Sunday, March 13, 2016

Review: Live long and prosper with "Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage"

Justin Freer and the orchestra
Photo: Erika Goldring,
It's a concert! It's a movie! It's Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert Tour, and it played the Fox for one night only this past Wednesday (March 9, 2016).

It's also a really long title, but maybe that's appropriate given the longevity of the Trek franchise. I know when I first started watching the series back in 1966, it never would have occurred to me that it would still be around a half-century later. I expected personal jet packs and robot maids, but a fiftieth anniversary concert tour with a 30-piece symphony orchestra and clips from five Trek TV shows and eight (or was it nine) feature films on a 40-foot screen? Now that would have been fanciful!

Produced by CineConcerts and written by the company's co-founder Randy Beaubien, Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is a lively multi-media romp through the franchise's various media incarnations. Segments focus on the captains and crews of the Trek TV shows, with the heaviest emphasis on the original series, Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, along with the more popular movies.

That means lots of footage from (say) ST II: The Wrath of Kahn, ST IV: The Voyage Home, and ST VI: The Undiscovered Country but not so much from stinkers like ST V: The Final Frontier. There are even clips from the reboot film Star Trek Into Darkness. Editor David H. Tanaka has chosen the segments well and seamlessly edited them together into scenes that don't always make dramatic sense but which do complement the music perfectly.

And this is, ultimately, all about the music. Under the assured baton of composer, conductor, and film music specialist Justin Freer, the orchestra delivers two hours of some of the best Trek TV and film music, much of it from the pens of noted composers such as Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, and Michael Giacchino. My favorite segment was the loving video tribute to the various incarnations of the Enterprise set, appropriately, to the "Enterprise" segment from the first Star Trek film.

When Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage 50th Anniversary Concert Tour comes to your city, you'll probably have your favorites as well. You can find a complete list of tour dates and locations  at the tour web site. If you're a Trek fan, you won't want to miss this reminder of how a risky low-budget SF show from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's Desilu Productions went on to live long and prosper.

No comments: