Derivatives: A Tale of Two Joels, part 1

This past week I listened to two soundtracks that were spin offs from successful motion pictures. However, neither one was for a motion picture sequel.

The first was Joel Goldsmith’s score to the pilot episode of Stargate SG-1, the long-running TV show. Joel, of course, is the son of legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith, and is a composer in his own right.

I have to give him credit for this score. While it’s not terribly inventive, it does an excellent job of continuing David Arnold’s themes and motifs from the original film. Rather than re-invent the wheel, the SG-1 score is a nearly seamless transition to the small screen which keeps the Stargate universe cohesive. The re-use of the original cues also gives the score a much larger sound than is typically found on television program, where budgets for music are limited.

SG-1 assumes that the viewer knows the premise of the show. Thus, the show spends less time than the film did unraveling a mystery and concentrates more on action and spectacle. The TV score reflects that, providing 50 minutes of compelling music.