Thames

Written and Compiled by James Fabiano


1st Logo
(1968-1969)

Nickname: "Rising Building"

Logo: In an oval frame, a group of buildings meant to represent London quickly rises up from the middle of the screen. In the bottom half, another set of buildings rise upside down, giving the effect of a reflection. The word "THAMES" appears in both images, then disappears from the reflection, leaving the right side up word. This logo was in black and white. At first, only London got this logo. Everyone else got a plain black screen with the words "FROM THAMES."

FX: The right-side-up and upside-down buildings rising together.

Music: An 8-note horn fanfare

Availibility: Not sure.

Scare Factor: On the high side due to the loud horn fanfare, though it would get worse when the logo went to color.....


2nd Logo
(1969-1989)

Nicknames: "Rising Building," "Building Out of the Water," "The Benny Hill Logo"

Logo: A color version of Logo #1, now has a sky background and looks more like a reflection in the water. Slight changes in definition of the image and such were made over the years, but this is basically how the logo went.

There have been a few variations on this logo. First, there were the closing versions, which would be the usual logo with a phrase such as "From Thames" or "From Thames in Colour." In 1973 the closing message was changed to "Thames Colour Presentation." In 1980 there was a "nighttime" version of the logo, with darkened buildings and a night sky. Another was a Christmas version from Teddington in Middlesex, where Thames studios were in use. It read "Merry Christmas - THAMES - Teddington."

"The Kenny Everett Video Show" had a funny variation, as Kenny would actually burst through the logo, which ripped like paper. Kenny was also responsible for an "adult" version of the logo, which replaced the buildings with a certain part of the female anatomy.

In 1982 Thames added a new closing logo withouth the reflections for its Channel Four programs. Against a black background was a box with a blue/white outline of the buildings and the word "THAMES" in that. Underneath were the words "A Thames Television Production for Channel Four."

FX: The right-side-up and upside-down buildings rising together.

Cheesy Factor: It looked like someone was holding the picture against a mirror and sliding it up. Actually this wasn't far from the truth, according to the Thames Logo Parade website:
The animated ident was created just as you would imagine. The top half of the image was laid flat and filmed from above. A sheet of foil was used to provide the reflection and was at a slight angle from the perpendicular (hence the tall vertical structures bend in towards St. Paul's dome in the reflection for a more realistic effect). Using stop-frame animation, la Wallace & Gromit, produces the appearance of movement. The skyline image didn't have the letters on it. The letters were filmed separately using the same process and then the negatives from both films were married together to produce the final effect. Treating the letters separately allowed for the reflected letters to be faded out. The Thames skyline ident was designed by Minale Tattersfield.

Music: A loud 8-note horn fanfare. The Kenny Everett show added an extended tune to the end of the usual.

Availibility: Rare, at least in America. Could be seen in syndicated reruns of "The Benny Hill Show," some episodes of "Danger Mouse," and "Count Duckula," to name a few.

Scare Factor: On the high side due to the loud horn fanfare.


3rd Logo
(1989-????)

Logo: Against a black background a triangular shape rises from the middle of the screen. As it reveals itself, it looks kind of like an upside down Christmas tree shape (2 triangles joined together), and the upper triangle has a picture of a building against a blue sky. The lower one is gold color and contains the words "THAMES XXI." As the logo rises, it too has a reflection, though it doesn't last when it's completely formed.

FX: Looks more modern than before. "Rising shape"

Music: An orchestra version of the Thames fanfare, with a new ending.

Availibility: Not sure

Scare Factor: Low, the new theme is nowhere as intimidating as the original.


4th Logo
(1989?-????)

Logo: In a letterbox is a version of the triangular third logo, under which are the words "THAMES TELEVISION." Then the logo disappears and images of what seem to be program clips pass by as the ITV logo forms letter by letter. The V contains a triangle with the Thames building.

FX: Images passing

Music: A very light, very mellow theme.

Availibility: Not sure.

Scare Factor: Low.


5th Logo
(????-1992?)

Logo: The camera goes through a three-dimensional image of London. As it pans away, one of the buildings "fade" into the ID. It's now on top of a blue triangular logo. On the triangle part are the words "THAMES TELEVISION." The background is still a sky.

FX: Nothing really cheesy.

Music: Unknown

Availibility: Not sure

Scare Factor: Don't know


6th Logo
(1992)

Logo: Not sure if any animation was involved. Against a blue background is a blue and gold version of the triangular Thames logo (Logo #5). Below that in an italic font reads "Thames Television Production."

FX: Unknown

Music: Unknown

Availability: Unknown

Scare Factor: Unknown


7th Logo
(1992)

Logo: Again, not sure about the animation. This one has a blue and gold version of the triangle from the last two logos, against a background of program scenes. This was the last Thames logo and was used in its final broadcast in 1992.

FX: Unknown

Music: Unknown

Availability: Unknown

Scare Factor: Unknown


8th Logo
(1997)

Logo: Against a black background is a tall blue box with a whitish outline of a tower. Under that are the words "THAMES - A Pearson Television Company for Channnel Four." This reflects the state of Thames today; as a brand name for Pearson Television.

FX: Unknown

Music: Unknown

Availability: Unknown

Scare Factor: Unknown


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