Having a strong and original central premise for the audience to invest in is the key to any show's success, especially in the world of Sci-Fi. Finding a story that is both innovative and engaging is something each entry on this list was able to conjure, but unfortunately due to a variety of reasons were unable to make the most of their cracking premise.
The range of strong premises here range from clever spinoff ideas, great new ideas revolving around time travel and the creation of the unlikeliest of protagonists. Each entry had the possibility of exploring their truly original and outstanding premise for multiple seasons if delivered in the style the premise demanded, but many shows on this list barely lasted a season.
While poor acting, low budgets and poor scripting often contributed to the shows wasted potential, a common theme with each entry was the poor tonal choices. Several entries on this list took itself far too seriously for a show that should have been great, campy fun, while other shows listed needed to done down their excessive elements to fully utilise their great initial concepts.
So kick back and reflect on what could have been, as we look at those incredible premises that Sci-Fi Tv shows totally wasted.
Ah Torchwood, what could have been. The idea of a Doctor Who spinoff that explored how humans interacted with aliens when the Time Lord wasn't on Earth was an extremely exciting one. With Who show runner Russell T Davies also leading the way here, it seemed like it would be impossible for the show to fail. Oh, how wrong we were.
The premise for the show was actually set up in the first two seasons of the rebooted Doctor Who, with charismatic companion Captain Jack Harkness permanently brought back to life at the climax of Christopher Ecclestone's one season as the Time Lord. The 'seedy' origins of the Torchwood organisation which Captain Jack rebuilt was explored in great detail through David Tennant's first season, including its creation by Queen Victoria.
Unfortunately Torchwood got off on the wrong foot with the pilot episode and never really recovered from there. Rather than concentrate on the world of possibilities of how mankind deals with their aliens visitors, the show tried way too hard to distance itself from the successful show it had spun off from.
That may not have been a disaster in itself, but the show tried so hard to be edgy and 'adult', that it failed to have any soul. The characters were all so mean spirited and the feel of the show was so downbeat that it was hard to invest in any of the so-so alien threats put forward. It's a real shame, because the premise was a ripper.