Watch: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Main Title Sequence Unveiled

Today is the day: Star Trek: Discovery premieres tonight on CBS and CBS All Access. To get you psyched up, CBS has just released a clip of Discovery‘s main title sequence.  We have that including a full breakdown. Plus, watch the USS Discovery soar boldly over New York City, thanks to some LEDs and a Black Hawk helicopter.

Discovery’s main title sequence

CBS just released this “clean” version of the main title sequence, sans credits.

Note: This version is region locked to the US. Click here for international Netflix version.

Analysis and breakdown of shots

Star Trek: Discovery‘s main title sequence is a nice homage to past iterations of the franchise with a new modern feel. One immediately notices some visual similarities to the Star Trek: Enterprise sequence. But, overall, both visually and aurally, Discovery‘s theme and title sequence take cues from plenty of modern shows. Those that immediately come to mind: Westworld and Fringe (notably, Alex Kurtzman was also a co-creator on that Bad Robot production).

(Dilitium??) crystals floating around the Discovery as it is built from an engineer’s drawing into reality.

The back of the USS Discovery comes to life.

The Discovery taking shape.

The Discovery flies over Victoria Crater on Mars. Fun fact, NASA’s Opportunity rover made this crater famous when it drove there in 2006.

Human form above a planet.

Close-up of a (presumably) human eye.

The exo-suit we’ve seen worn by Michael Burnham comes together.

A phaser is assembled.

A communicator.

The Vulcan hand salute coalesces from black “smoke”.

A Klingon blade begins to form.

The tip of a Klingon blade.

The Discovery spirals upwards in between two Klingon blades.

The Discovery continues to spiral upwards.

The Discovery emerges…

…from a giant plant-like creature.

A grappling hook.

Gloved hands come together to recreate…

hands reminiscent of the iconic “The Creation of Adam” biblical fresco by Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling.

Hands dissolve away to reveal…

…the Discovery logo.

The Discovery zooms away.

The Discovery soars over New York City

New York City residents were treated to a night sky show as the USS Discovery soared over the city last night, as part of an ad campaign for today’s premiere. The illusion was created using LED lights attached to a truss, carried by a Black Hawk helicopter. The USS Discovery flew from City Vineyard at Pier 46 out to the George Washington Bridge.


Star Trek: Discovery premieres on September 24th on CBS with all subsequent episodes on CBS All Access in the US.  In Canada Star Trek: Discovery will premiere  on Bell Media’s CTV and the Space Channel on the same night. Netflix will launch Star Trek: Discovery on Monday, September 25 to countries outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Discovery news at TrekMovie.

Use our handy How To Watch Guide to get the low-down on how you can tune in for tonight’s premiere plus After Trek in your time zone.

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I love it.

Ok. That is probably the coolest thing ever!

Love the intro. Brings to mind the intro of The Pacific

@PEB — reminded me a lot of WESTOWRLD’s MT Theme.

Works for Westworld,but not for Trek. It’s kinda boring.

Wow. Not what I expected at all but I love it. It feels like it carries on the visual style a little from the opening titles for Enterprise. This feels more like a James Bond opening. So nice. It’s probably one that they can also easily change with new illustrations for each season to match the story lines.

I got an Enterprise vibe, too.

I got the Bond vibe too, and the Enterprise connection. Love the music as well.

I love the Da Vinci-esque quality of the animation. I despise the theme. Reminds of the most recent Doctor Who title sequence. Great visuals. Awful theme rendition. Russo was a bad choice. Still, I can live with it if the stories are good.

With the theme music being a very important factor in a Star Trek show, this is actually quite a bad thing.

The theme feels a bit “light” to me. Needs more gravitas.

I thought the same but in the sense that is good. There is some heaviness in the middle a bit. But for a series a few negative nancies have described as too dark, the opening belies that .

