7 TV Prequel Series We’d Like To See

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

7 TV Prequel Series We'd Like To See

Anthony Hopkins and Anthony Perkins Yes, it's true: prequels can easily turn out to be pure dreck. They can be tricky for many reasons – the most obvious being that the story has to manage the expectations of viewers who are almost certainly aware the series' eventual ending. But even then (Star Wars not withstanding) there's plenty to discover in the untold story that leads to even the most conclusive of endings – it merely requires dynamic, thoughtful storytellers to do so. Therefore, following the announcements that NBC and A&E are launching Hannibal and Bates Motel respectively - prequels to the famous films Silence of the Lambs and Psycho - we take a look at seven prequel series we think could be worth watching. As an added twist, we are going to approach them with the most elusive of Internet sentiments: the one known as optimism. Perhaps you've heard of it? Call them what you will: origins, untold stories or prequels - here is our list of prequel series we'd like to see on television.

Boba Fett

Bobba Fett Sure, Boba Fett may have met his cinematic end by falling into a giant sand trap, but unceremonious exits aside, a clone named Boba doesn't become one of the galaxies most fearsome bounty hunters without having some pretty interesting stories to tell. If nothing else - and considering his rather dismal bounty hunting performance in the original trilogy - a Boba Fett prequel series would at least give the character a chance to put some of that supposed awesomeness on display. We know George Lucas and Rick McCallum (mostly Rick McCallum) have been talking about their plans to do a Star Wars television program called Star Wars: Underworld as soon as it's financially feasible to do so. Even with that series being a small possibility sometime in the future, it doesn't necessarily exclude the Mandalorian armor-clad freelancer from headlining his own series – especially considering the fan base he already enjoys. Moreover, when was the last time Lucasfilm passed up a chance to make even more money?

Shaft

Richard Roundtree Shaft While there already was a short-lived Shaft television series in the '70s, given television's current love affair with period dramas, a new program set around the early exploits of private eye John Shaft seems like an idea just waiting to happen. The concept has proven popular enough that John Singleton and Samuel L. Jackson brought the Shaft franchise into a contemporary setting with their 2000 reboot; however one may feel about that film, in the end, it lacked one key element that helped Shaft work in the first place: the 1970s setting. The trick would be to avoid playing it solely for laughs (like Black Dynamite), and striking the right balance between social commentary through opinion after the fact, and symbolism typically found in examinations of recent history. Truly recreating the circumstances that brought Shaft into the spotlight would be impossible, but the right kind of talent behind the camera might make a prequel series an interesting investigation of the character and era in which he lived. Besides, a powerful, well-established character like Shaft could go a long way in adding some much-needed diversity to the point of view of period dramas.

Colonel Kurtz

Marlon Brando Colonel Kurtz Apocalypse Now It would be dark, bleak and violent, but watching the transformation of a decorated and ambitious soldier into a despotic villain could make for some very compelling television – especially when programs like Breaking Bad have proven such themes can be done competently and with great regard for story. As the plot of Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War masterpiece, Apocalypse Now, concerned the final effort to bring down the infamous Colonel Walter Kurtz, there is plenty of the wayward military man's earlier life to explore. Perhaps the series could be called Apocalypse Soon, or, more appropriately, adopt its title from Joseph Conrad's novella, Heart of Darkness – which served as inspiration for Apocalypse Now. Either way, Colonel Kurtz' descent into apparent madness, coupled with an uncanny ability to attract followers who believe in his cause would be a real treat if handled properly. And with the kind of storytelling going on in television today, there are a heaping handful of creators more than capable of making that happen. Now, if only there was an actor used to playing guys named Walter, who looks good bald and has the acting chops to rival Brando…

Professor Bruttenholm

John Hurt Hellboy After witnessing some crazy Nazis and an evil Russian conjure up a demon in some creepy ritual, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm (pronounced: "broom") didn't cower in fear, or react with malice as would so many when confronted by a tiny, red creature with horns and a gigantic stone hand. Instead, the good professor named the creature Hellboy; took him in and raised the displaced demon as his son. That's the kind of guy you want to tell stories about. Hellboy, Bruttenholm and the rest of the B.P.R.D. sprang from the wonderful imagination of creator Mike Mignola, and into dozens of comic books and graphic novels, as well as several live action and animated films. Now, we say it's time to explore more of Mignola's gothic, supernatural world through the eyes of a young Bruttenholm. If one stops to consider all of the other worldly beings and relics waiting to be discovered prior to the arrival of Hellboy, the early adventures of Professor Bruttenholm would be quite a treat. In addition, as one of few key characters not requiring extensive make-up or visual effects work, Bruttenholm would be right at home on television.

