Science fiction on the small screen has once again become big business and the development of relatively cheap, CGI effects and low cost, but sophisticated prosthetics means that depicting aliens and alien worlds is now easily achievable on a television budget. Of course, while several series have fallen by the wayside, plenty have done well and Stargate SG-1
has been a modest success, although the film on which it is based did decent business, always a help. Having said that, the show seemed somewhat reluctant to stick to the film's mixture of sci-fi and Egyptian mythology, moving more into Star Trek style with alien foe and new planets to visit each week. One high point has been the music, penned by a roster of composers including Joel Goldsmith
, Kevin Kiner
, Dennis McCarthy
and Richard Band
, but all bolstered by the occasional influence of the film's composer, David Arnold
This album is the score for the pilot show, ostensibly scored by Joel Goldsmith
, but largely built from generous portions of Arnold's original score. This therefore represents the disc's biggest weakness, if you have Arnold's movie score, this adds little new and Goldsmith's role pretty well subverted to 'arranged and adapted by.' This is emphasized by the fact that neither composer wished for their name to appear prominently on the sleeve. Of course, the music itself is very enjoyable stuff, from Goldsmith's abbreviated, martial arrangement of Arnold's main theme, to the more sweeping statements of said melody, plus the portions of action and the spectacular choral passages. There are a couple of obviously new ideas, notably the dance rhythms of Egyptology, even if it sounds like the song, The Female of the Species (is more deadly than the male). In fact, the rest of the cue features a largely proportion of good, original material than anywhere, but otherwise, anything that isn't obviously original comes across as just bridges between quotes from the original score.
This could almost be the score to Stargate 2, with a composer assigned to adapt music from the original film in the grand tradition of the Superman sequels. I suppose it wasn't unreasonable for the producers of the TV series to want to give the small screen version a big screen feeling and Arnold's music is certainly grand, dynamic and thrilling. For the soundtrack buyer, however, picking up the album for the film would seem the preferred option and anyone looking for music from the show would be advised to pick up the album on GNP Crescendo, which contains music by Goldsmith and the above mentioned composers.
Read other recent reviews by Tom Daish: The Snow Files: The Film Music of Mark Snow
, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad