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Which TV spin-offs hit the target for you?

Watched Torchwood: Children of Earth on dvd last week. [don’t worry, this is a spoiler free post].
Wow!   

Sure, there were a few plot holes, but nothing that put me off watching. It started off great and with each subsequent episode got better and better.

I liked Captain Jack from his first appearance in Doctor Who, and remember being disappointed when he wasn’t kept on the show as a sidekick. 

 

Despite my constant requests, there’s no sign of CableVision getting BBC America, so I may have to bite the bullet and fork out the extortionate price for Torchwood seasons 1&2.

 

All this has got me thinking about some of the other science fiction spin-offs I’ve enjoyed. Stargate Atlantis (mostly) and of course the Star Trek: DS9, Star Trek: Voyager, and to a certain extent Star Trek: Enterprise..

 

           

Considering the relatively small number of sci-fi shows compared to regular comedy, crime, drama etc, I’d say the proportion of successful spin-offs is far higher in the science fiction genre.

 

I’ve been trying to think of any non-sf shows I’ve enjoyed which were spin-offs, but the only ones I can come up with are Angel   
and Frasier    .

 

How about you? What TV spin-offs are/were on your must watch list?


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Comments

( 44 comments — Leave a comment )
ajjones
Aug. 15th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
I don't know what Torchwood is, but I'm intrigued now, because I agree with everything else you said here.
jongibbs
Aug. 15th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
It's a spinoff from Doctor Who (I linked the pic to the BBC website). Captain Jack Harkness was in several 'Who' episodes, and Torchwood itself was a result of the Doctor's encounter with Her Maj. Victoria.

If Children of Earth is anything to go by, it's way darker than Doctor Who, but still has plenty of lighthearted moments :)
(no subject) - ajjones - Aug. 15th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 15th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladyhedgehog - Aug. 16th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 17th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) - Expand
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jongibbs
Aug. 15th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
I got into Joss Whedon via Angel: season five, then on to Buffy, and finally Firefly - saved the best for last :)

I'm with you on DS9. I loved Garek, the Cardassian spy/tailor. I stuck with Voyager for the grumpy holographic doctor, but gave up on Enterprise after season two.

Pinky and the Brain. Is that the two lab rats, were one of them says 'The same thing we do every day. Plan to take over the world' in his best James Mason voice? If so, I like it :)
(no subject) - ajjones - Aug. 15th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 15th, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Aug. 15th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 15th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kmarkhoover - Aug. 15th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 16th, 2009 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 15th, 2009 06:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
debikm
Aug. 15th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Love, love, LOVE Torchwood. Children of Earth was, as you said, better and better each night, and just ripped my heart out at the end. Awesome.

My TV viewing has gotten less and less over time and I can't say that a lot of spin-offs have been big favorites. The entire Star Trek frachise has been good, to varying degrees and Angel was a favorite. If you cont series that come from television series as seuels/spin-offs, then I'll have to say that my all-time favorite was Highlander: The Series. Even with the sometimes cheesy acting, the series was and is one of my best-loved television viewing. And the acting and storylines on the show were far superior to anything the franchise has hawked up, movie-wise. The series dealt with loss and death with sensitivity, and the characters always had consequences to face for their actions. There was humor and the joy of friendships and love. And the fact there was some serious action sequences, often involving hot men (and women) and swords; what more could a person ask for?
jongibbs
Aug. 15th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
I don't remember Highlander: the TV series, but I loved the first movie. Sadly, that particular movie franchise went downhill fast :(
(no subject) - debikm - Aug. 15th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 16th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
smeddley
Aug. 15th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
I admit, I had to consult the Mighty Wikipedia to find out what was a spin-off... man, I didn't know some of those shows were spin-offs of spin-offs of spin-offs! So, in alphabetical order (of the original show)...

Pinky and the Brain and Freakazoid, both from Animaniacs
Crusdae, from Babylon 5
(I didn't know there was more than one Brainiac series! O:)
Fraiser, in my opinion, was better than Cheers
(OMG THERE'S GOING TO BE A K-9 SPIN-OFF! :D)
Torchwood is good, the Sarah Jane Chronicles had their moments, but Doctor Who rules
Darkwing Duck was better than DuckTales
Absolutely Fabulous, which was evidently from The French and Saunders Show
Xena: Warrior Princess, from Hercules: Legendary Journeys (mock away, mock away)
NCIS is pretty good, though I've only seen a few episodes and never watched JAG
Tiny Toons, from Looney Tunes
The Muppet Show is a spin-off? Really, Wikipedia?
(Ooooh, another Spooks series!)
Pretty much all of the Star Trek spin-offs are decent.
The Twilight Zone (mostly the original series)

I disagree with some of what they call 'spin-offs' on this list, and there there are a few undoubtedly missing, but that's what I came up with. :D
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
I thought the Muppet show was a spin-off too. I'm sure Kermit was a roving reporter on Sesame Street before he got his headline gig :)
(Deleted comment)
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
I forgot about the Bionic Woman. I liked that one :)
eneit
Aug. 15th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
Highlander, the series although I was less enchanted with The Raven spin-off. Immortal medieval knights and sword fights had a lot in common, a female French cat burglar turned immortal, less so.