Eden Sinclair

Rhona Mitra Doomsday We'll freely admit that Neil Marshall's Doomsday is not the greatest film, but we won't say it wasn't fun. Let's face it, a film with removable cybernetic eyeballs that mashes up Escape From New YorkMad Max, Excalibur, and The Warriors is one that truly embraces all the crazy ways a bleak future can be imagined. As such, Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) – the film's female version of Snake Plissken – could easily figure into countless situations where such a hardcore military operative would be of use. It would also allow for a greater expansion of the dystopian future Marshall conceived – which could then have episodes or entire story arcs pay homage to the plots of popular science fiction or fantasy films. That is admittedly a high-concept, which may or may not fly, but one thing television fans might enjoy as much as a butt-kicking heroine in a wild sci-fi world is spotting the references to other films.

Inception

Inception Imagine how vast this world could possibly be. Christopher Nolan's sci-fi epic, Inception, wasn't only a visual marvel that left audiences clamoring for more, it opened up the possibility for countless stories to be told through the technology granting access to one another's dreams. Inception could work in a variety of ways, but the most intriguing one would allow for a deeper examination of the psyche and how others may work to exploit or manipulate it. Setting up an Inception series would make for an interesting attempt at a television anthology -- something that jumps around to various differing narratives, complete with a new cast and themes to explore. At the very least, it would prevent the show from attempting to recreate the heist-like nature of the film over and over again. Ultimately, though, a series where world building is a key element, stands to make for some very inventive and divergent storylines that we'd like to see become a reality.

The Vega Bros.

John Travolta Michael Madsen The Vega Bros. Once Red Apple cigarettes began popping up in his films, there was a tangible thread suggesting the work of Quentin Tarantino existed in a shared universe. Of course, that was made evident for those who first recognized the surname connecting Reservoir Dogs to Pulp Fiction. The filmmaker himself once hinted at a Vega Bros. movie that would see Vic (Michael Madsen) and Vincent (John Travolta) in a prequel to Pulp Fiction, but as time goes on, the likelihood of either Travolta or Madsen being able to portray their characters becomes increasingly unlikely. So why not bring the concept to television (HBO or Showtime, perhaps?) where, under the strict guidance of Tarantino, the Vega brothers can engage in some criminal mischief while waxing philosophical about foot rubs, Stealers Wheel and any other bits of pop culture that happen to cross their mind? Surely there are plenty of actors capable of looking good wearing a bolo tie while doing the Batusi, or who don't mind talking into the occasional amputated ear.

One Last Suggestion...

Serenity Imagine if, following the incredible success of The Avengers, studios looking to cash in on the Joss Whedon name could be coaxed into doing a prequel series to one of Joss' earlier films – perhaps one called Serenity? It'd be like an unofficial apology for the canceling of Firefly. Hey, if we're going to dream, we might as well dream big, right? See, not all prequel series immediately sound like a bad idea. So put down the pitchforks and torches, decry the existence of prequels another day, and embrace for a moment the simple fun of pondering how such programs (and many others you may think of) might possibly work. If handled with care and diligence, these stories could serve as a fun introduction and expansion of the tales and characters we have all grown so fond of. After all, if Hannibal and Bates Motel prove successful, the development of more prequel series will certainly become something we'll all have to live with.
TAGS: apocalypse now, bates motel, doomsday, firefly, hannibal, hellboy, inception, serenity, shaft, star wars, the vega brothers

39 Comments

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  1. Really? I wouldn’t like to see any of them.

    For example, Inception is a great self-contained story. Why the need to tack on useless s*** to it?

