Thursday, May 25, 2023

Thursday Movie Picks: TV Edition- Musical Theme


It's TV time again and this is a funny  theme that Wandering Through The Shelves chose. My mind went everywhere but I chose 3 that ended up being a theme within a theme within a theme. Also, have you noticed that today's shows have hardly any TV theme opening showing the casts' names etc.. I find that sad. 

Yesterday was pick the Oscar song theme so, without further adieu the Oscar winner was Windmill of Your Mind. The nominated one was Chitty, Chittenden, Bang, Bang and nada was Who Knows Where The Time Goes.

Now on with the show...


Yup, before John Williams won Oscars and was Spielberg's go to composer he wrote many TV themes and was going by Johnnie Williams...or was that Johnny?? Well, this is a show, created and produced by Irwin Allen, I watched after school religiously to the point my mom asked if there was anything else but that on. Poor mom had to listen to this and Gilligan’s Island all the time. This show was about a family, with best friend in tow along with evil Dr. Smith, who get off course and crash land on a planet trying to get back to earth. The 3rd season they have the ship mobile going from planet to planet trying to get home. There are a couple of musical versions for this show but I chose the more popular one.


This show, created and produced by Irwin Allen, only lasted 1 season and its a shame because it is quite good and it was solid for a Friday night but Execs canceled the series putting their bets on a show about bombed. 2 scientists end up in a time machine going from one famous event( like the sinking of the Titanic) to  another all while trying not to change what happened. John Williams created the music for thos as well and it's excellent lending itself to what the show is about.


Take a guess who the producer and creator of this show was?? Yup Irwin Baby! He was all the rage back then and this is also about a group of people who went off course in their spacecraft landing on a planet that looks like Earth but everyone is huge and these guys are like Barbie and Ken dolls. The Giants are trying to find them and get rid of them so we often see the stars in predicaments where they need to be saved. This was a very expensive show to run with all the special effects and everything had to be made to scale. I loved watching this show too. 

Hope you like all my themes here but especially John Williams of Star Wars/Indiana Jones fame. What TV themes come.into your head?


  1. You've been reading my blog long enough to know that TV Themes are kind of a thing for me... I think the only Irwin Allen TV show that didn't get a John Williams theme was "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea." Williams also did the music for "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno," a couple of Allen's movies. They were kind of like Blake Edwards and Henry Mancini...

  2. Hi, Birgit!

    I imagine there aren't very many boomers alive who couldn't Name That Tune upon hearing the opening notes of "Lost In Space." It is part of the soundtrack of our youth. If you watch the pilot episode of the series, you'll notice that the Dr. Smith character does indeed seem evil and sinister. Fortunately for us, the writers soon gave him a personality makeover and made him more devious, mischievous and funny than dangerous, a cowardly little man whose flaws and foibles were constantly revealed, making him a fan favorite - the breakout star of the series along with his sidekick the robot.

    I love TV sci-fi adventure series and I like James Darren, but for some reason I did not watch Time Tunnel while it was on. As you well know, the theme of traveling back in time with the intention of intervening, preventing a disaster and thereby changing the course of history, has been used many times in TV series and in films.

    Nor did I watch Land of the Giants, probably because, by the late 60s, I was college age and no longer content with family oriented entertainment.

    Believe it or not, the very first theme that popped into my noggin is the bold, brassy, big city sound of Count Basie doing the theme from M Squad, the late 50s police drama TV series starring tough guy Lee Marvin. My dad and I watched M Squad regularly and loved it. Watch the trailer!

    Dang! I think I had the sequence exactly right the first time in yesterday's Oscar post, but second guessed myself and changed it all around. Thanks for letting us know the correct order.

    I invite you to join me at Shady's Place tomorrow or in the days to come as once again I pay tribute to a woman who meant a lot to you, Margaret Schneider - The Oldest Living Dell Rat. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend, dear friend BB!

