Television is a constantly evolving. The Golden Age which led into Peak TV has been slowly morphing into the Age of Reboots, Revivals, and Remakes. This age coincides with the similar Age of Adaptations.
This creates what can at times feel like a world that is not original as studios try to combat the overwhelming amount of content available with well-known titles, familiar faces, and built-in audiences. However even if all this has happened before, there is at least some merit to revisiting shows and/or their ideas.
If it’s because viewers don’t want to see new versions of old shows, or there just being so many better choices out there, it’s far more challenging than ever for TV remakes to continue, let alone be any good. Luckily, there have been a handful of rejuvenated series over the years that have been as good or even better than the show which inspired them.
Initially a kitschy 1970s sci-fi series which was created by Glen A. Larson Battlestar Galactica became a totally new series in the hands of executive producers Ronald D Moore and David Eick. This means it’s more of a remake or reimagining than a straightforward reboot.
The new TV show — which began out as a miniseries before being promoted to an ongoing drama —is a gripping space opera following the last human survivors of a nuclear attack which was orchestrated by the Cylons. These are man-made creations that evolved over time from machines to sentient and near-perfect human replicas.
Featuring complicated discussions about science, religion, politics, and what it means to be human, the show features the emotionally taxing search for a new home faced with an enemy humans created. In doing so, Battlestar Galactica recontextualizes its source material to become not just a thought-provoking drama reflecting the paranoia and experience of a post-9/11 existence, but one of the best examples of a reboot to date.
The original Hawaii Five-0 was very successful in its own right. It ran for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, making it difficult to think about what a reboot could conceivably offer that the original series didn’t.
While police procedurals are hardly ever critical, the Hawaii Five-0 reboot has been one of the better programmes on network TV since its premiere back in 2010. Also, it helps that Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan both make for worthy replacements to the original Steve and Danno. Up until recently, the show started two Asian actors — Grace Park and Daniel Dae Kim — in prominent roles.
This was something to be praised (though the news of the pair being compared to their co-stars definitely shouldn’t be). The show’s best years are perhaps behind it, however the fact that a Hawaii Five-0 reboot flew at all — let alone for 7+ seasons — is astonishing in itself.
Saved By The Bell
What could have been a blush-inducing attempt to monopolise on existing IP, Saved by the Bell revival-slash-reboot is a remarkably charming and self-aware comedy which recontextualises the original show by not-so-subtly highlighting its flaws.