Knight Rider, Bionic Woman, and Heroes Reborn were all reboots of popular science fiction shows that failed to capture the magic of the originals. With regard to content, critical acclaim, and ratings, they all fell short. Attempting to reimagine an iconic show, especially for passionate sci-fi audiences, can be tricky. But there are a few shows currently on TV that prove a reboot can be successful.
What is a successful reboot?
Producing a successful television reboot requires a delicate balance of respect for the original content and originality. When the scale tips too far in either direction, it often leads to failure. But, when a reboot does well, it can achieve cross-generational appeal. With that in mind, here are three reboots in the sphere of science fiction that are killing it on TV right now.
‘Roswell, New Mexico’
The CW sci-fi drama is based on a show, that’s based on a book series. The Roswell High Series of young adult novels was launched in 1998 by author, Melinda Metz. By 1999, the popularity had skyrocketed and the now defunct The WB network adapted the stories into a series called Roswell.
The WB was home to Roswell for the first two seasons, and then for the third and final season, the show jumped to UPN, which later merged with The WB to form The CW. Now, The CW is home to the reboot, Roswell, New Mexico.
Now in its second season, Roswell, New Mexico has maintained the momentum it created in season 1 with compelling storylines, relatable characters, and plenty of relationship drama. The show stays true to many of the core themes from the original but has updated the narrative so that the series is relevant to the changing societal landscape.
The original series revolved around teens, but the new show focuses on grown-up versions of the characters. Roswell, New Mexico also adds a layer to the story by bringing significant social issues to the forefront.
‘Star Trek: Picard’
Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard became an instant hit with critics and audiences. The series is available on CBS All Access, and fans seem to agree that this show makes the subscription worth it.
The original Star Trek premiered in 1966 and ran for 80 episodes. It found a new audience with repeats, but the franchise really took off in 1979 with the first Star Trek motion picture. Since its inception, there have been 8 Star Trek series, including an animated show, and 13 feature films. Star Trek fans, or Trekkies, are a passionate fan base with high standards, and based on the reviews so far, Star Trek: Picard hits the mark.
The series picks up with Star Fleet Captain Jen-Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise 14 years after retirement. So, this show serves as a continuation of the character’s continuity from the series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the movie Star Trek: Nemesis.
Along with Patrick Stewart, who reprises his role as Picard, other Star Trek alums appear, including Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Frakes. To the delight of fans, Whoopi Goldberg is expected to reunite on camera with Stewart during the second season.
‘The Twilight Zone’
The Twilight Zone originally ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964, and it was a groundbreaking anthology program. Each week viewers were treated to a different twisted tale designed to freak out even the bravest souls.
The show was rebooted in 1985 and lasted for three seasons on CBS. The next time it was revived for UPN in 2002, with movie star Forest Whitaker hosting, but it only ran for one season.
The newest reboot launched in 2019 on CBS All Access with horror master Jordan Peele attached as both a creative lead and the on-camera host. It appears that the third time is the charm in this case. The Twilight Zone is a hit with critics, unlike the previous reboots, and it has been renewed for season 2.
Similar to Peele’s wildly successful scary movies, The Twilight Zone uses horror elements to reflect cultural realities through high-end production techniques and clever storytelling. As a bonus, when it comes to guest stars, fans are treated to a revolving door of A-listers, including Zazie Beets, John Cho, and Sanaa Lathan, who bring each unique vignette to life.