Thames

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Compiled by
RSX-798

Editions by
Michael Kenchington and Camenati

Background

The Thames production company was originally the production arm of Thames Television, from a merger of the separate previous units ABC Television Productions and Rediffusion London Productions. Even though after Thames had lost its ITV franchise in 1992 to Carlton, it continued on as a production company, which was acquired by Pearson Television in mid-1993 (itself sold to CLT-UFA in July 2000, merged to become the RTL Group, and rebranded as FremantleMedia in 2001). In 2003, Thames was merged with another Fremantle subsidiary, Talkback to form Talkback Thames, which was then split in 2012 into four production companies, resurrecting the Thames brand.



1st Logo (July 30, 1968-1969)

Logo: Essentially a still version of the 1968 logo, with "FROM" on the top left of the logo.

Variant: On some programmes, a still version of the black background version is used.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The ending theme of the programme.

Availability: Common. Many Thames shows had kept the logo, like General Franco and Special Branch, among others.

2nd Logo (November 15, 1969-September 1, 1989)

Logo: It's a still version of the 1969 logo, but with the text reading "COLOUR PRODUCTION" below the logo.

Variants:

  • During the 1970 ITV strike, a black-and-white version exists, where the logo reads only as "THAMES PRODUCTION"
  • Other versions of the logo exist, reading as "FROM THAMES" or "FROM THAMES IN COLOUR".
  • Prior to 1985, the last of these variants also included the text "© UK (year in Roman numerals)" below "PRODUCTION".
  • Another version read "Produced for THAMES TELEVISION", with "Produced for" and "Television" added above and below the Thames text which appears on Jack the Ripper (1988).
  • In 1982, Thames added a new closing logo without the reflections for its Channel Four programmes. Against a black or blue background was a box with a blue/white outline of the buildings, a blue/purple gradient background and the word "THAMES" inside. Underneath were the words "A THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" (an early version lacked the box).

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the ending theme of the programme.

Availability:

  • Still saved on most shows, like The Bill, Danger Mouse, The Wind in the Willows, Count Duckula, Rainbow, The Sooty Show, Rumpole of the Bailey and The Sweeney, among many others.
  • It was also seen on the 1970s UK version of The Tomorrow People, Love Thy Neighbor, George and Mildred, Man About the House and series 1 of Everybody's Equal, among many others as well.

3rd Logo (September 4, 1989-August 31, 1990)

Logo: On a blue spotlight background, we see a still version of the Thames XXI logo, except the bottom triangle is wordless. Below it was the text reading either "THAMES TELEVISION PRESENTATION/PRODUCTION" or the text "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION/PROGRAMME FOR" and the 1989 ITV logo appearing below.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the words read as "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" which was seen on Thames programmes for Channel 4.
  • A B&W variant of the above also exists which was seen on a TCM airing of the 1921 film The Blot.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the ending theme of the programme.

Availability: Rare.

  • It appears on Thames shows such as The Bill, This Is Your Life and Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius, among many others.
  • It was also originally seen on season 3 (1989-90) episodes of Count Duckula, however it does not appear on the DVD release, nor does it not appear on VHS releases as they are often deleted out, or plastered over by either Thames Video's first logo or Cosgrove Hall Productions' second logo (which was extended on the DVD release).
  • It also appears on 1989 episodes of Never The Twain and is intact whenever Forces TV aired this.
  • Season 1 episodes of French Fields kept this intact on UK Play and whenever Alibi decides to air it.
  • The B&W variant of the "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" endcap was also seen on a TCM airing of the 1921 film The Blot as well.
  • It was also seen on the original airing of the first episode of Mr. Bean as well.
  • It was also seen on T-Bag's Christmas Carol and T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom as well.

4th Logo (September 3, 1990-1997)

Logo: Against a medium blue background is a blue and gold version of the triangular Thames logo with the words "THAMES TELEVISION" appearing on the triangle in a Friz Quadrata font. Below that is the text "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION/PROGRAMME FOR" with the 1989 ITV logo. After 1992, this became the primary logo, and the 1989 ITV logo was removed.

