There are several new TV shows coming this fall and the following months, genres ranging from historical drama, to dystopia, and mystery, among others. I have compiled a small list of those I’m more excited about, but feel free to share yours too! You can read the full list of new fall shows on our previous editorial here.
Believe (NBC, Drama)
Anything with J. J. Abrams’ (Fringe, Lost) name on it definitely gets my attention. Add that to the fact that Alfonso Cuáron (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) is directing the series, and it makes Believe one of the shows that I will definitely give a chance to. Even if it technically only premieres midseason.
Bo (Johnny Sequoyah) started to manifest strange powers like telekinesis, levitation, and even some predictions of the future, when she was just two years old. Since then she’s been under the protection of a small group called the “Believers”. But now it seems her life might be in danger, and so they decide to hire Tate (Jake McLaughlin, Crash), who’s in prison, to protect her.
Although I’m not sure why it had to be Tate, there must be a good reason, seeing as they go to all the trouble of breaking him out of prison. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between the two main characters because of the age difference. Many shows make the mistake of separating the younger actors from the older ones and never having their characters interact. But here that can’t happen, and so I’m looking forward to see how Bo will relate to the adults around her.
More than that I’m interested to see how they will develop her powers. Besides the ones I’ve mentioned, she can “control nature” and even “see people for who they truly are and who they may become.” She can’t fully control these abilities, so it looks like a lot of potential trouble all in one place. There might be people who want to use them for their own selfish purposes, but I wonder if Bo won’t do that just by herself. It can’t be all roses and rainbows, and it could be interesting if they explored the downside of being a child with so much power in their hands.
Some familiar faces will star in the series, such as Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks), Sienna Guillory (Resident Evil series), and Jamie Chung (Once Upon a Time). This series will premiere midseason on NBC, but there isn’t a specific date yet.
Sleepy Hollow (FOX, Mystery)
The minds behind this show, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, also collaborated on Star Trek and Fringe, so I think we can assume this show is off to a good start. It has mystery, conspiracies, witty humour, and influences from the dark The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a nice blend to spike my interest. It might be another remake/adaptation, but I’ll forgive it and approach with optimistic caution.
Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, Parade’s End) wakes up 250 years after his death, and so does his enemy, the Headless Horseman. Of course he’s going to be confused when he encounters the modern world, and from what we’ve seen in the trailer there are going to be some good moments around that (“You’ve been emancipated, I take it? From enslavement?”). Speaking of the other main character, Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie, Shame), it’s good to see some diversity and I hope she’ll be more than the stereotyped “strong female character” that will banter with the main character from time to time.
He won’t be the only one to deal with things that are not of his time. The citizens of Sleepy Hollow will go face to non-face with the Headless Horseman, who will continue his path of destruction. There are also two other groups, fighting for evil and good, so common mortals will have to deal with supernatural powers. Hopefully they will keep the haunting atmosphere of the original work, while adding some new elements to make this series a good addition to the horror genre.
Alex Kurtzman has said:
“It is a slightly different world than our own. It needed to be dark, but dark while still being fun(…) the right balance for the horror, suspense and fantasy elements that make up the show. We wanted to create a movie on television. This is definitely a genre series and we wanted it to have that flavor to it, a darker look as long as the tone is fun.”
They will also be exploring a more mythological side, touching on such tales as the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Another aspect I’m looking forward to is the scenes in the 18th century, where they’ll reveal more about the character’s history (including the Horseman, who “is still a man, not just a creature”) and some secrets involving the Founding Fathers. The first episode will air on September 16.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC, Action)
It’s Joss Whedon (Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), how could this new series not be on this list? Together with Jed Whedon (Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, The Avengers) and Maurissa Tancharoen (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, The Avengers), they took the huge success of The Avengers movie and are trying to move it to television.
I say “try” because although expectations are very high, we still can’t be sure this will work on television. It has the potential to be more than great, but I suppose you know Whedon’s track record: amazing TV shows with a big fan base… that end up being cancelled. Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb has already admitted:
“To succeed, we’ve got to tell stories that appeal not just to what we affectionately refer to as the ‘Marvel zombies,’ but to a broader audience affectionately referred to at ABC as the Scandal women.”
Joss Whedon added:
“Their biggest note after we presented the thing was they wanted to make sure that our investment in the characters and their interaction and their evolution was as big as the case of the week.”
