57 plus 03: Ten, no wait, Sixty TV themes I like… Part the Second

Posted: 20 August 2021 in 57 plus, television, ten things
Tags: , , ,

[This is Part The Second, click on the link for Part the First]

OK, time for the second part of this run through tv themes I like, in alphabetical order.

Why am I doing it? Well, I was more discursive last week but honestly? It’s just a bit of fun and a longer-than-strictly-necessary answer to the question:

‘What is your favourite tv theme?’

Because I don’t have one answer. I don’t even have ten. There are dozens I like, for various and different reasons.

Look, I tried to narrow it down, honestly.

But I couldn’t, and didn’t really want to. So, anyway, here are another ten themes I like from my iPhone’s playlist of 150 or so. And as with last week, there’ll be some that won’t surprise you, possibly one or two that might… and, again, maybe one or two you weren’t aware of, or had entirely forgotten.

Anyway, here we go

Theme 11: Bonanza

One of the first tv themes I remember, and I’m sure it’s entirely unfair to think that the Um-dittle-ittl-um-dittle-I from Mary Poppins’ Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious owed anything to the opening bars of the Bonanza theme.


Theme 12: Bret Maverick

I wasn’t old enough to watch the original Maverick, nor any of the tv sequels, until this one. But I was 17 when this was broadcast, and I loved the show from the moment I first saw it. Again, I’d never seen him in the role as a younger man, although I’d seen Garner in Westerns (Support Your Local Sheriff! and Support Your Local Gunfighter, the latter not exactly a sequel but kind of.) But I really liked Bret Maverick as a show. And the theme tune setup the show perfectly.

I didn’t know, at the time, that it was written and performed by Ed Bruce, one of the other actors and a country singer in his own right. Didn’t surprise me at all when I discovered that, though. The perfect theme for the short-lived show, western from the first moment.


Theme 13: Cagney & Lacey

This is one of those theme tunes that, honestly, if I’d heard it entirely shorn from the opening credits, I’d not have had a clue what the show was about. Not a sitcom, sure, but anything else? Wouldn’t have had the slightest idea. But it’s impossible, once you’ve seen the opening titles for it to have been about anything else. Catchy, matched with perfectly edited titles. Spot on.


Theme 14: Callan

For the longest time, this was my main ‘timer’ alarm on my iPhone. Perfectly menacing yet quiet enough that it’s comfortable if it goes off at night when I need to go get my washing from downstairs, in the block of flats in which I live. The titles are equally classic, a single lightbulb, swinging in the darkness, then the lightbulb goes out, shot


Theme 15: Captain Scarlet

An odd one here, because it’s the seven note bum-bum-bum-…bumbumbumbum repeat throughout that makes it special. But it works as a whole as well.


Theme 16: Catweazle

The purely instrumental version of this – no sound effects – is my iPhone main ring tone; has been for ages, and it’s only in part because I’m pretty much guaranteed to be the only person around me with it. So if I hear the tune, I’m damn sure it’s my phone ringing. However, one of the joys of having it set as my ring tone are the reactions of those of us ‘of a certain age’. There’s everything from faint recollection to mild surprise… to a smile of complete recognition.


Theme 17: Cheers

Definitely not the first tv theme tune that had people whistling it in the street, but… people definitely whistled this in the street. In any list of top theme tunes, this deserves a place, even in mine.

I put this up as a Saturday Smile the other week but since it’s being mentioned in here, I can’t resist putting it here as well: the Cheers theme from 1920s to 1990s, with special guest stars at the end. Simply glorious.


Theme 18: CSI New York

OK, four CSI shows, all with excellent Who songs as themes, and each other had several versions. I went with CSI: New York because I liked the show and the theme, and this particular version because it’s got the opening drums and then the opening to Baba O’Reilly.


Theme 19: The Cuckoo Waltz

Now here’s one that I bet most people won’t remember. Lewis Collins in a ‘nice’ sitcom, just before he hit the big time with The Professionals. Fairly standard setup for a British sitcom at the time: newly married couple take in a lodger to help with the money. “And hilarious results ensue”, as they say. Or said, anyway. but the theme tune is one of the most earworm-y there is, based on a pre-existing piece of music.


Theme 20: Dallas

Give them credit, the big US night time soaps had big impressive theme tunes, that became instantly recognisable, and none more so than Dallas. Pretty much everyone I knew watched it at one time or another. The only theme that comes close (of that genre) will be coming up next week…



OK, part the third next week, with another ten from Falcon Crest through Joe 90, but before you ask

Wait a minute, you’re surely missing one obvious theme…?

There may be an extra tv themes post before then… something a bit special.

See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Fifty-seven more days. Fifty-seven more posts. One fifty-seventh birthday just had.

I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting up from my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here. (And you can see the posts in the run counting down to the birthday here.)

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