‘Star Trek VI’ Composer Cliff Eidelman Releases EP Inspired By Work Originally Done For ‘Discovery’

At SDCC over the summer it was announced that Emmy-winning composer Jeff Russo had landed the job for scoring the  new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery, but apparently he wasn’t the only one in consideration. According to composer Cliff Eidelman, he was asked to develop some ideas for the show last year by co-creator Bryan Fuller. Eidelman, who composed the score for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,  revealed what happened in a Facebook Live chat this week, saying that Discovery consulting producer (and Star Trek VI director) Nicholas Meyer suggested Eidelman for the job and Fuller invited him in.

As described by Eidelman:

When I came in [Bryan] described what they were doing and he was so interested in me possibly scoring this series, he asked me if I would write a theme. So, I went ahead and I was encouraged and thought this was going to happen and I would love to get back into doing another Star Trek series.

At the encouragement of Fuller, Eidelman wrote an idea for the show’s theme, which Fuller liked and he was then asked to write an additional piece. However, work ended after Bryan Fuller stepped down as showrunner last October, as explained by Eidelman:

New people came in and they went in a different direction. The reason I was there was because of Bryan Fuller, and when he left I kind of went with him and wasn’t kept on. I was not signed on. I was never hired or engaged formally. I was just encouraged.

Cliff Eidelman’s new EP

Discovery work sparked creation of EP ‘Into the Unknown’

Eidelman explains that he liked the work he did for Discovery and so he developed it more more and added three other pieces to be released as an EP. The composer said he created his own story concept and visuals “apart from what I was doing initially” which became the EP Into the Unknown, which was released earlier this month.

The title track of Into The Unknown began as his original idea concept for a theme for Discovery and was developed further to become the version on the EP. You can listen to samples of all four tracks from the EP below, via Spotify.

You can buy a digital download of the tracks or the EP at Amazon or iTunes.


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They should ask him to score the season 2 premiere. Just out of respect for his role in the franchise and to add artistic variety to the series.

Touches of the Star Trek: Voyager music in “Into the Unknown”, and also some other strong Jerry Goldsmith-esque bits in there.
Same for “Battle of Two Worlds” which also has flourishes of Jerry Goldsmith’s “The Mummy” score.

I really like it, a pity they didn’t use this music – I actually think it’s stronger than the current DSC music.

Loved his score for Star Trek VI – that opening theme alone is beautiful. However, these pieces for Discovery are only okay to me.

I read in Nick Meyer’s book that he ( Meyer ) basically wanted Stravinsky’s “Firebird” for the opening of STAR TREK VI – and that’s essentially what he got from Eidelman ( I love that opening theme too – I used to play it on cassette to the opening credits of DEEP SPACE NINE – it worked a treat mostly!

I thought he wanted to use Holst “The Planets” but couldn’t get the right to do it.
At least the liner notes of the OST says it. You should check “Mars”.

Not to mention that it the end result seems to be heavily Mars-inspired.

Agree. I know they’re basically worked up demos, but they’re far from his finest work.

I was always surprised that he pretty much vanished from the film score landscape after TUC, which possibly had the most alien and varied soundtrack of the all, and remains my standalone favourite.

“New people came in and they went in a different direction.”

Will be a point of discussion and argument for a long time, I suspect. The other Discovery.

I’ve only listened to the samples, not the whole thing. Based on those, I’m not sure his work would have been better than what we got. Just the first track (supposedly his proposal for a main theme) sounds extremely simplistic and repetitive even in those 30 seconds. I really liked his Star Trek VI score so I was expecting something more interesting.

STVI is possibly my favorite score from the films, and it has a lot of first-rate competition from TMP/TFF, TWOK/TSFS, and FC. That said, I don’t like “Into the Unknown” as much as the opening theme we got (which has grown on my quite a bit, actually).

I do, however, really like the Battle of the Binary Stars theme, which does echo his Klingon theme from STVI.

Love his Trek 6 theme. It’s smazing. This? Glad they went in another direction.

Too bad, the Discovery theme is lifeless.

Nope. The beginning flourish and end stamp are perfect… as perfect as when Alexander Courage wrote them. The chords in between are fine, I guess. I still can’t hum the thing.

“I still can’t hum the thing” circles right back to “the Discovery theme is lifeless”. The end stamp is Alexander Courage, the open is what it is with everything in between is entirely forgettable. With the exception of “Enterprise”, the same can’t be said for the other shows.

I agree. The bit that cheapens the theme for me is the part toward the end just before the classic Trek horns, when the piano keys come in. It just does not feel cinematic.

The ship in the image there looks like the Daedalus from Stargate.

It is the Daedalus.

I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw that. lol

Meh. Like the DSC theme, that was a letdown. Honestly, I dunno who they should have gotten to work on music for DSC.

To be fair, these are essentially just musical sketches from someone who was never actually hired or paid to do work.


already better then the shit thats is discovery

$4 for a 7-minute long EP?! Sorry, but no. :(

Love his score for VI but this doesn’t do it for me at all. Those themes are just too heavy and operatic for a television series. I think they’d be intrusive.

The Battle of Two Worlds is brilliant! It definitely has the flourishes of Goldsmith’s Klingon themes.