It's ninety years since the end of World War One and Dick Dastardly is long dead. The pigeon was a brave American so how come Dick was English? Did he have Hun blood? We need to be told.
The opening credits are brilliant. The glorious music, based on Tiger Rag, and the hilarious visuals. Just how much did Dick's government spend in pursuit of that pigeon? They tried to nab him, grab him, jab him, even "tab" him, all to no avail. They didn't, however, try to stab the little sod. And the pigeon always got through enemy lines.
These opening credits are the best thing about the show. Same with Wacky Races. Same with James Bond films. Same with Doctor Who. They whet your appetite for something good which never arrives.
The opposite is true of The Office, Early Doors and The Sopranos. Shit opening credits and shit music are prologues to excellence. Even fast forwarding through Tony Soprano's interminable journey home has wasted hours of my life. But at least I don't have to listen to that bleeding song.
"Woke up this morning, got myself a gun..."
Oh, do fuck off.
It's rare that the whole thing works in tv drama, where the starter and the main course complement each other. I, Claudius did it. John Adams does it. For films you can't beat Hitchcock and for comedy series' you'll never surpass Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? Perfection.