So many shows are getting a reboot theses days. The thing is, a lot of them are reboots of shows that already have a huge number of episodes people could re-watch. Did we really need to reboot shows like Charmed, Roswell and MacGuyver? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved all those shows, but couldn’t they have just put the originals on a streaming platform for us to watch? How about rebooting shows that didn’t last very long but had great potential? How about giving Space: Above and Beyond another shot?
Back in the day I was a HUGE X-Files fan. I mean, I recorded every episode on VHS religiously and collected old copies of TV guide and other magazines that had the show on the cover. It was the show where I started to pay attention to the names of the writers, mostly because of two people. James Wong and Glen Morgan. The writing duo was responsible for some of my favorite episodes. “Beyond the Sea”, “Die Hand Die Verletzt”, “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” were written by them, they even introduced us to The Lone Gunmen. During the second season of the X-Files they left the show to head their own.
Space: Above and Beyond didn’t have a premise, so much as it had a setting. The stories revolve around the 58th Squadron of the Marine Corp Space Aviator Cavalry, the “Wild Cards”, while the earth is at war with an alien race.
The war itself is just background for the stories and the aliens are like the ones you get in a lot of Japanese anime. They appear to have no motive and there is no communication with them, they’re really just plot devices. So why does it deserve a reboot? Doesn’t sound that interesting, right?
The larger world they created is deep. It’s not just humans versus aliens. There are rogue robots causing havoc, an underclass of people who were bred as slave labour to fight the robots and because the two show runners were X-Files alumni, it had government conspiracies.
The cast of characters was also wonderfully diverse. I don’t just mean the ethnicity of the cast, but the backgrounds of the characters. You have a woman who’s military parents were killed in front of her by A.I.s when she was a child. The “in-vitro” slave, recently emancipated and cast out into a world where he is hated. A colonist who is hoping to use military service as a way of re-uniting with his fiance after being separated due to politics. Setting the show during a time of war allows them to assemble a group of people that would otherwise have nothing to do with each other. It sets up internal as well as external conflicts. Two people may hate each other, but they still need to work together to stay alive.
I’m not sure why it failed the first time. Fox does not have a good track record with supporting Sci-Fi, that may be part of it. Maybe it was the wrong time for that type of show to find its audience or maybe I’m seeing the past through rose coloured glasses, but I think if it were done again, the right team could create something spectacular with this.