I, Claudius

Spoofed by both Blackadder II and Emu's Broadcasting Company, this is a fantastic opening title sequence, the perfect scene-setter for all that Roman political intrigue and poisoning. It's all down to the theme tune by Wilfred Josephs, conducted by Marcus Dods, and the venomous reptile slithering across a mosaic rendition of Derek Jacobi, who starred as the emperor Claudius in the twelve-part series (20/09/76-06/12/76). From the very start, this was a hit with the critics and public alike, on both sides of the Atlantic, and its popularity has not waned in the intervening decades. This recording is from the 1986 re-run.