See ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Orchestra Pay Homage To Jerry Goldsmith, With Score From New Composer

Since the big Comic-Con reveal, Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas has been discussing and teasing the upcoming third and final season, which features the return of the main cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. And since our last update, he has continued posting, including a little preview of some of the music, which will pay tribute to the work of late composer Jerry Goldsmith.

Goldsmith love in Picard season 3

Over the weekend Matalas shared a short video of music being recorded for Picard season three at the Warner Brothers Scoring Stage in Burbank, CA.

Matalas called out the “Goldsmith love” referring to how the music evokes “The Enterprise” theme from Jerry Goldsmith’s Oscar-nominated score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Goldsmith himself would evoke this theme in the scores of future Star Trek films including the three TNG-era films he scored (First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis). Goldsmith is also known for the main theme for Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was taken from his main theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The legendary composer has been credited in a number of Picard episodes that have used elements of his music, including his Emmy-winning theme from Star Trek: Voyager.

Earlier in July. Matalas revealed that season three of Picard will honor Goldsmith’s work “in a big way.”  He also confirmed they will be paying homage to Goldsmith’s TNG theme.

New composer

Matalas’ tweet links to two new composers for Star Trek: Stephen Barton and Freddie Wiedman, who both now list Picard among their work. Barton is the main composer for season three. Matalas worked with Barton on his previous series 12 Monkees. He is also known for his work on a number of video games, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, for which he was nominated and won several awards. Frederik “Freddie” Wiedmann is providing some additional music for season three. Wiedmann’s credits go back over two decades, including live action and a lot of animated work, garnering him a number of Annie Awards nominations and an Emmy win.

Barton also shared an image from the season three recording, revealing they are using an 80-piece orchestra, which is on the larger side for a television show. He tagged both Matalas and Picard editor Drew Nichols who attended the scoring session.

Matalas did not mention Jeff Russo, who has composed the themes and music for both of the previous seasons of Picard. It is not known what role, if any, he will have in season three.

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That sounds wise. Barton and Wiedman obviously replacing Jeff Russo… I’m not opposed to that. I have mixed feelings about Russo’s work. He has his moments. I like his original PIC theme and the imperial mirror universe theme from DSC, but his scores are half-baked and bland in parts.

He’s especially bad with including well-known themes from other shows. They always sound a tad off, almost fake… I don’t what it is exactly, but… So I guess Barton and Wiedman will do a better job honoring the classic scores.

Hello, Garth. I’m not opposed to that, either. The question remains is this: will we still hear Jeff Russo’s opening and closing theme tunes or not?

Good question.

Have to agree. Some of Russo’s work is actually pretty good — his Season 1 “Picard” theme was moody and elegiac, very appropriate for a show about a former hero in his declining years. But Season 2 was a total mess, and his episodic work is spotty and mostly not all that memorable. Nami Melumad’s compositions for “Strange New Worlds” have at least been more colorful and fun, as befits the show. I still wish they’d use a variety of composers to best suit the needs of the episode a la TOS, but I suspect those days are long gone.

It’s embarrassing to admit, but I’ve rarely even noticed the music on these recent series, except to dislike most of the title cues — exception being when they reference Goldsmith cues, which seemed to happen a lot toward the end of Ps2. When I do take notice, it is usually to think, ‘just another Marvel wall of noise,’ because melody seems absent, or buried. I guess that’s my biggest problem with the last couple decades of scoring — a memorable cue seems a thing of the past. Then again, I play Goldsmith, Barry, Williams, Bernstein and various other late 20th Century film composers in the car and in my office all the time, so basically any comparison is going to favor those gems.

It’s not embarrassing. Most of the music is pretty bland and forgettable. The only reason the SNW theme works is that is has the melodic heart (even if in a minor key) of Courage’s theme.

Well, film music is a strong interest of mine, and I’ve always used it as an inspiration for my writing. I used to live in the Bay Area, and KFJC had a terrific 3 hour soundtrack show in the 80s and early 90s, hosted by a guy named Robert Emory, which was spectacularly entertaining and informative, and his catch phrase was something about listening to what you watch, which kind of always informed my take on movies.

They wouldn’t just play title tracks like THE SCORE does (am not a fan of that program even though it is local up here in NW public broadcasting … though apparently popular nationwide, is error-ridden (the John Hurt sounding guy claimed Deep Space Nine was a base set on a planet, to give you an idea of how little research is done), and the cheapness of usually playing from compilation CDs rather than originals has always been evident.

Basically ever since PATTON when I was a little kid, I paid attention to film music (and took special note when CHINA SYNDROME and a lot of 70s era Lumet didn’t use any music, which is a neat trick when so many flicks rely heavily on underscore to make up for what they don’t deliver in-camera.)

I remember how struck I was the first time I saw NETWORK and realized that it had no score (except for the deliberately awful theme music for “The Howard Beale Show”), not even tracked contemporary pop music. And it worked really well, for that particular kind of film.

