This jerky montage set the tone for the show: urban, unromanticized, blurry black-and-white images resolving to distinct shades of red, white, and blue. The camera skimmed along Baltimore neighborhoods, and guns, and badges, and dead victims, the same world that David Simon would later penetrate even more thoroughly on The Wire. The theme song, a dissonant, loose mesh of percussion, horns, strings, and radio fuzz, was coldly true to the troubling stories that followed.
Pictured, "Homicide: Life on the Street" opening credits.
Video: 'Homicide' opening title sequence (YouTube)