It’s hard to recapture the magic needed to make a great TV show. That has never, ever stopped the skilled and the unskilled having a go at it again and again.
Whilst most are ridiculous car-crashes (cough Charlie’s Angels) there are those that are actually decent enough in and of themselves and can almost stand alongside the originals.
The Obvious: Battlestar Galactica
A soup to nuts Reboot of the 70’s cult classic, this took familiar names and took them to a darker and less camp exploration of survival at the bitter edge.
The Recent One: Lethal Weapon
A Reboot of a film rather than a TV show this had the madcap action of the films, but a deeper look at the effects of depression and PTSD was with it. It was funny and moving in equal measure and never treated the subject matter lightly.
The CGI One: Captain Scarlet
Captain Scarlet was a bleak almost noirish spy-fi series from the creator of Thunderbirds and more often than not, pulled no punches. It wasn’t as kid friendly as the other shows from Gerry Anderson and this relaunch followed suit, adding more modern sensibilities and more in depth characterisation. It’s worth checking out.
The Rom-Com one: Lois & Clark the New Adventures of Superman
After the earnestness of George Reeves in the 1950’s, the 90’s Reboot took a very His Girl Friday approach to the early years of Superman. Dean Cain was innoffensively bland as Clark as well as Superman, but it was Terri Hatcher’s Lois Lane that stole much of the show with her portrayal of a workaholic who’s life outside of work was a disaster area.
The Continuation One: Doctor Who
For 25 years Doctor Who was a mainstay of BBC TV, before it died a slow death of low quality and lower ratings. It took a couple of decades to get back to the idea of making good Who to come back around again. This show was accessible enough to appeal to new fans, but felt enough like the old show to appeal to the old guard, it was eventually connected to the older show making it just as much a continuation as a Reboot.
There are other examples of good relaunches and so many more of bad ones, which are guaranteed to mean that more ill-advised reboots are coming, but maybe, just maybe there are some diamonds in that rough.