The Terrifying Title Sequences of The Krypton Factor

By | July 13, 2017

The Krypton Factor is, of course, one of the top five – maybe top three – gameshows of all time and you can argue with that if you like as long as you understand nobody cares what you think. Even the short lived Ben Shepherd reboot was perfectly reasonable in the main.

For whatever reason I found myself looking up old KF title sequences. Around the period of 1984-1986 they were absolutely terrifying in the way only KF and its pushing of the contemporary technology was able to be.

First of all we have flying over an alien landscape whilst letters, some hands, a giant eye and a big head fly into the screen to kill you over a terrific alien Mike Moran synth soundscape which they had been using for a few years previous:

 

Now this has been around for years and is old news, however this is relatively new to Youtube, the first and original Art of Noise titles from 1986. It still features the rather easy intelligence test but then it goes in a rather unexpected direction – it’s about 25 seconds into the video:

 

They don’t make them like that any more. Probably for the best.

10 thoughts on “The Terrifying Title Sequences of The Krypton Factor

  1. Ian Symes

    Video 1: I was not aware that there was a theme tune prior to THE theme tune. It is rubbish.

    Video 2: Currently having fun imagining a runner crouching beneath the camera, trying to rotate an office chair smoothly.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      There was even a different theme before that one, but not much really old seventies KF exists on Youtube sadly, except for some rounds that ITVClassic uploaded a while ago.

      The assault course looks muddy:

      Reply
    2. Mart With A Y Not An I

      That and Dexter in video 2, ignoring the junior producer barking at him not to look directly and the camera – not once, but twice.

      The 1984-6 titles technically at the time must have been pushing the boundaries of computer graphics.

      It only comes 2 years after the flying block idents for Channel 4, and there wasn’t anyone this side of the Atlantic with the computers capable for doing that – so they had to go to a facilities company in Los Angeles.
      Two years on – and I suspect this was the work of The Moving Picture Company, who were the first company in London to offer computer graphics at this level of render.

      Contestant introduction quad screen was done on a Quantel Paintbox, just as that bit of kit became ubiquitous in tv stations up and down the land.

      Reply
  2. Chris M. Dickson

    For completeness, the ’92-’93 version has been watching a little too much Tron, the ’95 series is a two-parter that throws out the head-start factor that kept the ends of the assault course races exciting for the sake of a graphical effect, though admittedly quite a good one, and the ’09 reboot turns out to be a mashup of several sequences that would come years after it.

    Grief, that ’95 series looked amazing.

    Reply
    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I’ve got a soft spot for the 95 series – you’re right, it looks incredible, but it’s a shame the way they did the start made it pretty impossible to follow who was winning, which doesn’t really help when its set-up as a race.

      TKF used to love showing off its innovations but sadly in the early nineties when the show was at its slickest is probably also the point they stopped innovating and I lost a bit of interest. Not helped by having to have an ad-break it didn’t used to have, but still.

      Reply
      1. Brig Bother Post author

        Of course as I understand it they almost ditched the assault course in 1995, my understanding is Burns kicked-off, suggesting the assault course IS The Krypton Factor. Entirely correctly.

        Reply
  3. Des Elmes

    Better late than never, here’s the 1983 title sequence (starting at 1:44):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSQPEF1kgdA

    I’m actually more unsettled by this sequence than I am by the 1984-85 one: the psychedelic colours, the Moran theme, the K-Cube (Kube?) spinning towards us before breaking apart at the end to form the show’s name – and no voices of any kind during the contestant intros…

    Can definitely see why the 1984-85 titles would be considered absolutely terrifying though. Not to mention that the Moran theme doesn’t *quite* fit it as well as it fits the ’83 titles…

    Reply

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