THE SFX FACTOR: Greatest TV Title Sequences Round 8

The SFX Factor ROUND 8

WE’RE SHAKING THINGS UP

READ THE INSTRUCTION CAREFULLY BEFORE VOTING

Round eight, and, as promised, we’re making a major change in the voting for this round and this round only. Because after we’ve announcd the latest two eliminations, we have reached a turning point: we have our Top 10 .

So the latest two shows to be given the chop are:

Space: 1999

The 10th Kingdom

And now we get sneaky. Because for this round we’re going to let you vote tactically. And the first step in the is not just letting you know who’s left in the Top 10, but the order they were in at the end of round 7 (but we’re not telling you the gaps in between each)

1 Doctor Who

2 Game Of Thrones

3 Babylon 5

4 The Prisoner

5 Thunderbirds

6 True Blood

7 Fringe

8 The Avengers

9 Red Dwarf

10 Chuck

And now for the second part of our sneaky, one-off change to the rules:

THIS ROUND WE WANT YOU TO VOTE FOR

YOUR 3 LEAST FAVOURITES

Yep, that’s right. You are voting for the ones you don’t think deserve to be there.

Cat. Pigeons. Featherpocalypse.

Results tomorrow.

And remember, you can view all the remaining contenders on the following pages.

Doctor Who

Loads of our Facebook followers suggested Doctor Who for this SFX Factor , but the problem is, the show has had so many different versions over the years. Should we put them all up for the vote? Or lump them all in as one? In the end the expert panel decided to choose its own favourite – the second Pertwee opening title sequence – as a representative.

We love this one because the slit-can* time tunnel is so immediately iconic, and the haunting theme tune was arguably blessed with its best arrangement at this point. Tom Baker has a similar title for six series of his seven-series run, but this one just wins out for us because of the Doctor-shaped time tunnel effect.

* The same FX technique Stanley Kubrick used to create the star gate in 2001: A Space Odyssey .

Chuck

Chuck ’s snazzy opening titles are a jaunty mix of ’60s spy series imagery and techno-geekery. And we love the fact they barely changed over the entire run of the show, so that Chuck still had his fluffy hair long after Sarah had smartened him up in the actual show.

The Prisoner

This one has everything: memorable, and very quotable, voiceover; a cracking theme tune – bordering on a condensed four-movement symphony – from Ron Grainer ( Doctor Who , Steptoe And Son ) that’s every bit as brash and quirky as the show itself; a mini-storyline setting up the premise with visual panache and staccato editing; and a huge white balloon chasing a man across a beach. If this isn’t in the Top Five of SFX Factor, there’s something wrong with the universe (not that we want to influence your voting, of course…)

Thunderbirds

Another Anderson show; another work of genius. The countdown, Barry Gary’s jubilant military march, the silhouettes of the main characters, the sheer awesomeness of the Thunderbirds themselves and even the block font used for the “Supermarionation” credit all add up to a title sequence you can watch again, and again, and again…

True Blood

One of the longest title sequences on offer in this list. Good thing too, because you wouldn't want to cut off the theme song – “Bad Thing" by Jace Everett – too soon. The images are basically everything the Louisiana tourist board wouldn’t put in a video.

Red Dwarf

Specifically you’re voting for the opening title to the first two series here, before it stated using the more traditional clips approach. The version here is actually from the Remastered DVDs, but we didn’t think you’d mind it looking its best.

Fringe

Short but sweet, and worthy of inclusion here for (cleverly) being the ultimate adaptable title sequence, changing colour (and occasionally even imagery) to suite the tone of the show. To be fair to the other shows, we couldn’t really post all seven different versions so far in separate viewers, but we did find this handy compare and contrast vid of the first six above, while the latest addition to the roster can be seen here .

Game Of Thrones

Simply wonderful, and a refreshing divergence from the kind of clichéd sword’n’sorcery imagery we usually get with fantasy shows (see the Camelot titles, which are very classy looking, but exactly what you’d expect from this genre). They also brilliantly emphasise the sheer scope of the show, and new locations are added as they’re introduced into the show.

The Avengers

Class.

Babylon 5

Like Fringe, Babylon 5 ’s title sequence was built to be adaptable. The voiceover was altered slightly each year and given to a different narrator; in the final season, various characters had a line each.