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 Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 10:44 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

La La Land records is the current champion of the TV music by Dominic Frontiere. Between their NAME OF EVIL/UNKNOWN album and their 3-disc set of music from THE OUTER LIMITS, we've gotten the best representation of Frontiere's OL work to date. Nonetheless, some music can be heard within episodes of THE OUTER LIMITS that's still unavailable on disc (such as that from "The Zanti Misfits"), to say nothing of all the (as-yet) unreleased music for this show by Harry Lubin.

Bearing in mind what has been made available to us, which episode scores do you like the most?

Here's my ranking:

1. "The Architects Of Fear". Frontiere's music for this segment impressed me so much when I first encountered it at age 12 that it almost singlehandedly is responsible for me becoming a life-long fanatic of film & TV music.

2. "The Forms Of Things Unknown" was not an instant favorite for me at first blush, but over the years I have grown to love this florid and fervent score - the likes of which are quite uncommon for television.

3. "The Man Who Was Never Born" is another masterpiece by Frontiere in terms of melodic invention and size of orchestra.

4. "Don't Open Till Doomsday" & "Zzzzz" were made back-to-back and share similar themes and textures. "Zzzzz" was filmed first with "Doomsday" being made next; during broadcast, "Zzzzz" was transmitted the week after "Doomsday". I consider Frontiere's "Doomsday" music to be ideal for the series' stock library. "Doomsday" successfully communicates the visions of producer/writer Joseph Stefano & director Gerd Oswald & photographer Conrad Hall. Yet, the "Doomsday" score is generic enough to be tracked into subsequent stories (which it was), lending itself particularly well to "Fun And Games".

5. "The Mice" was derived from the score Frontiere wrote for "Nightmare", but I prefer "The Mice". The other-worldly sounds produced by flutes with the "onafets" proto-synthesizer had been rather more abstract in "Nightmare"; here in "The Mice", these same themes and instrumental colors are bolstered by stronger rhythmic ostinatos in keeping with the story's baser monster-movie approach.

6. "Controlled Experiment" is unexpectedly serious in character to accompany light comedy. The bulk of this score is like chamber music, and its arrangements are as beautiful as they are unique: harps, augmented by double bass, are accompanied by electric guitar to depict reversals and fast-forwards in time.

7. "Nightmare" had drawn 'spacey' music out of Frontiere. This is another score which has a one-of-a-kind performing ensemble which successfully conveys its outlandish aspects. "Nightmare" is not a personal favorite of mine, however, as much of its music seems too transitory or hollow to impart dramatic gravity.

8. "The Hundred Days Of The Dragon" shouldn't be as beguiling as it is. It's to Frontiere's credit that he engages the viewer/listener with a melody that goes down smoothly. However, the Asian contour & colorings of this melody creates an ersatz exoticism which assumes that the viewing audience is comprised only of non-Asian Americans. This is an unfortunate by-product of the Red-China-scare era which (I think) doesn't travel well geographically, culturally, or temporally. Whether this approach was wrong-headed or not, the greatest misfortune of this score is that it's valid primarily for only this episode and is ill-suited to be tracked into any other story.

9. "The Human Factor" was one of the earliest episodes and the series hadn't quite found its identity at this stage. Frontiere provides a utilitarian score for this show. Some portions seem too melodramatic to be recycled for use as library stock, while other musical depictions of suspense and mystery were utilized all too frequently by the series' music editors in their tracking of them into most of the segments which follow.

Also, special mention must be made of the contributions to THE OUTER LIMITS made by Robert Van Eps - Dominic Frontiere's teacher.

If Frontiere is to receive acclaim for space and time travel music, then surely Van Eps should get recognition for his underwater exploratory music written for "Tourist Attraction".
While "Tourist Attraction" is saddled with probably the worst love scenes of the entire series and its setting in South America obligates Van Eps to provide overtly Latin cocktail party source music, the scenes containing underwater divers and prehistoric fish monsters coax from Van Eps some of the most descriptive and well-orchestrated music of the series.
I'd rank the "Tourist Attraction" score after "The Man Who Was Never Born" but before "Don't Open Till Doomsday".

