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Opening Sequence

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Opening

The Miami Vice logo in the opening sequence.

The Opening Sequence of Miami Vice, with Jan Hammer's "Miami Vice Theme" and its stylized shots of the Miami area, remains one of the most memorable television opening sequences in history.

Unlike many other series on television, which feature clips taken from the show itself during their opening credit sequences, Miami Vice used (with one or two small exceptions) specially shot footage that did not appear anywhere else in the show, focussing on the character of the city of Miami itself, particularly its more wealthy and glamorous aspects. The sequence was modified several times throughout the show's five-year run. The changes in each different version of the sequence can be found below.

First SequenceEdit

The original opening sequence (used from "Brother's Keeper" to "Calderone's Return (Part I)" is summarized below.

  • Spinning Trees
  • Ocean with static Miami Vice logo
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Jai-alai player
  • Rolling luxury car fronts with Philip Michael Thomas' credit
  • People laying by pool with Saundra Santiago's credit
  • Dogs racing
  • Ocean
  • Interterra Building with Michael Talbott's credit
  • Boat in water at sunset, still with Talbott's credit
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Spinning columns
  • Horse racing with John Diehl's credit
  • Ocean
  • Luxury car pulling up to hotel with Olivia Brown's credit
  • Yacht with Gregory Sierra's credit
  • Waterskiier splashing wave and fade out

The "Miami Vice Theme" is incorrectly mixed in these opening episodes and is missing it's distinctive synthesised guitar hook. While the footage used is the same for each of the four episodes, Olivia Brown's credit does not appear in the opening sequence for "Brother's Keeper" as she is listed as a guest star for that episode.

Second SequenceEdit

The opening sequence used from "Calderone's Return (Part II)" until the end of season 1 is summarized below. The major changes are indicated in bold, although the entire sequence has been rearranged with several new shots added and many previous shots being moved, making a direct comparison difficult.

  • Spinning trees (Shorter shot)
Flamingoes

The flock of pink flamingos is one of the shots that remained unchanged throughout Miami Vice's run.

  • Pink flamingos
  • Ocean with Miami Vice logo illuminated in pink (replacing static logo)
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Woman dancing in street
  • Jai-alai player
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Horse racing
  • Rolling luxury car fronts with Philip Michael Thomas' credit
  • Panning beach scene with Saundra Santiago's credit (replacing people laying by pool with Saundra Santiago's credit)
  • Ocean with Michael Talbott's credit (replacing Interterra Building and boat in water at sunset, both with Michael Talbott's credit)
  • Parrots
  • Ocean with John Diehl's credit (replacing horse racing with John Diehl's credit)
  • Dogs racing
  • Flagship Bank building
  • Atlantis on Brickell Building with Olivia Brown's credit (replacing luxury car pulling up to hotel with Olivia Brown's credit)
  • Two bikini-clad women
  • Boats heading for beach with Edward James Olmos' credit (replacing yacht with Gregory Sierra's credit)
  • Skyline and fade out (replacing waterskiier splashing wave and fade out)

Aside from the near total overhaul of the footage used, the "Miami Vice Theme" is also correctly mixed from this point onwards.

Third SequenceEdit

The opening sequence used throughout season 2 is summarized below, with changes indicated in bold.

  • Spinning Trees
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Ocean with Miami Vice logo illuminated in pink
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Woman dancing in street
  • Jai-alai player
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Horse racing
  • Rolling luxury car fronts with Philip Michael Thomas' credit
  • Panning beach scene with Saundra Santiago's credit
  • Ocean with Michael Talbott's credit
  • Parrots
  • Ocean with John Diehl's credit
  • Dogs racing
  • Spinning columns (replacing Flagship Bank building)
  • Atlantis on Brickell Building with Olivia Brown's credit
  • Two bikini-clad women
  • Boats heading for beach with Edward James Olmos' credit
  • Skyline and fade out

The season 2 sequence is almost identical to the sequence from the first season, with just one difference towards the end (actually reintroducing footage that was previously removed from the opening credits partway through season 1). This alteration seems somewhat curious given how minor it is, although it's possible some issue arose with Flagship Bank that forced the studio to remove the footage of their building.

