Time for another Top Ten list. There are many great TV show theme tunes, but for this list I’m focussing on ones that have spoken intros. These intros are a great way to summarise the overall plot of the show, or introduce the main characters, without having to repeat this in the actual episode each time. There are some great contenders below, and probably my biggest list of honourable mentions yet for any top ten list.

What I was looking for from these spoken intros were things like…

  • Read-a-long-ability – Does it make you want to join in and say it like karaoke while it’s playing? The best ones do. They’re almost like poems, and have a rhythm of their own.
  • Catchphrases – Were there words or phrases that have made it into popular culture? Many of the below have this.
  • Cool voice – A cool voice, or saying particular words in a cool way, really helps.
  • Theme tune transition – The actual theme tune wasn’t taken into account here. That would be unfair as we’re just looking at the spoken intro part, but what is important is how the spoken intro transitions into the theme tune. Sometimes the spoken part reaches a crescendo right as the theme tune kicks in, which is perfect.

There were so many intros that I nearly included in this list. These ones here didn’t make the honourable mentions list but I still had to put them somewhere.
Pole Positionhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NpgsUOKQs8
Thunderbirds 2086https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zowhg6l9RUc
Count Duckulahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ZVWMPuZ2c
Voltron (Peter Cullen)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clm29r9qfgQ
Captain Planethttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMoodiD0UEI
Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K0SzFIf4A
Ullyses 31https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1r0uMCIXis
Quantum Leaphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjK9GJMBpt0

These ones are particularly good, and very nearly made the list, so they get honourable mentions.
Mysterious Cities of Goldhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq5Y_ogiyi0
Drak Packhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X8uAW3WSDo
Battle of the Planetshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acOnskcyrtA
Dungeons & Dragonshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JjhQ1Oi_3k
The Incredible Hulkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9MysTXM_P4

And now for the actual Top Ten List. This was a tough one.

10. Superted

A classic spoken intro. Said in such a dramatic way that you have to join along. The Spotty Man line was often referenced in popular culture. Best spoken phrase is “threw him away, like a piece of rubbish!”

9. Trap Door

The legend that is Willie Rushton lends his voice to this one. This one does benefit from the added “Hello” from Berk and the “Feed me” from the thing upstairs. But the key things here are Rushton’s great voice, the way he reads it a bit like poetry towards the end, and how it perfectly leads into the theme tune (which happens to be one the best cartoon theme tunes ever). Best line is probably “in the dark… waiting to come out”

8. Bananaman

The line “Eric is Bananaman” totally made it into popular culture. And Acacia Road is very well known too! Like Superted it’s also spoken in a very pseudo-dramatic way which just makes you want to join in.

7. Knight Rider

Obviously this is a classic theme tune. The first few notes are just iconic. I swithered about having this spoken intro lower down the list in fact though (nearer No.10). It’s a little bit spread out, having long gaps between sections, while the rest of the theme tune plays. It kind of loses its momentum. And it doesn’t really end on a crescendo at all. It does gain points though for the cool voice. The guy seems to be hyper ventilating at one point. Best spoken phrase is probably “the dangerous world, of a man who does not exist”.

6. Monkey

Such a quirky show and also a quirky spoken intro. It’s just so cool though. Cool voice, interesting words we didn’t normally hear (such as Buddha names and phrases like ‘elemental forces’). It perfectly transitions into the great theme tune. Best phrase – “The nature of Monkey was… irrepressible!”

5. Street Hawk

Such an underrated show and also a great theme tune (by Tangerine Dream) but also with a great spoken intro before it. The voice is very cool. It sounds like the guy is doing a parody of voiceover guys. Best line is the way he says “to RIIIIDE Street Haawwk” putting the emphasis as much on ‘ride’ as on ‘Street Hawk’.

4. Hart to Hart

This one is an absolute classic. Perfectly blended with the great theme that underlies it and reaches a crescendo at the end. His accent works perfectly and it’s hard not to join along. I can’t pick the best line because there are two which have equally made it into popular culture. “This is Mrs H. She’s gowgeous” and “When they met, It was moyder!”. So cool.

3. Star Trek and TNG

It would be very hard to have a spoken intro list without these. They’re possibly the most famous spoken intros of them all. And I had to put both of them in together as I couldn’t distinguish between Shatner and Stewart’s versions. Best line has to be the iconic “Space. The final frontier”

2. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

It’s a badge of honour to know this intro off by heart. I’m proud to say I could recite it on request. It very, very nearly made my no.1 spot and on 4 days out of 10 it probably would. Absolutely classic intro sequence in general, and the spoken element plays a huge part. Best phrase for me is how he says “the evil forces of Skeletor”, but obviously the main catchphrase from the show “By the power of Grayskull. I have the Power” are in it too.

1. The A-Team

It couldn’t really be anything else could it? If it’s not He-Man then it has to be the A-Team. It’s got a rhythm to it that perhaps He-Man lacks. It’s got a cool voice, you want to join in, it’s definitely in popular culture and it has arguably the best transition into the actual theme tune. Even more than He-Man this is one that is almost assumed that anyone into geek or retro culture can recite off by heart. It’s a classic and is my No.1 spoken intro.

Let me know what your top choices would be in the comments.