Getting back to TOS, one of the things that has convinced me Bob Justman was its unsung MVP was his unerring instinct for selecting composers whose style would best suit a particular episode. So far as I can tell, the man had a hand in just about every given aspect of Trek’s production; it’s amazing to me that he found any time to sleep at night.

NETWORK is the first movie where i consciously noticed the lack of music (2nd viewing), but then Bridges’ THE CHINA SYNDROME was the one that was a huge wakeup call to me to take note, because that seems like a movie which shouldn’t be able to work as well as it does w/o underscore. VHS was coming in then, so I quickly noticed a lot of Lumet films, going back to FAIL-SAFE, succeeding sans score.

I have often figured that doing a soundfx only mix for a space film, cutting from sound inside to silence outside, was the way to be both honest and suspenseful, but few have really managed or even dared try. GRAVITY apparently has a no-music version, and i wish I liked the movie more, because I’d probably give it another try (not knocking it, but after 3x in theater — the last movie I ever saw multiple times in a theater — the thrill is largely gone, except or the wonderful space VFX.)

It’s a very contrary situation for me, because I also love film music so dearly … recently I’ve rewritten the ending of an old script based on an unused cue from Goldsmith’s EXTREME PREJUDICE, and it got me very excited about screenwriting again, to the point that I think I’m going to try to finish off my ‘formation of ILM’ script and send it out (swore I wouldn’t try to write anything fun till I got that out of the way, many years and ADHD diagnoses back) and jump right back into my old CRITICAL ORBIT universe, even though FIREFLY has eclipsed some of what I wanted to do back in the early 90s when I was on fire with the writing, before I fell into the journalism-only rut.

“I guess that’s my biggest problem with the last couple decades of scoring — a memorable cue seems a thing of the past.”

This! A thousand times, this! And I think it started with TNG. I know your comment isn’t confined to Star Trek music, but I remember reading an interview with, I think it was McCarthy, where he tried to use a recurring theme and was told in no uncertain terms that “We don’t do that here.” That was such a crime, because the music of Trek until that point had been one of its true high points.

It seems like bland music spread from Trek to pretty much everywhere. Even John Williams’ score for the new Star Wars trilogy only had a couple of memorable cues.

Thanks, Rick Berman!

The closing theme of the season one final would have been the perfect maintheme for the series.

I wonder: If Russo is actually sidelined now, maybe this is the reason we haven’t gotten a soundtrack release for DSC S4 yet… I don’t know, just a thought.

Bet you $10 that little 10 second snip we heard will be played during the reveal of the Enterprise-F.

I was thinking exactly that.

It sounds like Picard S3 will be very cinematic. I love Jeff Russo’s work. I listen to it all the time in my Star Trek Into Music playlist, but if these two guys want to give Trek a shot, then I wish them all the best. Looking forward to S3 of Picard!

Why re-arrange perfection?

To make it fit the mood of the scene? Not every scene using that theme would benefit from a (as Nick Meyer put it) “rum-te-tum-tum” march.

Hopefully, they restore the Season 1 theme, or replace it. The changes to the theme for Season 2 were not great, yet I came to love Season 1’s theme.

My guess is we’ll hear dialogue about a USS Goldsmith in season 3. And/or the opening credits theme will include the famous TNG/TMP fanfare — seasons 1 & 2 had different themes played during credits, no reason not to expect a new or new-ish season 3 theme as well.

Anyone know when the soundtrack to Strange New Worlds will be out? I keep thinking it will be any day…

Yeah, it’s really a nuisance. It was “announced” for laze June / early July. Now it’s early August! I need this so much… Damn it, I need it! :-)

Great to hear Jerry Goldsmith is sharing the limelight in Season 3! Star Trek Voyager theme is one of the most beautiful themes ever written. The remix his son Joel did on a compilation CD, along with the Deep Space Nine theme and others, was a great interpretation as well. Of course the Motion Picture/Next Gen theme was truly at it’s best over the end credits of ‘First Contact’ orchestrated by the master himself. .

That “First Contact” theme…. I’ve left a note with my living will stipulating it get played at my funeral. Such a heart-felt, emotional piece. I get teary-eyed whenever I hear it played. And will again in about 30 seconds when I pull it up on YouTube.

i feel what you mean. i guess i watched FC as often as possible just BECAUSE of that main touching, eerie main theme. a masterful piece of music for all times.

Joel Goldsmith also did fantastic Work over on Stargate. And he died way too young …

Its weird but I always thought Jeff Russo’s music would have been the exact kind of music that Rick Berman wanted for his shows, bland, stoic, wallpaperish. I did enjoy his main themes but his episodic music to he honest aren’t very memorable. Hopefully these new guys can infuse some more energy into the music and it looks like they are on the right track by incorporating the great Goldsmith themes.

