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More Old Sci-Fi Shows Begging For Reboots

Science Fiction programs from the days of yore have been getting the hell rebooted out of them lately, to varying degrees of success. For every Battlestar Galactica or Doctor Who there’s a V or a Night Stalker. At any rate, a few sour notes are no reason not to keep trying. Here I’ve compiled a list of five shows from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that almost demand network tv redos.

(NOTE TO HOLLYWOOD: I would be happy to write pilots for any of these…just saying)

BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY

Space opera is a sadly dying breed on TV and a reboot of this 1979-1981 show based on the 1928 pulp character might just save the day. Developed by Glen A. Larson, the creator of the original Galactica, Buck Rogers followed a 1987 astronaut as he’s transported to the eponymous 25th Century where people have laser guns and the bad guys wear capes. For Galactica to be successful, it needed to be made much more serious, however Buck Rogers was never as heavy and had a much greater sense of fun, so hopefully such a reboot would maintain the tone. Plus, how could anything where a tiny robot continually says “biddi-biddi-biddi” be a hard-hitting drama? (Also, apologies that all I could find was this local TV commercial)

THE INVADERS
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI2YieMTwkc&w=615&h=447]
This 1967 series was groundbreaking at the time, but since then there have been several similar shows, such as Dark Skies and parts of The X-Files. This type of show is pretty intrinsically tied to the Cold War and the “red menace” we’ve heard so much about, but I really think this show could work in today’s climate of everyone being afraid of terrorism and identity theft. The notion of one person trying to convince the world is also a pretty terrifying and isolating one that would be really fun to play with. The only stipulation I have is that I would demand it still be a Quinn Martin Production and keep the theme music.

THE TIME TUNNEL
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIJRh5zinbk&w=615&h=447]
So, underground there’s this scientific military base, right? And, like in the base there’s this giant, black and white swirly tunnel thing, okay? And, dude, if you go into this tunnel, you can travel in time and junk. This is, I imagine, pretty close to the conversation they had over at Irwin Allen’s house prior to the creation of this show. However silly the premise, it’s a good way to explain how and why people are travelling through time every week. The funny thing about the show is that they used clips from big budget films of the day like The 300 Spartans to depict the ancient history, so I can only imagine a reboot today would feature a ton of Zack Snyder and Michael Bay movies. “See episode one, where the heroes go back to the battle of Pearl Harbor…”

SAPPHIRE & STEEL

This is a very weird British show I’ve only recently discovered. Made up of only 34 episodes comprising six “assignments” over a four year period, this series followed two operatives, Sapphire (Joanna Lumley) and Steel (David McCallum), who are the human-form versions of their namesake elements as they investigate and fix time-based problems on Earth. Make sense? This show was very minimalist, with only a few characters per story in usually only one location over the duration of the assignment, yet it still managed to be intensely creepy through its use of lighting and sound effects. The ripples in time often manifested themselves as ghost-like apparitions which made for a sufficiently scary science fiction series. If it were to be redone today, you’d have to amp up the scares and maintain the overall mystery of the lead characters or else it just wouldn’t work.

SPACE: 1999

The guy who brought us the “Supermarionation” of Thunderbirds also created this bombastic series from 1975. It supposed that in 24 years, people would be living and working on the moon and in the opening episode, nuclear waste stored on the moon explodes sending it and the people on Moonbase Alpha hurling through space. It was the most expensive series ever produced for television at the time and was flat-out crazy. I think this show would be excellent if done EXACTLY the way it was in the 70s. Same production values, same costumes, same premise, and especially the same music. Who cares that 1999 was 13 years ago? That’s why it would be awesome. Why go to the far-flung future when we can make fun of how dumb we used to be? I think it could be a fantastic send-up of our intense and ultimately ill-conceived notions of what “the future” would be like.

So, I should just get started on all these, right? Right, Hollywood? Copyright Kanderson, 2012.

-Kanderson wishes everyone worse shiny jumpsuits now like we were promised so he isn’t the only one… Follow him on TWITTER

Comments

  1. alatari says:

    Got to agree on the Erin Gray crush. First realized what teh sexxy woman was seeing her… smoking.hot. It would be nice to have a remake with the same tone.

    Space 1999… the moon ‘hurtling’ at the amazing speed of a few miles a day away from earth was never a great premise for a show…

    Blake 7 was already kind of remade in Andromeda but a real reboot would be very sweet.

