Top five TV title sequences

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The imminent return of Dexter for its third series (on FX from 24 April) got us debating the finest intro sequences on television. Here's our all-American list:

1 Dexter

You might not be able to get over the slightly farcical concept of a serial killer who only kills 'bad' people, but you can still admire this ingenious opening sequence that transforms a mundane morning routine into something suitably grisly. We might skip the bacon sandwich today.

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2 The Sopranos

All six series of The Sopranos are built almost entirely around the character of Tony, which is why this simple opening is so powerful. As he drives home in his SUV, we are literally in his head throughout, like it or not. Read HBO's behind the scenes guide to the titles here.

3 Hart to Hart

If title sequences are there to set the tone for the show, all the ingredients are here - private jets, speed boats, para-gliding and Robert Wagner's extreme side-parting. Throw in the dulcet tones of tracheoctomy victim Max and this Eighties classic is a top five shoe-in.  

4 Quincy

Worth its place for its underrated theme tune alone, but any sequence that ends by making a visual gag out of an autopsy gets our vote. 

 

5 Mad Men

With echoes of Saul Bass's opening credits for classic Hitchcocks, this sequence is suave, slick, and generally far more engrossing than the show itself. Watch it here.