Top Telly Themes

There’s a heated debate going down at The Guardian about what were the top six television theme tunes. Frankly (with the exception of Hawaii Five-O), their selections are rubbish. All of the ones that immediately sprung to my mind seemed to be on when I was a kid. I guess that’s when a) things sink in better, and b) you watch a lot more telly. In no particular order I bring you:

Tales of the Unexpected

It goes round and round in circles, just like the Magic Roundabout.


Too short on the trailer, the full version is a brilliant piece of funky jazz by Quincy Jones.

The Persuaders

Brilliant John Barry theme.

Robinson Crusoe

No idea who wrote it. It seemed to be on every summer holiday. It’s been in my head ever since.


Barry Gray’s themes for Gerry Anderson were all brilliant, but this is my fave. It’s the mad drumming that does it for me – check out the bit 38 seconds in.

World at War

The titles and theme went together brilliantly to help convey the full horror of World War 2. The final image and the hanging dischord at the end are quite disturbing.

I didn’t choose Doctor Who ’cause it’s too obvious, even though it is probably the best theme ever. And there are loads of US cop show themes that could have made it in. Probably loads of other really good ones I’ve forgotten too.


2 responses to “Top Telly Themes

  1. I could have added about a dozen US crime shows – Quincy, Streets of San Francisco, Starsky & Hutch, Five-O, Hill Street Blues, Jim Rockford, Midnight Caller (now there was a miserable show!) – God, there were loads.

    Was racking my brains to think of anything as good from the last few years. Came up with Mad Men then went blank. Probably only remembered that ’cause I watched it last night!

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