If you've tuned in to the glut of geek-friendly TV shows over the past decade, then you know composer Bear McCreary's work: the thumping wallop of his drums-driven work on Battlestar Galactica, the creepy-as-hell soundtrack that plays over the zombiepocalypse on The Walking Dead, the propulsive synth-heavy opening music for Syfy's video-game tie-in Defiance. He's helped define the sound of both cult and crossover shows for the Comic-Con nation, and if you've been lucky enough to catch Starz's period-fantasy drama Da Vinci's Demons — in which a studly Leonardo Da Vinci fights cults, hangs out with mystics and somehow finds time to romance a mistress of Lorenzo de' Medici — it's clear that this former protegé of Elmer Bernstein can do stately scores in addition to spooky and space-operatic themes.
With the second season of Da Vinci's Demons premiering on March 22nd, we asked to McCreary to break down how he wrote the themes for five of the best-known TV shows he's worked on. Here's what he told us. DAVID FEAR