  2. I have to agree with Sawyer, not one of your better articles, pretty much all the choices where not really good, for instance They pretty much have followed Boba On and off through the Clone Wars series (animated). Also though I would love to see more Firefly, there is no need to do a prequel to Serenity, but a sequel would work just fine. Now the only other one which was worth mentioning was The Vaga Bro., though this would more then likely be entertaining, Madsen and Travolta owned those rolls and I highly doubt anyone could do them justice, not to mention Taratino may do a pilot or an episode but now way a series.

  3. No Blade Runner? I for one would love to see “the old Blade Runner”, see him work some of his “magic”. :)

    I guess it wouldn’t really even have to be Deckard. Maybe they could use Ray McCoy, from the video game, or even someone new. I just think the BR Universe would make a fantastic setting for a series.

    • that actually sounds kinda awesome.

  4. I like the Inception idea. That can be a seriously great series.
    As far as a live action Star Wars series is concerned, I’m over it. Since I was a young pup I dreamed of seeing a series based on the films but after years and years of talk and the prequels I’ve given up.

    • Yeah, I’m spent on Star Wars hopes too.

      No one other than George Lucas himself is
      responsible for mucking up his own waters.

  5. I’ve been wanting a post-Firefly, pre-Serenity show/movie!!! (That way my favorite character could return)

  6. I had to stop reading the article just to point out how brilliant you are for coming up with a Kurtz show. While it would take away a lot of the mysticism of the character (and in the end the whole point of the book and movie) I think I would watch every episode religiously. Such a great idea and I’m surprised it hasn’t already happened in one form or another.

    • Each dvd box set comes with a specially printed postcard: “Sell the house. Sell the car. Sell the kids. Find someone else. Forget it. I’m never going to stop watching this new hit series!”

  7. INHO BSG Blood and Chrome should be on the list. I would like to see the first Cylon war when Battlestar Galactica was fresh from the builder’s yard. I feel the universe of the 12 colonies of Kobol, the formation of a unified colonial government and background of colonial alliances and factions before the Cylon rebellion/first Cylon war (Touron war etc.) would be exciting. This is fertile ground for sustained storytelling and entertainment. It further lays the groundwork for exploring the first exodus from Kobol and the voyage to the 12 colonial home worlds (in the re-envisioned canon). Also, to see the forge in which the iconic characters of science fiction were honed – Adama and the ship known as Battlestar Galactica is something that needs to be on a screen.

    Cheers

  8. haha i liked the firefly joke! not sure everyone got that it was a joke tho… I would watch anyone of those shows! With the great stuff that is on television today I have no doubt that each one could be brilliant! Its fun to think of shows built around interesting characters, people get too caught up in whether they liked or disliked a movie, but that’s not the point of this at all. At the very least I would give each show a shot, if it failed I would blame the creators and not the idea, if tv today has taught us anything its that the most absurd concept could turn out to be a lot of fun!

    • The Firefly joke was really good. And it is like reality turned inside out, because it is funny, but yet completely stone cold serious in its logic, yet still a dream.

  9. I think they’re only making serial killer shows now. Seriously though I would like a Professor Broom series. Stick closer to the Mignola visual style than Del Toro did and it would flourish. And while internet optimism may be rare (I have shown some, I’m pleased to say) we’ll always have abundant raving chants of “In _______ We Trust”.

  10. The only one I think would be successful is the Boba Fett one. Filmmakers have to leave classic movies alone. They are standalone achievements. For example, the Star Wars prequels were mediocre and the best thing to come out of them was General Grievous. How about a series on him

    • The only problem with a BF reboot would be that no matter how cool it was, no matter how many bounties he brought in, there would always be that underlying lack of confidence in him, knowing that, eventually, the only thing awaiting this “ultimate badass” was the Sarlac pit. Completely undermines any continuity the audience holds with him.

  11. How about a Doc Savage TV series, based on the character as written by Lester Dent (“Kenneth Robeson”) and depicted in art by James Bama? And also, how about a TV series on The Green Hornet, modeled after the 60s TV series (definitely NOT after the Seth Rogan model!)? Both would need to be done seriously, and take place back in history a bit (ie: NOT during modern 2012 time)!

