Category: Blog

Themes of Battlestar Galactica, Pt V

This is the fifth in an on-going series of entries covering all the major themes in the Battlestar Galactica score. If you missed them, check out Part IPart IIPart III and Part IV. 

 

Military Theme

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     This melody, almost always accompanied with snare drums, was originally scored as a bansuri solo, set against Apollo briefing the viper pilots in the first episode of Season One. It quickly developed into a theme for all military aspects of the colonial fleet, becoming especially associated with the friendship between Bill Adama and Saul Tigh. 

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BG3: “Maelstrom”

I realize that I’m several days late getting this entry together. I apologize, but I’ve been busy scoring the season finale, which seriously rocks, by the way. More on that later.

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WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD:

I first learned of Starbuck’s death months ago, while I was scoring Torn and A Measure of Salvation. Since that time, I knew that Maelstrom would be an incredibly difficult and tense episode to write music for. Because Season 3 has been the most difficult and creatively exhausting season yet, I was honestly afraid I wouldn’t have the emotional energy to do this episode justice.

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BG3: “Dirty Hands”

     “Dirty Hands” focuses on the workforce within the fleet that we rarely see, the men and women struggling in the background to get their jobs done. Their work is neither glamorous nor rewarding, and when they stand up to demand better conditions, they are shut down by Roslin and Adama. Chief Tyrol begins to suspect their cause is just and eventually leads them on strike.

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     Believe it or not, my personal inspiration for this episode actually stemmed from my favorite episode of Batman: The Animated Series. I loved this series when it was on the air in the early 90’s. I firmly believe it has what could be the greatest television soundtrack of all time, scored by Shirley Walker and her amazing team of composers. Shirley, who conducted and orchestrated many scores for Danny Elfman, took the Batman mythology into incredible new musical realms, far beyond anything created for the feature films. Her themes for Batman, the Joker, the Penguin, Catwoman and the other characters have always stuck in my mind as their definitive musical identities.

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BG3: “A Day in the Life”

     This was a tricky episode. It centers on Adama as he remembers (and “speaks with”) his ex-wife, Carolanne, on their anniversary. This plot makes way for Tyrol and Cally’s life-threatening situation in an airlock. The challenge was to integrate the stories together, since they are related: Adama’s guilt about his own family is magnified when he sees the loyalty and love between Cally and Tyrol.

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BG3: “The Woman King”

     This week’s episode centers on Helo’s suspicions that a civilian doctor is killing refugees staying aboard the Galactica. 

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Helo has more screen-time this time around

     It was obvious from the beginning that the score would be built from variations of Helo’s theme:

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