Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Star Trek, The Original Series: Pt. 1 (Courage, 1965)

     For fans of the original Star Trek television series, the background music is as familiar as Kirk, Spock and Bones themselves.  It's hard to over-emphasize how much the score successfully created the "vibe" of classic Trek, giving it a rich selection of adventurous and romantic themes to pit against more other-worldly scales, timbres and harmonies.  During its run, several major television composers worked on the program, but the first was Alexander Courage who, besides composing the iconic theme song, set the tone and tonal parameters for the entire series.

     Star Trek had a somewhat difficult birthing (well-documented in many books), and two pilots were necessary before the series was green-lighted.  Courage scored both, with each having unique themes, and only a brief quote from the first echoing into the second (Vina theme).  The first pilot, "The Cage",  was never aired as an episode proper, but was used as an extended flashback in the 2 part episode, "The Menagerie".  The second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before", was aired as the 3rd episode, pretty much as it was originally produced.

     The scores for the two pilots were first available on GNP Crescendo Records, but have more recently been released in expanded form on Lala-Land's "Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection", which includes every bit of music from the entire series.  The track listings below are from the 1st disc in this box set (of 15).

     "The Cage" opens with the Star Trek theme song, which has a descending introductory motif, a rising Trek fanfare, and then the "song" with full rhythm section.  The episode's underscore is dominated by the siren-like, falling 5-note Vina theme (usually in high winds such as flute), and the enigmatic Talosian theme, (echoed and plucked texture played on guitar and electronic instruments created by inventor Jack Cookerly).  In this pilot, Captain Pike is captured by the alien Talosians and is subjected to various fantasy illusions for the entertainment of the advanced zoo-keepers.  He also meets Vina, a survivor from a previous shipwreck.  Eventually the Talosians reject Pike and his crew due to their stubborn resistance to captivity.

     "Where No Man Has Gone Before" presents the 5-note Captain theme (a variation of the Trek fanfare) in an alternate main title (ultimately unused).  The noble Hero motif is also introduced here, and a few other figures which will reappear in future Courage Star Trek scores.  In this episode, Captain Kirk's best friend, Gary Mitchell gains godly powers after a disastrous trip to the edge of the galaxy.  Eventually Mitchell (and his partner Dr. Dehner, a sympathetic female psychiatrist) are corrupted by their new powers and Kirk is forced to destroy them on an uninhabited planet.

