They were sort of like Bill and Ted, minus the impromptu bouts of air guitar. Creator: J. The J. But the show itself was a solid, albeit generic, sci-fi experiment, anchored by a charming, odd-couple pairing that prevented it from taking a nosedive into boresville. As gunfire and explosions go off all around him, officer John Kennex Karl Urban watches in horror as his entire unit, including his partner, is mowed down by the members of a nefarious criminal organization called the Insyndicate.
We then move forward to present day where we learn that the events of the attack put Kennex in a month coma and left him with a synthetic leg to replace the one that was blown off. Despite suffering from all manner of scars, both mental and physical, Kennex returns to the job after hearing that the Insyndicate has resurfaced.
After unceremoniously tossing his first new partner out of the police cruiser, Kennex goes to robot maker Rudy Lom Mackenzie Crook for a last-minute replacement. Unlike the current crop of androids, which operate purely on logic and reasoning, the DNR were designed to actually replicate human emotions. Surprisingly, few others in the precinct seem to question or care why Kennex drags in such an outdated model. The series finale showed how far Almost Human had come and how much more it could potentially have offered. Creators: Glen A.
Created and often written by Glen A. Larson whose credits include Battlestar Galactica , Quincy, M. When a mysterious, dimensional portal brings the Marshalls to an alternate universe populated by dinosaurs, primates and other creatures, the family must find a way to survive and make their way back home. Our favorite: the river-rafting scene, with the poor little bobbing blue-screen raft.
Hang in there, Marshalls! Before Chuck , there was Jake 2. The similar concept was as follows: Your normal, everyday computer genius gets infected with nanorobots and gains superhuman abilities. Steven Spielberg , dinosaurs and time travel sounds like about as airtight a pitch as they come, and the future was looking bright for the Spielberg-produced Terra Nova in fall The premise was strong—a group of pilgrims leave an overpopulated and dying Earth in , to travel back some 85 million years for a second try at civilization.
And the show was given a massive budget to ensure the special effects and CGI dinos were up to snuff. The genius premise of Clone High is quickly explained in its second intro, in which the U. Everything about the series was destined for both a short lifespan and eventual cult status. It succeeded at both: For 13 glorious episodes, we had Clone High , the perfect parody of network teen dramas.
The genre-blending series was goofy and weird, complete with a mysterious futuristic orb, a time-traveling bad guy and irreverent sense of humor. Creator: Rockne S. Scheider was particularly unhappy about the direction the show was heading and stepped down before the third season, which was oddly set 10 years further into the future. Mooncake is the most adorable super weapon in the galaxy.
Final Space returns for a second season and more adventure in British sci-fi series Primeval taps into our enduring fascination with dinosaurs, but things got more interesting for the show when the time-travel started happening in both directions. The team encounters a future where super-powerful humanoid predators and just-as-scary giant insects have eradicated all of humanity.
When the alien apocalypse comes, even mild-mannered history professors must fight back. Saving Private Ryan scribe re-teamed with executive producer Steven Speilberg to build a world in which the aliens are clearly winning and taking over the minds of our children through a biomechanical harness.
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As the series progressed, more alien species are introduced on both sides of the war for our planet. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Astronaut Steve Austin in a time when we still loved our space program and astronauts were heroes crashes in an experimental craft and is rebuilt by the secretive Office of Scientific Intelligence. Alexander Smith. Brooks Network: ABC.
A spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man , The Bionic Woman replaced Lee Majors with Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers, a professional tennis player and girlfriend of Steve Austin, who undergoes a similar operation to replace parts of her damaged body a skydiving accident with super-powered prosthetics. Teaching middle-school kids as a cover, Jaime works for the same secret organization as her less expensive ex the show was called The Seven Million Dollar Woman in Germany , using her super speed, strength and hearing to bring down the bad guys.
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Jones, Leven Rambin Network: Fox. And for a while, at least, it seemed like it would stick—reviews were strong, ratings were high and it was renewed for a second season. Still, that does set up a potentially tricky butterfly effect: if this show had become a big hit, Lena Headey might have never gone on to Westeros instead… — Rick Mele.
We have a never-ending fascination with Mars. Is there life there? Can we send an astronaut?
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TV is constantly reinventing itself, and this fusion of fiction with reality could spawn a whole new genre. The series returns for a second season in fall You gotta love the dual references to The Twilight Zone and its film adaptation that Shatner and Lithgow share in this scene. Humans tackles some heavy themes, including memory, personhood, human and non-human rights and the fear of things we may not understand. Some of it is well-mined sci-fi territory, but Humans puts a fresh spin on the themes you might remember from old Twilight Zone re-runs.
The show is actually a remake of a Swedish series, and is one of the few remakes that manage to meet and sometimes exceed the quality of the original. Creators: Rockne S. Defiance was ambitious, a key to any TV show filled with aliens and spaceships. In the near future, seven alien races collectively known as the Votans traveled thousands of years to Earth, not knowing it was inhabited.
