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Every STAR TREK Opening Theme Song Ranked from Worst to Best

Find out which is the greatest opening in Star Trek television history. Star Trek is the most iconic television show ever. It's also spawned one of the most successful movie franchises ever made.

Part of its success is the Star Trek theme song. The original song is so iconic people know it even if they've never seen an episode of the show. Over the years there have been many spin-offs of the show which each used a new theme song. Some have been brilliant and some have been horrible.

Most recently Star Trek: Discovery is airing on CBS All-Access. Soon the upcoming Picard series will introduce a new theme song. We don't know if the opening for Picard will match up with some of the others. But it's time to look back at the history of the Star Trek opening songs and rank them from worst to best.

Make it so.

11. Star Trek: Enterprise Season 3-4 (2003–2005)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy

Enterprise's theme song is the first (and last) time Star Trek uses a contemporary song for the opening. Dennis McCarthy scored the pilot episode. Executive producer Rick Berman promised something new for Star Trek's sixth spin-off series. He said the opening would "be using a little bit more contemporary kind of music. [...] It's not all of a sudden that the show is going to be scored with electric guitars. It's going to be a little hipper."

The song "Faith of the Heart" is written by Diane Warren and sung by Rod Stewart for Robin Williams' comedic-drama Patch Adams (1998). The song was a hit and charted at number three on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks and number 60 on the UK Singles Chart. It's used for Star Trek and sung by Russell Watson. It's a good song and some of the lyrics match up with the idea of space travel.

You have to inspire the courage of the producers for trying something new but it doesn't work. There's a tradition of Star Trek shows opening with a grand orchestral theme. This song sounds like a Rod Stewart concert. After fans complained the song is different in the third and final season of Enterprise.

The new version has a higher pitch and is sped up. They added tambourine and a more pronounced electric guitar. Star Trek managed to make a bad decision even worse.

10. Star Trek: Enterprise Season 1-2 (2001–2002)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy

Dennis McCarthy first made music for the Next Generation pilot episode and scored dozens of other episodes. McCarthy later composed the theme for the shows Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Plus he scored the soundtrack for movies like Star Trek: Generations

The opening of Enterprise uses the song "Faith of the Heart" sung by British crossover opera singer Russell Watson. Fans hated it so much that fans created many petitions to get rid of it. "[We] urgently request that you remove ['Faith of the Heart'] and in its place utilize a score that is without vocals, as traditionally used by [the] 'Star Trek' television series," one petition said.

"We wish to express our unmitigated disgust with the theme song that has been selected for the new 'Enterprise' series," another online petition said. "It is not fit to be scraped off the bottom of a Klingon's boot."

"I'm in the horrible minority of people who like the song," Rick Berman defended the song telling Sci-Fi Wire. "I think it fits beautifully. I think it's a song that's got a lot of hopefulness and uplifting qualities to it. And I like it. I've met a lot of other people who like it, but I've also heard a tremendous amount of banter about people who don't. And what's a Star Trek series without something for people to hate?"

Whatever you think of the song it was used as a wakeup call for NASA missions.

9. Star Trek: Enterprise Season 4 "Mirror Darkly" (2005)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy & Kevin Kiner

In 2005 the series Enterprise traveled to an alternate "evil mirror universe" for several episodes. To complete the feel that the show had traveled to another world they changed the opening. The theme song has a more militaristic tone and a darker feel.

It works well, especially when shown along with images showing how Earth entered into a long-standing war. Considering it replaced a pop song it's even more impressive. Unfortunately, it only lasted a few episodes before going back to "Faith of the Heart".

8. Star Trek: Discovery (2017-2019)

Composed by Jeff Russo

When CBS started work on the Star Trek prequel Star Trek: Discovery they hired Jeff Russo to compose a new opening theme. Russo has started in a '90s alternative rock band named "Tonic". After that, he started composing songs for video games and television shows. He won an Emmy for his work on the FX series Fargo.

He describes himself as a life-long fan of Star Trek and Jerry Goldsmith's work on The Next Generation in particular. The theme for Discovery sets itself apart because they decided to focus on emotion rather than exploration. It starts with the familiar fanfare for Star Trek and then uses stringed instruments to give a sense of mystery and hope. It ends with the theme again which implies the future of the franchise.

It's a solid piece that relies on fan recognition. So it doesn't stand out on its own.

7. Star Trek: The Original Series (1966–1969)

Composed by Alexander Courage

The theme for Star Trek played over every episode in the show's three seasons. It's called "Where No Man Has Gone Before". It's an instrumental piece and opens with a monologue by William Shatner starting with "Space. The final frontier". The song itself relied on wind instruments and percussion by bongo drums, which was a popular instrument at the time.

Alexander Mair "Sandy" Courage Jr. was an Academy Award-nominated, Emmy Award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, and orchestrator of television shows and movies like Jurassic Park (1993), Star Trek: First Contact (1996), and Hello, Dolly! (1964).

