For me, scores for science fiction movies have always been a bit of a thrill. Listening after good music when watching science fiction movies was an obvious thing for me to do, when I first started out collecting scores. And through science fiction movies I found many of my first scores; Star Wars scores, Star Trek scores… and also Lost in Space. This score really caught my attention in the film, but is also a good listen on CD.
Bruce Broughton unleashes a full symphonic score for Lost in Space, a score that at times is as powerful as John Williams’ Star Wars scores. The score revolves around a strong, heroic and sweeping main theme, first represented in “Main Title”, built up from a horn solo to full symphonic treatment at the end of the one-minute-long cue. Moreover, the score has not much to offer as far as themes are concerned, but since the main theme is so very strong and memorable, it carries the score without problem.
The score is often carried by brass with strings underneath, or the other way around, with strings carrying the melody and brass supporting. The main theme is the highlight of this score, and the moments when it appears (it’s plenty of them) is what you're waiting for. In between the performances of the main theme there are mostly rather noisy action music, that has some potential, but nothing special. But when the main theme appears in one of its many guises, this is film music no score collector affords to miss. It is powerful, sweeping, rousing, and spectacular science fiction music.
As mentioned the main theme appears in many guises throughout the score. At first, in the Main Title, performed as a slow hymn, while it in “The Launch”, which is a rousing build-up cue, is developed in fragments by different parts of the orchestra to the scores' first full performance of the theme by full orchestra. In “Jupiter Crashes” the theme is performed in a more dramatic, minor key rendition, while rendered very beautifully as underscore in “Proteus”, in a Gustav Holst-inspired style.
The real highlights of the score, however, is the two last tracks, “The Portal” and “Through the Planet”. Here the main theme is allowed to shine throughout, in excellent orchestrations. “The Portal” offers some great emotional grand music, while the last track is a very rousing fast-paced cue, where the theme shines in both brass and strings, punctuated by brass and percussion all the way through. Absolutely an excellent track.
The downside of this score is the release. The release referred to here, the first original soundtrack release, has only 28 minutes of score on it. The rest of the disc (about 30 minutes) is filled with rock songs that did not feature in the movie. The songs are tucked together at the beginning, however, so it won’t interfere with the listening if you skip them. But there is much more music to be had. A second album has been released, with only the score, and that is the one to find first, of course, even if it's getting harder and harder. But, on the other hand, Lost in Space is such an entertaining, rousing, and throughout well-written score, that even if you only can find the soundtrack release, you should still get it. 28 minutes may not be much, and the rock songs really is nothing to have in my opinion, but the score is so good a listen that it alone justifies the buy.