Sunday, September 5, 2010

Top 10 Sci Fi TV Series: Gone Before Their Time

I thought it would be fun to make a list of my favorite Sci Fi TV series that were cancelled before their time. There are so many to choose from but I really tried and picked ones that I felt I missed most. Let's start with #10:

10. Invasion
September 2005 – May 2006

Another supernatural show from the mind of Shaun, which focused on creatures that took over humans after a hurricane. Stellar acting by William Fichtner, Eddie Cibrian, Kari Matchett and Tyler Labine brought this sometimes chilling series to life, with some great things-that-go-bump-in-the-night moments and very human reactions to no longer knowing your family members.

This series rolled out extremely slow and unfortunately folks weren’t willing to stick it out.. ABC cancelled it on a cliffhanger after 1 season.

9. Surface
September 2005 – February 2006

What do naval officers in the South Antarctic Sea, a family in Wilmington, N.C., the oceanographic institute in Monterey, and fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico all have in common? They're all about to be the first to meet a new form of sea life -- it's beautiful, but what they don't know yet is that they are on the verge of a world disaster. "Surface" is a series full of continuously evolving twists that deliver across several long-term arcs.

I loved this series, it was a fun roller coaster ride as you weren’t sure if the creatures were aliens or from deep below the Earth’s ocean. Of course there was an AWESOME cliffhanger as the Oceans began to rise leaving our heroes on top of a church surrounded by water and creatures. But will never know what happens, as NBC cancelled it.

September 2005 – November 2005

This series may not have reached its potential, but we were transfixed by the swirling alien DNA signal, fractal pattern conversation and Carla Gugino's Molly Caffrey. She was a scientist who dealt with worst-case scenario planning, and implementing that procedure when it actually came true, while trying not to give into the power of the infected aliens. Plus, she had the coolest task force working with her, including Brent Spiner, Rob Benedict, Peter Dinklage and Charles S. Dutton. Pulled after a handful of episodes, with only 13 produced, it was gone before we really got a chance to figure out what the hell was going on.

This was a fun and interesting series, it just got going right when it was cancelled.

7. Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles
January 2008 -- April 2009

This sci-fi series was actually a fun addition to the Terminator landscape. However, just when it was starting to get really, really interesting (we got a T-1001 and leapt to the future) the show was cancelled. It's a true shame, because that final episode was truly one of the best of the entire, albeit brief, run of the series. We adored the sweet Summer Glau playing badass robot Cameron, and actually found ourselves surprisingly enjoying Brian Austin Green as Derek Reese.

Was very excited when it was picked up for a second season but it still wasn’t meant to be.. only got two seasons.

6. Twin Peaks
April 1990 – June 1991

Don't really ask us what the hell was going on in David Lynch and Mark Frost's minds when they came up with this bizarre series about the small and disturbing town of Twin Peaks. While the series bordered on chaotic after its season one "who killed Laura Palmer?" mystery was solved, it was oddly fascinating and never dull. Trippy, yes. But never boring. We wanted more than two seasons, just to find out what odd and surreal thing Lynch would have thought of next.

Loved this series, loved every minute of both seasons.

5. Enterprise
September 2001 to 2005

In the early twenty-second century, the starship Enterprise is launched. Her mission is to explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no humans have gone before. Along with an alien chief medical officer and first officer, this crew with only NASA-level training and what the Vulcans know of local space, begin to explore and begin the legacy set for other Enterprise crews and captains like Robert April, Christopher Pike, James Kirk, John Harriman, Rachel Garrett, Jean-Luc Picard, William Riker, Edward Jellico and others.

I’m a huge Star Trek fan, I have loved every season of Trek made. I enjoyed Enterprise when it first aired and watched every episode. It wasn’t my favorite but it was a fun addition to the Star Trek world. Though it did get four seasons previous Star Trek shows got seven so this was a disappointment in not going all the way. Watching Enterprise in repeats and I’ve been enjoying it more and more which makes me even miss it more that it didn’t go the full seven seasons.

4. Farscape
March 1999 – March 2003

This critically acclaimed Sci-Fi Channel series is often lauded as one of the best of its genre, but it was axed after its fourth season on a cliffhanger which had fans in an uproar. Luckily, a TV movie provided a small bit of a light at the end of a dark tunnel. Astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) gets sucked into a wormhole, ends up making enemies out of the Peacekeepers and finds himself part of the multi-species crew of the Moya fighting off the forces of evil.

