Weird old title sequences: Near and Far (1975-1988)

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.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; 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. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.