Quite a few TV shows celebrate a 10, 15 or 20 anniversary this year. A number of them are shows that were cancelled early or forgotten by many and I thought, why not make a collective blog for these shows, just to let you know about their anniversaries, even though it was cancelled after only one season or whatever reason the show might not be in the spotlights anymore. Not every TV show has the title Star Trek or Stargate in it!
Alcatraz – 2012-2022 – 10 year Anniversary
Alcatraz premiered in January 2012 on the FOX network (of course). The 3 Lead roles were for Sarah Jones (For All Mankind, Sons of Anarchy, Vegas), who played Detective Rebecca Madsen, Sam Neill who played Emerson Hauser, Jorge Garcia (Lost), who played Dr. Diego Soto. It was about a show where inmates and guards on Alcatraz disappeared abruptly in 1963 and are now re-appearing in modern-day San Francisco. Detective Rebecca Madsen forms a team with Soto to try an catch these re-appearing inmates. Hauser turns out to be someone who was a rookie officer in the 1960's, he knows more than he is letting on.
I for one enjoyed the premise, thought it was original, had a good cast, interesting characters, not only the lead characters but also the recurring characters. It had a “Lost” kind of vibe to me, something mysterious was going on in the present day closed prison. I believed it could have become very interesting in the seasons to follow. Of course the first season always is a bit difficult, to set up stuff, get to know the characters, let the actors grow into the characters. So mostly it was “catching the next re-appearing inmate” episodes but in each episode the story unfolded further and further of what was really going in the present and the past.
In June 2011 Alcatraz was one of 8 candidates in the “Most Exciting New Series Category” at the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards, elected by journalists who had seen the pilots. It had favorable reviews on Metacritic, also on Rotten Tomatoes it still has a 60% Tomatometer but all this positive news did not help in renewing the show for a 2nd season, people turned away from it. The audience numbers dropped in half from the pilot (10 million) to the last episode.
It could have been, but it never was unfortunately. As I said, it has a good premise, good cast, good stories but this wasn’t enough for a second season, 13 episodes was all we got. Still I like to watch it every few years, even though there is no satisfying ending, I still enjoy watching it. I would have enjoyed a second season.
Continuum – 2012-2022 – 10 year Anniversary
In 2012 when Continuum arrived on May 27th, there wasn’t much SCI-FI on TV. Stargate Universe had just been cancelled. Think only Doctor Who was on the air at that time. So I was really looking forward to this Canadian TV show from Showcase. Finally something that represented SCI-FI. The earlier mentioned Alcatraz was cancelled earlier that month but still Alcatraz sure had SCI-FI elements but Continuum was more SCI-FI.
Continuum revolves about a cop, Officer Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) from 65 years in the future who finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver, Canada. She is alone, a stranger in a strange land, and has eight of the most ruthless criminals from the future, known as Liber8, loose in the city. The show had loads of cast members we SCI-FI fans know from other SCI-FI shows, to name a few: Tony Amendola (Stargate SG-1), Lexa Doig (Andromeda, The 4400, Stargate SG-1) Roger Cross (First Wave, Dark Matter, Arrow etc), Victor Webster (Mutant X), Stephen Lobo (Painkiller Jane, Colony, Travelers), Jennifer Spence (SGU, Travelers, The 4400), Brian Markinson (Away, Battlestar: B&C, Salvation) and Ryan Robbins (Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Sanctuary, Arrow, Falling Skies).
Online Continuum had quite a following, I followed a bit on Twitter and the show was often spoken about. Don’t remember if it was trending once or twice or more but I would not be surprised if it was. The first 3 seasons, if I remember correctly, each season it got easy renewals. But for season 4 it was a bit more difficult apparently, it appeared so that the show wasn’t as popular anymore in its 3rd season, because the 4th and final season was only renewed for 6 episodes while the first season it had 10 episodes and season 2 & 3 both 13. Still, Showcase gave the creators of the show the chance to finish the story properly, which they did. So the four seasons is nice package of a complete story, a book if you will with a start, a middle and an ending. Which of course also gives it more rewatch value.
Continuum may not be perfect, but which show is, is has a great cast, skilled actors, good premise although not original but it had solid stories, no filler episodes and finally, as said above, it has a satisfying ending. It is unbelievable that this has already been 10 years since it started. It is a nice show to re-visit once in a while and mine is long overdue!
Earth: Final Conflict - 1997-2022 - 25 year Anniversary
It was 1997 when Earth: The Final Conflict started, it was another show from the mind of Gene Roddenberry, who of course also created Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry passed away in 1991, but Majel Barrett Roddenberry, amongst many others, was an executive producer on the show for all 110 episodes and she also played a role in the show, limited episodes, only in 11 episodes.