  3. A famous one the comes to my mind is Suicide is Painless, the theme to M*A*S*H.

  4. Hi Birgit,just watching a super tv programme about John Williams…what a joy…hope you are well xxxx

  5. I love your theme within a theme! Williams is a legend.

  6. I always love a theme within the theme, and this is a double whammy so congrats!

    I watched all three of these but the only one I was truly an enthusiastic fan of was Time Tunnel. The other two had their moments but were often so goofy (not that Time Tunnel wasn’t at times) I just couldn't fully get into them. A fault of TT was that as the guys tumbled through time often when they landed, they remained in their uniforms, and no one seemed to notice. It helped that one of the two was Moondoggie though!!

    I also went the 60’s TV route and almost had a theme but for a reason I’ll get to deviated with my last. The first thing that popped into my head was the theme song from the 60's Marlo Thomas series "That Girl". It was jaunty and captured the somewhat zany antics of the series. LOVE how week after week they found a way to open the show with a situation where someone managed to refer to Ann Marie (Marlo) and say the phrase "That Girl" which then kicked off the opening credits. That had to be tough to accomplish for five years running.

    With that choice I decided to stick with both the time period and the jauntiness of the music. So, the next would be Elizabeth Montgomery's classic "Bewitched" which had the perfect music for its concept, paired with very good animation and which they used liberally during scene changes.

    And this is where the theme might have come in because those two played back to back during several years of their runs on ABC and I was mightily tempted to choose the third in the bunch-The Flying Nun (a sort of 1-1/2 Girl Power line-up!) which had a perky opening as well but Sally Field hated doing it so much she nearly had a nervous breakdown during production which sort of takes the cheer away so I'm going with Sal's first series "Gidget" (and a Moondoggie connection with yours though James Darren was in the film not the series). It only lasted a year (it did okay in the ratings but not enough for a renewal but when the network reran it over the summer it scored monster numbers however by then it was too late since the cast all had new commitments). The theme song is so sweet (and like the others upbeat) and in less than a minute explains the series main idea which was no matter how many daffy things teenager Gidget does she is still her Dad's best girl.

  7. John Williams has done some great work. I haven't heard of your third show, but I've heard of the other two. I haven't seen them, though. They were just slightly ahead of my time.

  8. A talented composer for sure.
    Have a great weekend.

  9. Awesome choices! Are we sticking to themes without words? Because theme "songs" would be a different list for me. W/o words, my all-time favorites:

    Hill Street Blues
    The Young and the Restless

    All three were on after shows I preferred. Each was worth watching long enough to hear the opening theme.

    1. Oh, YEAH!!
      I forgot about 'THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS'.

      Damn! That thing is (what I call) "goldenshadow" through and through. And as my Brother just now said, "That's almost too sad to even listen to."

      That probably should have been #1 on my list of Instrumental theme music.

      Whew! That one just grabs the heart and doesn't let it go.
      To me...

      It flows like a wistful, lonely, melancholy stream
      emanating from some ancient, half-remembered dream.

      ~ D-FensDogG

  10. I think the shows from premium channels and streaming services make much more of an effort with their opening theme song and sequence...the opening sequence can look very cinematic and some have big name musicians writing the theme songs.

  11. A lot of the time, the theme music / theme songs were the best part of the shows.

    If ONLY instrumentals count, then right off the top of my head, these are my favorites:

    M*A*S*H (even though I wasn't a fan of the show)
    TAXI (so-so show)
    ROCKFORD FILES (loved it then, but it really doesn't hold up today)
    ROUTE 66 (the show got ridiculous, but the theme music is classic)
    BOB NEWHART (decent show, great theme music)
    SANFORD & SON (bad, Bad, BAD TV; but funky, Funky, FUNKY theme music)

    If we're counting songs (i.e., music with lyrics) these are my favorites:

    WKRP IN CINCINNATI (my favorite TV theme of all-time and one of my Top 10 favorite shows of all-time)
    MOONLIGHTING (in my Top 5 of all-time favorite shows)
    WELCOME BACK, KOTTER (horrible show, but touching theme song)
    CHICO & THE MAN (ditto... same as 'Welcome Back, Kotter')

    ~ D-FensDogG

  12. Great post.. I didn't realise Irwin Allen - and John Williams - did these series.. I've only seen his disaster movies. Thanks x

  13. Such intersting picks! I've never even heard of any of them.