Monday, April 15, 2019

About theme tunes

You’d have thought someone might have got the message that plebiscites are more trouble than it’s worth, but an unholy alliance of the Radio Times, the BFI and Classic FM recently asked people to vote for their favourite TV theme.

The winner was Sherlock.

Now, I quite liked Sherlock, a show that took a set of characters and plots that had been adapted and re-adapted to the point of tedium (and with little or no real point since the definitive Granada shows with Jeremy Brett) and punted them into the 21st century; but did so with a self-evident love and passion for the original stories. The music, though? I had to Google it, and as I listened, I realised I’d watched every episode of the show without even registering that it had any music whatsoever, which could just be a tribute to the scripts or the acting, but probably isn’t. Could you hum it? Really? Did you vote for it? Why? Seriously, why?

Online mumblings suggest that the result was down to fervent fans of the show stacking the votes, which is a touching demonstration of loyalty but a bit annoying to people who might actually have read the fine print and gone for My Favourite TV Theme, rather than The Theme For My Favourite TV Show. Many suggested that the winner should have been Doctor Who (which came second), a show that carries with it an equally fervent fan base, but also a theme tune that is immediately recognisable across generations, even to people who seldom watch the show.

However, despite having been an earnest Whovian from the age of four, my vote would have gone elsewhere, to a tune that in the end placed ninth, because it has transcended its source; a theme that has become an earworm across the decades, long, long after we realised the show it graced was frankly rather dull. Those horns. Damn, those horns.


Ms Scarlet said...

Oh yes, Black Beauty! What about The Onedin Line, did that come anywhere?

Tim F said...

Don't think so. Possibly didn't qualify as it wasn't written specifically for the show. That was one of my faves when I was a kid.