4 Feb

The official Cinema Suicide list of coolest sci-fi and horror TV theme songs

Posted by Bryan White | Friday February 4, 2011 | Whimsy

Science Fiction TV theme songsI’ve been watching a lot of old school Doctor Who lately. I’m a big fan of the Tom Baker episodes from the 70’s and during this binge it occurred to me as it usually does during these bursts of Doctor Who fandom that the show has the god damn coolest theme song of any show ever. Seriously. That’s how I feel. It’s spooky and suitably sci-fi and if that’s not enough for you, it was originally generated with electronic components in 1963, way before everyone was experimenting with synthesizers! The end result is one of the most recognizable pieces of TV music. It got me to thinking, too. Doctor Who is not alone. Horror TV and sci-fi tend to come built in with a great theme song. Here are my favorites. Feel free to chime in in the comments with your own favorites because I’m bound to miss some of them.

Doctor Who

The Twilight Zone (You unlock this door with the key of imagination…)

The Prisoner (Unsurprisingly, also composed by Doctor Who’s Ron Grainer)

The Outer Limits (The original isn’t embeddable. This is a cool steregram, instead)

The Munsters

The Addams Family

The X-Files

Battlestar Galactica (1978)

Dark Shadows (Theremin!)

Star Trek (This song actually has lyrics, bet you didn’t know that.)


  1. February 4, 2011 1:25 pm

    FearShop Mike

    Great post. As soon as I saw it pop up in my RSS feed, I figured Doctor Who would be #1. It is a brilliant them. I am a Baker fan myself. You pretty much nailed all of the top theme songs. Now, I am driving myself crazy humming all of them. LOL

  2. February 4, 2011 1:46 pm

    Japan Flix

    Oh, pure nostalgia…

  3. February 4, 2011 2:24 pm

    Bryan White

    Big time. The 60’s was easily the capital era of the TV theme song.

  4. February 4, 2011 2:26 pm


    The lyrics to the Star Trek theme was a way for Gene Roddenberry to take a share of the music royalties: http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/trek.asp

  5. February 4, 2011 4:11 pm

    Bryan White

    Wow! Roddenberry was a dick!

  6. February 5, 2011 11:08 pm


    How in the hell could you forget the intro to Buck Rogers? Not only did it have a cool narration, some catchy music, but you also got to see erin gray all in like 60 seconds. What more could you want?

  7. February 6, 2011 12:03 am

    Bryan White

    Trust me. Buck Rogers was considered and debated for a while but in the end I left it out because all I could think of was that really corny intro from the TV movie. The syndicated intro, with the narration also has the instrumental version of the same song and I never really liked it. It always struck me as the sort of song that was interchangeable with CHiPs or Emergency or something along those lines. You’re not alone, though. I’ve gotten some shit for leaving it out via Twitter, too.

  8. February 6, 2011 12:03 pm

    david mckeon

    1: where is farscape in this list? haha. that theme was a favorite of mine. gotta love soap operas for boys…. IN SPACE!

    2: tenacious d does a wonderful cover of the star trek theme with lyrics. it can be found on a modern vhs swapping co-op near you, if you follow me.

    3: wow, bryan! this website has really taken off! with a newish bebe it’s hard for me to internet [yes, it’s a verb now] as often as i’d like but rest assured this will be one of my oft-checked.

  9. February 7, 2011 1:09 am


    Oh your forgiven for some of your other choices. Regardless of the movie or whatnot I always rather liked that intro. I think probablly because it was the first real scifi tv show I saw as a kid. So it sort of had a imprint on me. I was 4 years old when it aired and while I didnt really “get it” being so young I loved the aliens and adventures. The kid in me also liked twiggy. Most people their first scifi exposure is star trek but mine was buck. Oddly enough though the space/scifi thing didnt become a reoccuring theme for me like you would think it would have aside from the occasional oddball cheese fest movie like ice pirates or my still favorite, spacehunter adventures in the forbidden zone.

    But I will admit I never paid attention to the dark shadows intro till I saw it here for some reason. Watching it here I got goosebumps from the music and I loved the incredibly simple set effective camera shots that set the tone. Now I have a appreciation for it I didnt have before.

  10. February 8, 2011 4:29 pm

    Spooky Sean


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