Heroes vs. Villains: Making the music for the heroes of ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ ‘The Walking Dead’

Ruthless, fearless survivor Carol or wise, daring military leader Adama – which one has your vote? 

HitFix”s third annual March Mayhem launched earlier this week, pitting your favorite heroes and favorite villains against each other. The Walking Dead“s Carol Peletier and Battlestar Galactica“s Commander William Adama are matched up in round 1 of our Heroes vs. Villains bracket.

“No! NO! How do you – no!”

That was Bear McCreary”s response when I told him he”d have to chose between Carol and Adama. McCreary is the composer for both Battlestar and Walking Dead. And though he moaned, “That”s a tough one,” he did eventually make a choice between these two fan-favorite characters, who themselves have to continually make tough calls to stay alive and keep others alive. (The choices you have to make in March Mayhem haven”t been as life-and-death – thus far.)

Here”s McCreary”s choice when queried, “Who”s the better hero?”:

“It”s Adama. It”s Adama because he is a better leader. They both have demons that they”re dealing with. Carol – one of the things that we love about her as a character is the way she”s overcome all the things that she”s faced. But Adama has just more experience leading people, and I think he deals better with that responsibility, whereas Carol is unpredictable, and it”s what we love about her. She”s more relatable – that”s what makes it so hard. But in terms of heroism – how many thousands of lives has Adama saved? But man, that is a tough one. That is mean!”

Now, who would win in a fight between Adama and Carol? That”s an entirely different question. Dear readers, I”ll let you debate that one.

McCreary also reflected on writing music for each of these characters. For both Adama and Carol, “when something happens to them it affects me personally and emotionally,” the composer said.

On writing music for Adama:
“The ending of the first season of Battlestar – 10 years later I”m still not gonna spoil it. Just “cause if you haven't seen it, you should see it. The ending of the first season, something happens to Adama that is hard to watch. And when I first saw that, I was stunned. Utterly shocked. I felt what you felt. I felt what all the fans felt. The only difference is I then had to channel all that into a piece of music that could help tell that story.”

On writing music for Carol:
“Carol”s fun because musically I support her in a different way. Carol is a more independent and mysterious character. She just needs a little less musical storytelling. It”s fun to watch her and piece together what”s happening. The scene when she”s talking to the little boy about the cookies hat”s fantastic. The arc with her this season that is happening right now is the most that I”ve been able to dig into her character. So actually I can say no more other than the next time we chat, if you wanna talk about writing music for Carol, I”ll have a lot more to say.”

From the heartfelt themes “Roslin and Adama” and “Wander My Friends” to the haunting, somber violin that accompanied this memorable Daryl and Carol scene, McCreary”s music has been there for the big moments for these characters. We all know, if we were superheroes, we”d want to do our heroic deeds to the tune of our own powerful soundtrack, and these two have that in spades.

Voting for round 1 of March Mayhem closes this Sunday evening. Place your vote for Adama or Carol here! And come back on Monday, March 21, when voting for round 2 will begin at 10 a.m. ET., and the winner of this showdown will face off with either The Flash or Sherlock Holmes. See the full HitFix March Mayhem bracket here.