We’ve seen a lot of remakes and reinventions of classic sci-fi TV shows, from the modern Battlestar Galactica reboot to Marvel characters appearing on Netflix.
However, there are still a lot great shows whose potential has gone untapped, and which fans would love to see return. So, here are 8 classic sci-fi TV shows I’d love to see come back:
The Earth is being secretly invaded by aliens. David Vincent knows the truth, and he’s fighting back. But the aliens are everywhere, they’re in disguise, and few people believe him. Can David save humanity?
A classic 1960s sci-fi show in which alien invasion became a metaphor for Cold War paranoia, The Invaders would be perfect for a modern remake. What better metaphor for current fears about terrorism? And what better way to give viewers the late night chills than wondering who among them might not be human?
Ask any British scifi fan what show should come back and they’ll tell you Blake’s 7. Running from 1978 to 1981, this show told the story of a group of outcasts fighting back against the authoritarian “Terran Federation”. Full of moral complexity and dark yet appealing characters, it showed that science fiction could be nuanced and still thrilling.
With its strong story and brutal approach to its characters, Blake’s 7 would be a perfect fit for the gap left in our hearts when Battlestar Galactica finished. And if Doctor Who has taught us anything, it’s that there’s untapped gold in British sci-fi remakes.
Space: Above and Beyond
Created by X-Files alumni Glen Morgan and James Wong, Space: Above and Beyond should have been one of the best sci-fi TV shows of the 1990s. This slickly produced slice of military scifi had a strong cast and creative team. The premise of marine pilots fighting aliens had masses of potential. The setting was full of interesting details, like the “tanks”, vat-grown humans facing prejudice and fear.
When it was good, in episodes such as “Who Monitors the Birds?”, Space: Above and Beyond was fantastic. But some episodes fell into flat cliché, and it was cancelled just as the on-going plot picked up pace. A remake could provide action packed TV with all the rich world building science fiction fans love.
J. Michael Straczynski’s Babylon 5 was a ground breaking show. It took the format established by Star Trek: The Next Generation and created an intriguing on-going plot. There was high political drama, rebellion, romance, dark forces lurking in the void of space, and an episode-long pitched battle for a space station. Its ambition was unmatched.
But (whisper these words because they can get you in trouble) Babylon 5 wasn’t always great. The cast ranged from the exceptional to the wooden. The first season was full of generic scifi fluff. The threat of cancellation led to rushing some plotlines and then spinning out others to fill the final season.
Imagine a Babylon 5 remake in the era it has created, where complex on-going plots are the norm for science fiction TV. A version given the chance to be great from beginning to end. What fan wouldn’t watch that.
“Dr. Beckett finds himself leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.”
If you watched TV in the early 1990s then those words probably have a special thrill. Quantum Leap was the story of a scientist set adrift in time. Episode after episode, Sam Beckett found himself in a different person’s body. Given the chance to change history for the better, he saved lives and shaped destinies, all while he himself desperately sought a way back to his own time.
With its mix of history, science fiction, and social commentary, Quantum Leap was a show that turned a mirror on humanity while telling stories full of heart and tension. It’s time we saw a Quantum Leap remake and got a chance to fall in love with Sam all over again.
Some shows are worth watching because they’re powerful and serious. Game of Thrones, Mr Robot, Battlestar Galactica. Others, like The Flash, are worth watching because they’re just plain fun. Sliders sits firmly in that second set.
Like Sam Beckett, the characters in Sliders were cast adrift. Instead of travelling in time they travelled to parallel realities, exploring alternate Earths as they tried to get home. Though many of these Earths looked a lot like ours, the show could create radically different realities. With a proper budget it could take us from steampunk slums to hi-tech super-worlds, through universes where Hitler won or the dinosaurs survived. There’s so much potential to be had from alternate worlds, it would be great to see it on screen.
In the often-campy world of TV space operas based off of Gene Roddenberry ideas and scripts, viewers are accustomed to awkwardness. Whether via leaden dialogue, improbably human-looking aliens, or ridiculous abuse of deus ex machina, campiness has plagued sci-fi since the early days. Campiness excels at quick sketching of characters, situations, settings, and dialogue. However, campiness relies on the viewer to understand the gist of things [Click here to read more…]
The ultimate fish out of water, space pilot Buck Rogers was frozen in time and woke up in the 25th century. There he fought interplanetary menaces, romanced beautiful women, and lived like disco was never going out of fashion.
The 1970s Buck Rogers was already a remake of an earlier version, but it was a remake that deserves to be remade again. A ripping adventure series, it’s the perfect vehicle for a more light-hearted sort of action and adventure than Battlestar Galactica or Space: Above and Beyond. There’s plenty of fun to be had out of the confusion created by a man centuries out of time – or maybe even a woman. After all, the 1970s show gave us the kickass Wilma Deering, who’s to say we couldn’t have a female version in a Buck Rogers remake?
4400 people disappear, carried away over the decades. Then all at once they reappear, apparently returned by aliens and gifted with super powers. They struggle to find their place in society, while a fearful population watches them warily.
The 4400 was a great science fiction TV take on super powers. While Marvel have nudged at the question of how ordinary people would reacted to super powers, The 4400 tackled it head on. There were strange businesses, stranger cults, conspiracies, and panics. Meanwhile, these super powered survivors tried to find a place for themselves in the world. All the while, the question of why this had happened hung over their heads.
Thanks to the show’s cancellation, fans never got the answers they sought. Now would be a great time to remake it and fix that.
What sci-fi tv shows would you like to see come back?
Featured Image: Space: Above and Beyond, 20th Century Fox