And you’re probably right :-D

My feeling grows exponentially that Terry Matalas indeed TRULY loves TNG the way I, and many others do!!!! Seems like finally the right man took the helm…
The only one thing left I hope is that he also feels that TNG is only truly TNG when Data is included ..

I would love to know, what his actual involvment in season 2 was. He only has writing credit for the first and half a wrting credit for the second episode, though he was technically showrunner.

Given, that those were the only somewhat decent episodes of the season, there’s a chance, Season 3 might not suck. But I’m really not exited for it.

He said on twitter a few months ago that he essentially left the day-to-day on season two about halfway through to work on season 3. Akiva pretty much ran the show for season 2

It seems that he left day-to-day production halfway through season 2. However, the season was developed, and many (or even all) scripts were written long before that. So he probably didn’t oversee filming and post production, but I’d argue that most of the problems many fans seem to have with season 2 are not with the execution, but rather with the story/scripts. And that’s where he probably was involved.

Serialized shows these days are very much developed as a group effort by the writers’ room. Sure, individual scripts are still written by individual writers, but they were probably hashed out by committee. Now, I don’t know how detailed this “breaking the season” is but the major story beats in each episode all probably clear before any one writer sits down to type out a script.

I guess that’s one of the reasons many writers are also credited as (executive) producers these days. Everyone contributes to every episode even if they aren’t credited as writers.

That’s not really “nowadays” … Hollywood has been doing it this way for more than 20 years. Without crediting anyone and everyone as producer.

And with new Trek it happened more than once that there might’ve been a plan but they changed it halfway through the season (DSC S2) or had to add whole storylines in Post or through reshoots (PIC S1) … and I wouldn’t be surprised, if something like that happened in PIC S2 as well. This just doesn’t feel like any thought went into this.

So maybe the difference is that they are now starting to actually credit people for their work?
I’m not sure why some fans obsess so much about the number of producer titles. These shows involve a lot of creative talent. They always have. Why is it a problem if some people who might have previously been mentioned only in the end credits now receive a more prominent credit in the title sequence?

As for Picard season 2: Akiva Goldsman doesn’t have any writing credits on the middle part of the season either. He shares credit with Matalas on the opening episodes and has co-written the season finale. So it seems like neither Matalas nor Goldsman want to take credit for the middle part of the season ;-)
What’s interesting is that most of the middle part was written by people who had never worked on Star Trek Picard (or any Star Trek) before. Episode 3 was co-written by a writers’ room assistant from season 1, and episode 8 was co-written by Kirsten Beyer (co-creator of Picard). But aside from these two everybody else credited as writing episodes 3 – 9 seems to have been new to Trek.
They basically handed off the whole season except for the opener and the finale to a team with no prior Star Trek writing experience.

As someone who LOVES TNG on such a grand level I really want to believe that too. I was very excited when I heard he was coming in for season 2 and especially after how disappointed I was with season 1. I told myself if nothing else it has to be BETTER than first season (which was already a super low bar) and it felt worse! Yeah he loves TNG and this era of Star Trek but season 2 was not anywhere close to a love letter to the show, put it that way.

For the first time, ever, I was depressed watching a Star Trek show, because it hurt to see them get this show so wrong after so much fanfare. I was OK if the Kelvin movies or Discovery didn’t win me completely over, but those were different. They were new entities, zero attachments. So even if they disappointed me (which they did lol) it wasn’t the end of the world either. You just shrug it off and just hope it improves in the next go around. But Picard was my childhood. The show and character represented beyond just another Trek show and was part of my life for a long time. So it just really hurts when they didn’t get it right in either season for me. I’m really crossing my fingers for season 3, ALL the characters are back so it means even more to so many of us; but I’m still very nervous about it

Glad they’re finally getting rid of Russo. He did some great Work on other shows but his Star Trek Work was just so derivative and forgetable.

Looking at all of Kurztman Treck, it’s only really Chris Westlake who gets the music right. Though Giacchinos Theme for Prodigy is pretty great, too.

I absolutely LOVE and adore Nami Melumad’s work. So it’s not just Westlake. Russo is the only weak spot of the new era and even he isn’t with merit.

without of course :-)

Rewatching that clip and revisiting pieces of Picard’s season 1 score leave me with just one wish… that they’d quote more than 8 notes of the theme…. go ahead and play the damned thing! I’m not saying for 6 minutes like in “The Motion Picture”, but let us hear that beautiful music!!!

Could be penny-pinching. I’m not sure what the rules are exactly but they have to pay royalties to the original composers when they reuse older music. Maybe the amount they have to pay depends on how much they quote.
I think Nami Melumad (composer of Prodigy and Strange New Worlds) once mentioned in an interview that she would sometimes sneak in little pieces that evoke previous scores but keep it short enough or slightly different from the original so they wouldn’t have to pay.

I’m not 100% positive here, but I’d think that if you pay for a song, you pay the same for 8 notes as you’d pay for the whole shebang.