Star Trek Discovery uniforms

It’s not a Star Trek show without a main title theme. A title theme can shape how a series is regarded and help cement its place in the pantheon of Star Trek properties. After all, more than one Trek theme has achieved iconic status. And a lot of expectations are riding on Star Trek: Discovery as the first Star Trek series to hit the small screen in 12 years.

So how does the Star Trek: Discovery main title theme measure up to the shows that came before it?

A memorable title theme can make or break a TV series, drawing viewers into the rich worlds of fantasy, science-fiction, or crime dramas. But the recent trend in compositions has been more subtle — none of the familiar leitmotifs that were popular in blockbusters up through the ’90s. Television themes as well have been dependent on a catchy jingle. The first two notes of the Doctor Who theme spark immediate recognition, and no one can think of Cheers without humming along to “Where Everybody Knows Your Name.” But Game of Thrones may be the last vestiges of the traditional theme song.

Basically, I’m saying that the Star Trek: Discovery main title theme is all right.

Composed by Fargo and The Night Of composer Jeff Russo, who is clearly a giddy Star Trek fanboy himself, the Star Trek Discovery main title theme is subtle, nuanced, and rises triumphantly towards the end. But it’s just not that catchy.

Compare it to the original Star Trek theme song, whose delicate orchestral theme transforms into an upbeat percussion accompanying an operatic soprano mimicking the sounds of electronic instruments.

Just for fun, here are the rest of the Star Trek series main title themes:

The Next Generation

Deep Space Nine

Voyager

Enterprise

Okay the Enterprise theme — a pop-rock ditty sung by Russell Watson that makes me feel like I will suddenly see horses galloping over a sun-drenched valley — is a little laughable, but still a good deal more memorable than the poor Star Trek: Discovery title theme.

Star Trek: Discovery stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Yeoh, Jason Isaacs, and more, and is set approximately 10 years before the events of the original Star Trek series. Martin-Green’s Lieutenant Commander Michael Burnham is the lead character, marking the first time a Star Trek series has been lead by a character who was not a Captain.

Here’s the synopsis for Star Trek: Discovery:

Ten years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, the USS Discovery discovers new worlds and lifeforms as one Starfleet officer learns to understand all things alien.

Star Trek: Discovery is set to premiere on the digital streaming platform CBS All Access on September 24, 2017 following a broadcast premiere on CBS.

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