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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Mark Mckenzie

Recorded By
Bruce Botnick

Performed By
The Hollywood Studio Symphony

CD Produced By
Robert Townson

Album Produced By
Jerry Goldsmith

Varése Sarabande 302 066 600 2

Previous Release(s)

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings


1. The Dig (4:08)
2. Corn flakes (2:01)
3. No Pain (3:08)
4. To Castlegard (2:35)
5. Find Marek (1:54)
6. The Rooftop (4:18)
7. A Hole In The Wall (2:25)
8. Move On (6:55)
9. Ambushed(1:25)
10. Setting Up (1:10)
11. Be Careful (2:10)
12. Greek Fire / Light the Arrows (2:32)
13. Prepare for Battle / Victory For Us (11:10)
14. To My Friends (1:40)

Soundtrack Ratings







Timeline (SACD)


When the news broke that Jerry Goldsmith's score to Timeline would not be used and a replacement score would be sort the film music community was in a state of shock and Goldsmith fandom especially, were livid. The composer had suffered a handful of rejected scores in his long career but this one seemed to beggar belief. Those associated with the film, and attendees of the recording sessions had been unanimous in their praise for the score and it was thought that the only thing to be announced after its recording was a date for the soundtrack album to be released. Sadly it wasn't to be as Timeline the movie was in trouble and last minute changes in the edit, and a decision by the director to ask for a grittier more action orientated score meant dramatic changes would be required. It appears Goldsmith was offered the chance of a re-score but turned it down feeling his job had been done. Donner, in interview, was generous with his praise for Goldsmith, and his score, taking responsibility for the rejection saying that Goldsmith had done what he had asked; to write a very specific kind of score, that played down the action, and in his words was a very strong orchestral piece. But when Donner laid it up to the picture he felt the score needed to be much more aggressive and full on.

Now that we can listen to Jerry Goldsmith's Timeline one thing becomes patently obvious from the out set; this was hardly a score lacking in any area, especially action! When required Goldsmith delivered some powerful moments, his epic 11 minute finale is testimony to that. If truth be known there was nothing wrong here at all and apart from the edits this score worked perfectly well. Of course when Timeline was finally released late in 2003, with its new score, the film had not improved, was mauled by critics and flopped at the box office. Ironically the only thing being praised or discussed was Jerry Goldsmith's mythical music.

The Dig opens the score and was intended for the exercised opening sequence. It remains one of the composer's most mesmerising main titles and the strongest cue of the entire score. Goldsmith creates a chilling but very organic piece with transparent strings coated by ethereal electronic samples and punctuations. As the piece builds traditional orchestral forces abruptly interrupt with violent percussion signalling a dramatic new motif, powerfully performed in the brasses.

Corn flakes establishes a sentimental theme which I assume was destined for the relationship between Chris Johnson and his Professor Father. It's one of those effortless themes for Mike Lang's piano that is instinctively Goldsmith, as much as his action music is.

No Pain establishes the 'painful' time travelling procedure that must be endured to travel back to 1357. This is the weakest of Goldsmith's ideas and the only real problem with the score. It's here Goldsmith recycles his Deep Rising 'tentacle' music, which of course also surfaced in Star Trek Nemesis. This is abruptly followed up by the cue After Him (also incorrectly known as I'll Come ) in which the time travellers arrive and are soon pursued by English Knights. Here Goldsmith introduces us to his four note action motif (reminiscent of Chain Reaction) with a short but bombastic set piece for percussion jostling with brass and the warped sound of a synthesised 'ram horn' for a desperate forest chase.

To Castlegard is joined by the latter sequence Four Hours. The first part of the cue is an enjoyably catchy melodic presentation of Goldsmith's main Castlegard theme, the second part a brooding secondary theme for high strings building to an elaborate coda. While Find Marek, and an alternate take of Quick Action make up the next cue. The first part is a short but breathless action piece as the group search for their lost comrade. The second part is an aggressive workout for the Castlegard theme and establishes the siege of the English forces.

For The Rooftop Goldsmith creates a suspenseful four minute sequence as one of the team escapes from a prison cell and carefully makes her way over the fragile roof. Goldsmith's effective cue is for the most part perfectly low key but stabbing action quickly comes to the fore as the other prisoners battle the guards; Goldsmith providing elaborate brass exclamations for the hand to hand combat. A Hole In The Wall continues the escape from the prison and during the chaos created by the break, the team attempt to return to the present. Goldsmith re-introduces his synth 'ram horn' effect but again traditional brass dominate and are soon reinforced by the remainder of the orchestra.

Move On provides a rest bite from the action and a chance for Goldsmith to develop his main theme into a soothing love theme for Lady Claire and Marek. Goldsmith's touching arrangement for winds and strings does well to avoid the trappings of his earlier medieval triumphs; Lionheart and First Knight. The latter portion of the cue returns to the action as the rest of the group are re-captured and returned to Castle La Roque. Goldsmith again instigates his Castlegard theme with 'ram horn' effect but again emphasises orchestral forces for the dramatic close.

The next cue; Be Careful (which should actually be called Ambushed) focuses on more action with the Castlegard theme presented more as a fanfare this time. The cue titled Ambushed is again a naming error and should actually be called Setting Up, intended for the scene where the English forces prepare for the coming battle. Goldsmith again adapts the Castlegard theme for a short but commanding workout, a particular crisp cymbal crash is a notable highlight. Next comes Setting Up but is in fact Be Careful! This is a gentle variation on the love theme for Lady Claire and Marek but instead of winds it's clarinet that's the focus this time, supported by lush strings. The second part of the cue ignites an exciting tempo for minor electronics and strings as Goldsmith renders a desperate variation of the main theme.

Greek Fire and Light The Arrows sets up the finale in which the Professor is forced to 'invent' Greek Fire to use against the French in order to save his friends. Goldsmith's cue begins ominously but an heroic variation of the Castlegard theme soon cuts in with horns, almost sounding victorious, for the advancing French forces. While Light The Arrows introduces the exciting action music that will become the mainstay of the final battle.

The spectacular climax is set to a mammoth two cue onslaught made up of Prepare For Battle and Victory For Us. The night attack on Castle La Roque is the film's only major set piece and Goldsmith created a rousing call to arms developing a propulsive rhythmic action motif over a staggering 11 minutes. Goldsmith's percussion and bellowing brass lead attack never lets up, strings and electronics provide secondary motifs, but it isn't long before the avalanche of timpani returns to propel the music forward to a rousing and satisfying finish.

Goldsmith closes the score with a short but heartfelt variant on the love theme, entitled To My Friends. This of course was intended for the final scene as the time travellers return to the present day and discover a message on an ancient stone casket left by their absent comrade Marek, who stayed behind with Lady Claire.

Jerry Goldsmith's Timeline remains an impressive and workmanlike score and showed how much Goldsmith still had to say. It also showed that even as his health was failing him he still was able to fashion good film music and command attention. Stylistically it reminds me of how much I'll miss Jerry Goldsmith's approach to scoring Hollywood movies and how sad it makes me that this is the last 'new' score I'll ever hear from the composer.

As a Goldsmith enthusiast I am indebted to all involved for releasing this score. Special thanks go to Robert Townson for his tireless efforts to preserve Jerry Goldsmith's Timeline, and for assembling the majority of key cues into a soundtrack album. Though I would have been tempted to include the likes of The Mural and It's Time. I would also thank Richard Donner for generously admitting he was wrong and no doubt supporting this release. And last but not least the late composer who actually made a rare request to Varése to get this score released to his fans. Thank you Jerry.