The Sentimental Agent is a great soundtrack and another ITC series soundtrack I regularly play. Highly recommended.
I got their release a number of years ago. It's good stuff. I'm glad they changed their approach after kicking it off with The Prisoner. The Prisoner was like a reference collection of cues in recording order rather than grouped by episode. It was a mess until they did a re-release which also included the Chappell Library music.Has anyone picked up the Network “Man In A Suitcases” soundtrack?
Hey Scott! A couple pages back you were chomping at the bit awaiting the arrival of your Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea soundtrack release, and then never left any comments about your reactions to listening to it! What gives? Where's the review, man?I got their release a number of years ago. It's good stuff. I'm glad they changed their approach after kicking it off with The Prisoner. The Prisoner was like a reference collection of cues in recording order rather than grouped by episode. It was a mess until they did a re-release which also included the Chappell Library music.
Ha! Sorry about that! Thanks for checking up, here are my most excellent thoughts about this awesome set...Hey Scott! A couple pages back you were chomping at the bit awaiting the arrival of your Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea soundtrack release, and then never left any comments about your reactions to listening to it! What gives? Where's the review, man?
Thanks for taking the time to post those "most excellent" thoughts, Scott!Ha! Sorry about that! Thanks for checking up, here are my most excellent thoughts about this awesome set...
“Eleven Days to Zero” – our sole example of first season scoring. The same program as the GNP release, but with improved sound quality. I really hope more cues from that year are discovered as Sawtell’s pilot score isn’t really a good representation of the first season’s music. I’m very happy to have the pilot end titles sounding a lot better than the rip I made from DVD.
“Jonah and the Whale” – a fabulous score and one I am very familiar with. I resisted the urge to jump to “new to me” music and wanted to take this in order. So lovely to hear the whole thing in great sound. I always loved Jerry’s theme and the variations on it are a revelation.
“Time Bomb” – whatever my thoughts about the episode, the music is sublime. It’s a totally different direction for Voyage and the hints of the Flying Sub theme are tantalizing. Meanwhile, the cue "Get Into the Car / Litchka's Apartment" is just bloody beautiful. Really a lovely piece. Just thought I'd put that out there....
“…And Five of Us Are Left” – what a great score! It’s a shame so much of it is missing, but the music stem replacements are very well restored and it’s a great representation of the score. The marches, themes and personally dramatic music is spot on. The triumph of the finale put a HUGE smile on my face.
"The X-Factor" - Great music is really all it has going for it, and this IS a fabulous score. The wholesale lifting of the pilot’s opening gambit – and casting William Hudson as Shires just to use his footage – is so blatant it couldn’t possibly have been lost on the audiences of the day. Even those “short memory” years, such a memorable action set-piece must have stuck out like a sore thumb. It’s still exciting, arguably more so since the Stevens’ music is more thrilling than Sawtell’s. Strangely, even at the more kid-friendly hour, the violence of the sequence is left largely intact. Other than a slight cut to remove an unconvincing under-cranked shot of a motorcycle escort going over the embankment. Hudson being shot in the head remains and there’s a great shot of Nelson tumbling to a halt (Basehart doing the stunt himself) and emptying his gun in rapid shots into the assassin in the helicopter. The scream from the original pilot episode is gone, as is the bad cartoon of the body hitting the turbulent waters. Great care was made to obscure Nelson’s 4th star in the new footage so as to match the 3 in the pilot footage. It’s a shame the same care didn’t go into the rest of the episode.
“The Return of Blackbeard” was always one of my favorite Voyage scores and I really love the episode. Unlike the equally frivolous “Terrible Leprechaun,” “Blackbeard” works for me. It feels like an intentional comedy in the music as well as performances. You can say the same thing about “Terrible Leprechaun” (which has the same tongue in cheek performances and sweet musical score), but where “Blackbeard” gets a pass is in concept. It’s a situation that is uniquely and appropriately “Voyage.” The series had already established the spirit world crossed over with theirs in previous episodes, so a ghost isn’t off concept. And he was a legendary pirate, which is perfect for the series. This could have been played totally straight, like “The Phantom Strikes” and would have still worked. “Leprechaun” is just ridiculous. It has no connection to sea lore, nor is it sci-fi or submarine/Naval drama. It, like “The Abominable Snowman” is just children’s fantasy. So while some people find episodes like “The Lobster Man” and “The Heat Monster” to be awful, I enjoy them because they fit in the format. “Terrible Leprechaun” is probably the one episode I actually hate because it’s as out of place as “Mutiny in Space” was on Lost in Space.
Having said alllll of that, I always truly adored the Mullendore music for “Blackbeard.” It is relentlessly upbeat and jaunty. It truly feels like it could have been composed for an Errol Flynn swashbuckler. There are three distinct brawls in the episode and each is highlighted by Mullendore and made more fun than the average fight. The pre credits are really suspenseful before suddenly exploding in Seafaring Swash. The music never lets you forget this is just a grand party for a Sunday evening. I know I’m gonna go back to this score often like I did Mullendore’s other Irwin Allen efforts. He truly knew how to accent these shows.
