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Star Trek: Insurrection
Album Cover Art
1998 GNP Crescendo
1999 Bootleg
Album 2 Cover Art
2013 GNP Crescendo
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Alexander Courage
Labels Icon
GNP Crescendo Records
(December 8th, 1998)


GNP Crescendo Records
(August 6th, 2013)
Availability Icon
Both the 1998 and 2013 GNP Crescendo products are regular commercial releases, the latter carrying an initial retail price of $20. The bootleg and its variants were circulated widely in the online trade circles during the 2000's, with occasional batches showing up at the soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're ready for a strong and rewarding Jerry Goldsmith experience that only skirts the edge of the "Star Trek" universe with subtle franchise connections while exploring freshly tender romanticism and Total Recall-styled action cues.

Avoid it... on the 1998 commercial album if you expect to hear a satisfyingly rounded presentation of the entertaining score, for either the widespread bootlegs or the 2013 official expanded album merit the only consideration you should give to this score.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 12/6/98, REVISED 8/17/13
Star Trek: Insurrection: (Jerry Goldsmith) For Star Trek: Insurrection, 1998's embrace of the "Star Trek" concept's historical affinity for socio-political commentary, actor Jonathan Frakes returned for his second turn in the direction of the film franchise, an entry that toned down the suspense and gave the series a breath of fresh air and comedy. The plotline of Star Trek: Insurrection is a lightweight compared to those that came before and after, lending more credibility to the informal rule that odd-numbered films in the franchise tend to be flightier affairs. In what essentially amounts to a bloated 2-hour version of a story best sculpted for an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," this movie tells a feel-good tale of the people of a heavenly planet being forced to relocate because of a natural resource that an alien race needs in its vicinity (insert wry comments about parallels between this and the history of America... "Star Trek" writers can never resist such inspirations). When the "Next Generation" crew of the glamorous new Enterprise (apparently rid of its unsightly Borg alterations in Star Trek: First Contact) try to intervene, they discover that the story is far more complicated. Both Starfleet and the protagonists end up doing what audiences love most: violating the "prime directive" with parallels to Western motifs of an era past. Unfortunately, Star Trek: Insurrection marked the franchise's transition from special effects based upon model photography to those solely reliant upon digital renderings, and the movie suffered from several awful ship-related effects sequences as a result. Less embarrassing, of course, is Jerry Goldsmith's music. While the quality of Star Trek: Insurrection as a whole is universally considered far less than that of Star Trek: First Contact, Goldsmith's score for the ninth film is arguably stronger than the highly stylistic and overbearing tones of the previous film's score. "I think this film is a more romantic film than any of the others have been," Goldsmith stated at the time. "I think that the subplots include a very lovely romantic story. So that makes it a little different for me." He also commented that "there's more action in this" than in the previous entry, a true statement about a work that has many close ties to one of the composer's most popular action and science-fiction triumphs, Total Recall.

The score for Star Trek: Insurrection is, in sum, more satisfying in its romantic and action elements because of the simplicity of both modes and, on album, it's among the better in the franchise. It remains leagues ahead of Goldsmith's disappointing departure from the concept in Star Trek: Nemesis. For the purposes of this review, the track titles and times referenced will refer to the expanded score as it appeared on the numerous bootlegs that have existed on the market for a long time, with some comparisons to the 2013 track assemblies that belatedly followed in official expanded form. Goldsmith claimed upon writing Star Trek: Insurrection that the score only uses three themes, which unfortunately sells him a bit short. He said he explicitly avoided writing an overarching theme to cover the entire film, as well as anything major to represent the Son'a villains, the former correct but the latter prompting some argument. He also stated that he constructed only one theme for the peaceful Ba'Ku people, which is a curious statement because of its blatant falsehood. The primary, general idea for the Ba'Ku is heard in lieu of a traditional overture, and a suite-like format exists at 1:05 into "Ba'Ku Village" as well as in the role of the usual interlude during the "End Credits." It also anchors the finale of the story at 6:00 into the film version of "The Healing Process." This pretty and unassuming theme is reminiscent of the kind of lofty strings and woodwind identity in Rudy and several other tender Goldsmith character scores. Among these works, this theme for Star Trek: Insurrection is somewhat generic despite its pleasant tones. Far more beautiful is the second theme for the Ba'Ku, one which critics (and Goldsmith himself, apparently) seem to lump in with the previous theme. In reality, this second clearly delineated idea is more prevalent in the score, and represents both the magical elements of the Ba'Ku's civilization (rather than simply the innocence, which the first theme addresses) and the relationship between Captain Picard and the leader of the Ba'Ku. This theme is far lovelier that the more generic Ba'Ku one, touched upon briefly in "Warp Capability" and "The Ba'Ku Planet" before occupying almost the entirety of "New Sight." A downright magical reprise of the theme on whimsical strings highlights "A Perfect Moment" and one last performance graces "Into the Caves" at the 1:10 mark.

