Revival

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"Let me assure you fans of the old Price is Right that this is your favorite game still based on the pricing of merchandise with wonderful awards for smart shoppers. We call it The New Price is Right because we have some exciting new games that you'll enjoy right there at home with our Studio Audience, and we're going to get that first game going right now."
Bob Barker on the first ever episode of his version of The Price Is Right

The show's so nice, they did it twice.

Pretty much every fan's dream is to see their beloved series return to the airwaves, and every once in a great while, it actually happens, occasionally as the reaction to a particularly successful Reunion Show.

The Revival differs from other forms of remake and adaptation in that it remains (more or less) in continuity with its predecessor. The show may differ in some substantial ways (in fact, a Revival is often far more different from the original than a remake would be), particularly with regards to casting, but it is nonetheless a continuation of the original series, rather than a second attempt at visiting the same material.

Differs from a Transplant in scale and in the passage of real-world time. It is not strictly necessary for any of the original characters to return (though this depends on the nature of the show: shows set in the "real world" typically need a character (or family) to link the incarnations, while in Speculative Fiction, the universe of the show can serve this purpose), but when they don't, you can usually count on one of them to return as a Special Guest. Often, a front-line character from the original series is now Older and Wiser, and promoted to the position of The Obi-Wan.

A Revival typically revisits the characters or their world some years later, and features occasional references back to events in the original series. (Ideally, these references are very occasional, as they tend to alienate new viewers. Referencing past continuity too often gives the new show the feel of Fan Wank.)

The Revival is something of a crapshoot. When reviving a show, the makers have access to a ready-made audience, improving their odds of success. However, if the revival is too much like the original, (mostly unfavorable) comparisons to the original are inevitable, and they run the risk of being inaccessible or irrelevant to the new audience (after all, the show which spawned the revival had long-since died). If the revival is too different, it alienates fans of the original, and there are few foes more formidable than an enraged fan-base. When it fails, it fails spectacularly. When it succeeds, it tends to last longer than the original, though it does not always attain the same cultural status.

In Theatre "revival" has a slightly different meaning, closer to a straight Remake. Any production that has not been performed in a significant amount of time and is brought back to the stage is called a revival - usualy it will be recast, sometimes it will get bonus material added in the form of a new song or two, sometimes the production values of the show such as the set design will get a revamp. The Tony Awards give separate awards to revival productions including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Revival of a Play.

See also Uncanceled, which is the restoration of the original, largely unchanged, as opposed to a new series based off the old. The differences are sometimes entirely behind-the-scenes.

Examples of Revival include:

Anime[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Macross is fairly unique among other anime series in the fact that it goes through constant revivals every few years with a few movies, OVAs, and mangas sprinkled in between. First there was the original Macross series that aired from 1982-1983. Macross7 was aired from 1994-1995 and was based on a colony ship with two main characters from the original series being carried over. The most recent 2008 series, Macross Frontier, takes place several decades after Macross 7 in a different colony ship.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion, for the original Neon Genesis Evangelion.
    • Subverted. The first film closely follows the beginning of the anime, but the second quickly diverges and never looks back.
  • Lupin III first aired on TV from 1971-1972. It got so popular in reruns, that it was brought back as The New Lupin III 1977. And again in the 1980s as Lupin III Part III. The new Lupin series, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, is a Prequel.


Automobiles[edit | hide]

  • The MINI, launched in 2001 by BMW is one such example. However, it's not a Remake and is Canon Discontinuity of the original - larger, fatter and heavier than the original. Not to mention that 1.6-litre engines and diesel were never available in the original.
  • The Fiat 500, a supermini that is considered utterly terrible in some nations (even the United Kingdom), and to be launched in the United States sometime in 2011 where such vehicles are considered as Americans Hate Tingle.
  • Volkswagen Santana, which is basically the 1981-1988 Passat with some slight changes and engine changes. The Other Wiki has a full article. Supposed to end production in 2012...
  • The Talbot brand, owned by Peugeot, which disappeared from the automobile market in 1986, but is now coming back, with Peugeot-based models. Few people realized how much of a Chekhov's Gun the Talbot brand was to Peugeot-Citroen...