You say that TUP, but weapons are given quite a bit of prominence, so I expect they will complain about that.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I “despise” the theme. But yes, it needs a bit more gravitas — it feels too much like a patchwork compared to the other series’ themes. I’d like something to latch on to. (I feel somewhat the same way about the HOUSE OF CARDS theme, though, compared to the WEST WING.)

The montage is excellent, though.

I agree. The animation was great, but the music seemed to repeatedly look for a groove, and just could’t settle into anything. Until right at the end when it was too late to matter.

A bit underwhelmed by the theme itself, but the imagery is very nice. Needs a more trumpets.

What it really needs is more cowbell! :)

Damn, you beat me to it….

@JonBuck — people were giving this horrible thing a pass pending the visuals, and now I can say without a doubt this theme is even worse with picture — it doesn’t fit with anything. I can definitely blame the theme, because it’s really not very good, but the title company that made it, really didn’t help — it’s almost like they cut it to one thing, and then the music was completely changed after it was too late to fix it.

And how about that ‘oh, by the way’ moment toward the end when the Original Series theme plays as though to remind us it’s supposed to be Star Trek.

Yeah, that snippet of Courage’s theme at the very end of DSC’s theme is sudden, ungraceful, and feels disjointed. I’d have preferred they not do it that way. It came off amateurish.

FYI the “unlockex“ version is only the first first seconds and not the entire thing. Unless I’m doing it wrong lol

It has good visuals, however the theme is still not good at all.

If only Jerry Goldsmith was still among us. He was a legend. His scores for Motion Picture, Trek V, Generations, First Contact, even Nemesis, are superb! James Horner is another legend!

He didn’t score Generations, that was Dennis McCarthy.

I should credit McCarthy also then, because his score for Generations is one of the best!

That score is the best thing about Generations. Beautiful score!

I actually hated the score for Generations for a long time but have come to now love it.

And the Voyager theme is still probably the most beautiful out of all the Treks IMO.

Jerry Goldsmith was nominated for an Oscar for his TMP score, and won an Emmy for Voyager’s theme, as did McCarthy for DS9’s.
Russo… made something competent, and scores the actual episodes with gusto. That’s all I can say, being the amateur music critic that I am not.

Yeah… Orville’s theme is so much better! 😆

Whatever you think of THE ORVILLE, I couldn’t find a clear melodic line in its theme music to save my life.

Let’s not bog down the positivity of discovery with the accepted lameness that is Orville.

Orville is what it is and nothing more. It’s not even in the same ball park as Star Trek.

This is a Trek site.

@Trek fan 67,

Regardless of what you think, its theme is far better then what Discovery is offering.

Ahahahaha you have GOT to be kidding me ahmed! You are hilarious! Orville music is INCREDIBLY bland! Anything to slam DISC, right ahmed? You are so transparent.

@Trek fan 67,


You are THE most negative person on these boards. I have not seen you write anything positive regarding DISC. But your comments are highly amusing… and predictable.

Well it should be good since it’s the TMP theme they stole

Have to agree, the visuals are interesting but the theme music itself is lacking.

@Thomas — the visuals are incredibly derivative of WESTWORLD in style, and I’m not really sure I care for a beige MT sequence. But I totally agree about the music. It’s wrong, and doesn’t even fit the visuals.

Agreed. There’s a disconnect between the theme and what the series is supposed to encompass.

I like the beige sequence as it evokes the kind of sepia/coffee-stained tones we’d expect of a series set during the Age of Exploration in the 18th-19th Centuries, and the sketches that Captains and officers would make. And it also brings forth the same pathos. Hornblower in space, and all that.

Visually this couldn’t be more different to the Westworld intro. There is a similarity in the style it is done though, but this can be said about all new premium shows these days. Daredevil and Iron Fist, for example, have intros far more similar to Westworld.

This Star Trek Discovery intro is more reminiscent of Da Vinci’s Demons intro than much else.

Mad Men. YES.

Here’s the unlocked full version

Thank you.

I like it all and it’s not the worst Trek theme I’ve heard. I like it fine. I wonder why they chose a TOS communicator to illustrate.