1.1: Alexander Courage: 
The Cage
Trk Dur Title Sequence, Themes
1 1:01 Main Title Opening spacescape (also later when the Enterprise travels at Warp 7 to the Talos system): Trek intro motif in high winds, Trek motif/fanfare in brass, Trek song theme in soprano/brass over rhythm section, leading to harps/vibraphone.
2 1:25 Dr. Bartender Captain Pike tells ship's doctor Boyce that he misses civilian life and is considering retiring: Trek motif/song melody in low muted brass, reflective winds.
3 1:47 Survivors The landing party discovers the survivors of a crashed ship;  Vina appears as the Talosians watch on a view screen: hopeful rising figures, Vina theme in flutes/plucked arpeggios, Talosian theme on guitar and echoey "electronic guitar",  joined by winds/bass, etc.
4 5:11 Prime Specimen 0:00: Vina refers to Pike as a "prime specimen": Vina theme with added chimes/harp, winding winds.
1:41: The Talosians knock out and capture Pike;  Spock and his men attempt to breach the Talosian barrier: Talosian theme cadence into fanfare and suspense figures.
Bottled 3:15: Pike wakes up as a member of an alien menagerie;  he meets his  Talosian captors: sustained high tones w bongos and electronic sounds, low wind/brass ornaments/organ, Talosian theme in layers, brief Trek motif.
5 5:43 Probing Pike is mentally and visually examined by the Talosians: Trek motif in low winds, Talosian theme, suspense texture joined by electronic sounds.
Monster Illusion 0:44: Pike is put into an illusion where he must help Vina on Rigel VII: Vina theme with timpani rhythm, alternating with brass tension figures.
2:09: An alien barbarian appears: suspense accents/fanfares etc., rising figures.
Monster Fight 3:22: Pike fights the barbarian: low wind/brass-driven action cue, brass fanfares, Vina theme, brass/wind action figures/cadences, Vina theme.
The Kibitzers 5:00: When the illusion ends, the Talosians (who have been watching) quickly depart: Vina and Talosian themes.
6 2:05 Long Look 0:00: Vina is disappointed that Pike will not cooperate and suggest more fantasy scenarios: rising winds as suspense figures into Vina theme.
"Since you're not real, there's not much point in continuing this conversation, is there?"
Vina's Punishment 0:12: When Vina answers a few of Pike's questions, the Talosians punish her; Pike searches for escape in his cage; he is given a nutrition drink: Vina theme on solo flute, Talosian theme, wind fanfares, Talosian/Trek motifs, winding wind figure with gong/brass accents, etc.
7 0:39 Pike's Punishment When Pike resists drinking it, he is made to imagine burning up in flames: Talosian theme in low tones rising into danger fanfares, brief Trek motif.
8 2:20 The Picnic The Talosians put Pike and Vina in a familiar rural setting, and Pike remembers his discussion with Dr. Boyce: Talosian theme, pastoral texture in guitar soon joined by oboe/clarinet, then flute.
"Have you forgotten my headaches, Darling? I get them when you talk strangely like this."
9 1:27 True Love Pike shows sympathy for Vina's situation and they express mutual attraction for each other: Vina theme, developed.
10 1:57 Vina's Dance Vina is presented as an alien harem girl: Vina theme exotic variation (somewhat "Romanesque"?) on winds/harp/guitar over a rhythm section.
11 1:12 Torchy Girl 0:00: Vina appears to Pike in a cave holding a torch: seductive Vina figures. 
Under the Spell 0:14: Number 1 and the Yeoman Colt are presented to a dazed Pike: Vina theme on flute with some vestiges of the exotic variation.
Primitive Thoughts 0:38: Pike attempts to block the Talosians with angry thoughts: suspense textures/swells.
"He doesn't need you, he's already picked me!"
"Picked her?  For what?  I don't understand."
"Now, there's a fine choice for intelligent offspring!"
12 0:45 Wrong Think The Talosian leader punishes Pike for his resistance: "danger" fanfare, Talosian theme (fast with added dissonant textures), Trek motif.
13 1:28 To Catch a T. The captives pretend to be asleep, but when the Talosian leader tries to retrieve some weapons, Pike gets his hands on him.  The Talosian threatens to destroy the Enterprise: quiet suspense on flute based on Talosian theme, brass accents, Talosian theme, urgent fanfares, suspenseful Talosian theme.
14 1:13 Going Up Pike calls the Talosian's bluff and manages to get everyone into the elevator and back up to the surface: trilling texture, determined wind "mission" figures ending in harp.
15 2:15 Max's Factor Number 1 and Yeoman Colt are returned to the ship.  The Talosians reveal Vina's true form: her face devolves, and she explains that the Talosians didn't quite know how to repair her.  The Talosians give her back the illusion of beauty (and more): accent into rising wind figures, falling wind/brass figures into desolate Vina theme on bassoon, and then back up to flute with added soprano.
16 1:39 Who Was Eve/
End Credits
Yeoman Colt asks Pike who would have been "Eve".  The Enterprise flies through space (end credits): sheepish Trek motif on bassoon, trumpet, oboe, then Trek theme song.
1.2: Alexander Courage: 
Where No Man Has Gone Before
17 1:08 Beyond the Pale
(No Man Before)/
Main Title
Prologue sequence (for network presentation): electronic pulses, Captain's theme (Trek motif variation) in layers, Hero motif.
18 0:39 Act 1 Card Kirk voice over describes the mission to investigate a distress signal at the edge of the galaxy: Hero motif in low brass under falling wind figure, Captain's theme.
