Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
The Sci Fi Channel produced the pilot for this odd little animated series back in 2006, though unfortunately it never went to series. Combining spy fi, steam punk, and supernatural elements with a generous helping of quirky whimsy, it followed the title character which is a robot head that can be screwed on to various bodies that have different abilities. It takes place in the mid-19th century and Screw-On Head takes his orders directly from President Lincoln. The idea originated as a one-shot comic book written and drawn by Mike Mignola. The television pilot follows the comic pretty closely and also expands upon it as it had time to develop the characters further. It was totally batshit crazy–in a good way–and probably most interesting is the talent that was involved with bringing the pilot to life. Of course, Mignola is the creator of the the acclaimed Hellboy comic book series (which was brought to the big screen by Guillermo del Toro). Bryan Fuller assisted with the writing of the pilot and executive produced the project. The voice talent included Paul Giamatti as Screw-On Head, Patton Oswalt as his manservant Mr. Groin, Molly Shannon as Patience the Vampire, and David Hyde Pierce as the nefarious Emperor Zombie. Getting the jump on how Amazon would eventually decide which pilots to greenlight to series, the Sci Fi Channel put this up on their website and allowed viewers to vote on it, but apparently the response was not favorable enough. Ultimately, the show may have been too far out in left-field to gain much of an audience and likely would have been cancelled anyway. But I sure would have liked at least one season of this one which would have surely gone on to become a cult classic. Unfortunately, now it has been relegated to the status of forgotten curio, though the pilot was released on DVD and it is also available for viewing over on YouTube (at this link). I highly recommend checking it out for its sheer lunacy and a glimpse of what could have been from the amazing talent assembled here.
Aired: 2006 (scifi.com)
Created By: Mike Mignola
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Patton Oswalt, Molly Shannon, and David Hyde Pierce