I noticed that too. They even have the TOS phaser at first, before it turns into the DSC phaser. Wonder why they didn’t do the same with the communicator…

The visuals I give 7/10.. The “theme” music I give 4/10. It sounds like a copy of GoT and even worse there’s no actual “theme” at all. Nothing to whistle or hum. Very forgettable indeed. Enterprise at last had that.

Nothing about the theme gives me Game Of Thrones at all?

Exactly the way I feel about most Twenty-First Century music. I’m no musician, so the best way I can describe it is as being all flat. Like a band in which only the rhythm guitarist is playing. No hook, no riff – it’s all Coldplay.

LJ, I’m going to borrow your “it’s all Coldplay” line from now on, for personal use. I’m always complaining about how all music in this century is the exact same garbage, but the way you summed it up is perfect. Cheers!

Ah, it sounds like you don’t know anything about music if you think this and GoT have similar sounding themes. GoT is definitely better, but this one is so different, it aims for something else.

I agree that a good TV theme song is one you can whistle or hum, and all the previous iterations of Trek have had one (even if just a variation on the Alexander Courage theme, as with TAS, the 25th anniversary pinball game, and the 2009 movie). But this had nothing to grab the ear — no melody, no memorable motifs. I couldn’t describe it if I tried. Between the Courage bookends, it just meandered.

I disagree that it’s anything like “Game of Thrones.” *That* has a tympani line you can lock onto. (Dummm dummm da-da-dum dummm da-da-dum / dit-doodoo-dah dit-doodoo-dah …)

Beautiful and. . . certainly, well, different. If this is indicative of the series as a whole, we’re in for quite a ride.

I submitted a Link to the unlocked YouTube version. Went to moderation. But it’s there. I imagine it gets posted shortly.

I liked it. Has definetly a GOT and West World influence. Only a few hours left !!! 🤤

Works for Westworld,not for Trek.

Am I the only one who doesn’t particularly like the visuals? They’re well done, but shouldn’t a show about exploring space have… space?

And I don’t hate the theme, but anything feels inferior compared to Jerry Goldsmith. It’s no worse than the DS9 theme.

@Chase — I think the idea works for what I know about this show — it’s all experimental, and the Discovery is a one-of-a-kind ship, doing special things.

Thats like saying anything on bread should have butter…

They could have done a modern TNG-esque title preview and fans would say it is a rehash and unoriginal…

I think the visuals are awful, and they make the bland/boring theme even worse.

Similar to the Enterprise sequence, I feel it is about human ingenuity and progress, and hope. Getting “from there to here”.

As the Klingon Blade is being formed the words “Inventor: Emory Erickson” can been seen next to what looks like the Transporter from the USS Shenzhou on the left :)

Bet that number “48.” at the end was originally 47 in the drafts!

In and of itself, it’s beautiful to look at. I can appreciate the execution of the aesthetic they went with. Conceptually… I don’t get it, is ST:DSC a show about Starfleet designers, or something? Because this sequence seems to be more about design itself than the show. It’s really abstract, and to me, it doesn’t really connect with the either the theme of TREK, or the premise of DISCOVERY. It’s a series of random, TREK-related images filtered through (an admittedly beautiful) visual design approach. I’m not saying this had to be the traditional ship-in-space thing we usually see, but it says nothing about the show.

Maybe it’ll grow on me.

And to clarify myself, understand that when I refer to the “theme,” I’m not talking about the music, but rather what the franchise and/or this show are supposed to be about.

I get what you mean, but respectfully I believe you’re overthinking this. Everyone knows what Trek is by now, or they don’t. Either you think this is aesthetically appealing, or you don’t. Not much more to it than that.

Agreed. No one is watching the opening to decide whether or not to watch or for an explanation on what Star Trek is

I acknowledge that could be the case, but it’s by training. I’m an artist and a designer, and storytelling entertainment is my career. One person’s overthinking is another’s professional appraisal.

