Television reboots and revivals are all the rage mostly because the entertainment industry prefers name recognition over original ideas. But there are some properties that truly deserve a re-look because they didn’t quite achieve their goal the first time around or they were cut short.
What Is It? In this late 60’s Irwin Allen entry, a sub-orbital shuttle passes through a dimension portal that transports seven Earth-people to another planet where the human-like inhabitants are twelve times their size.
When Did It Air? ABC, 1968-70, 2 Seasons Totaling 51 Episodes
Where Did the Original Fall Short? As an Irwin Allen series, it was definitely one of the cheesier sci fi entries on television at the time, and it also ended up getting cancelled after only two seasons.
Why Reboot It? Because it was a cool show when it first aired and could be again with a reboot / revival. This is one of the earliest shows I remembered watching on television, though I didn’t recall the actual episodes, just the fact that I watched it. As a kid, it just seemed like a cool idea to have people trying to survive in a world of giants, and when I revisited the show several years back it stood up much better than I thought it would. As an Irwin Allen show, cheesiness is expected, but it never slipped to the levels of camp absurdity achieved by Lost in Space and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea at their low points. It was pretty much just a straight up action adventure series with our heroes trying to escape from the predicaments presented by the giants each week. But one of the things that I noticed on the re-watch was that it presented a pretty interesting world that was controlled by a totalitarian government that wanted to exploit the advanced science of Earth (the giants knew about our world even though we did not know about theirs). Irwin Allen was not interested in making any grand political statements, though, so the true potential of the world he created was never explored (it amounted to just the stock genre tyrannical government that could crank out a new villain each week). The reboot could tap into the potential of the original setting and come up with plenty of good storylines for the human characters and their interactions with the giants. In fact, this would work well as a sequel series to the original. A new ship could have passed through the dimensional rift with a new group of humans and maybe even bring back some of the original characters as older versions of themselves. This was a cool show when it first aired and stands the test of time better than the other Irwin Allen 60’s sci fi shows. And it is a concept that has retro-appeal as well as plenty new to add to the genre and it is definitely worth considering as a potential reboot / revival.
Where Can I Watch the Original Series? Hulu has the entire series available of streaming and it has also been released on DVD which for some reason is ridiculously high priced. You can also buy the seasons digitally from Amazon.com.
Interesting Fact: When this show was cancelled after the 1969-70 season, it marked the end of Irwin Allen’s reign as godfather of cheesy 60’s sci fi which began with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea in 1964. Allen would try the underwater pilot City Beneath the Sea in 1971 and take another sci fi stab with The Return of Captain Nemo in 1978, but neither would carry on into an ongoing series.
Buy the Irwin Allen 60’s TV Shows on DVD from Amazon.com: