Yesterday’s season premiere of Home and Away in Australia saw a new theme tune and title-cards to kick off the show’s 30th anniversary year.
Whilst the new title-cards retain a short 8 second duration, the visuals have been updated. As with the previous incarnations, the new title-cards offer up little snippets of beach life but now on a much wider scope, taking in the Summer Bay landscape in aerial shots.
The first block of episodes saw two variations, involving two men and two women running down to the ocean for a surf—both of which have been used in promos over the past few months.
The second block, which began airing as part of a quadruple episode on the Thursday of Week 1, introduced a third variation, with a tighter shot of the two men reaching the ocean and paddling out on their surfboards. This is accompanied by an alternate arrangement of the theme tune (see below).
The fourth block, airing as part of Week 3, introduced a fourth visual similar to the second one, albeit with the two men instead of the women.
The fifth block (which began airing in Week 4), mixed things up a bit by introducing a close-up shot of the surfer dudes under the beach showers, more similar in style to the 2013-2017 titlecards.
For the first time since the 2009 season, the much-missed vocals have made a small return to the show’s opening theme.
The previous version of the theme, sung by Luke Dolahenty and Tarryn Stokes, only lasted for a year on Australian screens—before the 15 second opening titles were replaced in 2010 with a simple title-card and instrumental sting.
Whilst it still only remains a short sting, the last two lines of the theme—”Closer each day, Home and Away“—are now sung over it by (yet to be credited) vocalists.
Two distinct arrangements of the theme, one with a male vocalist (see Opening 1) and another with a female vocalist (see Opening 3) in different musical styles, aired in the first two weeks of the season.
A third slower variation with the same male singer (see Opening 4) debuted in the third week of the season, an extended version of which had previously been uploaded to the official website. It was this video that would later be used as the international closing credits (see below).
With Seven using its in-house credit style over the end of the show in Australia, and New Zealand opting to do also use the generic style, the actual closing credits and theme are only usually seen on international broadcasts in the UK and elsewhere.
Up until now these closing credits had continued to use the 2011 visuals and out-of-date 2009 theme tune, to the disappointment of some fans.
When the 2018 Season Premiere finally aired in the UK in March 2018, the new closing credits and theme were revealed. Similar to the openings, the closing consists of a variety of slow-motion beach/surfer shots, with the text remaining the same albeit with a heavy drop-shadow.
Strangely, the lyrics used on the closing theme—which has traditionally used lines from the second verse of the theme song since 1995—have been replaced with lyrics from the more famous first verse (used on the old opening titles).
Eagle-eyed viewers may also notice that the Home and Away logo has seen a subtle change, with the introduction of a new smoother variation which has previously been used for promos and online media.
This actually marks the fifth on-screen version of the Home and Away logo over the past 30 years. Whilst the logo has always been based on the Reporter No. 2 typeface, designed by Carlos Winkow in 1938, it has usually been customised to some degree—with the only exception being the 2004-2008 seasons which used the standard font in the opening titles.
The new logo resembles the style of the 1993-2003 logo—which oddly has also been used in closing credits and other material right up to present day—albeit with non-cursive lettering.
Just to confuse matters, the international closing credits continue to use the 2009-2017 version of the logo.
Check back soon for any further updates as the opening weeks progress!