We've seen in our Weird Old Title Sequences section quite a few genre shows of the 60s and 70s, such as Out of the Unknownand The Tomorrow People, that had properly weird title sequences designed to do your nut in.
It was, after all, a psychedelic time, during which Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop were doing all manner of fun things with music and sound effects, so it shouldn't be too surprising that television was trying to do the same visually.
But this wasn't the occasional effort by a programme - such was the age, even smaller shows got in on the act.
As the name suggests, 1968's Late Night Horror was an anthology horror show, one that would have fit quite nicely into TMINE's The Wednesday Play section were it not for the fact five of the six pisodes were lost/wiped by the BBC, with only The Corpse Can't Play surviving. In part a test of the new colour capabilities of television, it was also a beneficiary of the boom in TV horror in the late 60s that also gave us Mystery and Imagination (1966-70), A Ghost Story For Christmas, The Stone Tape, The Dead of Night and more.
What else survives of it, except for that one episode? Well, its weird old title sequence, naturally - music by the Radiophonic Workshop, of course…
There seemed to be something in the air in British kids programming in the 1970s. Overwhelmingly, the idea seemed to be scare the crap out of anyone watching, usually through music. That extended not just to dramas, such as Children of the Stones, The Changes and Sapphire and Steel. Even the schools programming wanted to have them hiding behind the sofa.
We’ve already looked at ITV's Picture Box, which deployed the fairground steam organ to terrifying effect, but if you thought the Beeb would take that lying down, you’re wrong. Behold, children: Near and Far. Things can be near, things can be far, but you will be frightened either way. So frightened that all you’ll remember about it is the title sequence and theme tune by the Radiophonic Workshop, not the content.
Trevor Eve is a serious actor. Very serious. Although best known for being only slightly grumpy in Shoestring, he's gone on to some pretty dour roles in the likes of Waking The Dead,Kidnap and Ransom and the miserable Channel 5 'updating' of Doomwatch. Even in interviews, he can be very serious.
But Trevor Eve has a sense of humour. Or at least he used to. He might not want anyone to remember that these days, but he did.
How else can you explain his decision to appear in the 1985 mystery series Shadow Chasers, in which he played an anthropologist blackmailed into working with tabloid journalist Dennis Dugan to investigate the paranormal? Created by Kenneth Johnson (The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation, V, The Incredible Hulk) and the Oscar-winning Brian Grazer (Splash, A Beautiful Mind), it was nevertheless the lowest rated of the 106 shows in the 1985-1986 season, with only the first nine of its episodes airing on ABC in the US, leaving the Armed Forces Network to air the remaining four.
Maybe the opening credits had something to do with that.
Poor old Eve - he never stood a chance. Maybe that's why he lost his sense of humour?
Still, if that's only whet your appetite for more, here's the whole of the first episode.
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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.