["The Children Of Spider County" is the segment which best showcases how well Van Eps's "Tourist Attraction" score meshes as library stock cues with recycled Frontiere music]

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 11:15 PM   
 By:   JSWalsh   (Member)

ToneRow, Fantastic post. I can`t contribute as I only have the original one-disc and have put off this and other intended purchases to the point where I think the 3 disc is gone. If not I will try to get it. I think Frontier`s style is just perfect for the show`s sf/horror blend because the music catches both wonder and dread, and so much of the incidental scoring is mournful for the fates of characters as in `Man Who Never Was.` Looking forward to more as I love any score that blends sf and horror.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 4, 2012 - 11:50 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I love most of the music Frontiere composed for season 1 (with a helping hand on the larger scores by his orchestrator Edward Powell, though uncredited). My favorite among Lubin's scores would have to be "Keeper Of The Purple Twilight", featuring the Theremin theme for Ikar that's heard when he reverts to alien form.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 3:31 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

ToneRow, I could never rank the great scores which Dominic Frontiere wrote for that series - it would take me months to get my ideas together. But you've made me want to listen to the wonderful LLL 3-disc set again.

Regarding your comments on "The Hundred Days of the Dragon" - I thought it was just about perfect. The "yellow peril" Orientalisms might sound clich├ęd by now, but it works wonders nonetheless. Reminds me of what Goldsmith (and Friedhofer before him) would do with just a hint of the pentatonic scale and lots of beautifully subtle tinkling percussion.

I'd also like to give a thumbs-up to the Van Eps contribution. It reminded me of the underwater "ballet" in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, so that's good enough for me.

About the other scores - as I said, it's hard for me to rank them. Off-hand I'd certainly go along with your choices of "The Architects of Fear" and "The Man Who Was Never Born". Splendid stuff - bristling, chilling action, unsettling mood music, and some of the most gorgeous romantic themes ever written.

I think, overall, I like Frontiere best when he is allowed to incorporate a good love theme into the brew. The one that stuck with me for years, ever since I first saw it on the telly, was the bit used for the finale of "A Feasibilty Study" (No spoilers - David Opatoshu in the church) which makes my hair stand on end just thinking about it. I think Joan Hue would say "bone-meltingly gorgeos". That's the first time I heard that music, but it might have been written for "The Human Factor" first, and later retracked - I'll have to check (or one of you can confirm it for me and save me the trouble).

I also love the LaLaLand CD of A NAME FOR EVIL and THE UNKNOWN. That's not off-topic, because as you all know, THE UNKNOWN is actually "The Forms of Things Unknown" from The Outer Limits. It's quite unlike his other scores for the series (you probably know why that's the case), and on each listening I hear the influence of Alex North more and more. The "Postlude" follows North's THE MISFITS fairly closely. And although A NAME FOR EVIL has nothing to do with The Outer Limits at all, it's not off-topic to mention that one either, because it SOUNDS like an Outer Limits score (complete with North-ish "open-ended" brass chords).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 4:08 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Having watched the show in syndication off an on over the years until my early 20s or so, I can say that the scores that stuck with me the most were "The Man Who Was Never Born" and "Nightmare"/"The Mice." When I got the 3-CD set, these were the scores that I really recognized as quintessential Outer Limits music.

Does anyone know offhand if these three scores were tracked into additional episodes, or do I simply remember them from the shows they were written for?


 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 4:29 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

Yes, they were tracked into other shows (The Chameleon, for example) Much of THE ZANTI MISFITS used cues recycled from Frontiere's previous work on STONEY BURKE. And of course OL cues were used on the pilot episode of THE INVADERS and season 4 of THE FUGITIVE.
If you search here for threads on Harry Lubin you'll find the links to the music library site which has all his stuff and you can play & listen to whole cues.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 4:59 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

La La Land records is the current champion of the TV music by Dominic Frontiere. Between their NAME OF EVIL/UNKNOWN album and their 3-disc set of music from THE OUTER LIMITS, we've gotten the best representation of Frontiere's OL work to date. Nonetheless, some music can be heard within episodes of THE OUTER LIMITS that's still unavailable on disc (such as that from "The Zanti Misfits") (...).


All the stock music used on "The Outer Limits" comes from "Stoney Burke".
And "The Zanti Misfits" recycles cues from the episode "Point of Honour", especially the tense martial cue.
You can read it in "The Outer Limits Companion".

