As a life long fan of science fiction and fantasy television. I have seen a lot of shows come and go and have also seen many shows get cut before they had a chance to realize their true potential. In the 1970s there were a few high concept shows like this that got canned because the networks were not prepared to gamble and play the long game.
We have also seen recent examples of this. So to that end, I am going to list five shows that only lasted one season that could well be remade and improved upon.
After the success of the 1976 movie. A television series of Logan’s Run was produced in 1977 for CBS Television and ran for a modest 14 episodes. The series used the same premise seen in the movie of a society of humans who voluntarily or involuntarily take their own lives at the carousel once they reach the age of 30. The reason for this act is a form of population control. The series followed Logan 5 and Jessica 6 as the ran from an authoritative regime in search of the mysterious place known as Sanctuary. Along the way, they meet REM an Android who pretty much stole the show in many instances. They are pursued throughout the series by Sandmen who are the regimes police force who go after runners that refuse to live up to the obligation of giving up their lives at 30.
The TV series was much weaker overall than the movie and deviates quite a lot from the books on which it was based. The series did have a handful of good stories. One being the David Gerrold penned ‘Man Out Of Time’, which saw a man travel 200 years into the future in an attempt to stop a brutal war. Gerrold used the pen name of Noah Wood. My guess is he wasn’t too sure about the show’s potential or their was Network interference. At this particular period in time, most science fiction shows never lasted more than a season. A certain DC Fontana also penned an episode under an alternative pen name. So the show did have some loose connections to established writers of television science fiction. Most notably Star Trek writers.
I think a TV series of Logan’s Run could do very well today. Especially if it stayed true to the books as opposed to dumbing things down. A few attempts have been made in recent years to do a new movie version, but that seems to have been in production hell for a very long time.
Battle Of The Planets
Also known by its proper name ‘Science Ninja Team Gatchaman’ this was the American adaptation based on the Anime series. Hence the change in name as well as a few tonal changes in order to service the Western Audience.
A total of 85 episodes were used for the American Adaptation and it aired here in England throughout the better part of the late 70s and early 80s. This series with its quirky characters and pantomime villain Zaltar brings me fond memories of rushing home from school to watch. It was one of many kids shows in the 80s that kids actually talked about in school playgrounds.
There have been a few attempts to bring this back in one form or other. Back in 2013 Sentai Films had licensed Gatchaman for a CGI movie, but thus far nothing has happened with that.
I’d love to see this redone for a modern audience. Either as a film or a new TV series.
Admittedly. There was a fairly recent remake of Flash Gordon, which aired on Syfy Channel back in 2007. I’m still suffering from PTSD from seeing such an awful adaptation of an absolute classic science fiction and fantasy staple. It is so bad. It still festers in my living memory. I mean Hawk Men that can’t fly. And Flash Gordon still living with his mother. I need not say too much more to tell you what was wrong with this.
Created as a comic strip series by Alex Raymond back in 1934 ‘Flash Gordon’ has a lot of early success with a radio series in 1935 and a movie serial starring Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe in 1936. 2 more movie serials followed and a TV show, which was shot in Berlin in the 1950s starred Steve Rogers as the titular hero.
In 1980 a film was made, which was directed by Mike Hodges and has a phenomenal soundtrack, which was done by Queen.
I’d love to see a new series or a film of Flash Gordon, which would be more respectful of the source material than the terrible Syfy series was but would update things where necessary.
There have been some great comic book adventures of Flash Gordon in recent years. So I’d point filmmakers and potential showrunners to them.
Created by Gerry Anderson. UFO was one of the first live-action projects that the acclaimed Thunderbirds creator produced. The series, which ran for a single season focused on the ongoing covert efforts of a government defense organization to stop an alien invasion of Earth. The main character was Col. Edward Stryker who was the head of a covert organization called SHADO.
Each episode saw SHADO operatives having to deal with some sort of Alien incursion or other, but it was the technology that they used that seemed years ahead of its time back in the 1970s. Not to mention the cool cars.
If UFO were to ever get an update. I think I’d rather see Gerry Anderson’s son Jamie have a hand in its creation.
Made in 2005 for NBC television. Surface had a really interesting premise, which to some extent dealt with ecology and the seas water levels rising because of global warming. The story centered on the discovery of a new Sea Creature and the US Governments attempts to cover it up.
Much of the series focused on marine biologist Laura Daughtery and her investigation into the appearance of the creature. The series ended on a cliffhanger that left audiences jaws on the floor as more of the creatures made an appearance and the sea levels rose to accommodate the new form of life.
There were quite a few shows that I considered, but for some reason or other did not make the final list. These include ‘Fantastic Journey’, ‘The Six Million Dollar Man’, ‘Buck Rogers in The 25th Century’ and ‘Doomwatch’.
These are just a few shows that I’d like to see have another chance to tell their stories. There are likely plenty more that could be thought of. What shows would you like to see get a second chance at life? Feel free to let us know in comments below.