The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, Episode 180: Dennis McCarthy
This week, we continue our mini-marathon of Star Trek composers. Over the course of about a month, we’re turning the spotlight onto the four composers responsible for nearly all of the music in televised Star Trek (except for the original series). In fact, three composers – Jay Chattaway, Dennis McCarthy, and Ron Jones – wrote a vast majority of the score heard in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. And you’ll hear all of them right here.
Today, we’re chatting with Dennis McCarthy, who might just be the only person to be involved in all 25 seasons of Trek from The Next Generation through Enterprise. Certainly, no one else had the magnitude of creative output as he had during his 18 years on Trek. He scored 88 episodes of TNG, 77 episodes of DS9, 65 episodes of Voyager, and 30 episodes of Enterprise. He also wrote the theme for Deep Space (for which he won an Emmy).
No one else – no one – wrote as much music for Star Trek as Dennis McCarthy.
In addition, he’s also the only person to have made the jump from TV to the big screen. He scored 1994’s Star Trek Generations, the seventh feature film and first to feature the TNG cast.
On this episode, we chat about his early musical career, how he initially came to Trek, the creative restrictions and challenges he had on the various shows over the years, his work on Generations, how he sometimes pays it all back by scoring fan productions, and so much more.
(I do not own the musical excerpts used in this episode, obviously. All rights remain with their respective copyright holders.)