Good day, friends, my apologies for being away so long, but a combination of too much work and too little downtime has kept me away for a little while. Nevertheless, I have been planning this post for a while (which was inspired by our good freind Pie), and I thought now’s as good a time as any.
Before I begin, I will point out that this is my list, and is not intended to be definitive – in fact, I’d love to hear other people’s ideas for top TV themes. Having thus hopefully de-fanned the fires of a possible flame war, and set the stage for collegial and fun discussion, let’s now get to the list, in no particular order other than starting with the best cartoon themes ever:
1.) Underdog (1964)
I wanted to start with this for one reason, and one reason only (besides the fact that it is awesome): to get the admission out of the way that this theme scared the bejeezus out of me when I was a kid. As with many things, I had to be an adult to truly appreciate it.
2) Spider-Man (1967)
What more can I say about this one – everyone knows and loves Spidey, doing whatever a spider pig does can:
Acyually, I can say one more thing: note that when Spidey looks out the window onto the street, he looks at the front of the store which is selling “Fine Jewlery”; when he swings down, the sign says “Fine Jewelry”. A side effect of having animation done in Canada?
3) I Spy (1965)
As I mentioned in my post on Robert Culp, this one is a no-brainer:
4) Peter Gunn (1958)
Ok, technically, this one isn’t from the 1960’s; on the other hand, the show lasted into the early years of that decade. No matter: private eye + Henri Mancini = EPIC:
5) Doctor Who (1963)
This video mixes all versions of the very disctinctive Ron Granier theme up to the David Tennant version:
I particularly like the Tom Baker and Tennant versions. For comparison, this is the new version from the new Season 5, with Matt Smith as the new Doctor:
6) Batman (1966)
Ok, you all know this one, right? I can’t think of this one without thinking of my neighbor’s son, who used to sing this with great gusto, except he used the phrase “That Man” – slightly more generic version, but cool nontheless. This is the longer version rather than the one featured on the series, accompanied by some additional music:
7) Danger Man (1964)
No, not “Secret Agent Man” – that sucked. This is the original British version of the theme song from Danger Man, along with some interesting bits from an episode. I gotta say – love the harpsichord!!:
8 ) The Prisoner (1968)
Both our second Patrick McGoohan-related and Ron Granier composed theme (and yes, it should have been Number 6):
9) The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1964)
The Season 1 version is by far my favorite, but I do like the Season 2 version as well – Seasons 3 and 4 seem to be leeching off Batman a little too much for my tastes:
10) Land of the Giants (Season 2 – 1969)
The themes from the only two seasons of Land of the Giants are quite different (as readers will know from an earlier post of mine), but I have to say I prefer the Season 2 theme, written, as were many of Irwin Allen’s themes, by Johnny Williams, who later would compose the theme for “Jaws” and “Star Wars”, among other well-known iconic musical themes. Enjoy!
Well, that’s it for the moment – let’s hear your ideas for the next 10, or for the themes from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and beyond!