Cancelled Too Soon: The Inhumans

By | June 28, 2018

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

Fall 2017 brought a new Marvel related series to ABC’s schedule when The Inhumans debuted on Friday nights, but unfortunately the series brought a lot of baggage with it and never found much of a audience. Based on the Marvel characters that were first introduced in the Fantastic Four comics by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, the Inhumans are an evolutionarily advanced race that possess superpowers and who live in the legendary city of Attilan (originally located on Earth then retrofitted to be on the Moon). The characters had been bounced around for several years as possibly getting their own movie, but ultimately it was decided to shift them to a television series. The first two episodes were filmed with IMAX cameras and they debuted on IMAX screens at the beginning of September. And that was where things really started to go wrong with the show.

The Inhumans lacked the big budget of the other Marvel Universe movies which became quite apparent when the first two episodes aired in IMAX theaters. These were panned by fans and critics alike, which meant that when the show debuted on television it had plenty of negative buzz to scare away potential viewers. Add to that the fact that it aired on Fridays, a typically low-viewership night for the the broadcast nets. The show debuted to mediocre at best ratings and saw those numbers drop off pretty quickly. To make matters worse, fans continued to lambast the series throughout its eight-episode run.

However, the show was really not bad and presented a good science fiction tale that also gave an origin story for the Inhumans. It could not match up to the Marvel Universe movies budget-wise, and it did have a cheesy feel to it at times. But it was still a decent enough superhero entry for television. The damage had already been done, though, and ABC apparently gave up on it after Fall and then officially announced the show’s cancellation at the end of the season. Fortunately, it wrapped up its main story so as not leave viewers on a major cliffhanger. But there were plenty more stories to be told for The Inhumans if it had met with more success. It’s possible that show could tie in with Agents of SHIELD or other Marvel characters at some point, but after the negative backlash, the Inhumans may just fade away for a while. It is worth seeking out the series and giving it another chance because it was much better than the naysayers claim and offered a good introduction to a less well-known but still very interesting team of Marvel heroes.

Aired: ABC, 2017, One Season Totaling 8 Episodes

Developed By: Scott Buck

Starring: Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Ken Leung, Eme Ikwuakor, Isabelle Cornish

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