Sci Fi TV Reboots That Should Happen: Cliffhangers

By | April 28, 2016




Television reboots 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.

cliffhangersWhat Is It? This short-lived series offered a modern day take on the old movie serials and it combined three ongoing segments into each episode: the action/adventure Stop Susan Williams, the sci fi / western The Secret Empire, and the supernatural tinged Dracula 79.

When Did It Originally Air? NBC, 1979, 1 Season Totaling 11 Episodes

Credits of Note: Creator – Kenneth Johnson, Actors – Susan Anton, Geoffrey Scott, Michael Nouri

Where Did the Original Fall Short? Cheesy and a tendency to slip into bad camp.  It was also ahead of its time and it bowed into a non-sci fi friendly television environment,

Why Reboot It? In many ways, this show was well ahead of its time with serialized episodes and season long story arcs, and it would work perfectly in the current television environment. There are any of a number of well-known sci fi characters from the old serials that could lead this show off (Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon aren’t doing anything of note lately). Plus, a reboot could mine the old pulps and comics and a ton of those characters are in the public domain these days. It could also be used as a try out for original ideas with the ones that register well with audiences possibly spinning off into their own shows or sticking around to headline this series. And since it can reboot itself in part or completely each season, it’s quite a versatile format. There’s so much that could be done with this concept, that it’s almost criminal nobody has given serious thought to a reboot. And it doesn’t even have to be tied to the original series in case there are any rights issues with using the name. Come up with a new name and put in three good installments each week and you have a potentially breakout show. If anybody is interested in getting a Kickstarter-type campaign around something like this, I’m definitely onboard to give it a shot.

Where Can I Watch the Original? Unfortunately, this show has never had an official DVD release and it has not found its way to any of the streaming services yet.  You can find bootleg DVDs on the internet, but the quality varies widely on those.  Here is the original promo for the series:

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