Category Archives: armchair theatre

Thames TV ‘night time’ ident & Armchair Thriller intro (1978/79)

(View the video here)

I am sure I am not the only kid who was scared stupid by this little piece of video. This series of thrillers (some novel adaptations) was shown at both primetime and repeated in the afternoons on ITV. It didnt really matter if you were staying up late or innocently watching the telly in the afternoon, as soon as the night time Thames ident came on (an alternative to the ‘blue sky’ version used the majority of the time), there was a general feeling of unease. It was reality turned inside out, like the walls suddenly dripping blood (which reminds me – click here for more ITV ghoulishness. Once the Thames music faded, the real scares began. A solitary armchair in a darkened room, then a shadow moving into view, and settling down into the armchair. I know it doesnt sound particularly frightening. Check out the video. The shadow effect, achieved with animation, really does a good job of cranking up the fear factor. Some of the episodes even lived up to the intros mood setting (like ‘Quiet As A Nun’).

Links!!

Armchair Thriller entry at Wikipedia

Armchair Thriller fan site with video and episode guides

TV Heaven guide to the show

One of the episodes even made it into the Channel 4 list of 100 Greatest Scary Moments, just behind the magnificent Suspiria by Dario Argento.

Just to make sure all your childhood fears are reawakened, check out this slide below, with the following explanation from the Armchair Thriller fan site;

“The slide …… was used for the “coming up” announcement before each episode…”
(from http://www.markmcm.co.uk/~blacknun/armchairthriller/index.html)

What were they trying to do to us Kids????