Today's weird old title sequences are for The Avengers. You remember The Avengers don't you? Steed, this dapper bloke in a bowler hat, and his lovely sidekick Mrs Peel fight weird sci-fi crimes together?
You see The Avengers changed a lot over its six series. Originally envisioned as a vehicle for rising star Ian Hendry from Police Surgeon, it began with Dr David Keel (Ian Hendry) investigating the murder of Peggy, his office receptionist and wife-to-be, by a drug ring. A mysterious trenchcoat-wearing stranger named John Steed (Patrick Macnee), who was investigating the ring, appeared on the scene and together they set out to avenge her death in the show's first two episodes – hence the show's title 'The Avengers'. Afterwards, Steed asked Keel to continue partnering him when needed to solve crimes.
In this first series, Steed was the secondary character - he doesn't even appear in some episodes. He also isn't the dapper man about town we all grew to know and love, either. He was a hard-edged, ruthless character, willing to do what it took to get the job done, with Hendry's Keel providing the moral centre for their work. In keeping with this blunt, down-at-heel approach, the show got some equally down-at-heel titles, with Hendry and Macnee lurking around on street corners in their trenchcoats, and - oh f*ck no - a jazz theme tune.
But slowly, the show began to change - and get a whole load more weird title sequences.
In the US: Sunday 10th & Monday 11th January 2010, NBC In the UK: On Virgin 1 some time during the dawning of the Age of Aquarius probably
Well blow me. No Chuck for ages and then suddenly three come along at once. I'm sure there's a joke to be made there. Hmm
But it's back all the same, following a brief brush with cancellation that was only averted thanks to a certain sandwich franchise stepping up to the plate and offering NBC loads of money for a bit of product placement - oh, and if the producers were willing to cut the budget a bit. You know, lose a few characters
Now if you watched the end of the second season, you'll know that changes were planned for the show anyway - which, for a show that hardly ever strays away from its formula and always resets everything back to the status quo/the nicest possible option, was a bit brave.
Well, let me tell you, if you were worried that things were going to stay exactly the same, you'd only have been half-right, because although there's been an awful lot of resetting going on, there's been a whole lot of changes as well.
Authors: Russell T Davies, Benjamin Cook Price: £16.99 (Amazon price: £11.04) ISBN: 978-1-846-07861-3 Pages: 704 Publisher: BBC Books Published: January 14th (that's tomorrow, baby)
Writing's not easy. It's very hard. Ask a writer. Go on. Any writer. They'll tell you about it at length. Really quite absurd length.
Journalist Benjamin Cook asked Russell T Davies how hard writing is, some time just before the launch of the third series of Doctor Who in February 2007, and the resulting email and text correspondence lasted, well, years. But in a radical move, Cook and Davies decided to turn all that correspondence into a book, and thus Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale was born.
Since then, Russell T Davies has continued to tell Benjamin Cook just how hard writing is, and the additional 300 pages or so of correspondence have been collected together and added to the original book to produce Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale – The Final Chapter. This not only continues Davies' insights into writing for Doctor Who, as well as Torchwood, TheSarah Jane Adventures and indeed television in general, but also looks at the politics of television, the nature of television production, how PR and the press work, and more.
And if you keep reading this exciting review, you'll be able to win a copy of it. How's that for fun?
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A UK media blog focusing on the best scripted TV from around the world, with daily news, views, exclusive reviews and good conversation. There's a bit of a bias towards the latest and greatest US TV, but we also cover Scandinavian, Canadian, European and Antipodean TV, as well as UK TV ranging from new Doctor Who to old Z Cars, and BBC4 to S4C.
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I'm Rob Buckley, a freelance journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of, although you might have heard me on Radio 5 Live's Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I've edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for trade magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider and the equally short-lived Death Ray and Filmstar magazines; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it "web site for urban hedonists" The Tribe. I'm freelance now and have contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network and TV Scoop.