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.

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