Courage was inspired by the Richard Whiting song "Beyond the Blue Horizon," giving him the idea for a song which was a "long thing that...keeps going out into space...over a fast-moving accompaniment."

The original song is a masterpiece of its time evoking a feel of adventure and excitement and has been used in several pieces for Star Trek since then. Unfortunately, it feels dated. Bongo drums fell out of fashion decades ago. The operatic singing by Loulie Jean Norman feels out-of-place. Iconic, but not quite as good as others.

6. Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973–1974)

Composed by Ray Ellis (Yvette Blais), Norm Prescott (Jeff Michaels)

Raymond Spencer Ellis arranged many hit records in the 1950s and 1960s. He later started working with Filmation on their animated series. He used his wife's name "Yvette Blais" as a pseudonym. Norman Prescott was co-founder and executive producer at Filmation Associates and worked with Ellis on the theme song. He used the pseudonym "Jeff Michael" after his sons Jeff and Michael.

Paramount decided to revive the original series for a Saturday morning cartoon. They decided to make the theme more modern.

Like the original song, it starts with Shatner's monologue "where no man had gone before". Then it moves onto a song with a much faster pace and tone than the original. The tone is slightly different as well but manages to capture the same feel of the original song. Plus, there's no singing.

5. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 1-3 (1993–1995)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy

Jerry Goldsmith was contacted to do the theme song but declined because of scheduling problems. Dennis McCarthy has done a ton of work on Star Trek and he admired the Star Trek: The Next Generation song. He said that he loved the trumpets and French horns in the theme so McCarthy used wind instruments to write the song for DS9.

It's different from other songs because it's the first show to focus on a starbase instead of a spaceship. So the feel of the song is very different for the fourth television spin-off. Berman said he wanted to emphasize the loneliness of the station. McCarthy told SyFy he wanted the theme to say, "We are alone" and he accomplished it. It's different but beautiful. In 1993 he won an Emmy for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Main Title Theme Music" on DS9.

4. Star Trek: Picard (2019-)

Composed by Jeff Russo

CBS All Access went in a different direction with the theme song for Picard. Instead of relying on strings and a large orchestra to play the song it goes smaller. The song is thoughtful, serene and melodic. It's not bombastic like the Next Generation theme or slow like Deep Space Nine.

But it does owe a debt to the 90s Star Trek series. In the TNG episode "The Inner Light" Picard is knocked unconscious by an alien probe. He lives 40 years of life as an alien scientist named Kamin in the span of a few minutes. During the episode, he hears a flute song played by his "son" Batai (Daniel Stewart). After Picard returns to his normal life, he still remembers how to play and plays a melody on a flute. That flute and song have a special place in Picard's life since it's the family he never had but "lost". It's not a coincidence. The composer said he wanted to use a flute to evoke some of the feelings from the episode.

Russo told The Ready Room he wanted to "change to a feeling of emotional contentment for him because as we come to see, he lives on a chateau. And it's sort of what we always thought would happen at the end of The Next Generation, and those movies where he would always sort of end up … That was his happy place. And then I wanted to … evoke how he has been awoken again."

It ends with a small section of the theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It's lovely, thoughtful and moving.

3. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Season 4-9 (1996–1999)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy

For the fourth season to the final season, the song changed. It's actually better in many ways. The show had changed by the fourth season. New characters joined the show like Leeta (Chase Masterson) the Dabo girl. Other characters, like Worf (Michael Dorn) from Next Generation, returned. The starship USS Defiant was added to allow the show to travel to different parts of space.

All these changes led the producers and McCarthy to rework the theme song to make it lighter. The reworked song makes the show brighter and gives more hope. Star Trek is all about hope and it fits wonderfully.

2. Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith

Jerry Goldsmith is a legend in the industry with a long list of awards including 18 Academy Award nominations. He won an Oscar for The Omen (1976) and was nominated for Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979.

Unlike The Next Generation which used music from his movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture, he decided to write a new song. The song is a beautiful sweeping theme that has stunning pictures of the ship soaring through space. The Voyager theme is somber and lonely but not sad. It's uplifting.

The Voyager opening theme song is wonderful.

1. Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 1-7 (1987–1994)

Composed by Dennis McCarthy, Jay Chattaway, Ron Jones, Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith

When the producers were planning out the first Star Trek show in decades they wanted to make sure the music would meet fan expectations. So they turned to the work of Jerry Goldsmith and used a piece from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Specifically, they took a piece that played several times in the soundtrack. The first time is before the Enterprise's first warp test.

The song is perfect for the opening as it has a feel of hope and majesty. The original song was performed by a 100-piece orchestra. Too much for a TV show so they scaled it back and McCarthy led the original orchestration of a slightly different version of the song.

It opens with the opening of the original Star Trek theme. Then Patrick Stewart says a version of the "Where no man has gone before" monologue. After that, the song begins and blows the doors off. It's the best theme Star Trek has ever had and set the standard for all other openings.
Which is your favorite Star Trek theme song? Which one do you hate? Let us know in the comments below!
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