9 Sci-Fi TV Spin-Offs That Should Never Have Spun Off

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?By Chris Cummins


We live in a world where there are four different Stargate
TV shows. Jesus. That dull sci-fi flick starring Kurt Russell and the dude
who was the transsexual in The Crying Game? It’s a bona fide franchise
that will likely outlive us all. If you are a regular Topless Robot reader,
you’re well aware that Hollywood is a soulless place where executives milk
their cash cows until the bovines are udderless corpses. The science fiction
genre is especially susceptible to this phenomenon. A lot of the blame for this
can be laid at Star Wars‘ massively successful feet. The original
trilogy forever legitimized a genre that always had a bit of a shaky
reputation–setting the stage for knock-offs and imitators aplenty in its wake.
But even before moviegoers ever traveled to that galaxy far, far away,
executives were looking to reap more dough by bringing large scale sci-fi to
the small screen. (The most notable example being the Planet of the Apes TV series,
which managed to be entertaining, campy and boring all at once). The good news
is that science fiction will never go away.The bad news is that neither will
lesser-quality spin-offs of popular shows and movies that cheapen the legacy of
the originals. So while you wait for the inevitable zombie uprising to finally
put an end to life’s cruel shenanigans, here’s a glimpse at nine TV spin-offs
that should never have spun-off. Now with 100% more Pudface!

9) Robocop: The Series

When did it air? 1994

How many episodes before it was put out of its misery? 26
Bob Morton-free episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? Robocop should
never have been sequelized let alone adapted for television. The show featured
a deformed villain named Pudface. That’s pretty much all you need to know about
it. Oddly enough, Marvel’s cartoon spin-off was awesome. Funny how the world
works sometimes, isn’t it? And by funny, I mean soul-crushing.

Imaginary tagline: Watch it, creep!


8) Logan’s Run

When did it air? 1977-78.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
14 charisma-lacking episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? The theatrical Logan’s
was the last big sci-fi event film before Star Wars was released
and changed the genre forever. It had overdramatic speeches from Michael York,
a pointless robot and, as Jenny Agutter stalkers will tell you, boobies galore.
The television version of Logan’s Run had Gregory Harrison, an unnecessary
android sidekick and homoeroticism aplenty between Logan and Francis. (Check
out the above clip). As a public service, let me sum up every episode: Logan
and Jessica find a community that they think is Sanctuary but is actually some
sort of trap set up for them by robots/perverts/Sandmen. Skip the series and
track down Roger Joseph Manning Jr. and Brian Reitzell’s amazing Logan’s
concept album from 2000. It’s exactly the sort of fun mindfuckery
that the show should have been.

Imaginary tagline: He’s on the run from coherent


7) Slimer! And the Real Ghostbusters

When did it air? 1988-89.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
31 spooky episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? Technically,
this was more of a retooling of The Real Ghostbusters into an hour-long
format that featured a segment starring Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston and one
focusing strictly on the adventures of Slimer. The Slimer! portion of
the show featured the spud palling around with some new characters at the
Sedgewick Hotel. Aimed at pre-schoolers, these cartoons relegated the
Ghostbusters we love to supporting roles. The show is lame and should have
rocks thrown at it.

Imaginary tagline: It’ll make you feel so funky!


6) Baywatch Nights

When did it air? 1995-97.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
44 scream-inducing episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? Um, because it’s
a fucking spin-off to Baywatch. Originally, the show was conceived to be
a sexier, edgier series than its predecessor with the Hoff taking a job at his
pal’s detective agency. When no one cared, they retooled the show for the
second season into a low-rent version of The X-Files. Still no one
cared. Demonic possessions, aliens, sea monsters, revived Vikings, Baywatch
had it all. If you think that video of a drunk, cheeseburger-eating
Hasselhoff was the low point of his career you clearly haven’t ever seen this

Imaginary tagline:  Some Nights you’ll never want to remember!


5) Beyond Westworld

When did it air? 1980, though don’t hold it against
that magical year. Sigh.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
5 android-chasing episodes (only three of which were aired).

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? This rip-off of The
had the security chief of the corporation that created the robots
featured in Westworld and Futureworld trying to track down a mad
scientist hell bent on using evil androids to take over the world. Clearly, Westworld
ranks alongside of Citizen Kane and Basket Case in the pantheon
of the best films ever made. But did it really necessitate a follow-up TV
series?  That’s a rhetorical
question, but the answer is still no.

Imaginary tagline: Yul Brenner is dead, and you’ll
wish you were too!


4) V: The Series

When did it air? 1984-85

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
19 resource-depriving episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? The two V mini-series
chronicled the complete saga of the Visitors’ arrival on Earth, their
subsequent attempts to fuck up life for mankind and their defeat at the hands
of a ragtag group of resistance fighters. After that, there was no more story
to tell. But before you could say “red dust,” the series came along and made V:
The Final Battle
not so final after all. Turns out that on a week to week
basis, the fighting between Mike Donovan, Diana, et al just wasn’t all that
interesting. Combine less than stellar storylines done without the input of V
creator/longtime TV veteran Kenneth Johnson with a severely decreased
budget and the show died a death more painful than the one endured by the
guinea pig Diana ate.

Imaginary tagline: NBC, let’s all V there!


3) K9 & Company: A Girl’s Best Friend

When did it air? 1981

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
1 yawn-inducing pilot episode.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun-off? When K-9 first
appeared on Doctor Who in the episode “The Invisible Enemy,” the character
soon became so popular with viewers–especially kids–that the decision was
made to spin him and Sarah Jane Smith off into their own series. Too bad the
result is a procedural investigation into witchcraft that induces sleepiness
quicker than a box of Benadryl. Fortunately for the lovely and talented
Elisabeth Sladen, she would eventually go on star in The Sarah Jane
. As for K9, his long-threatened CGI comedy/adventure series
should premiere sometime next year. Expect it to appear on a sequel to this
list shortly thereafter.

Imaginary tagline: It’s a dog of a show!


2) Ewoks

When did it air? 1985-86.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
35 non-Ewokese episodes.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? Because it’s
cutesiness and merchandizing potential directly led to the inanity of the
prequel trilogy. I just made that up, but it’s probably true, right?
Nevertheless, the adorable furballs kids loved in Return of the Jedi weren’t
as charming on the small screen. Droids was no picnic to sit through
either, but at least it didn’t have Princess Kneesaa fucking up everyone’s good
time with her constant moralizing. (Disclaimer: The Star Wars Holiday
does not appear on this list due to the coolness that is an
animated Luke Skywalker referring to Boba Fett as his friend).

Imaginary tagline: It’s nyub very good!


1) Star Trek: Enterprise

When did it air? 2002-05.

How many episodes were there before it was put out of its
98 episodes that boldly went nowhere.

Why shouldn’t it have been spun off? A series
focusing on the era before James T. Kirk was just bound to piss people off.
Much like Star Trek: Voyager before it, the series relied too much on
what came before (Another Dr. Soong, that Borg episode, the Next Generation-centric
finale that Jolene Blalock herself called “appalling,” etc). This was an
inexplicable move given that Enterprise was a PREQUEL series. In its
defense, the show did attempt to establish its own identity with the Xindi
storyline. Unfortunately, the arc ultimately played out like a second rate
version of Deep Space Nine’s Dominion War saga. Admit it, you watched
because you wanted to sex up some of the cast members. It’s okay, we’re all
friends here. The theme song can go fuck itself too.

Imaginary tagline: It’s the show that killed a