Top 20 TV Theme Songs from Genre Series, part 2 of 2

Music is often an integral part of a TV show, especially the opening theme. Last week, I shared ten of my favorite, most memorable themes from sci-fi/fantasy and action/adventure series of the past few decades. As promised, this week we continue by easing our way into the 1980s and up to the present. I hope you enjoy them, especially if you’re old enough to remember watching some of these yourself.

Are we ready? Continuing in chronological order…

11) The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982)

The “Lonely Man” ending theme was particularly poignant and memorable, too.

 

12) Magnum, P.I. (1980-1988)

 

13) The Greatest American Hero (1981-1983)

 

14) Knight Rider (1982-1986)

 

15) The A-Team (1983-1987)

 

16) Miami Vice (1984-1990)

 

17) Star Trek: TNG (1987-1994)

 

18) Quantum Leap (1989-1993)

 

19) The X-Files (1993-)

 

20) Game of Thrones (2011-)

 

There you have ’em! Wow, that brought back a lot of good memories, going through all of those plus several I left out! And, since I couldn’t even bring myself to stop at twenty, here are five more honorable mentions:  Return of the Saint (1978-1979), The Fall Guy (1981-1986), Airwolf (1984-1986), Babylon 5 (1994-1998), Alias (2001-2006)

Now, when am I gonna find the time to track down and binge-watch these shows again…?

Top 20 TV Theme Songs from Genre Series, part 1 of 2

I think you will agree…

Sometimes, the music in a TV series can make a good series great or a great series even better. (Or, even a bad series tolerable.) This is especially true with the opening theme, which sets the mood for what the audience is about to watch. In fact, beyond the opening and closing credits, you might only ever notice any real music during transitional shots. But, those few times can make all the difference.

In this post and the next, I want to focus on the theme music from some of my favorite shows — from stuff already in syndication during my early childhood to new stuff currently airing. My first criterion was, of course, that the series had to fall under the sci-fi/fantasy and action/adventure banner that this blog is about. The theme couldn’t be taken from a movie (e.g., “The Highlander” series borrowed Queen’s “Princes of the Universe” from the original movie). And, the theme had to be — to my mind, at least — particularly catchy or otherwise memorable.

How many of these can you remember before playing the video clips? I have likely left out some of your favorites, but you’ll probably agree that these are among the best of genre theme songs. Moving in chronological order…

1) The Lone Ranger (1949-1957)

2) Peter Gunn (1958-1961)

3) Star Trek: TOS (1966-1969)

4) Mission: Impossible (1966-1973)

5) Batman (1966-1968)

6) Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980)

7) The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978)

8) Wonder Woman (1975-1979)

9) The Bionic Woman (1976-1978)

10) Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979)

That was fun! Did I get to your faves, yet? I hear you humming something….

Stay tuned until next week, when we continue the nostalgia trip into the 1980s and beyond!

P.S.  Just for the record, #s 1 & 2 were before my time, and #s 3 thru 6 I only ever saw in re-runs. I’m not that old!

If I Was Doing a S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series…

Let me preface this article by saying that I enjoy the current “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” series, even if I don’t care for some of the directions they have taken with story and characters, particularly as demanded(?) by events in the big-screen films. I understand that the films are the big moneymakers, so they take precedence. The TV/Netflix series, beginning with MAoS, must follow their lead. I get that.

wpid-agents-of-shield-comics.jpg

So, when the powers-that-be in charge of the Avengers (and many related properties) decided to introduce and interpret S.H.I.E.L.D. the way they did and then blew it apart — physically, organizationally, metaphorically, etc. — with the HYDRA infiltration, that basically set the parameters for a lot of subsequent stories and eliminated the ability to tell others. If it isn’t obvious by now, I think they did a fine job, but I personally would have preferred that they not virtually destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. — at least, not so soon. In fact, if I had my druthers, S.H.I.E.L.D. would have been handled much differently and hewed more closely to the “classic” look and feel of the comics from the 1970s-2000s.

marvel___the_avengers_shield_logo-t2.jpg>I would have established the agency as an international peacekeeping organization, possibly with U.N. oversight, and gone back to the original name of “Supreme Headquarters, International Espionage, Law-enforcement Division” or “Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate”. But, then I’d have kept it more in the background of the movies and less prominently involved in all the Avengers’ and other hoopla. Though, with an alien invasion, I guess they would have had to be involved to some degree. But, generally speaking, there wouldn’t have been so much focus on them. Of course, this also means that I probably would not have gone the “Ultimate” route, with Nick Fury being the one to pull the heroes together to form the Avengers.

With those changes as a backdrop, what would my S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series look like? To begin with, it would feel much more like the classic spy movies and shows that inspired it — e.g., James Bond and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” — but without the ’60s & ’70s campiness. There would be a mix of Bond-like superspy stuff, counterterrorism ops, high-tech espionage, superhero/villain interaction, and dealing with extraterrestrial threats. There would be both overt activity (e.g., when working with local LEOs/military and publicly-known superheroes to apprehend supervillains and fight off alien invasions) and covert missions. There would be occasional turf clashes with national security and law-enforcement agencies, both foreign and domestic, as well as with Interpol. And, of course, I would demonstrate the bureaucratic, diplomatic, logistical, and financial nightmares of being and running a huge, international, UN-supervised organization (assuming this is the case).

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD 1I would split story arcs between an assault team and intelligence operatives, with a couple op tech support people. There would be occasional appearances by classic S.H.I.E.L.D. agents (e.g., Clay Quartermain, Jasper Sitwell, the Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Dum-Dum Dugan and other surviving members of the Howlin’ Commandos, etc.). In fact, one or more of them might be regulars. There would also be occasional cameos by superheroes and other adventurers. Our main protagonists would be based on a heli-carrier, or at least have one heavily involved. It would probably be assigned to a particular sector in the U.S. but would occasionally, temporarily move to another location for a major operation.

I like some of the tech being developed and used by FitzSimmons in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. But, in my version of the show, there would be more of it. I’d like to see more use of flying cars, jetpacks, laser(?) blasters, and various other weapons and equipment of the spy trade. And we must bring back the Life Model Decoy (LMD)! (Before they finally revealed how Agent Coulson survived his seemingly-fatal injury from the Avengers movie, I was so sure that the Coulson in the TV show was an LMD….) Finally, for normal, day-to-day operations, both on-base and in the field, I would bring back the navy blue S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms with white belt, boots, straps, and shoulder holsters. Those were snazzy!

OK, that about exhausts my fantasies for a real S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show, as always faithful to the comics they sprang from. What do you think?