The two soft Ba'Ku themes of Star Trek: Insurrection together make for a significant amount of extremely relaxing material, a trait that you wouldn't expect from a "Star Trek" score, but it's still welcomed for its uniqueness in context. Goldsmith adds a touch of complexity to the love theme, interestingly, first in a secondary phrase that seems to generally represent the rejuvenation process experienced by the main characters (an ascending line with synthetic tingling effects). More intriguing, however, is the composer's choice to base the main phrase of the love theme after his recurring four-note theme of friendship in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek: First Contact, an identity sometimes referred to as the "quest motif." Whereas this idea was dominant in the prior two aforementioned scores, its applications here are smartly masked. Not only does it inform the love theme, but its only actual representation in prior brass form at 1:20 into "Admiral Dougherty" (or 2:06 into "Lost Ship/Prepare the Ship" on the 2013 album) signifies once again that the motif also has firm connections to Starfleet. In this instance, a somber rendition of the theme represents the admiral's ordering of Captain Picard to abandon Starfleet's principles, and the latter's decision to go rogue. This singular moment in the score, uninhibited by dialogue in the film, stands out as a surprising highlight of the entire work. There exist two other major identities in Star Trek: Insurrection, the most memorable of which representing the villains and the rambunctious action of the tale. The first is the quick, rising action motif returning from the previous score, previewed at 0:41 into "Ba'Ku Village" and used to punctuate moments of specific suspense or action throughout the story. The main new action theme of the film is often accompanied by this stirring motif (as in the many references in the first half of "Not Functioning"), often established by a thunderous piano base line emphasizing minor third force. This roaring and surprisingly long and fluid brass construct makes great use of trademark Goldsmith rhythms of pounding piano and timpani; the rhythm is formulated in "Dogfight" ("Come Out") and matures in "Not Functioning," where (at 0:50) the tenacious theme joins it for several extremely satisfying capitulations. The idea is reprised in "The Drones Attack" and, more dramatically, in "The Collector" (at 0:35). Those exploring the 2013 album will find the "Photon Torpedo" statement of this idea, representing Data's attack on the Son'a flagship.

A faint manipulation of the villains' theme from Star Trek: Insurrection is strung out in "The Same Race," though one of the truly unfortunate missed opportunities of this score would have been some explicit measure by Goldsmith to tie together the Ba'Ku and Son'a with precise similarities in their musical constructs. While not devastating to the score, the lack of such a connection is a bit of a head-scratcher in retrospect. It has been reported that the ambitious piano rhythm and accompanying theme for the Son'a and their actions were instead based off of an unused cue written by Goldsmith for the "Massacre" scene in Total Recall, which would make sense given the close stylistic similarities between the works. Among the other themes in Star Trek: Insurrection is, as discussed already, the rising, spirited, and heroic submotif that originates in Star Trek: First Contact. It has a passing resemblance to the start of Randy Newman's main theme for The Natural, though this similarity seems completely coincidental. Two of the slower, more melodramatic statements of this theme exist at 0:55 into "The Hidden Ship" and 3:45 into the film version of "The Healing Process." It's a versatile motif, like the friendship/Starfleet one, and it continues in the mould of Goldsmith's distinct style for the films. Despite what the composer says about the lack of any theme for the villains, there does seem to be yet another minor, more ominous motif for them. Referenced throughout the score, its most prominent and lengthy usage is during the entirety of the "Countdown" cue, though an argument can be made that it serves a more general purpose of extending suspense rather than represent the Son'a specifically. Either way, it's effective despite being somewhat typical to Goldsmith's habits and therefore generic in style. To his credit, the composer maintains strong continuity in Star Trek: Insurrection due to his constant use of at least one of these ideas in every cue. Thematically, several old favorites persist in Star Trek: Insurrection. Alexander Courage's original television show theme is heard directly at the outset of the score and in its usual role in Goldsmith's "End Credits" format. The theme for the Enterprise and the "Next Generation" crew is only heard in that same standard suite and once during the film itself (as the Enterprise is first seen at the start of the film). The composer throws a bone to die-hard fans with two small references to his famous Klingon theme as a representation of Worf (at 8:10 into "Phaser Blast" and 2:25 into "The Drones Attack" on the bootlegs).

