Battlestar Galactica: Why Did The Main Theme Change???

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ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was recently re-watching the excellent Ronald D Moore Battlestar Galactica and a thought occurred to me, while watching Season One…”Wasn’t the original theme different than what I am hearing on my Blu Ray versions now??”

I dug out an old DVD release of Season One, that came out not long after the series started. Sure enough, the original series theme was very different—and I actually prefer it over the later theme. In my mind it’s a much more powerful theme (I don’t prefer the other, synth-heavy theme with the wailing voices). Apparently, this theme was heard only in North America:


What was heard everywhere else, internationally, was this theme, that became the series main theme going forward—for all regions:


Does anyone know why there were two versions of the main theme, in Season One, and why the “weaker theme” (in my opinion) became the main theme for all versions after Season One?? Also, why can you not find any Blu Ray versions of Season One of the series that includes the North American main theme, now?
 
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Jodo

Sr Member
I actually prefer that second version. It seems more appropriate for a mythological story, concerning gods and such...I find the initial theme too weak. They have a soft song over some fast paced scenes and it has always seemed out of place to me.
 

ALLEY

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I actually prefer that second version. It seems more appropriate for a mythological story, concerning gods and such...I find the initial theme too weak. They have a soft song over some fast paced scenes and it has always seemed out of place to me.
Now, I do have to say that the “Extended” version of the International Version of the Main Theme is pretty good:

 

Strikerkc

Sr Member
I wouldn't be shocked if it was a matter of just trying to present a unified product. A lot of us view blue ray's and DVDs as some sort of "record" or "preserver" of what was once aired; and that's not what they are (or at least aren't what the sellers are in the game for). If they think it'll improve the reception of that product, to change the product from original version to something new, especially if it's something relatively small like opening credits for uniformity sake, they will do that. So be, no big worry to me.

Could also be that it's simply cheaper to only pay for the license and distro rights of one song. I think the show started, or was at least bought for one network, but moved to sci-fi at one point. When things are released on video, numerous companies later, and in ways they were never anticipating, that kind of stuff is usually simpler to just change, than to try and sort out and pay for.

Biggest example I can think of is Daria and Beavis and Butthead. They were aired using "promotional" rights, or some weird thing like that, so had music videos and popular music of the time. To release them on DVD, Daria had to remake a whole new soundtrack to try and "match" the vibe of the old music (or else the rights to include all the original music would have made each dvd set a small fortune to buy); and beavis and butthead will just never be released as they aired, because the rights to sell a DVD with all those music videos together on one set of DVDs or blue rays is just... financially unimaginable, for what the product is.

Side note, I like the "second" one more too. lol
 

Searun

Active Member
Just finished watching Season 1 again and came across this Battlestar Galactica music discussion. Great thread Alley. Really enjoyed all of your comments on the different theme versions. Thanks for the kindness of attaching them for my listening pleasure even so these damn hearing aids are a pain. I enjoyed this as much as I did in my young adult watching the TV series before jet engines and electrical turbines took their toll. Never heard the full music version. Quite beautiful. Thanks.
 

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AnubisGuard

Sr Member
I believe it's mentioned in the liner notes for the season 1 soundtrack but the international season 1 (and domestic season 2 onward) theme was the original theme, written to match a temp track due to "temp love," and the American season 1 theme was done at the insistence of the Sci-Fi channel, who wanted different music. Presumably the change to the season 1 Blu-rays was done by the producers, who wanted the international theme from the beginning.
 

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