Whither the great cheesy fantasy and SF shows of yesteryear?

Over on the Andromeda thread, Otto and I were remembering an awful lot of fun SF shows that bit the dust in the last couple of years – probably a victim of the reality TV show craze, but some of them weren’t all that great in the first place, so simple ratings done them in. But seriously, how did we lose so many SF and fantasy shows so fast. Here’s the ones we came up with quickneasy, feel free to add to the list. Maybe put a limit of “cancelled in the last five years” on 'em:

Andromeda – this one may still be extant, but the vultures are circling.
Mutant X – the poor man’s X Men
Beastmaster – adventures of cow-birthed Dar
Sinbad – Sinbad, we hardly knew ye. I mean really, I think I flat out missed this one.
Lost World – Had an incredible blonde in a leather bikini. Wasn’t cancelled, the production company fell apart on 'em. Same with Mutant X I understand.
Special Unit 2 – Fun little series, some good thong action now and then, too.
Jack of all Trades – perhaps the stupidest set-up for a series ever.
Relic Hunter – Any coincidence between this and Tomb Raider is DELIBERATE!!!
Queen of Swords – she can fence – BUT SHE’S A GIRL!!!
Wolf Lake – a real howler
Cleopatra 2525 – totally cheesy fun.
Lexx – funnier than it shoulda been
Farscape – spawned a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Crichton
Hercules – The start of the Great Syndicated Adventure Series
Xena – Set in a time when you could go to Lesbos and meet Sappho
Young Indiana Jones – Like the movie Indiana Jones, only… younger.

These are jost the ones that we thought of offhand – I’ll bet there are more out there.

There were so many “direct to syndication” shows that were given a try for a month or two before going on indefinite hiatus/ extinction. There was this one show - was it Conan or some other title? - that I never watched except when I caught the last five minutes when tuning in the following show a few minutes early. The one with the sarcastic talking skull that ate rubies(?!?). BTW, are all talking heads (e.g. 790 on Lexx) always evil and sarcastic?

Oh, the list should include Firefly, although that doesn’t count as cheesy in my book.

Two more:

Sheena: Gina Lee Nolan kicks butt while looking hot.

Dark Angel: Jessica Alba kicks butt while looking hot.

This list canNOT be complete without ‘The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr’.

God, I loved that show. It’s the last one I actually made time to go watch.

Poltergeist: The Series
Nowhere Man
Darkman (the absolute worst of the lot)
PSI Factor: Tales of the Paranormal
Earth: Final Conflict (great first season; dreck from then on)
First Wave (another good starter that went downhill fast)
Friday the 13th: The Series
Brothers in Outer Space
American Gothic (started off slow, got really creepy and then cancelled)

There was one about a team of government bug-hunters but I can’t remember the title. Disease of the week sort of thing. There was an Asian woman on it, which makes it unusual for TV.

What was the one about the vampire cop? Forever Knight?

Oh, and how can I forget the Mortal Kombat series? Awful, awful awful!

Hercules started off as part of a syndication package called “Action Pack.” There were other shows included in the package, one of which was a martial arts actioner about a guy who comes to America either on the run from, or pursuing, or maybe both, some warlord from his home country who slaughtered his village or something. Anyone remember that one? And oh my god I can’t believe I remember this but there was a Smokey and the Bandit show in there too.

Gah, the memories come flooding back!

Highlander: the Series
War of the Worlds: the Series

All starring Adrian Paul. He must be stopped! Although I rather liked WotW.

I think you mean Homeboys in Outer Space. I’ve never seen the show, but by all accounts, it was horrible–even by UPN standards.


Black Scorpion From the great Roger Corman. Featuring a barely covered ass… and some other stuff, too, I think.

There was one fantasy show – I have no idea what the name of it was, as I only caught the last five minutes, but that five minutes was some of the most hilarious television I’d ever seen. Featuring a blonde running around in a boobtastic blue dress, a black-haired villain throwing fireballs at her, and the tall, brunet hero tapping the villain on the shoulder, punching him, and declaring, “That’s for not respecting history!”

I don’t remember a Conan series or a sarcastic taking skill that ate rubies, and I think I’d remember a sarcastic talking skull that ate rubies if I saw one. Which is to say, dunno. There are several series others have come up with that I’ve never heard of.

As for Firefly, we’ll make “cheesy” a broad term, plenty broad enough to include Firefly and Briscoe County Jr. and anything else we like.

That was “The Burning Zone.” The Asian woman, Tamlyn Tomita, was gone by episode 12. The show itself was gone not long after that.

I’m sorry, but neither of those babes looked hot in their respective because they were both dressed in really dowdy clothes. I mean, the comic Sheena wears a fur bikini, not a FUCKING LEATHER GUNNY SACK!!! And Dark Angel liiked like some kinda grunge chick in all the scenes she did. No skin. Not hot.

Reminds of another series that promised a lot of female hotness, didn’t deliver, and folded … Birds of Prey.

I missed ALL of these series, with the exception of a couple of eps of First Wave and Fridnay the 13th. OK, I cuaght Roar in a marathon on the SciFi Channel but couldn’t figure what it was supposed to be about … Celtic people in ancient Ireland having problems with witches and warlocks or something. Some great location scenery though … musta been filmed in New Zealand.

Y’know, IIRC Cleopatra 2525 was teamed up with some other show(s) when it started. Maybe it was one of the other parts of the Action Pack.

I knew about Highlander: the Series but it seemed to be the better part of valor to avoid it. I’ve never heard of WotW and Tracker, and I think there might have been some curiouslity about WotW if I had caught a promo for it. Tracker, meh.

Actually, there was NOTHING going for Black Scorpion other than the female lead’s butt. Her crime fighting costume’s bottom half was a thong, and she’d get in a fight several times an episode and she’d do these high kicks and you’d get these nice beam shots … but sadly, her butt, mighty though it was, could not carry the entire series, and it had NOTHING else going for it.

I remember another series, ‘John Doe’ who couldnt’ remember who he was but knew everything else there was to know. Unfortunately, nobody seemed to be able to remember why they should watch the series.

That was Bruce Campbell’s “Jack of All Trades”. I think those were both Sam Raimi shows, trying to follow up on the success of Hercules and Xena.

Wasn’t there a recent Tarzan-in-the-City series which lasted about three-quarters of an episode?