That does seem a professional hazard, but I hear you. 😊

I think I was pretty clear that I *do* finding this “aesthetically appealing.” My criticism is more about how a very simple, symbolic narrative can be applied to a credits sequence to support the theme of the show. Game Of Thrones is a great example with the map. Actually, ne of my favorites is very similar to this, from a short-lived series called Manhattan. The show was about paranoia, and all the people thrown together at Los Alamos to develop the first atomic bomb:

@HomeBruise — it’s a show about a presumably experimental vessel built for a one-of-a kind purpose? If that’s what this turns out to be, then the visuals are totally appropriate.

You might be right. As I said, I’m open to evolving my thinking on it when presented with further context.

Progress and advancement is part of what Star Trek is about. Bettering ourselves internally and externally, growing, finding our place in a universe in which we are an insignificant speck. Engineering and science are at the core of that: this brings to mind what a show about the voyages of the HM Bark Endeavour or HMS Beagle might be like.

I’d mention the voyage of HMS Discovery, though that what somewhat tragic given the fate of her famous captain. Foreshadowing?…

Featuring things like phasers, communicators and Vulcan salutes in the titles I think is a subtle way of reminding people of the original show. Which I guess even now
remains the only truly iconic Trek series. If they’re being revolutionary in their approach to most of the shows production, I suppose a bit of counterintuitiviness with the opening sequence is to be expected.

I think having the ship transition from drawing to real in space as it whooshed past the camera would have been nice.

I like it. My initial reaction was…whhhaaaaatt. But then before it was done I liked it. As others have said, Bond like…the Da vinci look sort of implies conceptualization and scientific discovery.

And clearly the intent would be to update the visuals every season, if not both the music and visuals. One idea might be the music between the classic opening and closing changes as well.

Very cool to hear the classics. I like the music but don’t love it. Maybe it will grow on me. But its never been the important to me personally anyway. And I hated the JJ film theme though it grew on me.

STAR TREK DISCOVERY Opening Title Sequence Inverted:

Interesting but the real one is better

Love it.

Reminds me of the Westworld intro…very cool..!!

@cylonbob — if derivative!

Star Trek as a derivative of another series is a first.

@Denny C,

There was a semi-review the other day on Mashable full of praise for ‘Discovery’, calling it a smart, serious and the best sci-fi show since the new Battlestar Galactica. Then the author went on to say there were plenty of moments in ‘Discovery’ that were referencing/derivative of other movies and shows like Contact, Alien, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Game of Thrones and Shawshank Redemption!

*Sigh*. No, that’s not what he said at all.

@Michael Hall,


“I caught references to Contact, to Alien, even to Star Wars. There were moments when I caught an Indiana Jones vibe, a welcome Game of Thrones-esque feeling, and a dash of Shawshank Redemption mixed in for good measure.”

He did. Star Trek traditionally reminds me of, you know Star Trek.

Got to say, kinda love the ship now that we can see it in full.

That is still my biggest stumbling block thus far. I just don’t like the ship. Im hoping my mind changes when I see it in action.

Don’t much care for it myself, truth be told. All the ugliness of McQuarrie’s ’79 sketch, and that segmented saucer still seems completely absurd. But what could hope to replace the Enterprise, anyway? Let it serve as a platform for good SF/drama and I’ll be happy.

It doesn’t work at certain angles and it’s a bit flat.

Very cool! Love it!

I think I’m in love.

Red logo too. Wonder if this is Star Trek’s Revenge of the Sith.

Absolutely stupendous.

The theme is the best part. I can’t wait for episode one!

Theme is pretty good. Visuals are interesting, but the whole thing reminds me of a corporate commercial — banking or something.

Really? DaVinci meets some production design drawings put them together and that’s it? Even ENT had a better visual approach.
But then, it’s very reminiscent of current TV shows… Westworld, Daredevil, Game of Thrones, American Gods… the same pseudo-artistic, minimalistic concept. Maybe it’s going to grow on me shortly…
At least, those series have extended main themes again, unlike most late aughties shows like Lost, Heroes or Once Upon a Time…

Kind of “Art Treko”…

Hahaha! I love that.

