STATEMENT THAT APPEARS AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL A-Z 2016 PAGES:
Welcome to the A-Z Classic TV Shows Theme Songs and Intros! Last year I did an A-Z Musical Tour of My Life and featured tons of classic rock music. I had so much fun with it that this year I decided to present classic television shows theme songs and intros. These are shows that I remember from my youth during the 60s and 70s…with an occasional 80s show thrown in. Each show is introduced with information (gathered primarily from my favorite go-to for info, Wikipedia) or associated memories, followed by a video of the TV show’s theme song intro. At first glance, the posts may seem long because of the number of videos included but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, watch or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and go back in time with all the fun theme song intros you’ll find here. Please leave a comment and share your favorite classic TV shows. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! I hope you enjoy my collection. Now, let’s get started with…
X is for the X-Files – although the X-Files isn’t as old as the other shows I’ve been highlighting, it definitely qualifies as classic! Plus it’s one of the only show that I can think of that begins with an X…
The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, on Fox, spanning nine seasons and 202 episodes. The series revolves around FBI special agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigating X-Files: marginalized, unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena. Mulder believes in the existence of aliens and the paranormal while Scully, a skeptic, is assigned to make scientific analyses of Mulder’s discoveries to debunk his work and thus return him to mainstream cases. Early in the series, both agents become pawns in a larger conflict and come to trust only each other. They develop a close relationship, which begins as a platonic friendship, but becomes a romance by the end of the series. In addition to the series-spanning story arc, “Monster-of-the-Week” episodes form roughly two-thirds of all episodes.
The X-Files was inspired by shows which featured elements of suspense and speculative fiction, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, Tales from the Darkside, and especially Kolchak: The Night Stalker. When creating the main characters, Carter sought to reverse gender stereotypes by making Mulder a believer and Scully a skeptic. The first seven seasons featured Duchovny and Anderson equally. In the last two Anderson took precedence while Duchovny appeared intermittently. New main characters were introduced: FBI agents John Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish). Mulder and Scully’s boss, Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), also became a main character. The first five seasons of The X-Files were filmed and produced in Vancouver, British Columbia, before eventually moving to Los Angeles, California to accommodate Duchovny. The series later returned to Vancouver to film the 2008 film The X-Files: I Want to Believe, as well as the 2016 six-episode event series.
The X-Files was a hit for the Fox network and received largely positive reviews, although its long-term story arc was criticized near the conclusion. Initially considered a cult show, it turned into a pop culture touchstone that tapped into public mistrust of governments and large institutions and embraced conspiracy theories and spirituality. Both the show itself and lead actors Duchovny and Anderson received multiple awards and nominations, and by the end it was the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history. The series also spawned a franchise which includes The Lone Gunmen spin-off, two theatrical films and accompanying merchandise. After the final theatrical film in 2008, fans continued to push for a third movie to conclude the series’ plot lines.
In March 2015, it was announced the series would return as a miniseries, with Chris Carter as executive producer and writer, and David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Annabeth Gish and Mitch Pileggi all reprising their roles. It premiered on January 24, 2016. I don’t know about you, but I was excited about this reprisal but was seriously underwhelmed and disappointed. Did you watch it? What did you think?
I had a hard time with this letter! The only other X show that I could think of is Xena: Warrior Princess but not only was it way later than the classic shows that I’m featuring, I wasn’t at all into the program so I had no interest in showcasing it, being that the shows I’ve featured so far are all shows that I watched growing up. But for the sake of the A-Z and our letter X, let me present:
X is for Xena: Warrior Princess:
Xena: Warrior Princess is an American fantasy television series filmed on location in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. It has been praised by critics for its strong, female protagonist and has since acquired a strong cult following, attention in fandom, parody, and academia, and has influenced the direction of other television series.
The series was created in 1995 by writer-director-producer Robert Tapert under his production tag, Renaissance Pictures with later executive producers being R. J. Stewart (who developed the series along with Tapert) and Sam Raimi. The series narrative follows Xena (played by Lucy Lawless), an infamous warrior on a quest to seek redemption for her past sins against the innocent by using her formidable fighting skills to now help those who are unable to defend themselves. Xena is accompanied by Gabrielle (played by Renee O’Connor), who during the series changes from a simple farm girl into an Amazon warrior and Xena’s comrade-in-arms; her initial naïveté helps to balance Xena and assists her in recognizing and pursuing the “greater good”.
The show is a spin-off of the television series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; the saga began with three episodes in Hercules where Xena was a recurring character originally scheduled to die in her third appearance. Aware that the character of Xena had been very successful among the public, the producers of the series decided to create a spin-off series based on her adventures. Xena was a successful show which has aired in more than 108 countries around the world since 1998. In 2004 and 2007, it was ranked #9 and #10 on TV Guide’s Top Cult Shows Ever and the title character was ranked #100 on Bravo’s 100 Greatest TV Characters. Xena’s success has led to hundreds of tie-in products, including, comics, books, video games and conventions, realized annually since 1998 in Pasadena, California and London.
The series soared past its predecessor in ratings and in popularity. In its second season it was the top rated syndicated drama series on American television. For all six years, Xena remained in the top five. Cancellation of the series was announced in October 2000, and the series finale aired in the summer of 2001.
The format of the series: Xena is a historical fantasy set primarily in ancient Greece, although the setting is flexible in both time and location and occasionally features Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Central Asian, and Medieval European elements. The flexible fantasy framework of the show accommodates a considerable range of theatrical styles, from high melodrama to slapstick comedy, from whimsical and musical to all-out action and adventure. While the show is typically set in ancient times, its themes are essentially modern and it investigates the ideas of taking responsibility for past misdeeds, the value of human life, personal liberty and sacrifice, and friendship. The show often addresses ethical dilemmas, such as the morality of pacifism; however, the storylines rarely seek to provide unequivocal solutions.
Xena freely borrows names and themes from various mythologies around the world, primarily the Greek, anachronistically adapting them to suit the demands of the storyline. Historical figures and events from a number of different historical eras and myths make numerous appearances, and the main characters are often credited with resolving important historical situations. These include an encounter with Homer before he was famous, in which Gabrielle encourages his storytelling aspirations; the fall of Troy; and the capture of Caesar by pirates, with Xena cast as the pirate leader.
Competing religions are treated as compatible and co-existent in a henotheistic world, allowing the Greek Pantheon to live side by side with the Norse Gods, Indian Deities, the “God of Love” and others. Each god, or set of gods, controls a different part of the world, and (in the show) survives only while people believe in it. In seasons four and five, the Greek people gradually transfer their faith from the Greek Gods to the “God of Love” over a period of about 25 years, and as their power fades, the Greek Gods are almost all killed off in a climactic battle.
This quirky mix of timelines and the amalgamation of historical and mythological elements fueled the rise of the show to cult status during the 1990s and early 2000s (decade). It was one of the first shows to tap into its Internet following, allowing fans from all over the world to discuss and suggest things related to the show. The Xena fandom is still an active community today.
Were you an X-Files fan? Did you watch the recent return of the X-Files? Did you watch Xena: Warrior Princess? Any other X shows you can think of??