Back in the late 1990's I worked with a friend on a concept for a television series. I don't think either of us took the idea of the series actually being produced very seriously, but it sure seemed like an idea with a lot of potential. If the idea were to be carried forward a lot of parties would have had to agree on some complicated issues, and honestly neither of the primaries had any quantifiable experience in television production.
The basic concept was to set an action/adventure series (not too different in some ways from the then-popular "Hercules" and "Xena" shows) on Larry Niven's "Ringworld" a couple of centuries prior to the events portrayed in "Ringworld" and "Ringworld Engineers". Other than the environment, the only character taken from the books was a minor character named "Seeker". His quest for "the end of the arch" was the framework by which the series would explore the near-infinte possibilities in the almost unimaginable vastness of the ring. He would pass through widely varying societies and cultures, some fairly primitive and others highly technological. Seeker would be the only constant, and if you do the math he has just as much land area to explore as any "Star Trek" vairant could expect to find ... the difference is that he gets from adventure to adventure by walking, and occasionally catching a ride on some technological marvel that happens to still work.
I still think this concept would make a great TV series, but I hold no illusions that it will ever happen. My enthusiasm for the project was enough at the time to inspire me to create some simple graphics, write one sample episode script, and compose a couple of themes related to the project.
Main Title • I had a very clear visual concept for the title sequence. It starts from a blackout, the title of the series, "Tales from the Ringworld" fades in. A single star flashes (signified by the first bell-chime). Point of view zooms in on the star (though it may seem that the letters zoom toward the viewer). As we zoom at incredible speed toward that special star we see the ring and continue the approach to the inside surface of the ring. A cymbal crash corresponds with crossing into the atmosphere. The "wild west" part of the theme (trombone solo) is a kind of "IMax" fast helicopter race over landscape, showing fields and mountains and a variety of landscape. This draws nearer and nearer to the surface, in the end circling in on a lone wanderer walking across an empty field or desert (Seeker). The view rapidly moves from the helicopter view to a dolly shot, to a close-up of Seeker's face. Then there is a transition to the "baroque" part of the theme, which is a collection of quick-cuts between action scenes from the series itself.
Seashore • This is just an "environmental theme". I had an idea for this theme years ago, and this seemed like a good place to use it. I visualized Seeker walking along a beach, and tried to express musically the thoughts and emotions he might have.
Seeker's Theme • This is an exposition of a theme for the main character. Once again, it's an opportunity to use some music that was kicking around in my head for years. I tried to use the music to paint a non-verbal picture of what kind of person Seeker would be. There is a wistfulness, but at the same time confident resolve to his character. I didn't see this composition as a whole having a place in the show, but I felt that some echo of it would be used regularly in the soundtrack to emphasize the presence of Seeker.
Baroquen • This piece is closely tied to a sample script I wrote for the series. It's really a piece of "backstory". The sample script involves a visit to a highly technological society in the Ringworld. The inhabitants are very intelligent, and there is a scene placed in a ballroom. In the background there are dancers. The idea I wished to portray is that the musicians and dancers were working on an expression of mathematical concepts, rather than an artistic or emotional performance. This music is a cycle of threes, and I had some ideas of choreography for a "triangle dance" to go with it.