The Best TV Show Opening Segments

retro tv

I’ve often said that the first sign of old age is nostalgia. Well, it seems that I’m officially old. For some reason I was contemplating the best ever opening segments of TV shows. Weirdly, most of the best ones seem to have been produced in the 1970s, which, coincidentally (ahem) happened to be the time of my glorious childhood.

Also, not so weirdly, all the shows I landed upon were essentially science fiction shows. Hence, I deemed this list to be appropriate for So, without further ado, here is my list of the five best TV show opening segments OF ALL TIME:


Space: 1999 featured a ridiculous premise: Earth’s Moon is blasted out of its orbit, with the human Moonbase called Alpha still attached to it. Each week, the Moon and its humans somehow made it to a new solar system to have all sorts of new adventures.  Ignore the atrocious science and just revel in the coolness.  The opening changed each week to show scenes from that week’s episode. Here’s a taste from season 1:

The Twilight Zone was the quintessential American science fiction show of the 1960s. Its opening is simply iconic and even a little bone-chilling. How many of us were given nightmares just from Rod Serling‘s voice?

UFO was an immensely fun 1970 British SF show that heralded the arrival of “supermarionation,” a kind of puppetry that allowed for affordable space-age special effects in an era before computer graphics. The show itself was silly, but cool if you were a pre-teen little boy. It’s about a secret organization that fights off UFO attacks through three layers of defenses: in the air, from the sea, and from a secret Moon base. Here’s the sweet opening:

Wonder Woman TV show had simply the greatest and funkiest theme music. That in and of itself wouldn’t be enough to make this list. But the opening visuals, transitioning from a classic comic animation to live action super-babe Lynda Carter jumping onto the screen was way ahead of its time. Check it out:


And the very best opening segment is the masterpiece called The Six Million Dollar Man. The slow build-up with the drum beat, the chilling voice-over, the expository yet mysterious opening crash footage, and finally the slow motion explosion onto the screen of the immortal Steve Austin, the world’s first bionic man, gave little kids bone chills –and grown geeks nergasms. Check out this piece of perfection:

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