Cancelled Before It Began: Them (2007)

By | September 9, 2016

Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.

six-tpbThis pilot was produced by Battlestar: Galactica EP David Eick and was based on the graphic novel SIX by Michael Avon Oeming and Daniel Berman. It allegedly aired in 2007, but I never remember seeing it hit the schedule and I was watching for it. It involves a sleeper cell of aliens based in Los Angeles that look like humans but which have no emotions and follow orders without question. Emotions infect the aliens like a virus, so they must be cautious in their contact with humans. One of the aliens ends up falling in love with a human and the enforcer Cain is sent to hunt him down. Meanwhile, the “assimilator” Ezekial monitors the other members of the cell for any signs of contamination from human emotions. While the premise of this series sounds a bit derivative, I was intrigued by it because of the involvement of BSG’s David Eick as well as John McNamara who had created the intriguing Profit for FOX back in 1996 (which starred future Heroes cast-member Adrian Pasdar). The show could been taken in a lot of interesting directions and used to explore many moral quandaries just like BSG did in its best episodes. And perhaps the pilot started off in that direction and scared off the FOX executives that viewed it. Network television was not ready then (and still not now) to take the chances that cable shows like BSG and non-genre entry The Shield were at that time. And FOX had cancelled McNamara’s daring Profit after only eight episodes, so if Them was going in the same direction it would have a hard time surviving on the network. Still, this might have made for an interesting series, especially considering the creative staff that was guiding it. James D’Arcy was onboard in the role of the enforcer and BSG alum Tricia Helfer showed up in the pilot as well. I’ve not found any bootleg copies of the pilot (seems like there would be if it actually aired at some point) or seen it on YouTube, so consider this one a rare find. If anybody know where it can be viewed, please let us know in the comments. Because it would definitely be worth seeking out for curiosity’s sake.

Aired: 2007 (Allegedly)

Developed By: John McNamara, David Eick

Starring: Callard Harris, Ben Feldman, Freya Stafford, James D’Arcy, Tricia Helfer

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