Didn’t see this series until after many years of its original run. Fell in love with it from the first episode. This series made some big changes during its run.. actually several times big things happened and the focus of the story would change. Again this series did run 4 season and was cancelled on a cliffhanger. But with fan support they did make a 4 hour TV Movie to wrap up the series which was great but I could always do with more Farscape.

3. 4400
July 2004 – September 2007

A large group of people disappears from the planet (for various length of times) and when they are returned to their homes they don't remember being gone (even though in some cases their loved ones have been dead for years), but they have abilities like telepathy and telekinesis due to neurotransmitters in their head. The government realizes this large group could be dangerous and tries to inhibit its abilities, but some of the 4400 wanted more people to have abilities, and so it went for four seasons on USA until it got axed. With layered plots and with a massive cast of characters, this intriguing sci-fi show had a loyal fan base that tried hard to keep it going, sadly to no avail.

Again I didn’t start watching this series until season 2 and went back and watched Season 1 on DVD then started with 2 and loved every minute of it. Every season this series would change focus for that season. It made it very cool and interesting to watch, as you weren’t sure where it was going the next season. It did last 4 seasons but they story could have gone on for a lot longer. The main story was just picking up steam.. they were explaining more and more but we never got the entire answer, which is a bummer.

2. Alien Nation
September 1989 to May 1990, 1994 – 1997

A few years from now, Earth will have the first contact with an alien civilization. These aliens, known as Newcomers, slowly begin to be integrated into human society after years of quarantine but are victims of a new type of discrimination. When the first Newcomer police officer, Sam Francisco is assigned his new partner, he is given Matthew Sykes , a mildly racist veteran, the animosity between them soon gives way to respect as they investigate the Newcomer underworld.

I was a huge Kenneth Johnson fan since V so I was looking forward to this series. I had seen the original movie and enjoyed it. This series was more about human nature then aliens. It was about our society as a whole without being preachy. It ran one season and was a sure in for a second season so they left us with a cliffhanger. But Fox did the unmentionable and cancelled it leaving us with no resolution. Fans untied and after a four-year fight Fox and Kenneth Johnson made five additional TV movies. There are rumors of doing more TV movies or relaunching this series. Guess we can only wait and see, could always watch more Alien Nation.

1. (Tie) Firefly
September 2002 – December 2002

This Joss Whedon (Buffy/Angel) creation traded the world of vamps for a wild cowboy adventure... in outer space. The rough and tumble crew of the Serenity try to escape the oppression of the dominant Alliance and live outside the box doing a bit of smuggling along the way. Headed up by Nathan Fillion as the gun-slinging Captain Mal, the show also featured Gina Torres, Summer Glau, Alan Tudyk and Adam Baldwin.

I was devastated when this series was cancelled. I watched every episode as they aired. There is something special about this series, everyone who watches it just falls in love with it. The characters are endearing and fun. The writing is superb and the acting is the best. Browncoats are a remarkable group of fans and we fought to get more Firefly and five years later Universal bought the rights to make a Firefly movie and so they created Serenity. It was great to go back into this wonderful world that Joss created. Of course there are still many more stories to tell in this verse and maybe one day will be able to visiting them.

1. (Tie) "V" (original)
May 1983 - February 1985

50 giant montherships arrive on Earth hovering over all our major cities. Aliens (human looking) have arrived in peace or have they?? They say they are hear to share there knowlegde and ask for so little in return. What we find out is they are replilians creatures here to enslave/eat the human race and steal all of it's water.

This is my most favorite tv series that was cancelled way before it's time when I was younger. it orginally has a 4 hour mini series, then 6 hour mini series and finally a 19 episode first season. But the story could have gone on for many seasons. Luckily ABC relaunched a new version of V with similar stories and characters but extremely different and I'm enjoying it but it's still not the same as the original.


  1. Threshold was a series that I really liked and thought it had great potential. ;)

  2. I agree with so many on here.
    Would have been a trip to see where Twin Peaks went!
    I was very disappointed when Surface got cancelled,
    and mad as hell when they killed Firefly.

  3. I agree with you about "Invasion", i miss that show so much.