Soundtrack Review: Star Trek The Motion Picture

Soundtrack Review: Star Trek The Motion Picture

Star Trek The Motion Picture Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Star Trek The Motion Picture by Jerry Goldsmith.

At a glance:

59 tracks
202 minutes of score
Geek Score: 98.3
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 180.58
Album Excellence: 89%
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How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

In memory of Leonard Nimoy…

Star Trek The Motion Picture from 1979 was the return of the beloved crew of the USS Enterprise after quite a long hiatus. It must have been quite a joyful evening for the true Star Trek fans to see the crew reunited. When an alien spacecraft of enormous power is spotted approaching Earth, Admiral Kirk resumes command of the Starship Enterprise in order to intercept, examine and hopefully stop the intruder. The score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith and this review is part of Big J’s Sunday.

My first look at Star Trek was in the late 80s with Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was lucky enough to have a satellite dish at the time and somehow managed to watch Sky One and there it was. Before this time, I hadn’t really paid much attention to Star Trek, but it became a weekly ritual for me to watch the crew of TNG explore space and solve interesting dilemmas. The music was also great, specially the opening titles. I didn’t know it then, but now I know it’s the new main theme that Goldsmith created for Star Trek The Motion Picture. It all starts with the ‘Overture’ though, or Ilia’s Theme as it can also be called. Ilia, the Deltan navigator became such an important part of the first movie and here theme is so filled with emotions even though she seems almost Vulcan in her approach. It’s a fantastic theme though, one of Jerry’s absolute best.

‘Main Title / Klingon Battle’ contains a new theme for the Star Trek universe and it’s quite fantastic. Like Roddenberry’s vision, it is positive, uplifting and heroic and will get stuck in your mind immediately once you hear it. It then transcends into one of the most perfect themes I have heard, the Klingon theme. The lovely wood percussion and the melody is absolutely spot on for the Klingon empire. I still remember the scene where the three K’t’inga-class warships comes flying at me with that music. At that moment I almost wish I was klingon. Then the V’ger cloud arrives and Jerry’s famous use of the “Blaster Beam”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more science fiction sound than that. It is superb and represents the cloud to perfection.

The Vulcan home planet is a piece of work, volcanic and violent, unless those Vulcans I may add, contains a mysterious theme in ‘Total Logic’, lots of dark cracking noises, one created mostly for mood, but also to reflect Spock’s inner most thoughts and the decision he makes at that time. ‘Floating Office’ and ‘Enterprise’ are love themes, really the are. The love between a captain and his ship. When Scotty shows Kirk the Enterprise, there is love at first sight and the music is an ever uplifting and bombastic version of the main theme. I love this scene and the music. Perfection.

There’s a couple of times that the original TV themes is heard and that’s in ‘TV Theme / Warp Point Eight’ and ‘TV Theme / Warp Point Nine’. The cloud though, that’s special. Moody and dark cues using the blaster beam to good effect. ‘Meet V’ger’, ‘V’get Flyover’ and particularly ‘The Cloud’ is really great. It’s around this time that the score takes a darker turn. The uplifting bright futuristic vision is replaced by the possible end of Earth and all it’s existence. The transformation of Ilia is represented in ‘Micro Exam’ a brilliant mix of dark robotic textures and human emotion.

This is the ultimate score for Star Trek fans. Not only do you get the complete score and the original album, but you get a ton of alternatives and early versions which are sometimes even better than the ones used in the film. The La-La Land Records release is a must for Star Trek fans.

1. Overture *
2. Main Title / Klingon Battle *
3. Total Logic
4. Floating Office
5. The Enterprise *
6. Malfunction
7. Goodbye Klingon / Goodbye Epislon Nine / Pre-Launch
8. Leaving Drydock *
9. TV Theme / Warp Point Eight
10. No Goodbyes *
11. Spock’s Arrival
12. TV Theme / Warp Point Nine
13. Meet V’ger
14. The Cloud
15. V’ger Flyover
16. The Force Field
17. Micro Exam
18. Games / Spock walk (Part One) / Spock Walk (Part Two)
19. System Inoperative
21. Inner Workings

2. The Meld / A Good Start *
3. End Title *
4. The Enterprise (Early Version) *
5. Leaving Drydock (Early Version) *
6. No Goodbyes (Early Version) *
7. Spock’s Arrival (Early Version) *
8. Micro Exam (Early Version) *
9. Games (Early Version) *
10. Inner Workings (Early Version)
11. Main Title / Klingon Battle *
12. Leaving Drydock *
14. The Enterprise *
15. Ilia’s Theme *
16. Vejur Flyover
17. The Meld
18. Spock Walk
19. End Title *

1. Overture (Long Version) *
2. Main Title (Alternate Take) *
3. Total Logic (Alternate Take)
4. Malfunction (Early Take)
5. Goodbye Klingon (Alternate Take)
6. No Goodbyes (Alternate Take) *
7. Spock’s Arrival (Alternate Take)
8. The Force Field (Alternate Take)
9. Micro Exam (Alternate Take)
10. Games (Early Synthesizer Version) *
11. Games (Alternate Take)
14. The Meld (Film Version) *
15. A Good Start (Discrete) *
16. Main Title (Album Take) *
22. Main Theme From Star Trek The Motion Picture (Bob James) *
24. Ilia’s Theme (Alternate) *
25. Theme From Star Trek The Motion Picture (Concert Edit) *

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: Star Trek The Motion Picture, 9.9 out of 10 based on 7 ratings


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