Star Trek, Next Generation. My Grandma had introduced me to Star Trek via re-runs of the original series in the 80s. When Next Generation came out I was caring for as she had dementia - but she always watched Next Generation with me. She was somewhat dissapointed with Picard though. She liked him well enough, but thought that surely by then we could have had a Vulcan commander.
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
I can see I'm going to have to look up the Highlander TV shows :)
serge_lj
Aug. 15th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
I never cared much for ST-TNG myself, but my favorite ST-related series was DS9. Voyager had its moments, especially with the Captain Proton subplots.
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
Captain Proton? Is that the cheesy holodeck setup (sort of original Flash Gordon type deal))? In which case, I'm with you 100%. Not all the holodeck pisodes worked on Star Trek, but those ones did :)
(no subject) - serge_lj - Aug. 16th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 16th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
catephoenix
Aug. 16th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
I loved Children of Earth, despite not being too keen on the regular series of Torchwood.

Other spin offs I've loved, Angel - and I can't think of a single other one.
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Torchwood: Children of Earth, I haven't been as excited about watching the next episode of a TV show since Firefly :)
vaughan_stanger
Aug. 16th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I didn't think much of Torchwood S1/2, in fact I found some of it downright dire, but Children of Earth was gripping stuff: Event TV.
jongibbs
Aug. 16th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
One of the big pluses for me were those lovely South Wales accents (my personal favorite).
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Aug. 31st, 2009 03:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Aug. 31st, 2009 11:01 am (UTC) - Expand
clarionj
Aug. 16th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Off Subject
Hey, I do volunteer proofreading for some literary market newsletters (this from The Gila Queen's Guide to Markets) and saw this call for submissions:

Flash Fiction Contest—Gemini Magazine, PO Box 1485, Onset MA 02558.
"Rules (We hate rules but you gotta have at least some for a contest):"
1. "1000 words or less (excluding title and byline)"
2. "Any style, any theme"
3. "Open to ANYONE"
4. "Send previously unpublished story in body of E-mail to [E-mail address below] (no attachments) or snail mail with SASE to [postal address above].]"
5. "One entry per writer. Do not include bio."
6. "Entry fee: NONE (When the economy gets better we promise to charge an exorbitant reading fee)"
7. "If you don't win or place, your story may be considered for publication in a future issue of Gemini."
Grand Prize: $100 and publication "in the October Issue of Gemini (We know it ain't much but who can't use a hundred bucks!)"; Honorable Mention (3): Publication in the October Issue of Gemini.
[E-mail: contest@gemini-magazine.com; http://www.gemini-magazine.com]. Deadline: August 31, 2009.

Since you seem to have a handle on flash fiction, I thought you might want to check it out. I've no idea what the magazine's like. But in case you haven't seen the call ... the deadline is soon.
jongibbs
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:57 am (UTC)
Re: Off Subject
Thanks for the heads-up. I'll look into it :)
wordsrmylife
Aug. 16th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Ok, so I'm really dating myself here:

The Jeffersons and Maude, which spun off from All in the Family.

Rhoda, from Mary Tyler Moore Show.

jongibbs
Aug. 17th, 2009 08:55 am (UTC)
We never had All in the Family, or the subsequent spin-offs in the UK, but I think I remember Rhoda. Wasn't there a really drab sounding fellow, Carlton the doorman, or something like that? And the woman who does the voice of marge Simpson was in it too if I recall :)

rowanda380
Aug. 17th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
not so random commenter
definitely fraiser and angel were on my list...I tried to watch that joey friends spin off but it was of course horrible.
jongibbs
Aug. 17th, 2009 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: not so random commenter
Yeah, Joey was strange. It was one of those shows I really wnated to enjoy, but it didn't have that certain something that makes a show great.
Re: not so random commenter - rowanda380 - Aug. 17th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not so random commenter - jongibbs - Aug. 17th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not so random commenter - rowanda380 - Aug. 17th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
hildebabble
Aug. 17th, 2009 04:53 pm (UTC)
Loved Frasier. Loved Voyager, too.

I keep hearing good things about Torchwood but I've never seen it and didn't know it was a spinoff of Dr. Who. Which I've also never seen. ;)

One show I LOVE is Boston Legal (where William Shatner and Candice Bergen are lawyers) which is a spinoff of The Practice.
jongibbs
Aug. 17th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
I didn't know Boston Legal was a spin-off.

Senior Management likes NCIS (she has the whole series on dvd), which someone said was a spin-off of Jag.

I've been watching some of the episodes from the first few seasons of Frasier with my teenage son. They're still fresh and funny :)
( 44 comments — Leave a comment )

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