I have to say I cannot go in detail about this TV Show because in fact I only saw the first season, which was released in my country on DVD some 20 years ago. I hoped and expected the other seasons to be released as well but this never happened in the Netherlands. When I searched online for DVD sets, for a long time they were really expensive, often without English subs which I find handy because English is not my first language. At some point, 5-7 years ago there finally were some good offers via Amazon Germany, I purchased the second season, but when I played the first two discs, only 2-3 episodes played correctly, when I returned the season, got another copy of season 2, same problems. So again I sent it back but this time asked for a refund and I stopped trying to be honest.
Over the course of these 25 years, the show has been on TV in my country on re-run, I figure somewhere between 2005-2010 but this was around 17:00 hrs when I still was at work. I taped a couple episodes but once you forget it one time, twice…anyway so I can’t judge this show, although I did find the first season very entertaining. If I have the chance in the future I will sure try and watch the show.
So yeah, I realize this show needs a blog on its own, but currently I am unable to do this. Still I wanted to acknowledge this milestone, 25 years, it had 5 seasons so you cannot say it bombed, it had a fanbase, it has be a significant fanbase otherwise it would have not lasted 5 seasons. Perhaps in 5 years I can write an anniversary blog this show really deserves!
John Doe – 2002-2022 – 20 year Anniversary
Another FOX show, John Doe, started in September 2002 ended on April 25 of 2003. It got cancelled after only one season but this show had so much potential, I thought this was really good. Till this day I think this is Dominic Purcell’s best TV role to date! Yes, you read it right, better than in Prison Break, The Legends of Tomorrow to name a few.
It was about a guy who has total amnesia in regard of his own past, he even doesn’t know his name, hence John Doe. But has more factual knowledge stored in his brain then even the Google computer banks on every possible other subject, as if he had memorized the Library of Congress, so one rarely needs to read anything when he's around. A smart guy, intuitive, inquisitive and getting in all sorts of troubles. This show, like Alcatraz, is also full of mystery. There is a red line through the whole series, what happened to John Doe, how did he happen to fall from the sky naked, who is behind this!
FOX is known for cancelling SCI-FI, to name a few: Firefly, Almost Human, Terra Nova, Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles a lot more and indeed also John Doe. I don’t remember the ratings, did it do okay, did it bad, I’m not sure, but I do know, it still has a 73% on the Average Tomatometer, which is quite good. It had a great cast, besides Purcell, John Marshall Jones, Jayne Brook, Sprague Grayden, Rekha Sharma and William Forsythe, compelling, intelligent stories.
I remember being quite angry when FOX cancelled John Doe, it really had me hooked, thought it was one of the best new shows in 2002. I realize I sound like a broken record when I say this show deserved a second season, in most cases this is true. Problem is it all depends on the ratings, nothing else unfortunately.
It’s been 11 years since I last seen John Doe, I think I will probably never see it again, don’t think it is streaming anywhere, it never has been released on DVD, been waiting for a lot of years before I finally gave up, it will never be released on physical media unfortunately. So I guess chance I ever get to watch this again are slim to none! But if YOU get the chance, watch it (again)!
Journeyman – 2007-2022 – 15 year Anniversary
Time-travel stories remains popular over the years, last great time-travel show for me was Timeless (2016). Journeyman was also a time-travel show, first aired in 2007 in September, only a few months before the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike by screenwriters. This could be one of the reasons why it failed to get a second season. The last episode aired in December 2007 and even though there was less content on TV, Journeyman still suffered from lower ratings, so that is the other reason, the most important reason.
The pilot started out with almost 10 million viewers while episode 13 had less than 5 million viewers. Still you could have expected it to get another 13-episode season two order because this already was in production, just before the strike and so would have been easier to start-up again but that didn’t happen obviously. Funny thing is, when you check out Rotten Tomatoes, the Average Tomatometer is only 44% but the Average Audience score is 100%!
Journeyman is about an Investigative newspaper reporter Dan Vassar has a 'gift' to suddenly travel back in time, only to enable him to set straight something which caused great problems in the present, for him, his loved-ones or broader society. That puts great strain on Dan's family, including his 'deserted' young son Zac and brother Jack, a cop who wants to learn the truth. I believe Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd), could not travel forward in time, I thought that was a shame, but perhaps if the show would have continued beyond the first season, this might eventually also happen.