So it seems S.H.I.E.L.D. might have to adapt to ABC’s rules. Hopefully those in charge know what they are doing (and they have proven so in the past), and at least they gave us back Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, The Avengers). In my book that earns them a lot of points from the get-go.
I might have started this in a rather cautious tone, but truth is I’m very much looking forward to this series. What do they mean with “special cases”? Normal people with strange powers and abilities, or super villains running wild? Maybe both? In the comics the agency has a wide range of responsibilities, from espionage to stopping alien invasions. But from what the trailer has shown us, it seems they will have a more local and personal approach in the series, focusing on individual cases.
The show will tie in with the already existing movies (starting some time after The Avengers) as well as future ones (like Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) is set to reprise her role as Maria Hill at least in the pilot, and one can only hope Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, Star Wars) will also make an appearance. Some confirmed guest stars are J. Augustus Richards (Angel), and Ron Glass (Firefly). The first episode will air on September 24.
Almost Human (FOX, Action)
Remember when I said something about J. J. Abrams? Here we are again. I promise I don’t trust him blindly, but more often than not I do enjoy his work, whether he’s involved as executive producer or director. In this case it’s the former, with Bryan Burk (Fringe, Person of Interest) joining him as co-producer, and J. H. Wyman (Fringe) as creator of the show.
What interests me most here is the duality between “human who doesn’t accept his robot part” versus “robot who isn’t quite human but he’s close.” The two main characters appear to be an unlikely pair, but it looks like they end up working great together. Of course there are going to be some clashes… Karl Urban’s (Star Trek) character does hate androids after all. But any conflict that gives place to some witty, sarcastic banter is fine by me.
In interviews the directors have said that they want the series to be more than just a procedural, but they will still give importance to the crime stories. Fringe, another show Wyman worked on, also started off as a more episodic series and later on evolved to have more complex story arcs, which I would like to see happen here too.
“This is a police drama. This is about hard-working, brave people on the front lines of a future that’s just a stone’s throw away, and we’re hoping that people care about them. I’m more interested in knowing about these people’s lives a la great shows like ‘NYPD Blue.’ Nobody ever dogged it for being episodic, because the characters were serialized. You really invested in the characters. That’s what we’re angling for here.
“On a week-to-week basis, telling exciting cop stories, we’re going into this as a cop drama. There are some stories we can tell that I guarantee no other show can tell, and we’re really excited about that. We don’t look at episodic television as a bad thing… we think it’s just part and parcel for the world we’re in.
“Will we learn more about the characters and invest in their lives? Absolutely. Will there be things that come up that are intriguing and you want to know more about them? I can guarantee you there will be. But are we going to tell a really great, compelling case every week that involves these compelling people? Yes we will.”
Almost Human will premiere on November 4.
The Tomorrow People (CW, Drama)
Created by Phil Klemmer (Chuck) this series is being named the “next super hero TV show”.
Although I haven’t seen the original series, this looks promising. “The next step in human evolution.” It appears to be a mix of X-Men, Heroes, and Alphas, which can be a good or a bad thing. Those stories have good premises and potential, but The Tomorrow People could fall into the clichés of the genre and stay there. Hopefully it will be more than just “teenagers with super powers”, and they will explore the possibilities beyond that.
Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), one of the producers, has already said that although there might be some romance, we shouldn’t expect it to be the focus of the show. That is already a point in favour of avoiding the normal teenage drama series.
We know most of the characters will be hiding underground, seeing as they are being hunted by ULTRA, an organization that wants to protect the human race, and Jedikiah Price (Mark Pellegrino, Supernatural). The main character, Stephen (Robbie Amell, Life With Derek) happens to be Jedikiah’s nephew, and he will have to chose between joining the Tomorrow People or working for his uncle.
I can’t speculate much about what is going to happen seeing as there isn’t a lot of information about season one. The main plot, besides the discovery of what he is, will be about Stephen’s father. He has disappeared in somewhat mysterious circumstances, and since he seems to be involved with the Tomorrow People, they will be looking for him.
I expect this will go beyond the normal teenage drama, although I know I might still be disappointed. The first episode will introduce the characters, but only later episodes will delve into their back stories. Another interesting aspect that has been spoken about in interviews is how the antagonist, Jedikiah, doesn’t really seem himself as evil. He thinks he’s doing the right thing to save humanity, that these young people really are a threat. Let’s hope they will develop that in an exciting way.
Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) will voice TIM, a computer, and Jason Dohrin (Veronica Mars) will guest star. The show premieres on October 9.