Fourth SequenceEdit

The opening sequence for the first two episodes of season 3, as well as "El Viejo" and, strangely, "Streetwise", is summarized below, with changes indicated in bold.

  • Spinning Trees
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Ocean with Miami Vice logo illuminated in ice blue (replacing logo in pink)
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Woman dancing in street
  • Jai-alai player
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Cars racing through track (replacing horse racing)
  • Miami skyline at night with Philip Michael Thomas' credit (replacing rolling luxury car fronts with Philip Michael Thomas' credit)
  • Panning beach scene with Saundra Santiago's credit
  • Ocean with Michael Talbott's credit
  • Parrots
  • Ocean with John Diehl's credit
  • Crockett & Tubbs in cigarette boat (replacing dogs racing and spinning columns)
  • Atlantis on Brickell Building with Olivia Brown's credit
  • Two bikini-clad women
  • Boats heading for beach with Edward James Olmos' credit
  • Skyline and fade out

The start of season 3 sees the second greatest number of changes to the opening sequence. However, this version of the opening credits can be seen as something of an "interim" sequence, as it is quickly changed again once Crockett's Ferrari Testarossa had been introduced to the show. The inclusion of a shot of the Testarossa was presumably intended from the start, but omitted until after the car had made its debut so as to maintain the sense of surprise when it first appears on screen in "Stone's War".

As mentioned above, this version of the credits montage reappears later in the season in "El Viejo" (originally destined to be the season opener until the studio switched the running order of the episodes). This could be a hangover from its original placement at the start of the season, or an intentional choice resulting from the fact the Testarossa is not actually in that episode. This version of the sequence also appears in "Streetwise", although why exactly this is so is unclear.

Fifth SequenceEdit

The second sequence used in season 3 (from "Killshot" to "Down for the Count (Part I)") is summarized below, with changes indicated in bold.

  • Spinning Trees
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Ocean with Miami Vice logo illuminated in ice blue
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Woman dancing in street
  • Jai-alai player
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Cars racing through track
  • Miami skyline at night with Philip Michael Thomas' credit
  • Testerossa speeding through the night with Saundra Santiago's credit (replacing panning beach scene with Saundra Santiago's credit)
  • Ocean with Michael Talbott's credit
  • Parrots
  • Ocean with John Diehl's credit
  • Crockett & Tubbs in cigarette boat
  • Atlantis on Brickell Building with Olivia Brown's credit
  • Two bikini-clad women
  • Boats heading for beach with Edward James Olmos' credit
  • Skyline and fade out

With the Testarossa now being a part of the show, the opening includes a shot of the car, marking the second and final time footage from the show is used in the opening credits.

Sixth SequenceEdit

The opening sequence changed yet again during season 3 starting with the episode "Down for the Count (Part II)". The fifth sequence is summarized below, with changes indicated in bold. This is the last iteration of the opening credits, and they would remain the same for the rest of the series.

  • Spinning Trees
  • Pink Flamingos
  • Ocean with Miami Vice logo illuminated in ice blue
  • Windsurfer dipping head in water
  • Woman dancing in street
  • Jai-alai player
  • Ocean with Don Johnson's starring credit
  • Cars racing through track
  • Miami skyline at night with Philip Michael Thomas' credit
Creditstestarossa

For the final two seasons, no credit was shown over Crockett's Testarossa.

  • Testarossa speeding through night (replacing Testarossa speeding through night with Saundra Santiago's credit)
  • Ocean with Saundra Santiago's credit (replacing ocean with Michael Talbott's credit)
  • Parrots
  • Ocean with Michael Talbott's credit (replacing ocean with John Diehl's credit)
  • Crockett & Tubbs in cigarette boat
  • Atlantis on Brickell Building with Olivia Brown's credit
  • Two bikini-clad women
  • Boats heading for beach with Edward James Olmos' credit
  • Skyline and fade out

The changes made midway through the third season revolve around the departure of John Diehl from the cast and simply involve the rearranging of the on-screen credits.

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