Friday, 28 September 2007

Death of the TV Title Sequence

Den of Geek counted down their Top 10 TV Title Sequences of All Time (Part Two; the winner) this week and mostly got it right, e.g. The Prisoner and Doctor Who are both in the top five, which has to be right. I like the inclusion of The Tomorrow People in the top ten too -- watching that YouTube clip still makes me tingle with a kind of anxious nostalgia.

These days, the art of the great title sequence is dying a death, especially in the USA, and it's a development I am not keen on. I think it goes back to the first season of Lost, which made do with a three-four second mood-graphic instead of a proper title sequence, and the programme is poorer for it. I find myself not wanting to give it the benefit of the doubt. And then Heroes came along last year and tried to do the same thing. If any programme needs a good, old fashioned title sequence to pull you into the excitement of the subject matter, it's Heroes, and imagine how good it could have been, with all those drawings of key characters, and clips of actions of them doing their thing. Now, this year, with several new programmes airing, they are all following Lost's lead, with no decent title sequence. Bionic Woman, Chuck, Journeyman, all of these, this week airing their first episodes, failed to capture the viewers attention with an exciting title sequence. A shame.


Anonymous said...

I do agree about the number 1 - I can still remember sitting in front of the TV and watching (in black and white!) the first episode of the winning show. But I'd have put the number 5 a little higher, myself.

James F. McGrath said...

I can still hum the theme songs from lots of my favorite series from when I was younger. I can't think of any since the X-Files that is memorable (apart from ones with actual songs, like Friends). LOST just has a creaky sound - but I'll admit that's perhaps appropriate. But there seem to be few really memorable pieces of quality theme music at the moment, that could compete with the original Battlestar Galactica or Deep Space Nine.

At least you can't hear me humming through the comments...