Movie Wave Home
Reviews by Title | Reviews by Composer

Composed by


Album running time

Performed by
Conducted by


Engineered by
Produced by

Released by
Serial number
GNPD 8040

Artwork copyright (c) 1994 Paramount Pictures; review copyright (c) 2003 James Southall



Serviceable score for unwatchable film


Star Trek Generations, the much-vaunted first appearance by The Next Generation crew on the big-screen turned out to be a disaster in almost all respects, with a terrible story, some shoddy acting from the guest stars and a structure that meant the main body of the story was barely longer than an episode of the series.  Its problems are far too great to go into in much detail, so suffice it to say that it is - by a very, very long way - the worst Star Trek film and it's a wonder that the series survived it.

Dennis McCarthy, who scored the majority of the episodes in the series (under massive, and faintly ridiculous, constraints from the producers most of the time) was given the chance to shine on the big screen, but frankly most film composers would have struggled to find much inspiration in it.  He wrote a fine main theme, full of tragedy and reflection, presumably in a nod to Captain Kirk, who dies during the course of the film.  Somewhat similar to his excellent Deep Space Nine main theme, it is thrown through numerous variations through the score.  Heard most fully in the "Overture" (which is, paradoxically, actually the end title piece), it gets a fully-fledged action workout in "Kirk Saves the Day", arguably the standout piece, and in "Deck 15" it is turned into a noble trumpet reflection after Kirk has died for the first time (yes, he manages to die twice in the film - how careless).  The actual "Main Title" is an ethereal, new age-ish piece which works well enough (though perhaps its slow, restrained nature was wrong for the movie, which arguably needed to start with a bang).  

"Prisoner Exchange" is an intriguing piece, opening with some impressive percussion effects for a very modern sound.  The next couple of tracks offer some more exciting action music, though I have to say it is nowhere near so focused as that heard in any of the previous Star Trek films.  That said, "Out of Control / The Crash" is still thrilling stuff; it's just a bit... well, a bit anonymous.  "The Nexus / A Christmas Hug" features some lovely choral writing, highly-attractive and quite unlike anything else heard in a Star Trek score before or since.  The next few cues concern the scenes in which Captains Kirk and Picard battle together to save the day (culminating in the second death of the former).  "Jumping the Ravine" is a nice cue, a touching and magical version of the main theme.  "The Final Fight" is a pretty slow, languid action piece, though it is not without thrills.  "Kirk's Death" is strangely unmoving really, more mournful and melancholic than celebratory or elegaic.  The album concludes with the similarly-restrained "To Live Forever".  (Well, actually, the album doesn't quite conclude there, it concludes with 16 minutes of sound effects - very curious.)

This is by no means a poor score, though so much good music has been written for the series, it does perhaps suffer in comparison.  (The claim in the liner notes that the music sets a new standard for Star Trek does seem rather ambitious.)  It's a solid-enough effort and probably sounds better on album than it does in the film (though the recording seems far too distant to be entirely satisfying, especially during the action sequences, which would have benefited no end from a more immediate sound.)

Buy this CD from by clicking here!


  1. Overture (4:13)
  2. Main Title (2:52)
  3. The Enterprise B / Kirk Saves the Day (3:13)
  4. Deck 15 (1:39)
  5. Time is Running Out (1:12)
  6. Prisoner Exchange (2:57)
  7. Outgunned (3:20)
  8. Out of Control / The Crash (2:05)
  9. Coming to Rest (:57)
  10. The Nexus / A Christmas Hug (7:07)
  11. Jumping the Ravine (1:37)
  12. Two Captains (1:32)
  13. The Final Fight (6:15)
  14. Kirk's Death (2:45)
  15. To Live Forever (2:40)