A Tale of Two Themes

Thursday, September 08, 2005 | 1:00 pm

[bsg #6] Picked up the Battlestar Galactica Season One soundtrack this week, and it finally resolved a question the wife and I had been pondering (not very hard admittedly) since Season 2 began — why the change of opening titles theme?

As it turns out, it wasn't a change, but a return to the original UK Season One theme. The CD contains both. (I'm sure that Marcus and 50% of you reading this could have told me that.) In a surprise upset to the way these arguments usually go, we both much prefer the haunting US version. [flying high]

Ok, so it doesn't actually answer my question. Why the change? Can anyone enlighten us? Often distributors make strange choices for their regional markets. Movie titles used to occasionally be changed for Australian release back in the day before internet and vapid half-hour entertainment "news" shows made the brand names universal. For example, "Airplane" was released as "Flying High" in Australia. Made for a few confusing movie chats when I came to these shores.

Back on BSG though, still excellent viewing, but I do fear the greater quantity of episodes for this season will hurt the show. Hard to keep up the quality week in week out, and it doesn't take much to lose a sci-fi audience these days (especially a Friday night sci-fi audience). The wife and I both hope to be wrong on this, but Rescue Me is proving to be more compulsive viewing lately as far as the tiny handful of shows we actually try to keep up with...

On a related note, I have grown to like the American version of The Office also. The British version still gets the props for concept and execution and a hall-of-fame major character, but the US "replicant" is also quite good, keeping the subtlety (often the first victim of the trip across the pond) and a effective duplication of the primary characters. No matter which you watch, it is a show that takes you a couple of viewings to warm to, primarily because it's hard to work out which character to barrack for, and then come to grips with the fact that he or she rarely comes out ahead. But well worth it, and a small episode count means quality every show. Great stuff from both sides of the northern hemisphere.


At 8/9/05 9:50 pm, Blogger Trundling Grunt said...

Nope, can't buy that US version of the Office. It's such a pale imitation that it's arguably more cringe-making than the original...but for entirely different reasons.

That's the trouble with things that get exported to the US - Ab Fab, Cracker, The Office, Steptoe & Son(eh?) etc. They lose such a lot in translation to avoid offence that they lose their bite.

It may well be true of things that go back the other way, but I guess I just haven't noticed it meself.

And the film name thing - yeah, that's weird.

Oooh, more squiggly letters to decrypt. Good thing I've had a drink!

At 9/9/05 12:39 am, Blogger Tom said...

I liked the U.S. version better myself.

At 9/9/05 7:19 pm, Blogger thisismarcus said...

I heard the U.S. The Office picked up after a lacklustre start. Still haven't had the pleasure myself, though. Regarding the theme music, excuse this long quote from Wikipedia:

The contrasting UK and US versions arose as a result of creative differences between Ronald Moore, series composer Richard Gibbs and Sci Fi Channel's management. The Vedic vocals were originally devised as "temp music" intended to serve as a placeholder for a forthcoming score. Moore and fellow producer David Eick liked the temp music so much that they opted to retain it, and instructed Gibbs to work it up into a full score, though the composer himself was far from happy with this. However, the Sci Fi Channel disliked the vocals on the grounds that they were "too sad", overruled Moore and created a new version for the US screening of the series. This was based on existing background music for the show, which Gibbs felt was even less suitable for a title sequence. The titles themselves were slightly shorter than the UK version, and the end result was two differing versions both of which satisfied only one party out of the three involved.

At 21/9/05 4:27 am, Anonymous Marauder said...

We did not get the US version here in australia. We got basically the same broadcast as the UK.
Interestingly, the Aussie telecast was far less censored than the UK version, although channel 10 inserted their own ad breaks all over the place.
As per usual hardcore sci-fi does not do well in this country and very quickly gets banished to 10:30 or 11:30 pm time slots.
FYI we only got to see Firefly at the end of 04 begining of 05 over the summer at 11:30pm.
At least it was broadcast in the correct order.


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