Our long history with the traditional Star Trek franchises could make us understandably biased. But what of Gene Roddenberry’s vision of infinite diversity in infinite combinations? Whether you think Strange New World‘s Kirk was on the money or that Disco‘s Philippa Georgiou was taken from us way too quickly, it’s fair to say that we are living in interesting Star Trek times.
Old scores and new
Personally, I love Jeff Russo’s Discovery theme and I never skip the credits. The music and the graphics sequence are a treat. It’s the stand-out for me amongst all the shows in their current runs. In the process of building out a new ecommerce presence for us, adding the Star Trek: First Contact and Generations products I couldn’t help but compare the composers and scores. Themes need to be thematic, of course, but what of incidental music for the shows? I know some complaints are heard that some of the television scores were tame and shrank into the background, but is that maybe appropriate for more character or plot-driven sequences? As you are listening to your scores or soundtracks are you reliving the experience of the action? Or do you need them to melt into your own current background? I’m curious about where and how people listen.
Sci-Fi or Horror?
If you’ve been keeping up with Strange New Worlds, I wonder if you found the Gorn episode reminiscent in style to First Contact? First Contact is my favourite Trek movie and it’s the horror element I think that elevates it for me. Along those lines I thought the fourth episode of Strange New Worlds, “Memento Mori,” was the stand-out of the season. I wouldn’t call myself a horror fan, in general, but when Trek dips into it I find it irresistible. Definitely a sometimes thing, but definitely welcomed when sprinkled in and done well. As someone raised on The Next Generation more than the Original Series, I was yet familiar with the Gorn and a little dismissive of the idea of it as a modern villain. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong!
I am really appreciating the way the new Star Trek shows are reinvigorating the rich lore and mythology that we are all invested in. They are re-opening the extant canon for us to take a fresh look at. The music is receiving nods of its own, with thematic fly-bys of familiar sounds and sometimes, as in Spock’s Strange New Worlds dream of fighting T’Pring with front-and-centre homage. In this case, to the Original Series “Amok Time” music cue.
Which is all to say, now is a good time to revisit the old scores and see what nods and parallels are present. The first Star Trek: The Original Series collection is available on CD from our website. If you prefer you can also find it on Apple Music and iTunes, as well as Spotify and many other streaming services.