Comic Books[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • The Samuel L Jackson vehicle Shaft was not a remake of the 1970s blaxploitation classic. In fact, Richard Roundtree reprised his role as the original Shaft, who was the uncle of Jackson's character.
    • And got more women than Jackson's character.
  • Referenced in Galaxy Quest, where the Star Trek spoof show the main characters acted on was revived in the end of the film.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Though not the first example, surely the most famous is Star Trek: The Next Generation, which spawned the modern era of the Star Trek franchise. Set some seventy years after the original, it returned to the fictional world of Star Trek: The Original Series with a new starship and crew.
    • And yes, there was even a Shout-Out or two and a Special Guest from the first series from time to time; DeForrest Kelley (Dr. "Bones" McCoy) had a small guest appearance in the premiere episode, sparking a "send-off" tradition where a character from the previous Trek series would appear in the premiere of the next; Spock became a focal character for two-part episode and even his father Sarek had an episode revolving around him.
    • Scotty also made an appearance, after being locked in transporter for decades. He managed to show his old school engineering beats the new engineer.
    • This almost happened a few years earlier with Star Trek: Phase Two which was going to be the headliner for a new Paramount cable network. This eventually morphed into Star Trek: The Motion Picture while some of the scripts written for the show were used in Star Trek: The Next Generation during a writer's strike.
  • Due in part to the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation, about the same time, WKRP in Cincinnati was revived as The New WKRP In Cincinnati, which returned to the titular radio station a decade later. Some of the original characters remained, some had departed, but most made guest appearances.
    • Around the same time, the 70s sitcom What's Happening! was updated to What's Happening Now!, starring nearly all of the original's surviving stars as older version of their characters.
  • Get Smart was briefly revived with Maxwell Smart promoted to Chief of CONTROL over his own son Zach in the new Get Smart.
  • Another of the rare successful examples is Kung Fu The Legend Continues, in which David Carradine almost-reprised his original role, playing Caine's Identical Grandson.
  • In 1997, Knight Rider was revived as Team Knight Rider with a new cast and concept. It fell victim to a homicidally enraged fan-base.
    • And in 2008, a new revival was spawned by a TV movie. The fan-base has proven substantially less homicidal this time.
  • The Brady Bunch was briefly revived in the 1980s as The Bradys. It violated the usual rule by transforming from a Half-Hour Comedy to a Dramatic Hour Long, and suffered in the ratings for it; in an attempt to rescue the show, the producers tried to turn it back into a comedy by arbitrarily inserting a Laugh Track into the existing dramatic plot line!
  • On the other side of the pond, Are You Being Served was briefly revived, reuniting the department store clerks as the caretakers of an inn into which their pensions had been invested in Grace and Favor (aired in the US as Are You Being Served Again. Many of the cast members have speculated that had the show originally aired under that title, it might have succeeded, as it appears that most of the audience did not realize the show was a revival).
  • A revival of Blakes Seven set years after the original with Avon as The Obi-Wan was announced in 2003, but appears to have been scrapped.
  • Doctor Who Revived under the same title in 2005, it not only kept the old series in continuity, it * also* kept events from the made for TV movie that tried but didn't manage to revive the series a number of years earlier. It even put the long break in as a plot point. "During" the missing period (on the Doctor's personal timeline, anyway), the Last Great Time War happened, rendering the Doctor the Last of His Kind (and regenerating him offscreen into Christopher Eccleston). The show squeezes the mystery of what precisely happened for all the drama and suspense they can.
  • After The Muppet Show ended and the Muppets went on to make movies, two attempts were made to revive the show as a TV franchise. Neither The Jim Henson Hour nor Muppets Tonight were as successful as the original. More recently, the show has been revived in Comic Book form.
    • Partially The Jim Henson Hour failed because instead of reviving the Muppets in their familiar form, it was a deliberate attempt by Jim Henson to do something new with them. With the exception of Kermit and Gonzo, most of the cast were brand new (or quite obscure). The fact that Frank Oz had semi-retired from puppetry, reducing Miss Piggy and Fozzie to only rare cameos didn't help. That and the other half of the program was usually Jim's darker, more trippy stuff.
  • Game shows are quite popular targets for revivals. The current incarnation of Jeopardy! is a revival of the original, and then there's NBC's new version of 21, and Whammy! The All-New Press Your Luck. Some of the best ones were seen in the '70s and '80s. (Password Plus, Super Password, The $25,000/$100,000 Pyramid, Bob Eubanks' Card Sharks, Ray Combs' Family Feud, and let us not forget about a little retooling of both NBC's The Match Game and Bill Cullen's The Price Is Right.)
  • WWE attempted a revival of defunct wrestling federation ECW as its third "brand"; however, Executive Meddling on the part of Vince McMahon pretty much destroyed any connection to the original except the name and a handful of wrestlers. And even the handful of wrestlers (save one) were gone within a couple of years.
  • Mission: Impossible was revived in the late 1980s with Peter Graves reprising his role as Jim Phelps and Bob Johnson returning as the voice on the recording, though the rest of the Impossible Missions Force personnel were new characters and the technology was updated (for example, the famous self-destructing reel-to-reel tape became a self-destructing CD). Many of the original scripts were recycled nearly verbatim for the revival.
    • That was more a "revival of necessity" though, because of the 1988 writer's strike. ABC decided that they needed "new" product, but wanted it on the cheap. So they dusted off the old scripts, sent the production off to Australia (which saved them 20%, and avoided other union headaches). It was originally planned as a full remake, but later shifted to the revival that ended up on film.
  • Hawaii Five-O
  • The Tomorrow People was briefly revived with the help of Nickelodeon in the early '90s. Though the premise was largely unchanged, it drew more heavily from American kids' show tropes—particularly, taking Adults Are Useless to comic extremes. Neither this revival nor Big Finish's subsequent audio revival of the original series directly referenced each other, though the latter has made some very oblique references that might be taken to either canonize or decanonize the revival, depending on how you interpret them.
  • The 1960s Spy Couple show The Avengers was revived as The New Avengers in the 1970s, but lasted only one season. It uncomfortably straddled the line between the original series's ludicrous plots and the growing fashion for grittier, meaner shows such as The Professionals.
    • ...which was made by the same people who made The New Avengers.
  • Genre Anthology shows are easy to revive because they lack continuing characters. For example:
  • Leave It to Beaver was revived during the 1980s, with the 1983 Made for TV Movie Still The Beaver, and the 1985-89 series The New Leave It To Beaver, both focusing on the life of the adult Beav.
  • The Munsters was revived in 1988 as The Munsters Today.
  • The 1970s British Series All Creatures Great and Small simply returned to the air with its original cast (bar one) a decade after its run had ended. In the intervening time, supporting actor Peter Davison had become a much bigger star, thanks to his stint on Doctor Who. Since the original series had ended with the main characters going off to fight in World War II, the time gap was readily explained by shifting the setting to after they'd returned to the practice of veterinary medicine.
  • The Gong Show is airing in a revived version, after being revived as Extreme Gong; so far the Gong itself is the only returning cast member.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 has been revived (fittingly enough, by The CW) as simply 90210. Original cast members Shannen Doherty, Tori Spelling, and Jennie Garth have all reprised their roles (if only for guest parts), and Jason Priestly set to direct an episode. The CW is now doing the same for the similar Melrose Place.
  • Red Dwarf was revived with three new episodes, the three-part story Back to Earth, after 10 years off the air. A full tenth series is set to air autumn 2012.
  • Double Dare 2000 for the original Nickelodeon Double Dare.
  • After an 11-year absence from the airwaves and a 6-year absence from any form of media, Kamen Rider Kuuga inaugurated the return of the Kamen Rider franchise. The title of the first episode? "Revival".
  • Rab C. Nesbitt returned in a Christmas Special after a ten year gap, and got a full series in 2010.
  • Eerie, Indiana was revived as Eerie Indiana The Other Dimension. It lasted just one season of 15 episodes.
  • James Garner reprised his Maverick role in the short-lived 1981 series Bret Maverick.
  • The Love Boat was revived with The Love Boat: The Next Wave.
  • Dragnet, the '50s TV/radio series, was revived in the late '60s, then again in 1989 (as The New Dragnet) and yet again in 2003 (as LA Dragnet). And that's not counting the two feature film adaptations.
  • Degrassi (formerly titled Degrassi: The Next Generation), launched in 2001 and still running, is a revival of The Eighties series Degrassi High (which was, in contrast, an immediate Sequel to Degrassi Junior High), set in the present day while including a few recurring characters from Degrassi High as adults.
  • Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, with Bob and Terry (and Terry's sister) still played by the original actors, ten years later and in colour.
  • Danny Thomas' Make Room for Daddy was briefly revived as Make Room for Granddaddy in 1970.
  • TNT has one for Dallas in the pipeline for a summer 2012 premiere date. The new show will focus on the children of JR and Bobby and will feature Larry Hagman and Patrick Duffy once again playing the roles that made them famous.
  • There have been two failed attempts to revive The Time Tunnel. The first one, in 2002, resulted in a never-broadcast unsold pilot;[1] the second one, a few years later, didn't even get that far.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Space Hulk got a limited edition revival from Games Workshop.


