PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTRA – “RAUMPATROUILLE” soundtrack (1966)
“Raumpatrouille” was the black-and-white German TV equivalent of Star Trek, thumb broadcast in ’66, and its seven episodes were a ridiculous runaway success. The website The Lucha Diaries sez:
That Raumpatrouille is an imitation of Star TrekÂ is unlikely, given thatÂ the series madeÂ its debut on German television within just two weeks of Trek’s initial bow in America (and quite a fewÂ years before Captain Kirk and company would make it to the GermanÂ airwaves).Â And while the series doesÂ share some striking similaritiesÂ with Trek, those ultimatelyÂ just serve to highlight some even more striking differences.
Long in planning, and finally kick-started by the participation of French TV network ORTF (who had sequences with French actors shot for inclusion in the French broadcasts of theÂ show) Raumpatrouille was produced between 1965 and 1966 and holds the distinction of being the first science fiction series made for German television.Â Due to the prohibitive cost of producing the show, it was decided to terminate its run after only seven episodes, though not before a rousing finale, tying up all of the shows ongoing narrative threads, could be produced.Â Rebroadcasts of the show in the eighties and nineties generated a cult following in its country of origin and allowed the aging cast to supplement their income with appearances at conventions and on nostalgia-themed TV shows.Â This resurgence also lead, in 2003, to the productionÂ of a theatrical film compiling footage from the show, Raumpatrouille Orion – Rucksturz ins Kino (English title: Space Patrol – Back from the Future), as well as the release of the series on German DVD.
Wrapping around thisÂ woozy aesthetic package is Peter Thomas’ very contemporary musical score, a brassy mix of freak beat and lounge jazz that even ventures intoÂ some spacey, proto-electronic soundsÂ reminiscent of Joe Meek’s I Hear a New World album. (The choreographed “futuristic” dances that the Starlight Casino’s patrons do to these tunes are best just seen and not described).