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.69 Stars
***** 1,217 5 Stars
**** 1,365 4 Stars
*** 889 3 Stars
** 414 2 Stars
* 254 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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The Healing Process
SolarisLem - June 16, 2007, at 4:42 p.m.
1 comment  (1996 views)
An excellent sci-fi album
Sheridan - August 28, 2006, at 7:19 a.m.
1 comment  (2094 views)
Expanded version even better
Mathias Sender - July 21, 2006, at 11:28 a.m.
1 comment  (2360 views)
Can someone help me to get the MP3s of the bootleg score? *NM* *NM*
Miles - April 14, 2006, at 5:29 p.m.
1 comment  (2447 views)
Ripped from U.S. Marshalls   Expand >>
JimmyJames - May 9, 2005, at 6:05 p.m.
3 comments  (3415 views)
Newest: September 1, 2007, at 3:37 Marcato
TOS music???   Expand >>
STEVE - July 28, 2003, at 8:54 p.m.
2 comments  (2879 views)
Newest: August 28, 2003, at 5:02 Chris

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1998 GNP Crescendo Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 41:29
• 1. Ba'Ku Village* (6:52)
• 2. In Custody (1:14)
• 3. Childrens' Story (1:47)
• 4. Not Functioning (1:45)
• 5. New Sight (5:44)
• 6. The Drones Attack (4:10)
• 7. The Riker Maneuver (3:09)
• 8. The Same Race (1:16)
• 9. No Threat (4:12)
• 10. The Healing Process** (7:15)
• 11. End Credits* (5:25)
* contains "Theme from Star Trek: The TV Series" and "Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture"
** different from version used in the film
1999 Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 65:52
2013 GNP Crescendo Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 78:42

Notes Icon
The inserts of the 1998 and 2013 GNP Crescendo albums contain notes about both the score and film. The following is an excerpt from an October, 1998 interview with composer Jerry Goldsmith:

"Doing a Star Trek film is like returning to an old friend. Beginning with the first one which was difficult, to say the least, because of all the technical problems we had. I've gotten very fond of it. The theme from the first motion picture became the theme of Next Generation and then I wrote the theme for Voyager and the four Star Trek episodes as well, so I feel very much in tune with Star Trek. I love the stories because I think that they're big and they're romantic. You know, it was Gene Roddenberry's hope it'd be a nicer place to live.That's the sort of world, the universe he created and that's what I think all of these scripts portray.

I think the toughest part about any film, whether it's a Star Trek: Insurrection or anything else, is just coming up with a fresh approach. When you do a sequel, it's always harder because it's too easy to go fall back on what you've done before. Which is good. I mean, there's a certain flavor I've tried to create with the music of Star Trek. And it's more in the style than repeating the actual notes. Well, actually, there's one little quote of the Star Trek theme. I mean, I use the fanfare that Alexander Courage wrote for the television show; that opens and closes the picture. It goes into a new theme I wrote for Star Trek: Insurrection and then, when you see the Enterprise for the first time, I quote the old theme a little bit. Then you don't hear the old theme until the end of the picture when the credits come up. Everything else is a new approach to it. I want to keep it fresh and different. That's what I try to do.

Star Trek: Insurrection is more romantic than First Contact. I think this film is a more romantic film than any of the others have been. I would say there's more action in this than there was in First Contact, but I think that the subplots include a very lovely romantic story. So, that makes it a little different for me."
Copyright © 1998-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Star Trek: Insurrection are Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2013, GNP Crescendo Records, Bootleg, GNP Crescendo Records (Expanded) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/6/98 and last updated 8/17/13.
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