Byline: Beginning in mid-1996, the byline "A Pearson Television Company" was added below the triangle, and "Production" was moved on to it, now also in the same font as the rest of the logo. The copyright text "© Thames Television Limited MCMXCVI" was also added at the bottom of the screen, as it was previously on the credits. Sometimes, the Pearson byline would appear on the triangle instead of "Production" as well.

Variants:

  • For Thames' Channel Four-produced programmes, either the text "A THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" or "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR CHANNEL FOUR" would be displayed.
  • There was also a version with the text of "THAMES TELEVISION PRESENTATION" which appears at the end of movies and imported programmes, and in 1993 and 1996, there were also three variants for Thames' Yorkshire, Central and UK Gold-produced programmes, with the text "THAMES TELEVISION PRODUCTION FOR YORKSHIRE TELEVISION/CENTRAL/UKGOLD".
  • In 1994, Thames' then-parent company Pearson remastered the 1973-75 documentary series The World At War, with the following plastered over the original "From THAMES" and "THAMES Colour Production" ending: following a quick montage of black and white photographs, the 1990 Thames Triangle logo (with the colour removed) appears on the screen on a black background, with the copyright date under it.
    • A variant of the above also exists where the 1990 Thames Triangle logo changes from black and white to colour which was seen on at least one episode of the remastered version of The World At War as well.
  • Variants of this logo for Thames Video, Euston Films, and Cosgrove Hall Productions were also used.
  • There was also a version with "INTERNATIONAL" replacing "TELEVISION". The name is put on a separate bar, and the logo takes up more of the screen with no other words around it. Oddly enough, this version was seen on Avenger Penguins (the first show produced by Cosgrove Hall after Thames had lost their broadcasting license at the end of 1992). However, it was not seen on the original airing, instead featuring Granada Television's "stripe" end board.
    • This also appears on the Arena Home Entertainment VHS release of Lorna Doone as well.
  • A variant with just the 1990 Thames Triangle logo also exists which appears on a early 2000s print of the second season of Avenger Penguins as well.
  • A print version of the logo exists on prints of Cold Comfort Farm, which appears with the 1988 BBC logo.
  • On episodes of This Is Your Life on BBC1 from 1994 to 1997, this logo appears with the 1988 BBC logo.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show, or none.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • It was seen on Executive Stress, the later French Fields (second season onward), series 6 (1990) of Danger Mouse, series 3 (1990-1991) of Count Duckula, episodes of The Sooty Show, T-Bag and Rainbow from 1990 to 1992, all episodes of Truckers and Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime, later Rumpole of the Bailey episodes, This Is Your Life, Mr. Bean, Wish You Were Here...?, and the first five series of The Bill, among others.
  • The first version used to appear on public TV rerun prints of the Mr. Bean episode "Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean", but it has since been removed for current broadcasts.
  • The monochrome version was also seen on The World At War after its "remastering" and has been aired on BBC Two during December 2002; no word yet if this version has been sighted in North America.
  • The production variant without the 1989 ITV logo also plasters the 2nd logo on programmes which were seen on UK Gold such as The Upchat Line, The Bill, Danger UXB, Give Us A Clue, The Sweeney and George and Mildred, among others.

5th Logo (1997-2002)

Logo: Against a black background is a tall blue box with a whitish silhouette of the Tower Bridge. Under that are the words "THAMES" in the Copperplate Gothic font and the respective company byline.

Variants:

  • On co-productions, the name of the station (e.g. "For Channel Four") would be seen under the byline.
  • A copyright byline is sometimes seen below.
  • On some shows, like reprints of The Sweeney, the show's URL appears below the logo.
  • On Des O'Connor Tonight at Christmas, the URL which reads "itv.virtualchristmas.co.uk" appears below the 1998 copyright notice.

Bylines:

  • 1997-2001: "A Pearson Television Company"
  • 2001-2002: "A FremantleMedia Company"

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show or silence.

Availability: Common.

