Rose – First Aired 26 March 2005
Starring Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper, Noel Clark & Camille Coduri
This could also fall into the category of Reboots, in fact when I looked at 5 positive reboots, I did include it in 5 Good Reboots. The fact it doubles as a re-pilot is a technicality as a result. It does the repilot often as the cast and show-runner changes quite frequently as part of it’s premise. But one thing this show did for it’s triumphant return in 2005 is change it’s format. Now in the before time, this was a multi-part series format. 2, 4 or 6 part stories broken down into 25 minute chunks, but with Rose we got 1 and dones or 2 parters at most with a 45 minute run time. More than changing the cast or creative teams (which this show already did so many times before) it changes how stories were told and in some respects what stories could be told. Maybe it was for the best? Maybe modern audiences, more used to faster paced stories and shorter arcs, wouldn’t have accepted it the old way. I don’t know, but it was changed quite dramatically in that way and it’s being more of a continuation as time went on left the show being more of a re-piloted show, than a rebooted one.
Season 9 Episode 1 – ‘Avalon’ First aired 15 July 2005
Starring Ben Browder, Christopher Judge, Amanda Tapping, Beau Bridges, Michael Shanks, Claudia Black and sometimes Richard Dean Anderson.
Stargate SG-1 was a spin off from the pretty decent feature film Stargate. The film which originally had Kurt Rusell and James Spader had it’s characters Jack O’Neill and Daniel Jackson recast with Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks. The series added Christopher Judge and Amanda Tapping as original characters Teal’c and Samantha Carter and ran for 8 years battling the aliens posing as the pagan gods of Earth and other alien threats. After 8 seasons, Richard Dean Anderson moved further from the acting and by season 9 wasn’t going to be there for most of the season. So a newer character Cameron Mitchell was brought in played by Farscape’s Ben Browder. Also from Farscape was Claudia Black, reprising her role of Vala Mal Doran a human once possessed, but now freed. Without the original aliens to battle and their allies free to do as they wished, a new alien threat called the Ori appeared and started the whole sort of thing again. We got new villains, new government people to deal with, a new medical person and new leader of the SGC base and we got another couple of seasons that felt fresh-ish. It didn’t really have the same magic as it once did and the newer show Stargate Atlantis was doing all the new stuff, so maybe they should have stopped at 8, but there were fun episodes to be found and after a 10th season and two TV movies, the show wrapped up rather nicely.
Season 8 Episode 1 ‘Odyssey’ First aired 18 September 2008
Starring Tom Welling, Alison Mack, Erica Durance, Aaron Ashmore, Cassidy Freeman and Justin Hartley
Smallville was a victim of it’s own success in many way. Originally produced as the untold story of the early years of the teen who would one day be Superman, the show was set in Smallville, Kansas and had a very specific amount of time to tell that story. Taking many of it’s cues from John Byrne’s Man of Steel, it seemed to be building to the day when Clark left and travelled the world. But the problem was, that it did well in ratings and acquired a loyal following. The family drama, the super heroics, the foreshadowing and the shaping of the relationships between Clark Kent, Lana Lang and Lex Luthor made the show highly entertaining and no one wanted it to go. 4 seasons became 6, became 7 and some people wanted out. Lex had gone from Clark’s friend, to his rival to an enemy and without it becoming the Superman/Lex story there wasn’t much to do there and both of the Kents were either killed off, or explained away and it was less and less about Smallville and Clark’s life there. Come season 8 and things changed. Clark was now working at the Daily Planet as a cub reporter. Lex and Lana were now gone and new characters and ideas came along to go with this newish direction. But it worked enough to give us 3 more seasons and the series ended with the iconic shirt rip, so alls well that ends well.
Season 2 Episode 1 ‘Big Time’ first aired 28 July 2013
Starring Poppy Montgomery, Dyland Walsh, Dallas Roberts, James Hiroyuki Liao, Tawny Cypress and Jane Curtain.
Unforgettable was a police procedural in the ‘one of the detectives is unusual’ vein. This time Carrie Wells is an ex-cop brought back into the field to help the Syracuse Police Department. She is so useful because she has Hyperthemesia, she literally can’t forget anything. She looks at something and can always remember it. It’s an interesting idea, rather than having a highly developed brain like Sherlock Holmes, or psychic powers, her thing is simply that she misses nothing and can recall details that few if anyone else can. The show often shows the conceit of her re-running memory, showing her walking through her own flashback. Thing of it is, Hyperthemesia is a real thing, it’s a rare thing and people are still studying it, but it is a real thing. The first season set in Syracuse is based on a case of the week basis, but also the mystery of Carrie’s sister’s murder, the one memory that she can’t access. The season ended and that was it. The second season opened with Carrie and her ex-boyfriend and current partner Al Burns being headhunted by the New York Mayor’s office to help run a major crimes division. They got a new supporting cast, more exciting cases and a new locale to play with. It didn’t change much in regards to what the show was about, but did make a clear demarkation from the first season.
Season 5 Episode 1 ‘White Elephant’ first aired 13 January 2014
Starring H.Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Chris Parnell, Aisha Tyler and the late Jessica Walters
Archer was a adult aimed cartoon about a US spy working for a side agency called I.S.I.S. who was a less than stellar person. While a capable fighter and operative, he lacked any kind of professionalism, discretion and restraint. He was drunk quite a lot of the time and led around by his privates most of the rest of the time. He also fit right in with his colleagues, his ex-girlfriend who still cared about him, the bizarre HR rep, the (I think literally) insane secretary and his overbearing hard-drinking mother. This was a work-place comedy with a spy-fi feel and a 1980’s aesthetic. But the organisation he worked for was unfortunately named for the time, so at the start of season 5, the spy agency (which we learn was operating illegally) is shut down and the gang start trying to make ends meet in other ways, with large scale drug dealing, country music record sales and arms dealing being what they gang tried to get into, with varying degrees of debacle. These people shouldn’t be protecting a country, I wouldn’t trust them to protect an ice cream van for ten minutes, but this was funny stuff. I have started re-watching this recently and will continue to do so. Oddly enough this re-pilot change would occur again, but that’s not where that started.
So that’s it, another 5 re-pilots. What do you think? Did I miss any? Did I get any wrong? Comments, replies and inappropriate jokes are always welcome.
Ttfn for now internet people.