We’re in the age of prestige television, correct? We’ve all agreed upon this. Shows that are considered to be part of the television canon include Breaking Bad, The Wire, and True Detective. Of course, now all of this canonizing has made us think that we should look back on sci-fi shows that need reboots. Now, we can actually look at groundbreaking science-fiction television series with fresh eyes. These sci-fi shows are all worth understanding, worth re-watching, in fact, they are worth rebooting. Seriously, each one of these shows, such as Andromeda, Relic Hunter, and Roswell, deserves a reboot. Whether it is because their technical capabilities did not allow their full potential to be expressed the first time around or they simply still have arguments, ideas, and theories that would be interesting to today’s viewing public, sci-fi shows that need reboots are among some of the best of the genre.
Firefly is definitely one sci-fi show that needs a reboot because of the way it was left off. After just one season in 2003, Joss Whedon’s Firefly was taken off the air. Sure the film Serenity picks up where Firefly left off briefly, but the fans want more! Whedon’s resume boasts an impressive number of sci-fi shows, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which can only mean that a reboot of Firefly would prove to be successful. Additionally, with the advances in technology, such as effects and CGI, the show, a reboot of the series would be well worth it, for fans of the original and of the reboot.
An idea that Gene Roddenberry tossed off, this is definitely one of the stranger television shows out there. If you enjoyed the philosophical/political commentary of Star Trek, then you’ll definitely appreciate this. This sci-fi show needs a reboot due to its contemporary themes. You want proof? The women of Andromeda were strong and commanding. In one season, the entire series is about union between galaxies. This union is called the Systems Commonwealth. The big conflicts here are between different groups in these galaxies: the Nietzscheans, humans, and the Magog. There is an entire episode where the captain, Dylan Hunt, played by a game Kevin Sarbo, deals with the exigencies of rescuing an entire ship filled with rebel refugees who have lost their minds. A very bizarre ride that would still be politically potent today.
A reboot of Beastmaster could be very wild if the producers kept the campy overtones from the television series, as well as the absurd score. The whole plot of lost tribes is one that can be developed in many different directions. The story of Dar, Kyra, and Tao is a bizarre one. However, it is mainly a show about belonging, which is what truly makes it a sci-fi show that needs a reboot. As we see Dar and Tao’s relationship progress, we find their partnership both sympathetic and moral. Tao helps Dar in his quest to find Kyra, someone close to him. Dar has the power of inter-species speech: He can converse with animals. This series was a throwback to an older era of films. What makes Beastmaster ridiculous, yet wonderful, is the fact that it takes the aesthetic of the first film and transfers it to the swinging 90s full of quick zooms and handhelds. It’s a hero film on a budget, so with an even higher budget, it would be fantastic to see what the right team could create.
Cleopatra 2525 is a sci-fi show that needs a reboot because of its fairly audacious premise. The idea is weird and simple. A woman who works as a dancer in a strip club attempts to change the size of her breasts, she finds herself frozen and guess how many years in the future? I’ll give you a hint, it starts with the number five. The big baddies here are the Baileys, intense drones who control the entire surface of the world, and their enforcers, the Betrayers. The winks in Cleopatra make the show worth it. For example, people treat what Cleopatra says as aphorisms when they really are recycled pop culture quotes. This is a meta-series that would still be quirky and comical now.
Earth: Final Conflict
This was another idea produced by Gene Roddenberry's widow, Majel Roddenberry. The main "conflict" here is between Taelons, highly advanced aliens, and humans. What's happened is this: The Taelons have showed up and improved Earth. They have ended sicknesses and wars. Yet, to do this, they seem to have taken some autonomy from normal earthlings. So, a resistance develops against the Taelons. An ensemble cast involving Lisa Howard, Kevin Kilmer, and Von Flores aided this series in fully exploring its ideas. This show actually did so well that Andromeda was later developed due to Earth’s popularity.
Farscape was a weekly adventure show. Like Andromeda, there is a captain main character, John Crichton, played by Ben Browder, who ends up in battles in different galaxies. Yet Farscape was truly in its own universe. For example, the creature design was all done by Henson Co., so all the aliens in the show have their own delightful, charming look. This sci-fi series needs a reboot reboot to see how these creature designs would change. Modern technology could do wonder with visuals for a reboot of this series.
The Invisible Man
Not to be confused with Ellison or Wells’ characters. This Invisible Man is all pulp, all noir. While committing a robbery, Fawkes does a good deed. Unfortunately, this good deed involves a witness, and he is sent to prison. To get out of prison, our hero, Darien Fawkes, is subjected to experiments that give him the power to become invisible. Given the popularity of shows like American Horror Story, this anthology mystery show would be an interesting reboot.
Jack of All Trades
Jack of All Trades would fit in well with the whole Bruce Campbell resurgence that is happening now. I think the comic elements of this show make it prime for a reboot. If you don't know the premise, then get this: Jack Stiles (Bruce Campbell) is a secret agent for Thomas Jefferson. He attempts to find information on Napoleon in order to thwart the small general. A typical episode of this show would involve things like trojan horses and harems. It was an adventure comedy television program with a quirky cast. With the right director, this could be a very funny reboot.
Star Trek: Voyager
What makes Star Trek: Voyager stand out to this day is the fact that it looks forward and looks back. For example, in this iteration, we see the first female captain, Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew), of the USS Voyager. It is also the first series in the Star Trek canon to use CGI. While progressive in form and casting, the show’s plots are still old school. You have everything here that made the older series so stimulating, such as alien justice systems, wormholes, and time travel. Trying to reboot this series could prove a challenge, but with a talented cast and innovative stories you could cook up a fantastic dish of classic/new sci-fi.
Roswell was one of the first shows to blend high school drama with science fiction. The metaphor of teenage alienation becomes literal in the form of alien students who have been at the school since the Roswell incident in 1947. This show managed to keep viewers on their toes by subtly revealing aspects of the characters' lives which changed the way you would see them. Now, shows like The Returned have reworked some of the basic themes of identity and societal structures, but watching the skies with Roswell in rebooted form would still provide new avenues for exploration.
Sydney Fox hunts for relics around the world. She is played by Tia Carrere. Sydney Fox's immense knowledge was impressive, and the series used this as a device to both educate and entertain at the same time. Each episode involved Sydney finding an artifact and returning it to its original owner. She was aided in these quests by her secretary Claudia (Lindy Booth) and her linguist Nigel Bailey (Christien Anholt). A new edition of this series could perhaps focus on new items that Sydney finds.
Xena: Warrior Princess
If this is not the time for a Xena: The Warrior Princess reboot, then I don't know when the time for that would be. Think about it. All of the complicated mythology of the series combined with the advanced visual technology we have now. It could become a very immersive series. Not that the original series wasn't, in fact, it was quite daring. Xena was part of a trend that can now be seen clearly in 90s television of having strong female lead characters. Lucy Lawless plays Xena with charisma and aplomb. The difficulty of doing an update of this series might have to do with finding the right Xena.