Space: Above and Beyond
General idea: warfare IN SPAAAACE.
Interesting because: The premise of this show was great. There had been a number of shows about space combat already, with Battlestar Galactica being one of the best-known. Space: Above and Beyond was fundamentally about space marines, and who can’t love a show about space marines? The characters were realistic and you got a sense of realistic warfare. This wasn’t teddy bears swinging vines at laser-shooting clones; it was all about dirty, dangerous, and scary missions. Starting from the first episode, we see the best pilots and soldiers humanity had to offer humiliated and Earth fleets wiped out in catastrophe after catastrophe. From that point on, we’re left rooting for trainees as they transform into veterans before our eyes. There was some nice character-driven development in the story and I wish that Fox hadn’t messed the series up (spoiler: this isn’t the only Fox series on this list that the executives screwed up).
Annoying because: Fox executives really screwed this series up. They aired episodes out of order, making it difficult to follow. They also killed the show after one season. One in-show warning sign to me, though, was the role of Aero-Tech, especially in the last episode. Had there been a second season, I might have become angry enough to drop this series off my top-19 list.
Best season(s): 1
Worst season(s): N/A — only lasted one season