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History of Closing Credits Styles

Once the cliffhanger point of each episode of Sons and Daughters is reached, the theme music fades in, the picture freezes and the credits appear - but the music used and the way the credits appear varies during the course of the show's 972 episodes.

Because the original first episode lasted 90 minutes in Australia, the first cliffhanger comes at the end of what became Episode 3 in subsequent 30-minute re-runs. After Angela Hamilton is thrown from her horse, John Palmer and Jill Taylor run across a field to find Angela lying unconscious. John cradles Angela's head as he looks at Jill in horror. Cue freeze:

Freeze at end of Episode 3

The theme music fades in - using what is known as the 'Extended Version', with the lyrics 'Love can happen now and it happened then' - the picture turns to sepia and the credits begin to scroll up the screen, beginning with the cast and the moving on to the crew. The same version of the music and style of credits is also used at the end of Episode 4.

Closing Credits style used for Episode 5

The end of the fifth episode sees a change in the closing titles. The frozen picture stays, but there are changes in the presentation of the credits and the music.

At the end of this episode, the cast credits no longer scroll up the screen; instead, the names of two of the characters and the actor/actress who plays them 'fade-up' for a moment, then they 'fade-down' and the next two 'fade-up' and so on. This procedure is followed for the cast names. After the last of these, however, the production credits then scroll up the screen as they did before. At this point, the cast is listed in 'families' - i.e. 'The Hamilton Family' and 'The Palmer Family', with separate slides for characters such as Fiona Thompson and Jill Taylor who don't fit into that structure.

Episode 5 also sees the first use of the 'standard' theme music at the end - that which begins, 'Love is very strange, it can come and go'.

The next few episodes contain a mix of styles: the all-scrolling credits return and appear to be becoming the norm, but, from episode 15 onwards, things settle down to the style first seen in episode 5.

The cast slides contain generally either two or three names per slide - although some slides do manage to fit four names on occasion.

The 'standard' version of the theme music is used for most of the 1982 and 1983 seasons, with just the occasional use of the 'extended' version. However, from the beginning of the 1984 season, the 'extended' version is used at the end of every episode - apart from at the end of the final episode (Episode 972), when the 'standard' version of the theme is played in its entirety as the final credits scroll slowly over a montage of photos from throughout the series.

Towards the end of the 1985 season, there's a slight change to the style of the credits, as the 'family headings' are changed to capitals. They then revert to title case at the start of the 1986 season, but mix between upper case and title case over the next few episodes.

Closing Credits style used towards the end of the 1985 season

From episode 737, there's a major change to the credits: so few characters are members of the main families at this stage that the credits are changed to list the main cast in alphabetical order. The guest stars follow, although curiously some are listed in a smaller typeface than others (perhaps to signify which are 'major' guest stars and which aren't).

Cast in alphabetical order Guest Artists Guest Artists in a smaller typeface

And there's another significant change from Episode 805 (mid-1986): the episodes return to the all-scrolling format not seen since the beginning of 1982. This style is retained right until the final episode.

Cast names scrolling Guest Artists scrolling Production credits scrolling

Style Anomalies in the UK

While the summary, above, outlines the standard way in which Sons and Daughters' closing credits appeared, there have been anomalies in the way the closing credits have appeared in the UK.

The first five episodes of Sons and Daughters broadcast on Channel 5 in the UK in 1998 used three different versions of the theme music and three different styles of closing credits. Comparing these with the endings shown for the same episodes on UK Gold in 1992, it transpires that the episodes not only ended in different places, but also in a different style! Below is a brief look at the ways in which the early episodes of Sons and Daughters ended on both Channel 5 and UK Gold.

Closing Credits style used for Episodes 1-3 on Channel 5 in the UK Closing Credits style used for Episodes 1 & 2 on UK Gold

The first three Channel 5 episodes ended with virtually no warning - there was a sudden cut from the action to the closing titles (see screenshot, above left). There was also no introduction to the music - it faded in just after the beginning of the vocals. This appears to have happened because of the fact that the original opening episode was 90 minutes long when it was shown in Australia, but it was cut into three half-hour segments for screening in the UK; these credits were therefore created specially.

The first three UK Gold episodes were actually more 'realistic' in the way they ended, insofar as the picture froze and the credits started scrolling. The music also faded in properly. The background during the credits for episodes 1 and 2 did not turn sepia, but it did for episode 3 (as seen in the picture at the top of this page).

These first three episodes all used the 'extended' version of the theme tune. The Channel 5 episodes contained a very poor-quality recording of the proper closing music, but the UK Gold version sounded much clearer.

Closing Credits style used for Episode 4 on Channel 5 in the UK

From episode four onwards, Channel 5 broadcast its first appearance of the proper ending-style: the freeze and the fade to sepia. The music began from its proper introduction and was a better-quality recording.

Advertising Captions

The original tapes for Sons and Daughters all contain two advertising captions towards the end of the closing credits, after the name of the Executive Producer and before the copyright information. However, ITV and Channel 5 viewers in the UK have generally missed out on seeing these, as they have been edited out before (or possibly even live, during) broadcast, due to advertising regulations in this country. The pictures below demonstrate how the adverts are supposed to appear.

Travelodge Credit Grace Bros. Removals Credit Copyright Credit Grundy Television Production Credit 7 Network Credit

A large number of the episodes shown on UK Gold did include these advertising captions, though. The two screenshots below are taken from episode 4 as it appeared on UK Gold:

Travelodge Credit as it appeared on UK Gold Grace Bros. Removals Credit as it appeared on UK Gold

For the 7 Network

Through various corporate takeovers, Grundy Television was bought in the 1990s by Pearson Television. Pearson was swallowed, in turn, by Fremantle International. All ITV and UK Gold transmissions included the 'For the 7 Network' caption at the very end of each episode - as did Channel 5 during its run of the first 212 episodes in 1998 and the first batch of episodes it aired following the show's return in 2002. However, a few weeks into 2002, the 'For the 7 Network' caption disappeared suddenly, and episodes cut straight from the 'Grundy Television Production' caption to a still 'Pearson Television International' caption:

Pearson Television International caption

This only lasted about six weeks before it was replaced, in turn, by a 'FremantleMedia' caption. This caption was retained until the end of the series' run on (the by-then renamed) Five, although the initial caption was replaced by an inverse animated version.

FremantleMedia caption FremantleMedia caption

Quite why it was necessary to edit out the 'For the 7 Network' caption in order to cut to the Pearson/Fremantle captions is not clear, especially when the advertising captions weren't shown, meaning there was no problem with the theme music not extending for a long enough period to cover these additional captions.


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