The Shows That Got Away: a Retrospective of Fan Favorites That Didn’t Make It
Here is a list of some such favorites for reminiscing and for perhaps shedding a tear or two in honor of. Listed in chronological order. * Means available on DVD. ** Available for streaming only.
- When Things were Rotten* (1975) Starring Dick Gautier as a complete bimbo of a Robin Hood. A precursor to Men in Tights.
- Quark* (1977) The hilarious outer space adventures of the crew of a galactic garbage scow. Starring Richard Benjamin, this show was one of the first to play with gender and gender ambiguity.
- Logan’s Run* (1977-78) A series based on the movie of the same name, which focused more on the run than on death. Starring Gregory Harrison, Heather Menzies, and the wonderful Donald Moffat, this was the first show that taught this fan girl the pain of loss of a beloved series.
- The Phoenix (1981-82) Judson Scott, who’s gone on to have quite a successful career, starred as an alien on the run from authorities, while pursuing his lost love and helps out a bunch of people along the way.
- Tales of the Gold Monkey *(1982-83) What? A Bellasario show that failed? Set in the 1930s, Stephen Collins is a bush pilot, having adventures a la Indiana Jones
- Wizards and Warriors *(1983) Starring the late Jeff Conway and Duncan Regehr as opposing princes (one dark, one light) trying to win the hand of the lovely Ariel. This was a black comedy, with themes of what is good and what is not, and it sailed over most people’s heads
- SheWolf of London/Love and Curses* (1990) Starring Neil Dickson and Kate Hodge as a professor of the paranormal and the young werewolf he takes under his wing (falls in love with) in search of a cure. It was cheesy and hilarious, but when the second half of the series moved to America and resolved the URST, it faded away. The episode set at a fan convention will have you in fits.
- The Adventures of Brisco County Jr *(1993-1994) Starring Bruce Campbell, this show was way ahead of its time. This is steam punk in the Old West, with Campbell as a bounty hunter out to take down the bad guys.
- Legend * (1995) Between MacGyver and Stargate SG-1, Richard Dean Anderson and John De Lancie did this quirky little steam punk western with Anderson playing a dime novel author (whom is mistaken for his own heroes) and de Lancie as his scientist friend
- Special Unit 2 (2001-2002) Wow, a show that got two seasons! Starring Michael Landes and Alexandra Lee as cops in a “Special Unit” that hunts down the supernatural and paranormal.
- Firefly * (2002) You can’t take the sky from me but apparently you can take one of the best science fiction shows ever to grace the small screen.
- Wonderfalls* (2004) Starred Caroline Dhavernas who portrayed a young woman working in a souvenir shop, where the souvenirs come to life and begin to talk to her. Pure whimsy, but apparently only the whimsical were watching.
- Moonlight* (2004) 2004 was apparently a bad year for the geek or nerd. Alex O’Loughlin played a vampire PI in love with a mortal woman. So what if we’ve heard it before. This one has Jason Dohring, for crying out loud!
- Drive **(2007) Only six episodes. Starred Nathan Fillion as a tormented man forced to drive cross-country to save his wife. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why would anything with Nathan Fillion get cancelled”? Or, “That dude sure had crappy luck before Castle came along.”
- Terra Nova* (2011) With such a cool plot – a family from the future (2149) is sent back into the distant past –prehistoric past – to fix the course of human civilization – you’d think it would have lasted more than one season. Sigh.
- Forever *(2014) Ioan Gruffud is a 200-year-old man, who is currently working as a medical examiner with his cop partner Alana De La Garza, and trying to figure out the secret of his immortality. This was a huge fan favorite, and the many fans started a petition to save the show. Quite a few tears were shed when this got the ax.
I’m sure there are dozens more I’ve left out so please feel free to share your favorite that “got away” too soon.
I’ve already been informed I left off Starman, Manimal, Werewolf, Almost Human and The Bastard Executioner. If you all have more suggestions let me know and I’ll do Retrospective Part 2!