50 Years of Whovian Title Sequences

I’m probably heading off into the rarefied, brain-addling air of the nerdosphere with this one, but I just can’t help myself.

This post on the 50-year-old-yet-ever-evolving institution that is the Doctor Who title sequence combines two of my all-time favorite nerd-things: Title Sequences. And “Doctor Who.” (OK, yes. That title was a bit literal. It’s Monday.)

The pilot title sequence was created by Bernard Lodge, who filmed and manipulated the “howlaround” feedback of a TV camera pointing at its own monitor. A column of light rises before ripping and swirling, as if to suggest a journey through time.

By 1974, with Tom Baker assuming the title role, graphics designer Bernard Lodge hit his stride with arguably the best title sequence in the series’ history. He applied the slit-scan technique to images of the TARDIS and a morose-looking Baker, thereby evoking the most sensational time tunnel effects.

The 2012 version, produced by Peter Anderson Studio, sees the sequence shortened considerably and filled with additional elements including abstractions of nebulae and the return of the face of the Doctor.

Lots of illustrative examples and clips there, and fun times galore for all Title Sequence/Doctor Who aficionados. Also, no. I’m not yet ready to unleash the awesome tri-nerd-combination of Doctor Who, Title Sequences, AND Theme Music. I’m not sure I could live with myself if I did. After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

OK, fine. Here. And here. And here. And…I’ve made a huge mistake.

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.