Leith Stevens' score to "A Time to Die" is a frigging masterpiece. He composed a "time" themed score but it was so well done, it worked in other episodes which had no connection with time travel. Maybe because I saw a lot of these episodes for the first time on weekends in the summer, this music conjures up feelings of sunny Sunday afternoons watching Lobster Men, Amphibians and fist fights in the reactor room.
The episode itself is middling, a run around with a lot of padding - like 5 minutes of a clip from the third season's "Thing from Inner Space." Mr. Pem succeeds as a character solely on the charm of Henry Jones who infused him with am impish quality. There is no real plot to speak of and, like a lot of William Welch's episodes, the danger is a MacGuffin allowing the characters to run around, have fights and simply fill 51 minutes. Mr. Pem could have been a great character, a sort of Anti-Doctor Who. When he returns in the series finale, the episode is a lot better, but he's just as sketchily drawn.
However, the music is the saving grace and Stevens creates a great four note theme that stays with the series until the end. Better still, he bends and twists it as Pem reverses Nelson's fight in the reactor room. Instead of either creating an exciting underscore or simply running music backward, Stevens composed music that when (apparently) run backwards still plays the four note theme! Now I'm not 100% sure whether or not the music was written to be run backwards or if it was written to SOUND that way, but not only is it brilliant - it's a LOT more creative than the episode deserved. It's Sol Kaplan "Doomsday Machine" level creative. For music written to be disposable on a series designed to be seen once and forgotten, this is genius. Maybe he was doing the heavy lifting for a show that had gone lazy, but having now listened to his work on Lost in Space and Land of the Giants as well, I can confidently state Voyage contained Leith Stevens' best work for Irwin Allen. Utterly brilliant.
“Blow Up” is epic scoring, very full and filmic. It really livens up an episode which was great for being a cast-focused suspense piece, but not a logical one (Crane puts up with a lot of shenanigans he wouldn’t normally). There was a lean toward more realism at the start of the season. “Blow Up,” “Rescue,” “Man of Many Faces” and “Sealed Orders” (all by William Welch) were great monsterless episodes with some crazy plot holes. But since it’s Irwin Allen, these are a relief from the endless parade of monsters and alien menaces. These are like “Anti-Matter Man” on Lost in Space, which is primarily seen a great because the half dozen episodes before it are so dire. Yet the holes are huge. At this point, the best you could hope for is fairly sober action adventure. And “Blow Up” is a great example of reeling in the crazy fantasy in favor of drama and letting Basehart go a little nuts. Director Justus Addiss infuses a lot of energy into the proceedings, Richard Basehart slays the material as always and Leith Stevens’ powerhouse score does the rest. It’s still so strange that the scoring sessions included the new arrangement of the theme and they didn’t even use it here. Three episodes aired with it first and even in production # order, “Blow Up” falls after “Terror” which was the first episode to use it.
Having listened to this set a few times now, I gotta say I’m thrilled. It’s a legit shame so much music was lost, but I’ve grown accustomed to Voyage getting the short shift luck-wise. No Blu-Ray release, had the shorted CD run time when the GNPs came out and now so much music has been lost. While I hope alternative sources are found or maybe some stuff was just labeled incorrectly, but really, what was found and released so far is amazing. Really, I can’t thank everyone involved enough. With luck, the response was strong enough to make a volume 2 a certainty.
On my own personal playlist, I have moved the cue “Clown Command” from the LIS set to Voyage. I also shifted the Leith Stevens library cues over. They are much closer I sound to Voyage than LIS and are great at the end of Disc 2. In the days to come, I’ll move a bunch of Fox movie cues over, the stuff that Voyage leaned on regularly from Leigh Harline, Hugo Friedhofer, Herrmann, Lionel Newman and Alfred Newman, etc.
Fabulous set, I heartily recommend it.
TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE PRISONER SOUNDTRACK CDs.I'm glad they changed their approach after kicking it off with The Prisoner. The Prisoner was like a reference collection of cues in recording order rather than grouped by episode. It was a mess until they did a re-release which also included the Chappell Library music.
Awesome summary! But there's just one more. Network released a set that combined their original and the Chappell music library, but organized the music by episode and put the alternate and unused takes at the end.I certainly hope this is it as I don't have much more room for Prisoner CDs!
I have both versions of The Man In a Suitcase soundtrack and have just checked and the number of tracks are identical on both versions.My impression was that the cd includes more music.
Having bought all The Prisoner soundtracks; I disliked the first release as it was exceedingly boring to listen to as it was very repetitive.Awesome summary! But there's just one more. Network released a set that combined their original and the Chappell music library, but organized the music by episode and put the alternate and unused takes at the end.
It's a much more cohesive listening experience. View attachment 78254 View attachment 78255