This feature is an updated version of one that was published in 2010
On any TV show you can guarantee that the plots move on, the characters change and cast members come and go, but one thing remains the same: the opening credits. Barring a few name changes, you know just what you’re getting when you sit down in front of your telly: a familiar theme tune and a bunch of clips and images that you know like the back of your hand.
Or do you? Sometimes shows like to shake us up a little, just to make sure we’re paying attention. Here are a few examples of programmes which have caught us off-guard with unusual credit sequences…
Words by Jayne Nelson and Dave Golder
Fringe has made a habit of changing it opening credits to suit the occasion. There have been seven different sequences so far. Admittedly most of the alternatives have been mere colour changes to indicate what universe the following episode is (mainly) set in but there have been two major one-off changes.
The first was for “Peter” in season two, which was the first time the show flash-backed to the ’80. Fringe re-imagined its title sequence as if the show had actually been produced in the greed-is-good decade of synths and shoulder pads. The attention to detail is exquisite. The music is tinny and electronic. The fonts are retro-future, and would have sat happily in the title sequence of The Tripods. The background is all neon blue and wireframe graphics. The usual random selection of cool-sounding SF buzzwords are replaced with things that sounded futuristic and SF back then, but are just all part of life now – “Personal Computing”, “DNA Profiling”, “Nanotechnology”, “Laser Surgery”, “Virtual Reality”. It’s certainly much more authentically ’80s than Ashes To Ashes’s titles.
Then in season four, for an episode set in a future in which the Observers have taken over we were given this epic title sequence… wonder if it’s going to be put to use again in season five?