Saturday, April 12, 2008

New AFOS episode: "All This Has Happened Before"

Because Battlestar Galactica's fourth season is finally in full swing, episode WEB93, "All This Has Happened Before," will feature highlights of Bear McCreary's terrific music from the show, and it will begin streaming Tuesday, April 15 (midnight, 4am, 10am, 3pm, 7pm and 11pm). I wish all the tunes on the episode's playlist could be Galactica score cues, but because the Internet radio airplay laws only allow me to put four McCreary tunes on the playlist, I had to pad it with selections from scores to other remakes (Ocean's Eleven, 3:10 to Yuma).

All the Galactica score cues during this ep come from the show's season finales. WEB93 will conclude with McCreary's intriguing cover of "All Along the Watchtower" from last season's stunning cliffhanger, "Crossroads, Part II." (McCreary discusses recording the "Crossroads, Part II" score here.)

During WEB93, I mention that the Galactica producers didn't want the music during their remake to sound like what Stu Phillips wrote for the previous incarnation of Galactica. As Galactica miniseries composer Richard Gibbs said in the liner notes for the miniseries score CD, he avoided typical space opera score elements like a "sweeping, swooping orchestra, strong melodic themes, incredibly detailed flourishes," and it's an approach McCreary emulated when he took over as composer in season 1. What I like most about the music of the current Galactica is that it still manages to sound exciting even without orchestral bombast (example: the powerful taiko and strings combo in the "Prelude to War" theme from "Pegasus"). McCreary seems to understand that minimalism doesn't mean you have to turn the score into musical wallpaper, which is what happened with much of the original music on the Rick Berman Star Trek shows.

McCreary's score for the latest Galactica ep, "Six of One," was really good, particularly during the officers' farewell to Apollo on the port hangar deck. Frak! I wound up with a lump in my throat. (The next Galactica will feature something equally sob-inducing--a naked Dean Stockwell. Great. It's like we're being punished for seeing Grace Park dance around topless this week.)

Also during this AFOS ep about scores from remakes, I snark about Hollywood's creative bankruptcy. Speaking of which, a Ben-Hur miniseries is apparently in the works. I'd rather watch a remake of the SCTV Ben-Hur.

Next AFOS episode: The feature film score music from Galactica's tonal opposite--Star Trek.

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