A distinctive visual style can help a programme stand out from the crowd. The best classic title sequences are visually memorable, imaginative and articulate.
Sometimes the basic concept may be relatively simple but the execution makes it memorable – think Dad’s Army or Doctor Who in the 70s.
But sometimes a sheer moment of genius brings a programme to life. Take On the Record, BBC One’s Sunday political programme from 1988 to 2002.
The titles could so easily have been bland – shots or drawings of politicians or Westminster come to mind, as featured in its predecessor This Week Next Week.
Instead came a remarkable title sequence which transformed part of the Houses of Parliament into what could either have been a crocodile or prehistoric monster. It set the tone for the series and certainly provoked a reaction from viewers.
Bland is never good.
The titles were later reshot and modified but they remained fundamentally the same.
If anyone imagines that a serious programme needs to have a serious or inoffensive title sequence, this was proof to the contrary.
PICTURED: On the Record opening titles. COPYRIGHT: BBC.