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Feature
TV's Most Inspired Title Sequences
The small screen’s finest introductions

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Over the last few years, TV shows have suddenly dropped the boring montage titles that used to predominate – you know, the ones with a shot of all the characters interspersed, perhaps, with a few landscapes to set the scene – and become one of the most innovative areas in entertainment. Some serve as microcosms of the shows they represent; others appear to go off on a tangent; still more create their own little world of comedy, adventure or horror. Here, we’ve gathered together 25 of the finest out there, with an emphasis on recent series rather than, say, Red Dwarf. Watch them and marvel – and in a few cases, shudder in terror...

WORDS HELEN O'HARA, JAMES WHITE, ALI PLUMB
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TRUE DETECTIVE

Winning plaudits for just about every element – leading men Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson seem destined to be in the Emmy conversation this year – True Detective didn’t disappoint in its title sequence, either. In keeping with the tradition of HBO series’ great intros, this sets hazy imagery of Louisiana landscapes and industrial sprawl within images of the main characters and others. And it’s perfectly scored by ‘Far From Any Road’ by The Handsome Family, which conjures up a dreamlike vision of grime, danger and death. It’s a world of degradation, with sex, sin and insanity in equal measure, all inspired from a pitch by show creator Nic Pizzolatto. And yes, it’s compelling with it. If time is a flat circle, we’re fine with watching this one again and again.

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Your Comments

21 slipnslide...
Kyle Walker designed the titles for both Seven and American Horror Story, so it gets a pass. But yeah, after Seven came out there were a LOT of ripoffs! More

Posted by loafroaster on Friday May 4, 2012, 11:57

22 Seven was VERY influential!
Viewing titles for American Horror Story, I was reminded once again of how very influential those titles for Seven were - subliminal images over a scratchy soundtrack - seen over and over again since, but always effective. The US series Profiler (mid-nineties?) was the first I noticed that picked up the style. But, hey... Seven was and is a very fine film in so many ways...... More

Posted by slipnslide on Friday May 4, 2012, 10:26

23 Oz?
I always thought the opening titles to Oz were great. More

Posted by CoenBrothersFan on Thursday May 3, 2012, 23:31

24 RE: TV's Most Inspired Title Sequences
So glad that Dexter is on this list. I remember the first time I saw those titles and thinking how clever and original they were. Easily one of my favourite programmes on TV. I feel an honourable mention should be made for Doctor Who, as the same music (albeit obviously altered and modernised) is being used today as it was with the first episode back in 1963. A timeless tune that is so iconic. I also love the intro to Sherlock. Great music accompanied by images that show the beauty, but also the hidden grit of London. More

Posted by benthemitchell on Thursday May 3, 2012, 11:31

25 Game of Thrones
for anyone who's not see it there's a really interesting featurette on the DVD about how they made the intro sequence and the leonardo da vinci influence etc, although at the moment i'm wallowing in despair because I don't have Sky therefore season 2 is a far distant dream for me... More

Posted by Swedle on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 19:47

26 No Gerry Anderson??
No: Thunderbirds Joe 90 UFO or (top!) Space 1999? Surprising... More

Posted by Hardhat on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 14:01

27 How about this one ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6k0ZfE4Gr4 More

Posted by Dropje on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 11:43

28
The walking dead intro is quite good, sets the tone perfectly More

Posted by 7eke on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 09:41

29
for Game of thrones that is More

Posted by 7eke on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 09:38

30 Phew
I thought it was just me who was sad enough to be glued to the screen for every single episode's intro. More

Posted by 7eke on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 09:38

31
Good list - but Doctor Who is a notable omission. I also agree with Futurama and Lost. I'd also like to throw out Friends More

Posted by Killjoy_Gee on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 08:29

32 The Walking Dead
I agree Christofurr, Nip Tuck would have been a good addition, but what about The Walking Dead!?... There is so much urgency in that title sequence, you feel anxious by the end. More

Posted by londondillon on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 02:42

33
Sorry. Two words.... DOCTOR WHO!!!???? More

Posted by tom 19392 on Wednesday May 2, 2012, 01:33

34
Game Of Thrones title sequence is absolutely incredible, the best on the list imo. More

Posted by Coyleone on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 23:20

35
Still haven't watched Rome. I've been meaning to for ages, but other things keep getting in the way. More

Posted by Whistler on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 22:40

36
& GAME OF THRONES More

Posted by indysid on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 19:19

37
ROME, Battlestar Galactica (2004), LOST, Six Feet Under. More

Posted by indysid on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 19:19

38
Twin Peaks, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Lost (I know it's about 5 seconds long, but it still encapsulates the show quite well), The X-Files, Pushing Daisies, Futurama, Breaking Bad.... More

Posted by Killian Mc Partland on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 19:03

39
Community should be on here. Not because the standard intro is impressive and catchy, but because the western, D&D, and Law and Order renditions of it are amazing. Also, Family Guy over Simpsons. I get it, Simpsons has been on for a hundred years. But Family Guy also uses orchestras for many of their musical pieces, and the intro is better than even Elfman's number. More

Posted by nKutzler on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 18:09

40
If you are an edgy/acclaimed American series from the last five years and you aren't on this list then your title's must be shit. More

Posted by enemysprout on Tuesday May 1, 2012, 18:01

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