Reboots are probably one of the most controversial topics in fandom, with a long history of fan backlash when it comes to redoing and overwriting what came before. In many cases these inevitably flatline or go bust, usually due to poor reception or studio issues.

In some cases these can go very, very well. So which ones worked for you?

Here are a couple to get started with:

Battlestar Galactica (2003)

What was it:

A remake of the 1970s space-opera show redone for the 21st century. Dropping many of the outdated elements of the show, such as the colourful costumes, real model shots, and the generic dialogue, the reboot instead opted for a gritty war documentary style, complete with film grain, that blended a “hard sci-fi” story with religious elements and political intrigue.

Why did it work for you:

Over the course of 4 seasons the show created a unique tone and really set itself apart from its peers at the time. It developed complex and compelling characters who rarely felt good or evil but somewhere in between and all had reasons for their actions, even if you didn’t agree with them. Tom Zarek, played by the late Richard Hatch, quickly came to represent the moral complexity of the show as a man who believed in a socialist utopia and wasn’t afraid to get dirty to do it.

Advertisement

One of the big changes was that it also kept long-term effects from episode to episode, most strikingly seen with the ship accruing battle damage over the years and a visual reminder of the declining population of the fleet. Up until that point it was common for shows to hit the reset button nearly every episode while here damage seen in the very first engagement was visible all the way to the end.

The show did have some problems, especially in the later years, with Deus Ex Religion coming to save the day more than once but these were always quickly made up for with storylines such as a military breaking down when its allegiance no longer exists or how a remnant society deals with the idea of workers rights.

Robocop (2014)

What was it:

A reboot of the classic Paul Verhoeven film depicting corporate greed and privitisation, the reboot updated the film for the 21st century with the issues of automated weaponry and the control of the media.

Why did it work for you:

The film, while not perfect, is one that I feel successfully implements the changes it wanted to make regarding the core themes. While it doesn’t have the same style as its predecessor it still retains hallmarks of it in the shiny but secretly murky future Detroit and the increased role of the sinister Omnicorp.

Advertisement

The film’s themes are also put forward well and articulately, with the idea of removing human control of the military shown as Murphy is slowly replaced by automated subroutines while the media spin is shown through Omnicorp and the constant presence of The Novak Element (a Fox News style program).

The film does also feature strong performances by Michael Keaton as the face of the global corporation, trying to get good PR in the face of growing problems, and Samuel L Jackson as the host of The Novak Element, bluntly twisting the truth to fit his dogmatic ideological view of the world.