You read my mind word for word. I still cannot understand why people hate the synthesizer bits. Like you said, they had a full orchestra supplemented by synthesized parts. Most of the synthesis wasn't even hard synthesis, more like ethereal bell and pad sounds that complimented the series astoundingly. I missed the synth scores when they went away.
Funny how people give credit to a movie like "Forbidden Planet" for having a full synth score (which was basically a Theremin going "wooo wooo wooo wooo wooo" the entire movie), and TNG gets blasted for its minor use of synths. It IS a Sci-Fi series people, sciency instruments should be allowed
(or do you want the Berman wallpaper themes all throughout the series?)
I agree with you wholeheartedly. The early season cues always stood out, while the later seasons were generally bland.
I just have a small nitpick: I don't know if a Theremin was used at all in Forbidden Planet. The husband/wife team that composed the score used mostly, if not all, primitive oscillators with various filters etc.