Toys[edit | hide]

  • After a six-year absence, the G.I. Joe action figure line was relaunched in 1982 with smaller figure size, a team concept, and an actual enemy to fight in the form of the Cobra organization. The revived figure line would continue until 1994. After several failed attempts at new lines, the 1980s "Real American Hero" figures would themselves be revived in 1997.
  • Heck, even the lovable Weebles toy line that originated in the early 70s recently got a revival as you can obviously see in this commercial that surprisingly has a techno remix for the catchy jingle that obviously describes what happens when you push them around!


Video Games[edit | hide]


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Fans has had two revivals. It began as an independently-published print comic book in 1999, only for the creators to cancel it within the year due to lackluster distribution and sales. They revived it eight months later as a webcomic, which ran until 2005 when writer T Campbell felt he'd brought the story to its proper conclusion. In 2008, he planned to do a one-shot Sequel story as a donation drive incentive, but found he had so many ideas for new stories and characters that he and artist Jason Waltrip instead relaunched the webcomic entirely, picking up five in-universe years from the previous storyline. It's still updating three times a week, with no plans to end it in the foreseeable future.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  1. it's available on DVD with the original series
  2. Okay, Kirby had a healthy stream of portable releases in that time, but he hasn't been seen on a console in a while.
  3. Who apparently didn't particularly care for the original cartoons, and was a little skeptical when her bosses told her this is what they wanted her to be doing