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THE SFX FACTOR: Greatest TV Title Sequences Round 10

The SFX Factor ROUND 10

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Apologies for the lack of SFX Factor yesterday due to unforeseen circumstances (which involved a locksmith, four trips along the M4 and a sheepish dad), but to make up for things there will be two rounds today… and another of our sneaky curveballs.

First up, the eliminations. The extra hours of voting meant we had our biggest response yet! Which may not have been a good thing for a brace of ’60s shows:

The Prisoner

The Avengers

Though we can reveal, the voting for the bottom four was incredibly close!

So, six left… No. Hang on!

Seven left…

Because we’ve added a show to the list…

Remember that original round of voting of Facebook? There was one show that clearly had enough votes to make it into the Top Five. So we thought it would be fun to hold it back – like a surprise new housemate in Big Brother – and introduce it at a crucial moment…

So a big welcome to: The X-Files

Let’s see how that mixes things up.

Be back here early evening tonight for the next round…

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 .


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.


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 X-Files

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Spookiest theme ever. Though in the early days, this title sequence did leave us a tad confused, as we thought every episode was called, “The Truth Is Out There”.

Dave Golder
Dave Golder

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.