6. Space: 1999, "Breakaway," 1975 (Power Records, 8162)
A very British-sounding adaptation of the plot-heavy pilot of the little-loved Space: 1999. This was one of the records mentioned in the consumer warning back in Starlog #001.
Your New Ringtone: Part 2, 2:54: "With quantities like that, there could be a chain reaction!"
7. Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 1982 (Buena Vista Records, 461)
Unfortunately, the book itself is not available on YouTube, but it's browsable at MouseVinyl. Among the things that fascinates me about this movie is how the people doing the merchandising and other ancillary products had very little to work with, as the movie was being rewritten and rejiggered and generally worked on until the day of its premiere. As a result, to represent V'Ger's attack on the Enterprise, the people at Buena Vista Records used what I'm pretty sure is the mold that grows on fermenting sauerkraut.
It includes the Memory Wall sequence, which also survived through the Marvel comic adaptation as well. Also, Sonak is introduced but the transporter accident is removed, so he just kinda disappears from the story. (Not that anyone has ever cared what happened to Sonak.) The actor Shatner nails his part, but I'm pretty sure the Nimoy surrogate isn't even trying.
Your New Ringtone: 9:57: "V'Ger, we are the creator!"
8. Tron, 1982 (Disneyland Records, DSP-384)
Another case where the story is largely rewritten, but that's fair considering how muddled the plot was to begin with. For the record, I have great fondness for this movie -- I've seen it a couple times in 70mm at the Castro, mostly to make up for not having gotten to see it in a theater as a kid - -but I'm also the first to admit that the script is troubled at best. In any event, the story is considerably streamlined, with Tron being established as a direct threat to the MCP very early on, and less of an attempt to shoehorn in computer-y dialogue. On the other hand, Lora is described as Alan's girlfriend first and foremost, and it's established that she's pretty, young, and a scientist in that order, when really the fact that she's a scientist should have been the most important point. Enh. Moving on.
Your New Ringtone: 10:22: "Sark went down in a shower of sparks!" Try saying that one five times fast.
9. Star Trek, "The Crier in Emptiness," 1975 (Power Records, PR-26)
Considering that this came out at the height of the show's popularity in syndication, there's a lot wrong with the characterizations: the Russian crewman is named Connors, Uhura is Caucasian, and Sulu is African-American. Voice-wise, the guy doing Spock is once again not even trying, though the McCoy actor isn't half bad.
All that aside, this is easily my favorite, because it's just a good, self-contained original story by Alan Dean Foster, one which could have fit comfortably into the animated series. It's kind of surprising that this notion of communicating with aliens through music was never done on Trek, and this was two years before Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out. I also really like the alien's mid-70s synth noodling, especially the "wheee-WHUMMMM!" at 3:30. The easy-listening music produced by the musical instrument that Connors hauls at the end doesn't really live up to the promise of its appearance, especially with that Möbius strip and all, but that doesn't make the overall story any less enjoyable.
Your New Ringtone: 4:44: "Pure sound...pure hogwash!"
Next time, we'll look at superhero read-alongs.
Previously by Sherilyn Connelly: