Ten Tracks Today – 14th August 2011

I enjoyed the last set so much here is another set of ten favourite TV themes:

01 – “That’s My Mommy” – Tom and JerryScott Bradley

I was so pleased when Film Score Monthly released a selection of Scott Bradley scores, including some from Tom and Jerry. In many ways, the names of Scott Bradley and Fred Quimby were just as familiar to me as Tom and Jerry as Quimby’s cartoons and Bradley’s music were my favourites. I don’t normally like “mickey-mousing” in film music but here’s the exception: every musical equivalent of chases, drunken state, slapstick pan hit was lapped up when I was a child – and I enjoy them just as much today…in the music.

02 – “Main Title” – The Winds of WarRobert Cobert

I remember this mini-series from the early 1980s when programming such as this was a major TV event. And I remember eagerly waiting for the title theme to begin (and if I recall it was used for the extended trailers too). I suppose it is a bit too melodramatic, but it’s a great piece of music that focuses more on the emotional shenanigans rather than the historical drama.

03 – “Theme” – The WaltonsJerry Goldsmith

Goodness! This is one of the cornerstones of of my childhood: a great, hummable theme that’s a marker for some great TV (I was quite young at the time). And when I was getting a bit too old for the show I would still stop to listen to the theme.

04 – “Main Theme” – Battlestar GalacticaStu Phillips

I never really got into this show as a whole but I loved all the space battles (of which there never seemed to be enough of) and the fanfare beginnings of this TV series was something to savour.

05 – “Main Title and Closing Theme” – Star TrekAlexander Courage

A version from the re-recording of By Any Other Name, this is the orchestration I prefer. For example, not too much tom toms. An iconic theme.

06 – “Title Theme” – MonkeyGodeigo

I remember having this as a 45rpm single record and enjoying the song on the B-side (sung during the end credits) just as much as this disco-pop main title song. At almost 5-minutes long, it’s a bit too long. As with a lot of themes released as singles, the additional music (including bridges between quotes of the actual title theme music) tends not to be as interesting as the theme itself.

07 – “Theme” – Magnum, P.I.Mike Post

This is more a theme that I’ve grown to like more recently rather than through the show itself: I was never much of a fan of Tom Selleck and his moustache. A typical Mike Post TV theme: catchy and straight to the point.

08 – “The Council of The Time Lords” – Doctor Who: The End of TimeMurray Gold

Underscore here rather than a main theme as it is one of my favourite Murray Gold pieces for Doctor Who. That grand statement of the Gallifrey/Time Lords theme is short, but oh so good.

09 – “Title Theme” – The ProfessionalsLaurie Johnson

A gritty police drama from the late 1970s, Johnson’s theme for this show has a big band feel that fits well with the show and gets bums on seats for the beginning of the action.

10 – “Remember Me” – The Virgin QueenMartin Phipps

I never saw this period drama about Elizabeth I but Phipps’ score intrigues me because it’s quite modern in its style and orchestration. But one of the most haunting aspects of the score is exampled in this beautiful cue. Sung by The Mediaeval Baebes, it is one of a series of cues that features the powerful female group. To be honest, I don’t really care how it fits to the show, it’s a great score.

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