Monday, October 11, 2021

The Sound Of... GalactiTrek!


Judging by some of the comments made in a PPC post from a few weeks ago, there are a few Star Trek fans lurking in our rafters who enjoy a Marvel comic as well as the next Melkotian--and I found myself remembering an old file which was the result of a train of thought I was exploring a few years ago concerning two original shows that went on to greater things: Star Trek, which aired from 1966-69, and Battlestar Galactica, running from 1978-79, each of which had noteworthy composers on its payroll.

Here, we throw the spotlight on one such virtuoso--Stu Phillips, who came aboard Galactica in '78, and, following the pilot episode for the show, composed the fanfare which would accompany the prelude to each episode of the series (the segment which presents the episode title, additional cast members, and any guest stars). It's such a grand, sweeping piece that it was intriguing to consider: Could this introductory music be mixed to open a classic Trek episode, at the point where its opening credits are presented? And would this music be suitable with the visuals?

With the music already selected, it came down to the matter of which Trek opening to choose. I knew I wanted a decent amount of footage of the Enterprise, which meant an orbital sequence or something that indicated approach--hopefully a scene that would segue to the ship's bridge, all of which would convey a sense of the ship, its crew, and its bold, ongoing mission. What I ended up choosing would catch Capt. Kirk at the tail end of his log entry--but given the roughly forty seconds I had to work with, it all came together fairly well, with the score turning out to be an impressive episode opener for these explorers.

Unlike Galactica, I wouldn't see this sort of intro being suitable or even possible for every Trek episode, as Galactica's episode opener sticks with the same format and visuals and isn't required to blend with whatever circumstances are leading into the story; but every now and then, Galactica's score, combined with some stunning Trek visuals, would have been a treat--an impossibility, to be sure, since Star Trek's final episode was well before Galactica's time. For this particular clip, I would have preferred to have a vibrant planet featured, rather than the dead world where the consciousness of its three survivors wait to be discovered; on the other hand, the music as revised plays into the decision Kirk would later make to help Sargon and the others.

(Come on, you saw this coming a mile away!)

Battlestar Galactica makes its way to Marvel Comics!


Big Murr said...

Creative points there, CF! Well done.

Matching the sound/music to a show is a vital and fascinating subject. Maybe extra fascinating because I have no skills in creating/mixing music at all.

Both themes are classic gems–I have them both in my soundtrack playlist. However, I don't think they can be swapped around too easily. "Star Trek" is all about boldly going with vim and vigour while "BSG" features a ponderous aircraft carrier of a ship escorting an even more ungainly ragtag fleet of ships. The former is daring and assertive while the latter is staunchly defensive in order to survive.

You're right that the "BSG" theme could supply a foreboding gravitas to some "Star Trek" episodes. I don't have any encyclopedic knowledge of "BSG" episodes to know if the livelier score of "Star Trek" would ever suit the plot.

Anonymous said...

Battlestar Galactica? Oh well.

Still, at least it isn't Blake's 7.
Marvel did that too of course. And if you don't know what I'm going on about Comicsfan, just be pleased they did it an ocean away from you (;


Comicsfan said...

Murray, I have only one classic-Trek soundtrack to my name, but it's one I'm so glad I snagged--it contains the scores to "The Doomsday Machine" and "Amok Time" composed by Sol Kaplan and Gerald Fried. With apologies to Stu Phillips, I don't think anything that Galactica offered brings it like those two.

sean, if I'm understanding you correctly, you'd like the PPC to profile Marvel's adaptation of Blake's 7. Well why didn't you say so?? I'll get right on it!

Anonymous said...

You'll be threatening me with Marvel's Man From Atlantis next Comicsfan.
Which might actually be preferable.


Colin Jones said...

The PPoC reviewing Blake's 7 ? Yes, please!

Comicsfan said...

Scribbling it down as we speak, sean.