47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #12: Favorite Opening Titles Sequence

Welcome to Day 12 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present).  I’ve come up with  47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program.  Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff?  Because really, I write enough snark.

Today is Day #12, and around and around goes the Random Number Generator, revealing that today’s number is 33, which means the topic of the day is this:

Favorite Opening Titles Sequence

A while ago we looked at my favorite version of the opening title music. This post is about the actual opening credit graphics, which is something else that has changed regularly over the 50+ years of the program’s history.

In the modern series, the original version of the credits started with the debut episode, Rose, and continued with minor tweaks until David Tennant’s last episode (End of Time, part 2). The sequence showed a “time tunnel” like effect, following the TARDIS as it blazed along.

In Season 5, starting with Matt Smith’s first episode, The Eleventh Hour, the credits changed completely, and involved a different tunnel effect—complete with clouds and lightning–that led to an image of the TARDIS seeming to plunge through some sort of fiery inferno. The graphics and textures changed from time to time, but this sequence continued until the middle of Season 7 (The Angels Take Manhattan).

At that point, we got a completely new title sequence which lasted for the rest of Matt Smith’s tenure as the Doctor (from The Snowmen to The Time of the Doctor): this one involved the TARDIS flying through space and swirls of cosmic energy, with the “tunnel” concept only emerging at the end.

And then, finally we got the most recent sequence for Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, which builds everything around images of gears and clock-faces, before giving way to a new version of the “space clouds” concept.

The Day of the Doctor 50th anniversary special also had its own title sequence, which was basically a repurposed version of the show’s original titles from 1963.

So…which one is my favorite?

The 2nd Matt Smith Sequence – from The Snowmen to The Time of the Doctor.

I don’t have a lot to say about this. This sequence, which was used for the least amount of episodes of all of them (aside from the one-off special), is not as iconic as the others (for that exact reason), but it’s my favorite for one main reason, and that’s the fact that it returned to the tradition of putting the Doctor’s face back into the credits.

This was something that the original series had done for most of its run, but hadn’t been seen since it went off the air in 1989. When I was tuned into The Snowmen and saw Matt Smith’s face emerge from the cosmic space-dust, the long-term fan in me was pretty happy.  It was something I’d been missing since the series had returned to TV.  I enjoy the cosmic “randomness” of the rest of it as well.

Peter Capaldi’s titles also included his face, but I don’t like the rest of it as much.  The clocks are a cool idea and I appreciate the fact that they’re trying to do something different, but I just don’t think it holds up as well.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know.

Click here for a master list for this series.



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