Werewolves, witches, vampires: pop culture has always been fascinated by the supernatural. Still, not every show about fantastic creatures and superhuman abilities is a success. Here are 10 Sci-Fi shows that were cancelled too soon…
1. Dark Angel
For fans of: X-Men, Dollhouse, Nikita
Life span: 42 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Jessica Alba (Into the Blue), Michael Weatherly (Navy CIS), Jensen Ackles (Supernatural), Ashley Scott (unREAL).
What’s it about? A young woman (Alba) who was genetically designed to be the perfect soldier by the secret government agency she now seeks to destroy.
What works: Jessica Alba kicks so much ass. And then there’s Jensen Ackles as Alec…
What doesn’t work: There was nothing wrong with it. The show should not have been cancelled.
2. Flash Forward
For fans of: LOST
Life span: 22 episodes à 45mins.
Cast & Crew: Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), Gabrielle Union (Bring it on), John Cho (Harold & Kumar), Peyton List (The Tomorrow People), Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings), Genevieve Padalecki (Supernatural), Jack Davenport (Coupling), Courtney B. Vance (American Crime Story).
What’s it about? A mysterious event causes the entire world to lose consciousness for 137 seconds, during which every person on the planet catch a glimpse of their life six months into the future – a global “flashforward”. The show follows a group of people that are all somehow acquainted with one of the FBI agents tasked with the investigation of the event and looks at how each individual person is dealing with what they have learnt from their flashforward.
What works: The show deals with the complex philosophical question whether the future is written in stone and whether knowing your future means that you can change it or that you will subconsciously make it happen.
What doesn’t work: I will forever be bitter that this show was cancelled after only one season. It was so intense and exciting.
For fans of: Roswell, Romeo & Juliet stories, The Vampire Diaries
Life span: 13 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Aimée Teegarden (Friday Night Lights), Matt Lanter (90210), Grey Damon (Twisted), Greg Finley (iZombie), Malese Jow (The Vampire Diaries), Natalie Hall.
What’s it about? The aliens have landed – and mankind is not happy about it. Even though they come in peace, the Atrians are rounded up and imprisoned in a “sector” (read: concentration camp). Years later, seven of them are allowed to attend high school which causes tensions to between the races to rise. And somewhere in between a human girl and an alien boy fall in love.
What works: It’s a clever attempt to frame discourses of racism and xenophobia and how it relates to terrorism as a story about aliens and humans. It is particularly current with the on-going refugee crisis.
What doesn’t work: Too much politics in a short amount of time and being broadcast on a network that is more known for its pretty faced casts than inviting discussions about the state of America’s race relations.
4. Tru Calling
For fans of: iZombie, Early Edition, procedural dramas
Life span: 26 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Matt Bomer, Jason Priestly (Beverly Hills 90210), Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), AJ Cook (Higher Ground), Jessica Collins, Shawn Reaves.
What’s it about? When her internship at the hospital falls through, med student Tru Davis (Dushku) has to take a job at the city morgue and discovers that she has the power to relive the day in order to try to prevent the death of certain people.
What works: The antagonistic relationship between Tru and Jack.
What doesn’t work: I have no bones to pick with this show. Maybe the timing just wasn’t right.
5. The Secret Circle
For fans of: Charmed
Life span: 22 episodes à 42mins.
Cast & Crew: Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland), Thomas Dekker, Shelley Hennig (Teen Wolf), Phoebe Tonkin (The Originals), Jessica Parker Kennedy (Black Sails), Chris Zylka (The Leftovers), Joe Lando (Dr Quinn).
What’s it about? A group of teenagers following in the footsteps of their murdered parents by forming a witch circle that allows them to amplify their powers.
What works: The Secret Circle wasn’t afraid to delve into the dark side of its characters: Each member of the circle at some point struggled with evil and a thirst for power. Plus, the show boasted a cast full of talented young actors (Phoebe Tonkin is phenomenal as the mean girl), most of whom went on to other, more successful projects.
What doesn’t work: The timing of the plotlines was off. While the story unfolded at the right pace in the first half of the series, it then tried to cram too many storylines into the second half – what a shame!
6. The Nine Lives of Chloe King
For fans of: Catwoman, Teen Wolf, Shadowhunters.
Life span: 10 episodes à 45mins.
Cast & Crew: Skyler Samuels (Scream Queens), Grey Damon (Star-Crossed, Twisted, The Secret Circle…seriously, I’m beginning to think that this guy is cursed), Benjamin Stone, Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner), Grace Phipps (The Vampire Diaries), Alyssa Diaz (Army Wives).
What’s it about? A teenage girl (Samuels) discovers that she is a descendent of “the Mai”, a group of superhumans with cat-like abilities, including nine lives, enhanced speed and agility as well as night vision.
What works: Finally a supernatural show that isn’t centered on werewolves, witches, or vampires. As a fan of Egyptian mythology, I commend this show for its originality.
What doesn’t work: Too much of the show is dedicated to Chole’s love life, proving that the writers didn’t know how to create a female lead that is compelling enough on her own.
For fans of: Merlin, the Arthurian Legend, The Tudors.
Life span: 10 episodes à 45mins.
Cast & Crew: Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Joseph Fiennes (FlashForward), Jamie Campbell-Bower (City of Bones), Tamsin Egerton (St Trinians).
What’s it about? The teenage years of the legendary King Arthur (Campbell-Bower) and his tutelage under Merlin.
What works: The appeal of the legend is strong as ever. And Eva Green is brilliant as the once and future king’s evil sister Morgana.
What doesn’t work: Arthur is love-sick weakling for most of the series. At no point does this immature cry-baby seem fit to rule the greatest kingdom of all.
For fans of: Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood.
Life span: 16 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Alex o’ Loughlin (Hawaii 5-0), Sophia Myles (Tristan + Isolde), Jason Doehring (Veronica Mars), Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale).
What’s it about? A vampire private investigator who falls for a human woman.
What works: The friendship between Mick and Josef.
What doesn’t work: The relationship between Mick and Beth seems a tad stalkerish and inappropriate considering that he has known her since she was a little kid.
For fans of: The movie Limitless, Sherlock, Elementary, Scorpion
Life span: 22 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Jake McDorman (Manhattan Love Story), Jennifer Carpenter, Bradley Cooper (The Hangover, The Silver Linings Playbook).
What’s it about? An underachieving New Yorker is hired by the FBI to assist them with solving cases by swallowing a pill that makes him the smartest person in the world.
What works: The cinematography is really cool and it’s funny to see Brian show off his smarts while on NZT.
What doesn’t work: You don’t really click with the female lead and the blossoming romance between her and Brian seems forced.
10. Birds of Prey
For fans of: Lost Girl, Arrow, DC Comics.
Life span: 13 episodes à 43mins.
Cast & Crew: Ashley Scott (Dark Angel, unREAL), Dina Meyer, Rachel Skarsten (Lost Girl, Reign), Shemar Moore
What’s it about? A superhero show about the crime-fighting females of Gotham city, Huntress, Oracle and Black Canary.
What works: The fact that it had three female leads in a time that didn’t have nearly enough kickass female representation (it was basically just Buffy and Charmed).
What doesn’t work: The characters aren’t fully fleshed out. Huntress and Oracle are really only interesting in relation to the more cinematically established characters of The Joker, Batman and Catwoman (Huntress being their daughter and Oracle being previously known as Batgirl).