Star Trek Intro Music Has Meaning
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This September, Star Trek Discovery will begin airing on various different streaming platforms around the world. It will be the first Star Trek television series to air since Enterprise ended in 2005.
Star Trek: Enterprise, being cut short in its fourth season, had a difficult run by comparison to its franchise predecessors. There were plenty of decent episodes in the series. But some Star Trek fans argued at the time the show was doomed from the moment the intro music began.
“I remember myself and 6 or 7 friends all gathering at my place in an excited anticipation of the ‘new Star Trek’ premiere” says Cassius Adams, NCC-1031.COM’s creator. “The show came on and then the intro music began. There was a gasp in the room followed by – and I’ll never forget this – a collective ‘noooo!’ exclaiming a mutually agreed disappointment. Completely unrehearsed. For most of us, [the soft rock music] signaled an unwanted departure from the Star Trek we had come to love. So different from [TOS, TNG, DS9, and VOY]. From what I remember, most of us had given up on the show before the end of the second season. I didn’t finish the show until I could watch them back to back much later after airing.”
That’s harsh criticism, and while Adams isn’t alone not every Trekkie fully agrees. “When I first heard it I was surprised and found it odd since it was so different from the previous themes” says Drew Costen, a long-time Star Trek fan, when asked. Not only that, Costen volunteers that Enterprise is his second favorite Trek series behind DS9. “I don’t remember having a strong feeling about [the music] beyond that. Over time it’s grown on me, though, and I really like it now. It seems to fit the hopeful feeling of Enterprise well.”
Of course the music of a Star Trek show doesn’t really dictate its success or failure, but many Trekkies see it as being emblematic of the series as a whole. It sets the tone for the show, the optimism it represents, and the excitement and discovery we’ll experience. Some argued that it can even tells us where the show wants to be from an intellectual perspective to some degree.
Discovery’s Musical Theme
With the recent trend of streaming shows shortening their intro credits, or doing away with them all together, might this all be moot given Discovery is a streaming series? Not according to series executive producer Alex Kurtzman. “I think it’s [a minute and a half], and we have a credit sequence that we are very excited about, that we’ll run with it.” he said during a recent TCA. “It’s absolutely running at that length, for sure.” That means show watchers will hear the music every week when new episodes go up online.
Adams says Star Trek Discovery‘s music hits the mark. “There is a clear honoring of the music of past shows. It’s orchestral, upbeat, optimistic, exciting, and strangely familiar yet fresh” he says. “A new take.”
This is all good news for series showrunners who have been paying meticulous attention to getting the new series right, while charting their own course. Many of them are fans of the show themselves and recognize that the music can be a character of its own.
The theme was first heard during the Television Critics Association panel for Star Trek: Discovery, however we’ve only now been granted permission to release. It was composed by Jeff Russo, who we wrote about last week when he announced on social media that the intro music and first episode’s music were both complete.
Star Trek Discovery is set to air on CBS All Access in the USA on September 24th, Space and CraveTV in Canada, and on Netflix in the rest of the world.