I confess to being a sci-fi geek. I love science fiction in any format: books, movies, comics, television. I have seen every episode of Doctor Who, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Farscape, Stargate and Battlestar Galactica to name a few. Each of these genre shows had a terrific theme tune (well, except for Quantum Leap) and fortunately lots of them are on Spotify. There are many karaoke-style covers albums of theme tunes, but Spotify also has a good supply of Original Television Soundtracks from shows like Doctor Who and Star Trek. Read on for a look at some of the best.
Star Trek / Star Trek: The Next Generation / Deep Space Nine / Voyager
Spotify has quite a few original soundtrack Star Trek albums. Jerry Goldsmith’s themes are included on Star Trek: The Next Generation – Encounter at Farpoint and Star Trek: Voyager – Caretaker. These soundtrack albums feature incidental music from Jay Chattaway and Dennis McCarthy, who also wrote the majestic theme for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – The Emissary. And back where it started, Alexander Courage’s original theme can be heard on all three volumes of the original series soundtrack albums, including Star Trek: Volume 2 – Doomsday Machine and Amok Time.
Joel Goldsmith took the original David Arnold theme from Stargate: The Movie and made it his own. Spotify has two Stargate soundtrack albums: one called simply Stargate SG-1 (which has all the music from the pilot TV episode) and the other is The Best of Stargate SG-1 Season 1 – Original Television Soundtrack.
Babylon 5: The Lost Tales
Tangerine Dream‘s Christopher Franke composed the music for all five seasons of Babylon 5. His stirring theme tune evolved from year to year, cleverly reflecting the major themes of that season’s story arc. His music for the finale episode Sleeping In Light is one of the very few soundtrack albums I enjoy listening to from start to finish. Unfortunately Spotify has none of the episodic CDs, but there is still one official release: the soundtrack album for straight-to-DVD movie Babylon 5 – The Lost Tales.
Doctor Who / Torchwood
Although BBC Worldwide releases are absent from Spotify, a rift in the space-time continuum of licensing has meant that a few Doctor Who and Torchwood releases have slipped in. First up is the Doctor Who Original Music from Series Three, featuring some of Murray Gold’s best incidental music. Murray Gold has been musical director for Doctor Who since its reboot in 2005 and his powerful score is instrumental in its success. Torchwood: Original Television Soundtrack contains incidental music composed by Gold and Ben Foster from the first and second series of Torchwood. Torchwood: Children of Earth continues with the series three score. Both feature the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Thunderbirds / Captain Scarlet / Stingray / Space: 1999
Barry Gray scored the iconic theme tunes and music for classic 1960s Gerry Anderson shows like Thunderbirds, Stingray, UFO, Space:1999 and Captain Scarlet. Stand By For Action! – The Music Of Barry Gray collects all these fabulous themes together, remastered and all in their original versions, exactly as heard on TV. Spotify also has a Space: 1999 Year 1 soundtrack album as well as Barry Gray’s complete Thunderbirds Soundtrack, remastered and including the most famous countdown this side of Tracey island.
Spotify Playlist: Sci-Fi TV Themes – Original Versions
I’ve put together a playlist of original sci-fi TV themes, featuring the best and most memorable tracks from all these soundtrack albums. It also includes some one-offs such as the original themes from Farscape and Stargate Atlantis. I gave myself two rules for this playlist: firstly, it’s TV themes from sci-fi shows, so no movie soundtracks. Secondly, each track is the original version, so no covers or karaoke versions. I remember buying a “Star Wars And Other Space Themes” record as a kid and being horribly disappointed when I discovered they were all disco-funk versions and not the originals. So enjoy this playlist, earthlings and live long and prosper!
Also, if you like science fiction check out Audio Drama on Spotify: Blake’s 7.