This week’s Monday Music comes from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. All the attention has been sucked up by Jerry Goldsmith’s theme music which was later used as the main theme for The Next Generation, however he came up with some other lovely pieces within the film.
Here’s what I wrote about the film itself in my Taste of Cinema article:
There is a lot to like about the first Star Trek film. The central premise is a very good one and the visuals are stunning in places; the cast are still fresh and the situation has enough menace to make the setup quite powerful.
The problem however, is that this very rarely feels like a Star Trek film. We spend far too much time with characters that should be on the outside looking in rather than the other way around. Commander Decker is a constant irritant thrown in only to highlight Kirk’s time away from command, which could have been dealt with far more simply, and Lieutenant Ilea serves only to wait around in order to become a cipher for the Vger figure at the heart of the narrative.
The real problem with the film is how it lacks any of the necessary pace to be considered an adventure. There are agonisingly long visual sequences that are intended to show the size and depth of Vger but offer nothing in building tension. There is also an extended love letter to the USS Enterprise in the form of an excruciatingly long drydock sequence; every angle of the ship explored ad nauseum. It would have been far better to spend the time showing the ship in action as opposed to gazing at it as it sits motionless over the Earth.
The film could have been cut down to a shorter running time and lost nothing of its narrative punch. Jerry Goldsmith’s score is wonderful and there are some great musical interludes which add something to the effect of the film, however the action in the film never quite lives up to the bombast and power of the score.
Bombast aside, I’m particularly fond of this more tender arrangement: Ilia’s theme.
Cheers for reading and watching. If you enjoyed this, check out the links below for some of my other Monday Music posts.
Have a good week,