Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Doctor Twilight-Out Of This World (1996)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 13, 2016

Out of this world indeed! That's because the instrumental tunes collected here on this special 25-track compilation are all theme songs to familiar and hugely popular science fiction-themed television shows and movies from more than two decades ago. The identity of this mysterious artist who calls himself 'Doctor Twilight' is unknown to me, but I must say he does an excellent job in creating these memorable audio bites from the past, using his own synthesized electronic arrangements to capture the magic of the orchestral scores used for the original soundtrack versions. The 'trekkie' in me had to start with all of the "Star Trek" ones; specifically, the "Star Trek: Voyager" theme was my first, considering it's my favorite of all the trek shows and that I've been helping myself to a steady flow of reruns over the past several days, just for old time's sake. I'd almost forgotten that "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" actually had two theme songs—the second one being used in the latter three seasons, if I recall correctly—but it's the first theme that you'll get to hear Dr. Twilight reworking here. A bit odd to hear the Doctor's squeaky voice delivering the memorable introductory speech that begins with 'space...the final frontier' for the theme to the original "Star Trek" series; I'm much more accustomed to hearing Patrick Stewart's distinctively-British accent delivering the words during the opening intro to "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Thinking more about "Star Trek" and such, I'dd determined early on in my listening to this compilation that all of these tunes, in fact, sound a lot like the music used in the sci-fi-themed computer game series that parodied "Star Trek" called "Space Quest", starring the humorous Roger Wilco (if you've never played these highly-addicting point-and-click games before, then I highly recommend them!). Besides "Star Trek", I was also nostalgically fun hearing Dr. Twilight's reworkings of a few other movies and series that I faithfully watched (or sometimes faithfully watched), such as "The X-Files" and "E.T." (I was thrilled to hear him delivering that movie's signature line, 'E.T. phone home' at the very beginning in his distorted mechanical voice; it wouldn't have been complete without it!). I may be too young to remember about half of the shows and movies represented here—"2001 - Space Odyssey", "War Of The Worlds" (I did manage to see the New Millennium remake with Tom Cruise), "Captain Scarlet"—and have very little memory with so many of the others, including the "Star Wars" trilogy, "Apollo 13", "Blade Runner" and "Judge Dread". With all of these, the instrumentals offered no familiarity to me at all, but I was still totally captivated by the "Apollo 13" track, the cheerful trumpets and majestic marching beat giving the music that proud-new-cadet-at-the-academy feel to it often depicted in the fictional space universe on film. It only seemed appropriate that Dr. Twilight also remakes the theme to "The Twilight Zone", but his instrumental interpretation doesn't come off nearly as creepy and 'freaked out' as the more psychologically hypnotizing 60's original; sounds like you're being taken into a whole new 'twilight zone'. Hardly any recollection about "The Terminator" movie, but I really dig the theme music here, that dreamy, 80's action-movie ambiance causing my mind to wander off back into the past and to conjur up all sorts of feel-good images, sights and sounds from my childhood years. Was a bit surprised to see him doing the theme songs to both "Superman" and "Batman Returns"—those movies seem to belong more in the superhero universe than the space universe—but I suppose movies where the main protagonist has 'X-ray vision' and has super agility, respectively, is scientifically fictitious nonetheless. All in all, I found the tunes here to be just as warming and merry on my ears as the Christmas tunes that I've been enjoying lately, which is one reason why it seemed appropriate for me to share this "Out Of The World" compilation at this juncture of the holiday season:

1. 2001 - Space Odyssey
2. The X-Files
3. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
4. Apollo 13
5. Star Wars
6. The Empire Strikes Back
7. War of The Worlds
8. E.T.
9. Judge Dread
10. Superman
11. Telstar
12. Star Trek
13. Star Trek: The Next Generation
14. Blade Runner
15. The Twilight Zone
16. Thunderbirds!
17. Dr. Who
18. Captain Scarlet
19. The Return Of The Jedi
20. Batman Returns
21. Predator
22. Buck Rogers In The 25th Century
23. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
24. The Terminator
25. Star Trek: Voyager

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