Thames Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Thames Video was the home video imprint of Thames Television, the weekday franchise holder for ITV in London. The division was founded in 1978, and later merged into newly-founded distributor The Video Collection in 1985, reducing the Thames name under a label titled Thames Video Collection. The label later reverted back to Thames Video in 1991, which VCI continued to use as part of a deal with Pearson Television, even after Thames lost their ITV franchise. VCI's deal with Pearson Television expired in 1999; Thames Video was already merged with Pearson New Entertainment a year before to form Pearson Television Video.



1st Logo (placeholder logo) (1978-1982)

Visuals: Just a still image of the 1969-1989 Thames Television logo, while the cursive white text "Video" fades in below. There are lines that extend to each side of the screen connected to the word.

Technique: A fade effect.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the show.

Availability:

  • This was used as a placeholder before the 2nd logo was created.
  • Found on a Betamax release of The Best of The Benny Hill Show Vol. 1.

2nd Logo (1982-1992)


Visuals: Against a dark blue background, there are two curvy white stripes and a thinner blue stripe turning in sync with the curve, looking like a road. It then pans out, forming a "V" with lines on the sides, and then an all-white view of London (with Big Ben, the Telecom Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge) pops up into view on top of the "V". Then, an outline of the London skyline on the "V" zooms out, which then morphs into "THAMES video" on the view of London. The view of London then "shines" on top. Afterwards, the background darkens a little.

Trivia: This logo could be seen as a precursor to Thames' "21st Anniversary" ident, which was used from July to September 1989, and survived into the initial version of their "ITV Generic" ident (introduced later that year).

Variants:

  • On all VHS releases which were released after Thames Video merged with The Video Collection in 1985, the word "Collection" is written in the Brush Script font below the view of London, along with an extra five-pointed star-shaped flash behind it when the logo glows. The background also darkens a lot more as it changes from dark blue to black.
  • Two closing variants exist:
    • A still version of this logo appears at the end of certain VHS releases.
    • Other VHS releases show the closing seconds of the logo.
  • On the 1988 UK VHS release of Children's Favourites: Volume 2, when the "Collection" variant of this logo forms, it fades into the title card.

Technique: CGI. The "Collection" variant uses chyron as well.

Audio: An extended synthesized version of the 1968 Thames fanfare.

Audio Variant: Sometimes, when either closing variant plasters over the 1969 Thames Television logo, the closing theme of the show will be heard, or in the case of Count Duckula VHS releases, the downpour of rain is heard over it. This also occurs on at least the first six Learn with Sooty releases.

Availability:

  • Appears on UK VHS releases of programmes produced by Thames Television (including The Benny Hill Show, The Sooty Show, Learn with Sooty, Rainbow, Danger Mouse, Button Moon, The Wind in the Willows, Alias the Jester, Creepy Crawlies, Count Duckula, the 1989 UK VHS releases of My Favourite Nursery Rhymes with Mother Goose and More Children's Summer Stories, and the 1990 UK VHS release of The BFG (1989), among many others).
  • The non-"Collection" variant of this logo also appears on the 1984 UK pre-cert VHS release of Torvill & Dean: Path to Perfection, and the 1989 UK VHS release of Bedtime Stories: Toad and Friends, among others.
  • The non-"Collection" variant of this logo also strangely appears on the original 1994 UK VHS release of The Wind In The Willows: Winter Tales instead of the 4th logo, due to it reusing the 1986 VHS master.
  • The "Collection" variant of this logo also appears on the 2001 UK VHS reissue of The Wind in the Willows: Autumn Antics instead of the Pearson Television Video logo, also due to it reusing the 1988 VHS master.
  • You may also find this logo paired with that of Lollipop Video on certain tapes of The Wind in the Willows and Count Duckula, given that they were aimed primarily at children.
  • The final UK VHS release to use this is Benny Hill's One Night Video Stand.
  • Like its successor (the fourth logo), the closing variants were used to plaster over the usual Thames Television endboard.

3rd Logo (US only) (1988-1992)


Visuals: Against a bright red background, two silver beams of light point upwards. The beams then lower to the center of the screen, one pointing each way. The lights seem to dispel with the background turning deep blue, and form the words "THAMES VIDEO COLLECTION", with "THAMES" coming from the middle, "VIDEO" from the left, and "COLLECTION" from the right. The three words set into the middle of the screen as two silver bars appear from both sides, resting at the top and bottom of the wording, with the finishing touch being a black marble version of the famous skyline logo topping the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A fairly ominous-sounding six-note jingle, with the last few notes held out a bit longer.

Availability: Appears on later Thames Video releases distributed by HBO Video. [Examples?]

4th Logo (UK and Australia) (1991-1999)


Visuals: On a black background, there are three inverted triangles (one in red/gold, a second in blue/red, and a third in gold/blue) with a view of London (again, featuring Big Ben, the Telecom Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral and Tower Bridge) and "THAMES VIDEO" on them flying by. A gold version of the logo is then created, and the background changes from black to navy blue.

Trivia: This logo is based on Thames Television's final ident, which was used from September 3, 1990 to December 31, 1992.

Variant: At the end of UK VHS releases of certain shows such as The Bill, Mr. Bean, and Rainbow, among others, a still version of this logo appears instead of the usual Thames Television endboard.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A re-arranged version of the theme from the aforementioned 1990 Thames ident. There are also a few added drumbeats in the background, and it ends on the fanfare's last note, without any echo.

Audio Variants:

  • At the end of UK VHS releases such as the ones specified above, the still version of this logo may be silent or sometimes has the final seconds of the show's ending theme.
  • On the Rainbow episode "Cold Day" included on the 1996 UK VHS release of My Little Rainbow: Christmas Special, the Rainbow theme from the end credits plays over the full logo.

Availability:

  • The best VHS releases to find with this logo are PAL-format ones from the UK and Australia.
  • Appears on VHS releases of programmes produced by Thames Television from the time-period until 1999.
  • These include the last few series of both The Sooty Show and Rainbow, Truckers, The Bill, Mr. Bean, and Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime, among many others.
  • Starting in late 1993, the full logo appears at the end of UK VHS releases.
  • This logo also appears on a 1997 U.S. VHS release of Benny Hill: Golden Laughs. It may or may not have shown up on some other American releases.
  • It also appears on the 1993 UK Laserdisc release of Mr. Bean 1 & 2.
  • It also appears on the 1993 UK VHS re-release of The Wind in the Willows (1983), the 1994 UK VHS releases of Learn with Sooty: Be Safe, Learn with Sooty: Have Fun with Numbers, Learn with Sooty: How Things Work Simple Science and Learn with Sooty: Start to Read (1994 re-releases), The Wind in the Willows: Paperchase, and The Wind In The Willows: Winter Tales (later pressings), the 1995 UK VHS release of The Wind In The Willows: Autumn Antics, the 1996 UK VHS release of My Little Rainbow: Christmas Special, and the 1997 UK VHS release of The Wind In The Willows: Summer Escapades, respectively, among many others.
  • The videos of Truckers (which edited the thirteen episodes together to form a movie) and Victor and Hugo: Bunglers in Crime (which only contains three episodes from the first series of 1991) also features this logo at the end, instead of Cosgrove Hall's third logo.
  • The still version of this logo also appears on the DVD prints of the unaired Mr. Bean sketches "The Library" and "The Bus Stop", due to them being taken from the 1991 UK VHS masters of The Amazing Adventures of Mr. Bean and The Exciting Escapades of Mr Bean, respectively.
Thames Video
Pearson Television Video
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