It happens all the time — terrific TV show gets cut down in its prime because They just don't get It. But if you could have just one back for just one season, which would it be?
Right off the bat, I'm pulling Firefly from contention. We all know its full of awesome and would, therefore, win without breaking a sweat on its perfectly chiseled brow. So, no Cap'n Mal and the Ramblers. But here are five genre odysseys that ended with their best days ahead of them. Which one should have gotten a stay of execution?
Traveling circuses have never been freakier — or more supercharged. After Star Trek and before Battlestar Galactica, Ronald D. Moore spent some time in the dustbowl of the 1930s, bringing us this allegorical look at the forces of good (as embodied by Nick Stahl's wandering fugitive) and evil (in the form of Clancy Brown's hellfire-and-brimstone pastor). Or is it the other way around?
The 17 episodes that comprise Patrick McGoohan's spy-fi identity-theft classic might be the best 17 episodes in TV history. Razor sharp and perfectly prescient, it followed an unnamed agent — referred to only as Number Six — as he tried to escape from the Village he was forcibly retired to.
A slow start doomed this show, which followed a newspaper reporter (Rome's Kevin McKidd) who found himself being flung through time. What seemed like arbitrary visits to the not-so-distant past eventually was revealed to be part of a master plan. Too little too late.
One of the most challenging sci-fi shows to hit the air in the past 25 years, Headroom is set in a not-too-distant future that's dominated by network news and followed a TV reporter (Matt Frewer) who suffered a head injury and has his consciousness downloaded into the ether. And then he and his virtual doppleganger tell the stories the networks don't want told. Get it?
It wasn't sci-fi, it wasn't an alternate history — Kings was more a Biblical alternate reality, loosely based on the story of King David. And it was blisteringly acted, stunningly written, and expertly executed. Unfortunately, it was greeted by an audience that didn't know what to expect, because the network didn't know what it had.
Make your choice now!