  2. WiseFather says:

    They are remaking The Munsters now too. It has been shown that TV show remakes usually fail, so how about using just a tiny bit more creativity and try crossover remakes that would combine two or more old shows? I give a list of amusing or horrifying suggestions in a post at http://www.ragingwisdom.com/?p=704 Enjoy.

  3. Purpleslog says:

    How about a TV version of Buckaroo Banzai. It could start in the aftermath of the take-down of the World Crime League.

  4. Purpleslog says:

    As for the Time Tunnel, I’d rather like to see something related but different. I want to see a Nerdy comedy of the behind the scenes of Time Tunnel.

    Here’s the pitch: Think The Office or The IT Crowd except the business is a Top Secret Time Tunnel Project or Stargate Project. The adventurer/heroes might never be shown or rarely (or would only appear like a “Ted Knight”). Instead the show would be on the office people, costume designers, equipment people, inventory people, staff historians, and security people. They have secret jobs and can’t tell their family’s what they really do.

    I think Hardwick et all could surely write a pilot and concept for this.

  5. Purpleslog says:

    I like the idea of a serious Buck Rodger’s reboot.

    I’d like to see a new version of “Flash Gordon” a sort of 24ish SF adventure (I refuse to acknowledge of the dreck called Flash Gordon on the SciFi channel a few years back).

  6. Daniel says:

    I totally agree that “Voyagers” would be a great reboot. I absolutely loved that show as a kid, it was the first time I realized that history could be fun and interesting. I mean c’mon a time traveling pirate?! That’s awesome.

  7. Jim says:

    My first celebrity crush was on Erin Gray as Wilma Deering on “Buck Rogers,” so I would vote for that only if they can get someone as hot as her for the new version.

    Incidentally, that’s not a “local” commercial for “Buck Rogers” above, it’s from the Nine network in Australia. (Nine’s competitors are “Seven” and “Ten.” If U.S. TV networks were named in this manner, we wouldn’t have “CBS” and “NBC,” we’d have “Two” and “Four.”)

    Yes, no matter what the subject, there is a Nerdist reader who’s a nerd about it.

  8. Mike says:

    Perfect timing with this post. I’m halfway through the run of Buck Rogers on Netflix, and I had the exact same thought about rebooting it. Although the original sets are incredibly cheesy and they recycled the same three effects shots from episode to episode, there’s a lot of material to expand on – humor, sexual morés in the 25th century, Buck’s struggle to come to terms with everything he lost by being frozen for 500 years – it’s all there already.

  9. Tom says:

    How about Voyagers? Only one season, but I LOVED this show. Watching the intro again though makes me realize that the memory cheats.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm-o_7AGJRQ

  10. Kyle Anderson says:

    Umm, thank you?

  11. Jake says:

    If any of these reboots do get made I will find you Kyle Anderson, and kiss you on the mouth!!

  12. Joe Smith says:

    They already tried to reboot Time Tunnel in 2002. It was ok, but it didn’t really capture the feeling of the original. You can see the pilot episode on the DVD for volume 2.

    FUN FACT: The reason decided not to go ahead with the series, is FOX chose to pick up Firefly instead.

  13. max says:

    i would love more Blake’s 7. i remember when they were thinking about bringing back doctor who, there was talk of bringing blake’s 7 back as well, but it never got off the ground

  14. frankmint says:

    1999 would be great. Although many can play the part, as I type, I can only see Clooney as Koenig.

  15. Bo Dixen Pedersen says:

    Max Headroom

  16. danlewis84 says:

    QUANTUM LEAP

  17. Josh says:

    I second (or third?) the Blake’s 7 remake!

  18. John says:

    Blake’s 7 would do very well, I think. We need another good anti-hero like Avon!

  19. Chris Johnston says:

    @Kyle With the name ‘Anderson’, I’m somewhat surprised you’re not fully conversant with the opus of Gerry & Sylvia Anderson! ;o)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slYW7kkHyI4

  20. Gerg says:

    Blake’s 7 anyone?

  21. Chris Johnston says:

    @Leo Jenicek I believe a feature film version of UFO is in the works!

    http://ufo-themovie.com/shado/
    http://ufoseries.com/

  22. Gabriel says:

    I think that the Invaders would be the easiest to re-boot and the easiest to get absolutly wrong. Just look at The Prisoner re-boot.

    Blake’s 7 could be a good re-do also.

  23. Kyle Anderson says:

    Forgot or never heard of?

  24. Leo Jenicek says:

    You forgot UFO! A smart reboot of that would be banana pancakes awesome!