THE SFX FACTOR: Greatest TV Title Sequences Round 9

The SFX Factor ROUND 9

VOTING IS BACK TO FAVOURITES FOR THIS ROUND

Well, well, well – the sneaky “vote for your least favourites” round has produced one shock at least, because the two shows being eliminated today are:

Babylon 5

Chuck

Chuck ’s departure isn’t much of a surprise – many were predicted it’s time was up, and it did have a very tenuous hold on the Top 10. But it had a creditably long run.

Babylon 5 on the other hand… that is a shocker. Because in all the previous rounds it’s done really well, but given the chance to vote out your least favourites, and a very different result takes place. Clearly it’s a Marmite title sequence… some love it, some don’t. Or maybe the show’s fans were voting for the show and not the title sequence? Whatever, it’s become a victim of that “tactical voting” we predicted would happen. It'll be interesting to what the former B5 voters change their vote to…

So, eight left.

You’re back to voting for your three favourites now. Two will get the chop tomorrow!

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 .

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.