EastEnders (1985)

Concept and creative process

Describing his approach to designing the title sequence for 'EastEnders' Alan Jeapes wrote: "I was aiming for simplicity in the titles, as the sequence for a long-running serial must be continually interesting without dating. The lower reaches of the River Thames, which have a close and continual link with the history of the East End, have such an eye-catching shape on the map that the winding course, docks and tributaries become a graphic theme in themselves." The original titles were created from thousands of black & white aerial photographs of London's East End, assembled into a mosaic to look like one seamless image. However, the joins between the pictures proved too obvious in the river areas, so Alan Jeapes overcame the problem by painting the Thames blue, which also emphasised its familiar meandering shape around the Isle of Dogs and made the river stand out. The titles for the long-running soap opera have had to be upgraded over the years as landmarks seen from the air have changed, notably the newly constructed Millenium Dome (now the O2) which became a very obvious landmark. New aerial photographs were composited digitally into a seamless entity, the Dome was created in CGI from architectural plans and the Thames surface was rendered to look like real water. However, in spite of all of these enhancements, the spirit of Alan Jeapes' original design has remained, an enduring icon of the programme, simple and memorable. The title music was composed by Simon May and Leslie Osbourne.