14 Great Opening Sequences in Television
I’ve seen a lot of TV shows. And even though I don’t want to admit, I’m addicted. What can I say, I can’t resist a good show. And judging from the past few TV seasons, the bar in the production of the shows has been raised.
Of course, every TV show has its own opening sequence – which we often skip, especially during binge-watching a show. But some of them are quite enjoyable and even memorable. And some, like those of Twin Peaks and X-Files, have become timeless.
I’ve made a list of newer and visually advanced opening sequences that are my personal favorites (so far). They are imaginative, well-crafted, with beautiful visual effects and, of course, accompanied by great music. Please note that this list is of openings to shows I currently watch or plan to watch.
Maybe the best opening sequence in television so far! I love the animated double exposures of the characters. In this interview, Creative Director Patrick Clair explains the process behind this awesome project.
Slow-motion scenes of dark and gloomy waters and carefully chosen tension-building music that create cold and violent atmosphere. Read more about Viking’s intro in this interview with the Creative Director, Rama Allen.
What I like most about this sequence is that it’s not like any other. It introduces us to the turbulent world of the pirates through a tour of a ship made of sculpted figures. I love the dark bronze details in the ship! Great texture and lighting! Creative Directors Karin Fong and and Michelle Dougherty explain the production of this unusual opening.
Beautiful tilt-shift time lapse of London that relates to Sherlock’s attention to details.
Game of Thrones
When I first saw this opening, I said only one word: Wow! Since then, every time I watch it, I notice details I haven’t seen before. It presents us with an insanely detailed map of Westeros and its surroundings; as if birds, we fly over 3D models of structures that rise from the ground. What’s not to like?
Check out this interview with Creative Director Angus Wall and find out how this awesome opening sequence was made.
Very dynamic and beautifully colored intro with а great combination of writings, abstract ink splashes and the characters of the show.
We can all agree that this is the cleverest opening sequence, can’t we? Dexter’s simple morning routine presented in the intro is suggestive of his double life. It is brilliantly filmed: an ordinary start of the day is rendered violent. Read about the details in this interview with the Creative Director Eric Anderson.
Amazing animation which perfectly reflects the show’s main subject – fringe science. But, as the plot changes, the opening sequence evolves, and, I have to say, all of its versions are as amazing as the first.
I haven’t seen this show, but the opening sequence is unforgettable. The main character calmly stands on the beach while hundreds of bottles are coming at him. The water and the bottles symbolize the chaos around the main character, and the fact that at the end he’s not wet, means that, no matter what is thrown at him, he can’t be touched. Check out this interview with Creative Directors Karin Fong and Michelle Dougherty. They explain in detail about the process of creating this show’s opening credits.
The Walking Dead
Dark and creepy opening title, just like it should be for this kind of show. A modern post-apocalyptic wasteland with deserted cities, empty rooms and broken photo frames with pictures of the characters. The music theme that’s part of this intro, announces the uncertainty and the anxiety of the post-apocalyptic experience of the show’s characters – and the suspenseful storyline of The Walking Dead. And not even one zombie in it. Masterpiece!
The imagery of the American South, of religious rituals, of violence and sex and the music theme Bad Things by Jace Everett really sum up the tone of the show. Even the font used for the credits is carefully created to match the show’s atmosphere. Brilliantly crafted!
Older show, but its opening sequence is too good not to be mentioned. The playful, James-Bond-style opening, with the Buy More stickman and funky music captures exactly what this show is – a fun spy story.
The opening scene presents a complicated device which reflects the workings of Sherlock’s mind in his capacity as the only consulting detective in the world. Creative Director Simon Clowes explains the process that resulted with this intricate opening.
Da Vinci’s Demons
Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his drawings and his notebooks, so why not use them in the opening credits of this show? The sequence of clipped hand-drawn elements clearly signifies the genius and the enigmatic mind of Leonardo. Read more in this interview with Creative Director Paul McDonnell.