Updated: Feb 17
I don't know about you, but I am a SUCKER for fantasy TV. I've seen just about everything I can get my hands on, but unfortunately, that means I've been left a little disappointed time and time again because many fantasy and scifi shows don't seem to get the love they deserve. Being faced with cancellations, cliffhangers, and watching the world forget about a masterpiece kinda sucks, but that doesn't mean we can't love what might have been! Here are MY top 5 fantasy/scifi shows that got canceled before they could truly shine.
1: Legend of the Seeker
Legend of the Seeker was an American TV series based the fantasy novel series The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind.
It was created by Sam Raimi, the same man behind Xena and Hercules, Spider-Man, Evil Dead, and plenty of other movies and shows that we all know and love. The show aired in 2008 and ran for 2 seasons before getting canceled, despite a loving fan base. I don't know. Maybe there weren't enough of us, but the series definitely captured the hearts of many. As a costumer, there was a good 3 years where Kahlan Amnell's costumes from the show took up about 50% of all commissions I received!
LOTS also had a beautiful soundtrack that brought me back to my beloved 90s shows because Joseph LoDuca, the sound behind Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, created the epic score. On top of that, the abundance of strong, BADASS female characters was reminiscent of Sam's 90s shows, which shaped how I saw myself as a growing young lady! They're beautiful, feminine, and can take care of themselves, but at the same time, getting saved by their equally reliable and strong male counterparts means just as much. And not to mention the EPIC fight scenes. LOTS came out shortly after 300 when slomo was a huge deal in Hollywood. Why? Because it looks amazing on screen and this show definitely took it to a sexy new level. To top it off, as a costumer, I was able to appreciate the GORGEOUS looks of each and every character. So overall, I loved this show, despite that it was ended before its time. Would I have liked to see a few more seasons? Definitely. Am I glad we got at least 2? Absolutely.
2: Shannara Chronicles
The Shannara Chronicles is an American fantasy television series by Alfred Gough and Miles Miller. The show was based on the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks and ran for 2 seasons before being canceled. Season 1 premiered on MTV in 2016 and later moved to SPIKE in 2017. As someone who is only vaguely familiar with the books, the show captured my interest from episode one. The series takes place long after the world we know today, which is made evident by the characters reference to "ancient humans" when walking around running cities that viewers should recognize. Cars and buildings are overtaken by nature and technology is considered a form of magic. Again, the soundtrack helped to set the stage, using modern songs to fuel the idea that this isn't a separate world, but a separate time. The visuals were STUNNING with so many added details to help the audience differentiate lifestyles, races, and personalities. I would recommend this to any fantasy lover, but be warned! It ends on a cliffhanger that we will never see the answer to 😭
Alright, we all know Netflix has a knack for creating things people love and then ending it and disappointing a large fan base. They're jerks. It's no secret. And that was the case with Cursed. Cursed was created by Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler and followed the young fae, Nimue, whose name we should all know from the Arthurian legends. This is a retelling of the story and I have to say, it was done SO well. It's not often we get to hear about Nimue, despite that she had a lot to do with the tales of Arthur and the knights.
What I loved most about this series was the magic aspects. We haven't gotten to truly see the conflicts between the fae and everyone else in any other rendition of these tales. Not only that, but with stunning visuals, this made it truly feel enchanted and they didn't skimp on the gritty, war-torn aspects either. This isn't a tale for the kids. This show illustrated the horrors of two warring factions and from it came a heroine that didn't want to responsibility of being a hero, but carried it anyways. And that too was shown so beautifully in the way that Numue wielded the sword throughout the movie. Never did she look particularly skilled. In fact, most of the time, the sword was obviously much too heavy for her and it showed. There were a LOT of great aspects to this show, which also left off unfinished. But sadly, it's been chucked into the abyss of "good show hell" when Netflix announced its cancellation in July of 2021.
How many times can Dracula be retold before we say enough? Hmf. Right. Like we would ever say that. Although, how many of you even knew there was a TV series in 2013 with Johnathan Rhys Meyers? That's right. The TV show by Cole Haddon and Daniel Knauff only lasted one epic season before it was canceled. The show was a retelling of Dracula, who comes to England under the alias, Alexander Greyson, an entrepreneur spreading modern science. I also loved that Renfield, a character from Bram Stoker's Dracula, was not the nut-case we're used to, but a refined butler/accomplice who Dracula seemed to care about a lot. The two come to be trusted partners and as close to friends as one could expect from a very old immortal like the count. Add in some epic fight scenes, badass heroes and villains, and romance and you have exactly the thing we vampire lovers want. A charming, handsome Dracula and all the drama that comes with him. Sadly, the show was ended before it could truly become something and we're left with one awesome season that's been lost in the past. But if you ever get a chance to see it, you won't be disappointed. Or maybe you will be because there's not enough.
5: The Tomorrow People
I'll be honest with you. I don't remember a lot about this series aside from the fact that it was canceled too early and the FX were awesome. The series came out in 2013 and lasted for only one season before being canceled. The story is reminiscent of X-Men in that it features characters experiencing the next evolutionary stage of humanity. As in children are being born with abilities such as teleportation, telekinesis, and even time manipulation. The show features your typical situation where the evolved aka Tomorrow People are being hunted down by a group called Ultra. The story has a lot of emotional drama among the main characters as well as an overall, action-oriented plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. it was aired on the CW, which is funny because they have a reputation for stretching shows far beyond their best seasons. Something my fiance and I like to call CW syndrome. When a show keeps going just because fans like it, not necessarily because there is more story to tell. But, alas, this show received quite the opposite treatment. Still, it's highly recommended if you don't mind the time being cut short!