Best Fantasy TV Series
Where there have been quite a few good and successful fantasy movies, fantasy television as a genre has never been as popular as for example the science fiction genre, which had great and long running series like Star Trek, Babylon 5 and Stargate. On the other hand, there have been some good fantasy TV series and the future is looking quite bright.
I have created a list of what I believe to be the possible contenders for the title of best fantasy television series. It is a short list; however, I have good hope that around this time next year, a new contender will be around…
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess were television series shown in the second half of the nineties. As discussed in an earlier post I prefer Xena above Hercules, but both series had a certain vibe that made them very entertaining and interesting to watch. They portray the classic Greek myths in a modern style: lots of action while at the same time witty and not too serious. It is feel good action fantasy for the masses. However, the series had their downsides. Episodes and story lines were not always that good and they also contained a lot of morality.
Buffy the vampire slayer and Angel
Buffy the vampire slayer and Angel were two contemporary fantasy series, both revolving around a group of people, lead by the vampire slayer Buffy and vampire-turned-good Angel, fighting evil in the form of vampires and other supernatural creatures. Angel started out as a character in Buffy the vampire slayer and got his own spin-off series after a couple of seasons. Both series were action packed but also contained a lot of humor. The series were shown between 1997 and 2004.
Produced by HBO, True Blood is a currently running television series about the co-existence of vampires and humans in a small town in Louisiana. Vampires and people now live together and interact as sort of equals due to the creation of synthetic blood. The series is quite action packed and graphic but also contains a fair bit of humor. True Blood is very popular and has good ratings so I expect the series to be around for some time to come.
Read more about True Blood.
Legend of the Seeker
Legend of the Seeker is a television series loosely based on The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. It tells the classical story of a boy who is destined to face evil enemies with incredible powers. Of course he gets help from an old wizard and a beautiful girl.
Although personally I am not a big fan of the series, it is pretty well made and at least entertaining to watch. The series started in 2008 and should have been given a change to develop but has been cancelled after season 2, early 2010.
Produced by the BBC, Merlin tells the classic story of Arthur and the knights of the round table. However, it centers around Merlin in his younger years (in the series Merlin is about the same age as Arthur). The series is focused on a relatively young audience. It contains humor, has good story lines and in general also good acting performances.
The effects are somewhat poorly done but then again, that is not what the series is about. It is an entertaining, light-hearted series that does contain quite a bit of morality.
Other fantasy TV (mini) series
Nonetheless, worth mentioning are following series, which do show the broad range of different fantasy genres explored in television series:
- The Earthsee miniseries
- The Beastmaster
New kid on the block: Game of Thrones
Approved for production by HBO in March 2010, I have good hopes that Game of Thrones, based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice & Fire, will become this list’s clear number one. Game of Thrones will be based on a great fantasy series and will have the intention of becoming a serious television series with much attention to quality and focused completely at adults. This will be quite unlike any other fantasy television series produced so far. I can only hope that the anticipation will not become so high that it will result in disappointment but after the first season it looks like Game of Thrones has more than delivered!
First Game of Thrones review.
Of course there have been many other fantasy television series and I am open to suggestions. So please let me know when you believe there are fantasy television series that should definitely be included in this list!