Police Squad! Played Straight

Speaking of procedurals, via Marty McKee, here’s a main title I’d never seen before: one of the last shows produced by the one-time king of crime shows, Quinn Martin. Martin’s shows, and their tendency to take themselves very seriously, were a major parody source for Police Squad!, and this intro uses the same announcer who would be heard announcing “in color!” on the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker series. At least on this series, he managed to say the right name for each episode.


I don’t know why so many shows in the ’70s had so much exposition in the main title sequence; both live-action shows and cartoons would interrupt or even jettison the theme tune and just have an announcer or character telling us the entire premise. Maybe it was a Charlie’s Angels thing, or maybe they just wanted to avoid explaining the high-concept premise in the episode itself. Of course Martin had been doing the “exposition intro” years earlier, in shows like The Invaders. But exposition made more sense for a show about aliens than a show about a badass shrink helping runaways.

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