Instead of writing about health and wellness, like I usually do, I thought I'd have some fun and talk about Sci Fi TV shows that deserve a second chance. Why? Because since I was a kid, I've been a card-carrying science fiction fan. There isn't much I haven't seen over the years. I'll even watch the cheesy stuff – and like it too. And since “Timeless” got a reprieve from cancellation, I thought it was time for me to vent a bit and bring up some of my other all time favorites shows that are no longer with us in the hopes that maybe, someone at Netflix is looking at this (I can hope). Here they are for your viewing satisfaction. Also see my favorite podcast list.
The Night Stalker
If you're under 40, you may not have heard of this gem. The Night Stalker was the scariest movie I ever saw as a kid. It stands alone as a TV classic to this day. Even after all those years, I STILL can't watch it in the dark (I'm serious!).
The Night Stalker was a TV movie about a vampire stalking people in Las Vegas. The police and politicians were covering it up so as to not alarm the public. Only one person knew the real truth – reporter Karl Kolchak. The TV movie was so popular it gave rise the sequel, called The Night Strangler and then the TV show, called (0f course) The Night Stalker, which aired Friday nights, right after the 6 Million Dollar Man (ahh the memories!). While the TV show only lasted 1 season, many of the episodes are still scary and suspenseful to this day.
Back around 2000, ABC tried to reanimate the Night Stalker, but it was a horrible disaster (I call it the Jar Jar Binks of reboots). Again, only lasting 1 season, the reboot was more X Files than anything else, which is ironic because it was The Night Stalker that inspired writers to create The X Files. Strange but true.
The Night Stalker movie is probably on YouTube and the original TV series is often shown on late night TV (MeTV). I would LOVE Netflix to re-do this classic TV show the right way. I'm not sure if that is possible though because in this age of the internet and YouTube, it would be very difficult to keep secret a vampire running amok in a large city – or anywhere else. Still, I'd love to see Netflix take a run at this.
Person of Interest
“You are being watched” is how each episode of this really intriguing TV show began. I don't know if I'd call Person of Interest science fiction science right around the corner. It's probably closer to reality than any of us think. Person Of Interest tells the story of a computer program (“The Machine”) designed to stop terrorism before it starts.
Unknown to the US government, the Machine also picks up on crimes before they happen – and sends this “irrelevant data” to it's creator, Harold Finch (played by Michael Emerson) and John Reese, former CIA operative and international assassin (played by Caviezel). Together, they try to prevent crimes before they happen.
Person of Interest is slick and in the post 911 era, I would not be surprised if something like the machine really exists. While the ending of the series seemed to end all hope of any type of revival (no spoilers, I promise), I still think the last episode left enough open that the series could be brought back. Person of Interest is currently on Netflix. Start watching it and maybe Netflix will take notice and give it a look.
Thanks to the animation (cutesy of Jim Henson), Farscape was one of the most interesting science fiction shows I've seen. It tells the story of an astronaut, who gets sucked through a wormhole and ends up on the other end of the galaxy. Befriended by a group of escaped space convicts, they run from the law in a Leviathan, which was actually a living space ship (I think they got this idea from an episode of Star Trek, but that's a discussion for another time). Farscape was spun off as a made-for-TV-movie but I think it still has a lot of life left in it.
I didn't watch Firefly when it was on TV -I never heard of it – and that might be why it was canceled after just 1 season. Firefly is is about a band of space pirates – and their passengers – who try to stay one stop ahead of the law.
While it only lasted 14 episodes, it was later made into a very poplar Hollywood movie called Serenity, which was every bit as good as the TV series. To say Firefly is popular is an understatement. Over the years, it's basically become sci fi royalty, right up there with Star Trek. My favorite episodes were episode #3 (Bushwacked) and the very last episode (Objects in Space).
Dark Matter had me hooked within the first 1 minute. The series is about several people who wake up aboard a space ship (the Raza, love that name) without any memory of who they are. Along the way, we eventually discover their secrets and this makes for a very fun ride. Dark Matter was the only good thing on SyFy and after they cancelled it, I don't even bother with the channel anymore. Can you tell I'm bitter…
Dark Matter is a pretty new TV show and it's 3 seasons can be found on Netflix. I have a feeling that as time goes by, it's only going to gain popularity.
I like to say Fringe was everything the X Files was not- but should have been. Instead of hiding behind a bunch of mysteries, the writers at Fringe told us up front exactly what this show was about : a conflict between two different universes. If you have never seen Fringe, you need to. It had everything -even a mad/genius scientist.
Fringe had one of the most perfect endings of any series I've had the pleasure of watching. Still, I'd like to bring these characters back to see what else they can get into.
Star Gate Universe
I always thought Stargate Universe was born out of the ashes of the Battlestar Galactica reboot. It was gritter than other Stargate series and things didn't always get wrapped up in the span of a single episode. Sometimes there were no answers. Because it involved a band of people stuck aboard an ancient space ship that traversed the universe, it also reminded me of a darker version of Lost in Space too.
I liked Stargate Universe and for the most part the episodes were pretty good. The series ended with a pretty big cliffhanger which I always thought deserved a revisit at some point.
Threshold was a very fresh idea to science fiction. We become aware of an alien invasion but how do we stop it? Turns out, some grad student outlined the entire scenario of repelling an invasion from space in her graduate school dissertation. So the US government, along with a some unique characters (including Bret Spinner from Star Trek), along the author of the protocol, battle the aliens. I think Threshold was a bit too cerebral for many viewers who wanted to see flying saucers.
Better Off Ted
Better Off Ted was one of the funniest TV shows I have ever had the pleasure of watching! The show focuses on Ted Crisp who is basically a middle manager at a large multinational company with dubious ethics, called Veridian Dynamics. Words alone can't describe this show. As funny as this show was, I can't figure out why nobody watched it. What a loss! If you have Netflix, stop reading this now and go watch Better Off Ted.
So that's basically it. What science fiction or horror shows would you like to see brought back to TV?