19 1:27 Episode Titles After retrieving the Valiant's battered ship recorder, Kirk orders an alert.  Mitchell joins Kirk in the turbo-lift on the way to the bridge: high suspended textures/pulses alternating with Hero motif in low brass, then jazzy rhythm (unused), high textures over snare accents, rising figures.
20 4:09 Force Field 0:00: Spock reports that the Valiant ordered a self-destruct.  Kirk orders the Enterprise to continue and they encounter a force field at the galaxy's border: Captain's theme in brass, suspense figures with echoed pulses, high falling figures over slow low rising figures, joined by Hero motif in trumpets, low brass.
Silver Orbs (Zooms Past) 2:15: The ship incurs damage from the external forces; Kirk orders a retreat and Mitchell and Dr. Dehner are zapped by unknown forces: brass danger fanfares based on Hero motif, high dissonant chords, bass pulses with echoed high elements, ending in high "shimmering" texture (Gary's glowing eyes, probably celesta).
21 1:00 Crippled Ship Kirk reports the ship's damage to his log; Spock and Kirk review psychic ability records on Mitchell and Dehner: echoed beeps over Captain's theme/low swells, rapid wind rhythm ending texture.
22 1:52 The Patient 0:00: Kirk visits Mitchell in sick bay: urgent, staccato wind rhythm into high textures, Captain's theme in muted brass.
Speedy Reader 0:46: Mitchell gives Kirk a playful warning;  he then begins reading faster and faster.  Finally he gives Kirk an unsettling stare through the view screen: suspense brass accents, Captain's theme into rapid wind/brass martial/rhythmic figure with high organ, accelerating, ending with muted brass cadence.
23 2:24 Some Corpse Mitchell shows Dehner how he can feign death.  He then demonstrates his total recall of all of the books he has been reading (they flirt): low textures/figures, Vina theme variation on flute, developed.
24 3:05 Decision 0:00: After learning of Mitchell's powers, Spock convinces Kirk to drop Mitchell off on an abandoned planet: Captain's theme in brass, suspense cadence.
Playtime 0:16: Kirk records in his log that they must maroon Mitchell.  Mitchell practices telekinesis in his room: high textures/echoed beeps with Hero motif/Captain's theme in low brass/low textures, winding wind figure/echo beeps/low percussion.
Megalomania 1:32: Mitchell tells Kirk that he hasn't decided exactly what kind of world he'd like to "use".  After he attacks Kirk and Spock, Dehner disables him with a tranquilizer and they bring him to the transporter: suspense figures into accent, winding figure, brass accents.
"You fools! Soon I'll squash you like insects!"
Stronger and Stronger 2:20: Fighting his prison, Mitchell's super powers subside, but almost immediately return: high shimmering texture, suspense with low textures/electronic tones/celesta.
Hit the Button 3:00: Kirk gives last resort self-destruct orders if Mitchell gets out of control: dramatic accent cadence with drums.
25 1:17 On Delta Vega 0:00: Kirk records in his log his concerns about Mitchell: dissonant high texture/falling celesta figure with rising Captain's theme fragment in muted brass, dissonant winds.
Strangle by Wire 0:40: Mitchell uses telekinesis to strangle Kelso, the fail-safe operator: ominous rising brass into brass accent, suspense.
26 1:04 When Your Eyes Have Turned to Silver Mitchell shocks Kirk and Spock, then reveals that Dr. Dehner's eyes are now glowing as well: blaring trumpet accent, suspense textures on brass and electronic sounds, tremolo celesta, Captain's theme in muted trumpets.
27 2:58 Instant Paradise Mitchell uses his powers to create a vegetation patch in the desolate landscape; he senses Kirk tracking Mitchell and Dehner's path;  Kirk accidentally knocks down a rock; Mitchell produces Katherian apples; Mitchell has Dehner go to Kirk, who sees that Dehner's eyes have changed also: alien wind/chime harmonized figures with electronic sounds, suspenseful Captain's theme in brass/timpani rolls, brass accent, brass suspense, falling gliss (Katherian apples), etc.
28 6:11 Power Mad 0:00: Mitchell arrives and Kirk shoots him with the phaser rifle.  Mitchell disarms Kirk and creates a grave site for him.  He forces Kirk to his knees and makes him "pray".  Dehner attacks Mitchell, depowering him briefly: Captain's theme in suspenseful brass, rising accent figures, various falling suspense chords, eventually joined by timpani punctuation, Captain's theme in brass, more ominous falling chords/accents, high shimmering texture/brass accents (Dehner attacks Mitchell).
Situation Grave 2:59: Kirk and Mitchell fight hand to hand.  Kirk eventually buries Mitchell in the grave site: rising Captain's theme fragments in layers of brass accents, high shimmering texture, etc., final cymbal crash leads to reflective Captain's theme in trumpet, fading variation of Vina theme becoming Captain's theme motif.
Epilogue 5:35: Kirk makes a final log entry concerning Mitchell and Dehner: Hero motif in trumpet/high shimmering, Hero motif in flute/bittersweet textures.
29 0:24 End Title The Enterprise flies off into space: Hero motif in brass over shimmering textures.
30 0:22 End Credits Unused: Swirling winds and Hero motif in brass becoming a somewhat "Western-style" ending cadence.

Star Trek, The Original Series: Analysis Pt. 2 (Courage, 1965)
Star Trek TOS Music Wiki
Lala-Land's "Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection"
Star Trek: The Original Series Soundtrack Collection on Star Trek Soundtracks.com
The Cage on Star Trek Soundtracks.com 

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