Visually it’s wonderful. Great concept, great execution. The music, however, is the biggest uninspired generic cr*p I’ve heard in a long time: just listen to the main title themes of Westworld, The Walking Dead… I guess nowadays it’s still possible to get a composer who actually knows how to *compose*, how to capture some kind of emotional essence of a film or a TV show, but it seems to be a rare thing. This Discovery theme is so naive & bad it hurts.

Halfway through episode 1: music is bland. Lousy.

I can’t be the only one who thinks the visuals are awful. The theme was bland to begin with, but combined with these jumbled, incoherent, ugly visuals, it’s even more boring. Oh well. I liked ENT despite the crappy song, but at least it had good opening visuals. This…not so much.

I agree. Jeff Russo is a hack, and basically just recycled his thematic motifs (can’t even call it a theme) from the cancelled TIME AFTER TIME series he was fired from:

Basically he just went major instead of minor and wrapped it in between the TOS theme.

It’s so painfully generic. I swear, I can’t stop thinking of BMW commercials when I hear it, and this intro doesn’t help with that at all. Ugh. Oh well, just the intro! The show will be better…I hope! :)

As others have pointed out, it’s very Westworld, and also a little Penny Dreadful in some respects. I do, however, like how the visuals evoke Enterprise and how we are on a journey to a destination we all know: the TOS titles, and the rest, are when we are already there.

BTW, I’m possibly the only person in the world wondering how that would look with the Enterprise theme (I kind of liked it juxtaposed with the images of various enterprises from the original HMS Enterprise – spelled with a z – to NX-01).

It will take some getting used to, but I liked the visuals.

It comes across as a promotional piece for the series, not an opening title sequence.

It doesn’t look like it’s finished. Looks like a wire frame that has not been fleshed out yet.

I think you missed the point ML

Jesus..that’s chronically awful. Everything about this show has become a turn-off.

Why don’t you just turn off this website

Still debating Watching it, I have Netflix in Australia so I don’t have to deal with All Access.

So you have “free access” to it and you take the time to post on a Trek site but
You’re not sure if you will watch it? Lol

I’m pretty pro-DSC and everything but, time is the most costly price you can pay for something. Far more valuable than money. You’re literally paying with your life.

I keep trying to find the positives but I look at these screen shots & it’s clear they couldn’t even get the Credits right?
Jeez. this is painfully tiedious.

Ummm… credits are what plays at the end of a show or movie. I think you mean “opening titles”.

It must be lonely under that bridge.

I’m wondering if the titles were done by Elastic who do stunning main titles: Game of Thrones, Westworld, The Crown and American Gods.

No, I doubt it’s by them. Elastic does good work…

Is it just me or is the communicator the actual ToS model??

If you mean what they used in “The Cage,”. I would be likely to agree. Nice touch.

The Visuals are interesting but the “theme” still just doesn’t seem complete to me… I’m not sure exactly, I love the opening twinge toward the TOS theme and the very end but the middle just doesn’t seem like an actual Trek theme but I can’t exactly explain why… Still very excited for tonight!

I suspect every season might change the middle part

Love it…no embarrassing close ups of a starship but an introduction to the stylish elements of the Star Trek brand. Nicely done.

Love the theme
Love the visuals
Love the feel of it all.

Not sure about the score (it might grow on me, but it feel like it just never gets GOING) but the visual design is cool and strikes me as something completely new when compared to other Trek series.

Is this the first Star Trek opening to be made available textless? That’s pretty awesome. Guess you could call me spoiled by all the anime series I’ve collected on DVD/BluRay that featured their opening and closing credits textless.

I’d like to see other series feature textless openings like Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

That’s a good idea. I’d it hasn’t been done already. Cbs should make those available. They would be pretty cool