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While some colonists were allowed to settle, the bulk of the refugees remained in stasis on their ships while humans and Votans negotiated for their settlement. Peterson, the same linguist who created the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones. Grant Bowles stars as Joshua Nolan, a former marine who makes his living scavenging Arkfalls, the scraps of alien transport ships that periodically drop like meteors into the earth, destroying whatever is in their path but providing technology to the highest bidders.
But in the pilot, he finds himself thrust into the role of sheriff of Defiance, a common trope in sci-fi shows think Eureka or Terra Nova that essentially turns them into police procedurals with a twist, allowing for self-contained episodes where mysteries are solved—and slowing down the overarching epic storyline. The town itself is a futuristic St. Louis, now a small secluded valley with the ruins of the Arch. Unfortunately, during its three-season run, the storytelling and character development could never quite keep up with its sprawling ambitions.
Huge props also to Christine Cavanaugh, who provided the nasal, unexplainably accented voice of Dexter, which made him sound like a miniature, histrionic Peter Lorre. But where the easy set up would see the series poke fun at these folks, it instead takes a turn for the heartfelt with a good bit of poking fun, too, but still.
Cenac has capably made the transition into leading man, and creator David Jenkins is almost certainly going to move on to something else great. This post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama is set 97 years after a nuclear war wiped out almost all life on Earth. Survivors are living in a space station orbiting the Earth, hoping to one day return to their home.
As resources on the ship become scarce and oxygen levels enter critical condition, the leadership decides to send juvenile prisoners to Earth to see if the land is inhabitable. The Amazon original series, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, could have landed on a number of other networks—or perhaps even in cinemas—at any other time.
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But the dystopian drama, set in an alternate history where the United States loses World War II, seems destined for now. Germany has taken over the Eastern states. Japan has the West Coast. In between is the neutral zone set along the Rocky Mountains. When Juliana Crain Alexa Davalos , a woman in San Francisco, comes into possession of a newsreel-style film that depicts victory for the Allies, it sets her on a journey that will impact everyone around her. This is a hell of an achievement and only 36 non-daytime soap series have lasted longer.
As a series set in high school for the first four seasons , Smallville might have benefitted either by casting the lead younger or by skipping through high school at an accelerated rate. Still, Smallville managed to bring all the necessary high-school trimmings: first love, prom, rivalries with the jocks, spirit possession, mind-control and lots and lots of murder… you know, the usual. Season Four went off the rails when Clark became the school quarterback seriously, did no one at The WB read a comic book? The British have a unique way of turning the end of the human race into a laugh.
Lister and his inhuman companions navigate too many twists and turns on their way back to Earth or to get his girlfriend, whichever happens first to recount here, but at least the working-class Liverpudlian gets his long-sought chicken vindaloo. The series lasted five years before its first hiatus, and has been revived three times since. Plus, watching this story play out in a non-North American, non-English speaking country is engaging for its novelty. All of this, remarkably watchable. Most episodes play out as a cross between Perfect Strangers and Growing Pains , as ALF learns about various human customs and the family attempts to shield him from the public and the government officials hunting for him.
It all builds to one of the most insane TV finales of all time, as Gordon is captured by the government and brought to a lab, with the implication that he will be dissected alive in the name of science.
It was meant to be a cliffhanger ending, but because a fifth season of ALF was never produced, one of the weirdest sitcoms of the decade ended in one of the weirdest ways. Part pyschological thriller, part sci-fi morality play, the eight-episode series is full of characters on both sides of the test, struggling to win a chance at a better life without abandoning their principles.
Orphan Black has made its mark in the U. Continuum rises above both the usual fare we find on Syfy and on network television. The show follows the efforts of Kiera Cameron Rachel Nichols to thwart the ambitious and destructive terrorist group Liber8. The collision is not about the obliteration of one perspective, but the slow formation of compromised strengths. The political disconnect encourages us to remain impartial. Plus: She takes down do-badders towering over her like ogres more convincingly than any other actress on television.
If you think George R. Aside from being oddly sex-charged for a B-grade space opera, Lexx sees the population of two whole universes wiped out including our Earth , all while half the crew of this insect-shaped ship are on-again-off-again trying to kill or eat the other half. After premiering on CityTV in Canada, the show was eventually picked by by the Sci-Fi Channel, where it ran for four absolutely bizarre seasons.
Throughout the decade, the character played by actor Matt Frewer, stuck in a foam and Plexiglas costume seemed to get reinvented every couple of years from TV movies in the UK to pimping New Coke here in the States. When an investigative reporter Frewer uncovers a scandal and is injured trying to escape with the information, a hacker uploads his mind into a computer and Max Headroom is born.
The online figure helps his fellow reporters dig into the nasty work their employer Network 23 is up to.
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Helix is a claustrophobic quarantine thriller that begins with a throwback virus running wild in a Greenland research station.