After the firing famous composer Alex North, due to the pilot episode going over budget, Dominic Frontiere was hired to write the series theme and music library for ABC’s The Rat Patrol. Rather than specific episodes, producers would use music from a library to score each episode. Love themes, action sequences and the like were composed for ease in interchangeability and reuse. It is perhaps somewhat ironic that given the plot of the show (battling Germany in North Africa during WWII), the music was recorded by the Graunke Symphony Orchestra, the forerunner of the Munich Symphony Orchestra (Münchner Symphoniker). Founded by conductor Kurt Graunke in 1945, the orchestra has recorded music for over 500 films, including George Bruns’ adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s ballet score for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, El Cid by Miklos Rozsa, Jerry Goldsmith’s score for The Wind and the Lion, and Howard Shore’s score for The Silence of the Lambs. Besides the Rat Patrol, the orchestra recorded the scores to a number of episodes for television series as well.
Budget worries for the series extended beyond music needs. As a leverage tool against the actors asking for raises, each major cast member was, after the first season, shown a separate prospective script in which he was killed in action.