It had a good cast, Kevin McKidd, Gretchen Egolf, Moon Bloodgood, Reed Diamond, Brian Howe, all experienced actors, most of them names everybody knows. Here also a story-arc, no filler episodes if I remember correctly. It certainly was an entertaining show and yes again I thought it deserved at least the 9 extra episodes to complete the first season.
It’s an unfinished story of course but still fun to rewatch it at some point. It took awhile but in 2013 Journeyman got a DVD release, in the UK only, don’t know if there is a platform where you can stream it, I checked Prime US but there it’s not available at the moment. I have the DVD set myself, really need to take these DVD’s from the shelves again very soon!
Odyssey 5 – 2002-2022 – 20 year Anniversary
Yet another season one gem, first aired in 2002, it was a Canadian show, which aired on Space there, in the US it aired on Showtime. The show is created by Manny Coto, a huge Star Trek fan who after his Odyssey 5 stint went to work on Star Trek: Enterprise in season 3. In Season 4 he became showrunner for the series. He did a story with Peter Weller on Enterprise and at one point T’Pol says he has “Taggert” disease…, the last name of Peter Weller’s character on Odyssey 5! A great inside joke. Manny Coto did express interest to someday return to this show, either to continue or to give it a satisfying conclusion, unfortunately this never happened!
Odyssey 5 is also, in part, a time-travel show: Five astronauts on a routine mission witness a catastrophic event on Earth. Through the help of a mysterious alien known as the Seeker, they are transported five years into the past. They must relive the years leading up to the end of Earth, and figure out how to stop it from happening again. The “5” in the title refers to the 5 astronauts: Peter Weller (Chuck Taggert), Christopher Gorham (Neil Taggert), Leslie Silva (Sarah Forbes), Tamara Craig Thomas (Angela Perry), Sebastian Roché (Kurt Mendel).
I got to see Odyssey 5 for the first time in 2006 when it was released on DVD. In 2003 it aired around midnight in my country, I forgot most of the time so at one point I thought, let’s wait for the DVD set and luckily it did come out on DVD. Of course, like many cancelled TV shows, this also ends on a major cliff-hanger. But what is also interesting to know, again, when you check Rotten Tomatoes, you see the Average Tomatometer is 100%! So it sure was appreciated but I can only imagine that the ratings weren’t solid enough for a second season.
Just rewatched it last year, still holds up, great cast, great episodes, solid storylines and capable acting. It’s one of those shows that you would expect to have a longer viability, especially with a cast like this. As I said in the beginning, it is one of many season one gems. At least it is available on DVD to watch it every few years. That can not be said for shows like John Doe.
Primeval – 2007-2022 – 15 year Anniversary
Primeval, a UK series, debuted on February 10th, 2007. It was a nice show, it was a collection of different shows and movies into one: Sliders, Stargate, Jurassic Park. It was British, so one season was usually 6-8 episodes long and that is probably the reason why in UK it’s not called a season but a series. Primeval generally received positive reviews also overseas it did rather well. When I first watched this I remember being impressed with the CGI quality of the creatures and the wormhole. Saw far worse before and after with shows like V:2009 and Sanctuary where the green screens were so obvious.
What also often happens with British TV shows like this, is that lead cast often leaves the show after only 1 or 2 series. Think about Dr. Who for instance. With Primeval it was the same, a lot of cast changes over the course of 5 series. Still, somehow, they manage, they get away with it when the lead role is being replaced not once but twice. It did have a great cast, all 5 series. There were 3 characters that were there all 5 series, Connor Temple (Andrew Lee Potts), Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) and James Lester (Ben Miller) I think Ben Miller’s character as James Lester is one of my favorite characters because of his humor, his dry wit. (see all characters here)
Initially Primeval was cancelled in 2009 after 3 series with a big cliff-hanger! Where were Conner and Abby and where was Danny Quin?! The Studio was in financial trouble, that was mainly the reason for its cancellation. Still later that year it was announced that there would be a 4th and 5th series starting in 2011, the two series were quite entertaining with a surprise cast member added to the already large cast over 5 series: Alexander Siddig who plays Phillip Burton. We of course know him mainly from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as Dr. Julian Bashir. This for me was a nice bonus since DS9 is one of my all-time favorite shows.
After series 5 Primeval got cancelled again, apparently due to disappointing ratings. Soon there was talk about a Spin-off, a Canadian Spin-off called Primeval: New World. Andrew Lee Pots as Connor Temple reprises his role in the first and last episode of the first and final season.
It has been a long time since my last rewatch, certainly is overdue but problem is, I have this with a lot of older shows. But lack of time and new tv shows prevent me from watching the old ones again. Have to find a middle ground there. The 4th and the 5th series I watched somewhere in 2016 for the last time I believe, but for the first 3 series it has been even longer.
