1:11)
  2. Pilot Suite, Part 1 (8:43)
  3. Pilot Suite, Part 2 (6:18)
  4. Pilot Suite, Part 3 (7:47)
  5. Bumpers (0:10)
  6. The Collectors (4:10)
  7. Capture (music by Jeff Alexander) (5:56)
  8. The Innocent (music by Jerrold Immel) (6:29)
  9. Man Out Of Time (9:06)
  10. Half Life (music by Jerrold Immel) (8:46)
  11. Fear Factor (music by Bruce Broughton) (11:39)
  12. Futurepast (6:40)
  13. Night Visitors (music by Bruce Broughton) (1:55)
  14. End Title (0:38)

Released by: Film Score Monthly
Release date: 2004
Total running time: 79:55