The Star Trek: Picard theme song — Making the iconic more personable

Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard (and his dog, No. 1) in "Star Trek: Picard" Episode 1: Remembrance.

Source: CBS (Image credit: CBS)

When you think of science fiction and music, you think of John Williams and Star Wars . And you also think of the iconic themes of Star Trek . There's the unmistakable air of the theme from the original series . And the less-1960s sounding theme from Jerry Goldsmith in Star Trek: The Motion Picture , which paved the way for the more grandiose take that led Star Trek: The Next Generation for so many years.

And for what it's worth, I'm a fan of the theme from the 2009 reboot . It was perfect for what was needed at the time. We didn't have any idea what was going to happen with this reboot, and mostly with actors we'd barely heard of. (Though if you didn't catch Bruce Greenwood in John From Cincinnati a couple years earlier, you missed out.) It was full of the stature and reverance that you'd expect in a Trek franchise, and it got the job done while breathing new life into a line of films that had long since jumped the Tribble.

So what do you do when Trek becomes less about the galaxy at large and more about one man (and those around him) in particular? And it's not like Jean-Luc Picard is just any old man, though that's obviously how many see him this late in his life.

Here, composer Jeff Russo walks us through his thinking in composing the theme for Star Trek: Picard . It's certainly more (if you'll excuse the phrase in this context) down to earth. It's decidedly smaller in scale, but no less dramatic. It's less marching ahead and more taking stock.

Russo says it better, of course.

And, yeah, you heard that right at the end. Because how could you not?

New episodes of Star Trek: Picard premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access.