Primeval: New World – 2012-2022 – 10 year Anniversary
The spin-off of the British series Primeval started airing on October 29th 2012 on the Canadian station Space. I have to say when I first learned about this, somewhere in 2011 I really got excited because the premise of Primeval is very interesting and a lot more stories are in that formula than only the 36 episodes that aired with the original series. Besides that I believed, because it was a North American release, it probably would get a bit more budget. Did not know if this actually was the case but I just figured.
Of course I knew the lead actor Niall Matter, who plays Even Cross, from Eureka and I also already knew Sara Canning, who plays Dylan Weir, from The Vampire Diaries….yes I did watch this, but only the first 2 seasons or so. Danny Rahim plays Mac Rendell, Crystal Lowe is Toby Nance, she also already had some more experience. As also Miranda Frigon as Angelika Finch and Goeff Gustafson as Lt. Ken Leeds. Furthermore, Andrew Lee Pots as Connor Temple from the original show, reprises his role in the first and last episode of the first and final season.
As always, certainly the case with SCI-FI shows, the first episodes, the show needs to find the right path, cast has get familiar with the material, with their colleagues but soon the quality of the stories improved and the story arc, which was started in the pilot, got more and more importance over the last 6-7 episodes. I really was intrigued halfway through the season and was really enjoying it more and more towards the ending of the first season. Unfortunately the season finale also became the series finale, which really is a shame because it just was getting underway, but as so many times, when a show isn’t perfect from the pilot on, viewers seem to stay away, don’t give it another chance. For one reason I think that is because there is so much to chose from, so many stations, even then in 2012.
Primeval or Primeval: New World – Well to be honest, I cannot pick one over the other, I enjoyed both. Of course Primeval has 36 episodes while New World only had 13 episodes but I really enjoyed both and wished that there would have been more new stories from both shows because as I said, the premise is very intriguing, there are so many cool stories to tell.
Primeval: New World can also be considered a bit of a Stargate spin-off! Why is that, you ask? Well because before and behind the camera, there was an Stargate invasion of actors, producers and directors with heavy Stargate affiliation! Martin Wood (co producer/Director Stargate) is an executive producer and he also directed 4 episodes! Amanda Tapping (Samantha Carter in Stargate SG-1) directed 3 episodes. Andy Mikita, who directed a fair number of Stargate episodes, also directed 4 Primeval: New World episodes. Louis Ferreira and Patrick Gilmore as well as Lexa Doig who guest-starred/were recurring characters on Primeval: New World, all have a Stargate past. Gillian Horvath developed the show and although she did not work on Stargate, she has worked on Sanctuary, which of course is also heavily connected to Stargate. Gillian Horvath also was extensively involved in one of my other all-time favorite shows: Highlander, The Series. Miranda Frigon (Ange) also was in Sanctuary.
So Stargate fans should still check this out, as said, especially the last 6-7 episodes you get the feeling that this could become special if there would be subsequent seasons. Of course we know it didn’t but it is still good to check it out. I rewatched it last year in January-March and I have to say before I started watching I was unsure if it still would appeal to me, but after the 13th episode I was cranky knowing that there never would be any more new episodes.
This was it, there are probably even more Anniversaries which I am forgetting right now but these are the most important ones to me. I hope you found it to be an interesting read. I have a number of Anniversary blogs upcoming about: Stargate SG-1, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Firefly, Highlander: The Series and Jeremiah.
Awake - 2012-2022
BSG B&C - 2012-2022
Bionic Woman - 2007-2022
Birds of Prey - 2002-2022
Crime Traveller - 1997-2022
Dead Zone - 2002-2022
Flash Gordon - 2007-2022
The Highway Man - 1997-2022
The Incredible Hulk - 1977-2022
The Invaders - 1967-2022
The Knight Rider - 1982-2022
Logan's Run - 1977-2022
Man From Atlantis 1977-2022
Metal Hurlant Chronicles 2012-2022
Painkiller Jane 2007-2022
The Prisoner 1967-2022
Twilight Zone 2002-2022
The Visitor 1997-2022
For more Anniversaries 2022, see the BLOGS section.
Hi Derek, I am with you, I wish we would get more Alcatraz! Thanks for visiting this website!
After 20 years, I'm still furious that "Alcatraz" ended the way it did--one season, a HUGE cliffhanger ending, and no conclusion to the Central Mystery of the series. I'm begging for a mini-series re-boot to wrap up the story. Please, J.J. Abrams...pretty please!