Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oooohh!! The Sacrilege!! Stu Phillips Music Cues In "Battlestar Galactica" Weren't Very Good

Make no mistake. Stu Phillips is one of the greatest musical composers in film and television. His theme music for "Battlestar Galactica" is one of the most majestic, beautiful, and awe-inspiring scores ever composed for a space opera. I'm a huge fan of his work from "Battlestar Galactica" to "Knight Rider."

I dare say however, that one of Stu Phillips strengths was not in composing some of the music cues for the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series, primarily in the pilot episode. In particular, I refer to the following music cues:

(1) The sequence where Zac is being gradually pursued and shot down by the Cylons, where Zac himself explodes into a fireball. I've often thought to myself why Stu Phillips didn't break the melody up into a bridge and then come back down to the primary melody. It sounds irritating without a bridge.

(2) The sequence where Colonel Tigh gathers up the Colonial Warrior uniforms in the officer's quarters. In God's name, why didn't he branch that melody off into a bridge as well, and then come back down to the primary melody? Again, without a bridge, the melody is irritating to listen to.

I'll give Stu Phillips the benefit of the doubt here, and theorize that because of time constraints involved in working on the pilot episode, he didn't have time to compose a bridge for both music cues.

(3) His music cue in "Lost Planet of the Gods" where the female Viper pilots were in combat for the first time. Again, not very good in my opinion.

(4) The sequence where Starbuck has to crash land his Viper aboard the "Galactica" in the pilot episode has a music cue not too thrilling. On top of that, I swear I have heard that music cue somewhere before prior to it appearing in the pilot episode of the "1978 Battlestar Galactica" series. In other words, I still recall hearing it in another movie or television production prior to September 17th, 1978.

(5) His music cue in "Gun on Ice Planet Zero" where explosive charges are being placed inside of the pulsar cannon station again, didn't do it for me either.

In these other examples, I'll give Stu Phillips the benefit of the doubt again and theorize that ABC-TV was meddling with "Battlestar Galactica" to such a degree, they were telling Stu Phillips how to compose music badly.

As the series went on however, particularly in the final episode "Hand of God", Stu Phillips music cues improved dramatically. Particularly the sequences where Apollo, Starbuck, and Sheba were surveying three planets from their Vipers, and Starbuck & Apollo inside of the Cylon Basestar.

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