  • Plastered over older Thames logos (primarily on British cable TV); otherwise uncommon in America, as recent Thames productions have rarely aired on PBS.
  • Was also seen on The Bill, among others.
  • Early episodes of the 4th season of the UK version of Fort Boyard on Challenge feature this logo, with the remaining episodes of that season used the next logo.
  • Recent reruns of season 7 of Strike it Lucky on Challenge feature this logo with the Pearson byline, followed by the 2001 FremantleMedia logo.
  • It also appears on a UK 4:3 DVD release of Jack the Ripper (1988) plastering the 2nd logo.
  • The FremantleMedia byline version is rare, due to it only being used for a short-time.

6th Logo (2001-2003)

Logo: As we see waves on the surface of a river, the name "THAMES" in a white sans-serif font is seen in the centre of the screen. Like the "Rising Buildings", there is a reflection given to the Thames name (in a sky-bluish shade). The byline "A FremantleMedia Company" is under this.

Variants:

  • For older shows and movies, it plasters older Thames logos like the 8th logo and there is a copyright disclaimer appearing below relating to the year it first commissioned.
  • On co-productions with the BBC (such as the long-running British edition of This Is Your Life), the Thames logo is seen on a black background with the 1997 BBC logo under it. Copyright notices for both are seen under the BBC logo.
  • On Pop Idol, the 19 Entertainment logo is seen below the Thames logo.
  • On shows co-produced with Channel 5 such as Open House with Gloria Hunniford, the logo and the background are on the right side of the Channel 5 logo with the copyright disclaimer below.

Technique: A still image rendered in modern CGI.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show or silence.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • It was seen on Pop Idol, The Bill, and Play Your Cards Right, among others.
  • Just like the eighth logo, most Thames productions and episodes of Take Your Pick that air on Challenge currently have this plaster over older Thames logos, usually adding in a copyright byline dated the year the series was originally transmitted/aired.
  • A few episodes of the 4th season of the UK version of Fort Boyard when aired on Challenge end with this logo.
  • This logo is also seen on a UK 16:9 widescreen DVD release of Jack the Ripper (1988) plastering the 2nd logo.

7th Logo (2003-2005)

Logo: Against a bluish/whitish background with many dots and lines, we see the word "THAMES"; below that is the "talkbackTHAMES" logo. The byline "Part of the FremantleMedia Group" (or "A FremantleMedia Company") is shown underneath it in a smaller font. Sometimes, a FremantleMedia copyright date is at the bottom.

Variants:

  • This logo was sometimes shared with the 19 Entertainment or Syco TV logos.
  • As per the 6th logo, the logo and the background are on the right side of the Channel 5 logo with the copyright disclaimer below on shows co-produced with Channel 5.
  • On Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon, the logo is white and it was on the same background as the Granada logo.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: Just the end theme from any show.

Availability: Was seen on Pop Idol, The Bill, Play Your Cards Right, Idols!, early episodes of The X Factor and Hardware, among others.

8th Logo (January 1, 2012-2019)

Logo: A purple circle zooms in, with the word "thames" (with a massive "t") turning on the circle. The bottom shines. The FremantleMedia byline appears on the bottom of it.

Technique: Simple computer animation.

Music/Sounds: Just the end theme from any show.

Availability: Seen on Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor from 2012-2019, and the 2012 series of Blockbusters on Challenge, among others.

9th Logo (2018-)

Logo: On a black background, the word "THAMES" now in a gold and a different font rises up, and the reflection fades out, similar to the "Rising Buildings" logo.

Bylines:

  • 2018-2021: "Part of Fremantle" (sometimes the Fremantle logo is used)
  • 2021-: "A Fremantle Label" with "Fremantle" in said company's logo.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, it shares the screen with other logos.
  • On Too Hot to Handle starting with season 2, the logo appears at the top and Talkback appears underneath making it similar to the Talkback Thames logo.
  • A still version of this logo exists.

Technique: Simple CGI.

Music/Sounds: A whoosh sound with a "thud", the ending theme from any show, or none.

Availability: Current.

ABC Television Productions
Thames
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.