Frankly, we need three more Frontiere titles from the early 60's:
"Stoney Burke" (1962)
"Hero's Island" (1962)
"The Haunted" (1965)*


* Cues were recycled in the pilot of "The Invaders" and in one episode of "The Fugitive" fourth season.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:06 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)



6. "Controlled Experiment" is unexpectedly serious in character to accompany light comedy. The bulk of this score is like chamber music, and its arrangements are as beautiful as they are unique: harps, augmented by double bass, are accompanied by electric guitar to depict reversals and fast-forwards in time.




Some cues used in the episode were tracked from a "Stoney Burke" score entitled "Point of Honour".

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:06 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

Is that the spooky flute cue used as Vincent drives his car up to the diner (The Haunted) in THE INVADERS pilot?

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

Frontiere's music is all so great for the series It's really hard to choose, but the Galaxy Being introduced a number of cues that were tracked in throughout the series that I really liked and that set the tone for the series so I'll go with that as an easy pick.

Speaking of Frontiere, I've been watching 12 O'clock High on Me-TV lately and Frontiere's music for it is really outstanding. Quite often you hear strong echoes of his Outer Limits music in it. Now, as for one of Frontiere's main themes from the series, Sandy Courage may need to have had his hand slapped for what appears to be an almost wholesale lift of it used as the fanfare theme for a series that followed about a wagon train to the stars. wink

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:27 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

Frontiere's music is all so great for the series It's really hard to choose, but the Galaxy Being introduced a number of cues that were tracked in throughout the series that I really liked and that set the tone for the series so I'll go with that as an easy pick.

I would go with that too.
Too sad that the recordings of these variations on the main title are lost.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

Is that the spooky flute cue used as Vincent drives his car up to the diner (The Haunted) in THE INVADERS pilot?

Yes, indeed. And in the next scene at night in which he meets the campers couple.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:33 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)


4. "Don't Open Till Doomsday" & "Zzzzz" were made back-to-back and share similar themes and textures. "Zzzzz" was filmed first with "Doomsday" being made next; during broadcast, "Zzzzz" was transmitted the week after "Doomsday". I consider Frontiere's "Doomsday" music to be ideal for the series' stock library.



Don't forget the fabulous Roaring Twenties Ragtime music composed by Robert Van Eps in "Doomsday".

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:35 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

My favorite among Lubin's scores would have to be "Keeper Of The Purple Twilight", featuring the Theremin theme for Ikar that's heard when he reverts to alien form.

there's 2 poignant theremin cues in that episode that are available on a Lubin Production music collection which you can sample online (and buy elsewhere). smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)



8. "The Hundred Days Of The Dragon" shouldn't be as beguiling as it is. It's to Frontiere's credit that he engages the viewer/listener with a melody that goes down smoothly. However, the Asian contour & colorings of this melody creates an ersatz exoticism which assumes that the viewing audience is comprised only of non-Asian Americans. This is an unfortunate by-product of the Red-China-scare era which (I think) doesn't travel well geographically, culturally, or temporally. Whether this approach was wrong-headed or not, the greatest misfortune of this score is that it's valid primarily for only this episode and is ill-suited to be tracked into any other story.



"Dragon" is derived from "The Weapons Man": that's its reference.

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)

The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (aka The Haunted).....is it available to view anyplace?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 7:22 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

The Ghost of Sierra de Cobre (aka The Haunted).....is it available to view anyplace?


It was shown last year at the UCLA movie theater.
http://wearecontrollingtransmission.blogspot.fr/2011/02/lost-outer-limits.html

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 7:25 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)



Don't forget the fabulous Roaring Twenties Ragtime music composed by Robert Van Eps in "Doomsday".


By far the worst, most mood-breaking tracks in the set. It really annoys me that some of them are indexed within the same tracks as the underscore. I hate it when producers do that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 7:55 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)



Don't forget the fabulous Roaring Twenties Ragtime music composed by Robert Van Eps in "Doomsday".


By far the worst, most mood-breaking tracks in the set. It really annoys me that some of them are indexed within the same tracks as the underscore. I hate it when producers do that.


I adore those ragtime interludes that remind me the one from John Williams' "Rendezvous with Yesterday".

 
 Posted:   Jun 5, 2012 - 8:04 AM   
 By:   Charles Thaxton   (Member)



Don't forget the fabulous Roaring Twenties Ragtime music composed by Robert Van Eps in "Doomsday".


By far the worst, most mood-breaking tracks in the set. It really annoys me that some of them are indexed within the same tracks as the underscore. I hate it when producers do that.



easy enough to edit them out with a decent wave editor & create a new disc.

 
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