  12. Keep Joss Whedon far away from everything. The guy is a hack. I’m not saying this because everyone slobbers over him because of Avengers — I did like Avengers, but only a colossal moron could screw that up — but because people think he’s some kind of genius. Pretty much everything he’s done since Buffy has flopped (Firefly, Dollhouse) and no one seems to want to recognize that. And don’t forget, he wrote Alien: Resurrection. Also, he comes off as a smug prick every time I hear him speak. Unfortunately, the success of Avengers means he’s going to be around a lot longer. That’s too bad.

    Secondly, I don’t understand why people have this love affair with Boba Fett. Fanboys said it best: “You guys both got to stop perpetuating this myth that Boba Fett is some kind of bad-ass. All right? He has a jet pack. So did the Rocketeer. Really cool.” By far the most overrated character in the Star Wars universe.

    • Did you have a bad experience while watching something by Joss Whedon? Forced sodomy, perhaps? Avengers could have very easily been screwed up, just with the ensemble cast alone! Firefly (and Dollhouse, I believe) was dropped because it didn’t get ratings, not because it was a bad show. Quite the opposite. They were just unknown, and with the short amount of time they aired (only 11 episodes for Firefly), there wasn’t time for word of mouth to get around. You’re trolling, aren’t you? You have to be. Because otherwise your access to the internet needs to be restricted until you’ve grown a decent sense of good and bad.

    • Oh… and he only kinda wrote Alien Resurrection. The movie you saw was the result of rewrites, reedits and several different versions of different scripts, hacked up and sewn back together like Frankenstein’s monster. So not only are you woefully ignorant, you obviously can’t be bothered to actually look things up so that you have any clue what you’re talking about. Well done, genius.

  13. i’d to see a nick fury prequel series or a pre 24 series.

  14. Never got into Harry Potter but I would be entertained by a story of Voldemort Rising, The timeof the deathstalkers(?) or James Potter the ***hole. lol

    • No more rising.

    • They could call the prequel film of Voldemort’s rise to power “Riddle in the Dark”.

      …or how about “Potter: A Dark Beginning”?

      …or even “Voldemort: Down with Mudbloods and Muggles”?

      Oh, what joyous fun had I’ve
      When trying (a bit only)
      to lightly contrive.

      ;) :P :D

      • You’ll pardon, I’m sure, the split infinitive…

  15. Micheal c ( itouch won’t let me spell name) from the commish an fantastic four could do Brando in a prequel.

  16. Micheal c. from the commish an fantastic four could do Brando in a prequel.

  17. A Children of Men prequel could be fascinating if handled correctly I think.

  18. The Vega Bros. for sure and maybe Colonel Curtz if they found the right actor.

  19. Partially detouring thought maybe, but why is George Lucas always talking about things (restoring the *original* trilogy, this TV show) “not being financially feasible”? He is a billionaire. My other thought is that, virtually everything Star Wars makes money, regardless of its quality, so what is the risk?

  20. the vega brothers would be a badass tv show with the right cast

  21. pequel i would like to see is the sopranos…. so many stories could be told with Tony and the whole gang coming up the ranks of the mob should be set in late 70s.

  22. I ikeould love to see if Blade daughter is better or like him he and karen did the nasty. I hoped they would do a movie about her.

  23. This is such a weird coincidence. I was just playing around with the idea of an inception series last month. Same world but different cast. Maybe the odd cameo from the movies cast, but the show wont rely on them as a crutch. A sequel may cheapen the original movie, but a big budget 13 ep ish series dealing with different stories and different uses of the dream tech would be a really good idea.
    Great minds think alike. :)

  24. I would totally jump in for an “Inception” series. It would not have to portray Cobb and his team, which could represent some money savings for the producers. As suggested by the movie, there was more than one team of extractors. Just picture what type of “jobs” they might have! Who knows, maybe Leo might have a cameo if this series became a reality (what an irony).

    I also would like much to see a TV series based on Bruckheimer’s “Deja Vu” and the “Snow White” device.

  25. I would like to see

    Colonel Kurtz,
    Professor Bruttenholm, and
    Boba Fett.

    That would be really interesting.

  26. 28 MINUTES LATER…………now THAT’S what i’d like to see!

  27. Wow really? This list sucked.

  28. Wouldn’t the prequel for Serenity be Firefly? Or do you want the seven years between the war and Firefly? I have to say, that would be interesting.

  29. I’m going to have to say “Reign of Fire” A prequel to this movie would be awesome.

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