In the past, we’ve talked about some weird casting situations, where patterns emerged or unusual relationships between characters and actors (or even whole franchises) appeared. Most of those involved the big names of the show’s cast, the people with their names right after the opening credits. And as important as the main cast can be for a show’s success, it’s often the recurring character who help to give a show its flavor, often coming out of the shadows to emerge as fan favorites. This week, continuing on from our focus on recurring characters in the SHIELD review, we’re going to look at some of the actors whose names aren’t quite so prominently displayed, but whose work you’re probably more familiar with than you realize.
Pilot season is always an interesting time for me. There’s a huge amount of new shows every year, and so few of them will actually end up being aired, and of those even fewer will get to finish out their season, much less get renewed for a second. Reading over the press releases, each show has its little elevator pitch-like description beneath it, designed to hook you on the premise as quickly as possible. And often times, it’s easy to see how that pitch could convince someone to produce the show. For example, here’s Defiance‘s press description:
Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully. Each week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will adventure in the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area. The dramatic tapestry of the series and the intense action of the game will exist in a single universe where their respective narratives will inform one another and evolve together into one overall story.
Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? I remember being very excited when it was announced because I honestly hadn’t seen a sci-fi show like that before. And Defiance has, more or less, lived up to its premise, even if the focus can be a little narrow sometimes. Not every show is so fortunate, however; the television landscape is strewn with the husks of sci-fi shows that failed to live up to their high concept promises. And it’s always a real shame, too, to look back on these wasted premises and imagine the amazing shows that could have come out of them. With that in mind, here are a few shows that fizzled out early on, leaving behind a premise unfulfilled.