We hope you got some rest over the holidays, because you're going to need it. As is now the standard, this year brings with it a plethora of science fiction/ fantasy/superhero/monster/comic book/spin-off/remake/etc. TV series — and we're here with a handy guide to help you keep track of it all. Choose what to watch wisely... because there's a lot of it.
Brand New Shows
Premieres: January 6, 9:00 pm, on NBC. Australia TBC (likely Channel Nine)
This long-delayed take on The Wizard of Oz finally premieres this week and, if nothing else, it looks visually interesting. On the other hand, it also sounds like another attempt to do "gritty take on an old classic" that is wearing very thin these days. But, hey, Vincent D'Onofrio's got quite the beard. Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell and Mirror Mirror) with Australia's Isabel Lucas in a recurring role.
Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events
Premieres: January 13 on Netflix
After a film adaptation that left something to be desired, Netflix is doing its own attempt at making a dark comedy out of the lives of Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny Baudelaire (Presley Smith) after their parents' deaths. The previews definitely show a series in touch with the gothic sensibilities of the books, and with Neil Patrick Harris as the villainous Count Olaf, Patrick Warburton's distinctive voice narrating, and veteran comedy actors like Joan Cusack, Aasif Mandvi, and Catherine O'Hara, this show really feels like it could work.
Premieres: January 26, 9:00 pm, on The CW. Australia TBC (likely Netflix now Foxtel unlike Arrow, The Flash etc).
You will not believe what the CW has done to Archie. Or, you will, because it's so quintessentially CW — cheerleaders, affairs with teachers, secrets, murder, etc. Let the official synopsis speak for itself:
As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom - and nothing feels the same... Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) is still the all-American teen, but the summer's events made him realise that he wants to pursue a career in music - not follow in his dad's footsteps - despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale's young music teacher, Ms. Grundy (Sarah Habel). Which means Archie doesn't have anyone who will mentor him - certainly not singer Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats.
It's all weighing heavily on Archie's mind - as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse). Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she's not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty's nerves - which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice (Madchen Amick) aren't the only thing holding her back.
When a new student, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes), arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione (Marisol Nichols), there's an undeniable spark between her and Archie, even though Veronica doesn't want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie. And then there's Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch)... Riverdale's Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What, exactly, is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows...
Premieres: February 2, 8:30 pm, on NBC. Australia TBC.
A full-on sitcom set in the DC universe, Powerless stars Vanessa Hudgens as an insurance adjuster who works for a company that insures against superheroes and supervillains. In addition to dealing with that, she also has the usual obstructionist boss and strange co-workers. It's a workplace comedy with a superhero twist, and you can expect plenty of DC easter eggs.
Premieres: February 8, 10:00 pm, on FX. Confirmed for Foxtel / FX Australia early 2017.
Legion is the first live-action TV show that is (vaguely) set in the X-Men universe. When you discount 2001's not-really-X-Men-anyway Mutant X series (and we really should). This new show focuses on David Haller (Dan Stevens), a man diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to mental hospitals. Of course, it's not just schizophrenia he has, but powerful mutant powers that make him the target of experimentation. Or he's hallucinating. It's hard to tell. There are only eight episodes of this show coming this year, so savour every one.
Premieres: March 17 on Netflix
Netflix and Marvel's fourth show follows Danny Rand (Finn Jones) as he returns to New York after being missing for years. "Missing" in this case means that, after a plane crash killed his parents, he was found and trained in martial arts and the ability to call upon the mystic "Iron Fist." Back in New York, he tries to recover his family company and fight the threats that emerge as he does so.
The Handmaid's Tale
Premieres: April 26 on Hulu. Australia TBC.
This adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred, the protagonist, who lives in a future under a fundamentalist dictatorship where everyone has a place dictated by religion. Offred is a handmaid, a class that has proven fertility and, because of declining birth rates, are assigned to upper-class couples to bear children for barren wives. The book explored Offred's forms of resistance, history, and the hideous treatment she suffers, so we can assume the show will do the same.
Premieres: April on Starz. Australia TBC (likely on Stan).
Bryan Fuller's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel, through near-perfect casting and styling, has become a show we are desperate to see more of. It follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-con who enters the employ of Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) and joins him on a weird journey across the United States. This could be big.
Star Trek: Discovery
Premieres: Netflix will screen globally 24 hours after CBS All Access.
The latest trip to Star Trek universe has been delayed and lost its showrunner, Bryan Fuller; it could be delayed even further. That said, we know it takes place 10 years before the Original Series and will focus on the ship's XO Rainsford (Sonequa Martin-Green) instead of the captain (Michelle Yeoh). Stan has every episode of every existing Star Trek series.
Premieres: Confirmed for Stan in Australia.
The limited series return of Twin Peaks still doesn't have an official return date, but it's still one of the most anticipated shows of the year. We know next to nothing about what the show is about, but we do know that nearly everyone is returning, including Kyle MacLachlan as FBI Agent Dale Cooper. Other than that, it's all locked up in David Lynch and Mark Frost's minds.
Premieres: January 6, 8:00 pm, on NBC. Airs on FOX8 and Channel 7 in Australia (older seasons on Yahoo7, Foxtel Binge and Foxtel Anytime).
Grimm starts its final season on Friday, where all the mysteries will be answered. (Have they figured out the keys yet? We stopped watching a while ago.)
Premieres: January 6, 9:00 pm, on Fox. Channel Eleven in Australia. Fox8 has also aired Sleepy Hollow.
Itching to find out what this show is like without Abbie (Nicole Beharie)? Neither are we. We're skipping Sleepy Hollow's fourth, and probably last, season.
Premieres: January 12, 10:00 pm, on USA. Netflix in Australia.
Colony focuses on the choices of people living under the rule of alien invaders. It's not a science fiction show based on impressive shots of aliens, but on the choices people in these extreme situations make. At the end of season one, all of the main characters were separated, some in very bad situations. So expect to see season two pick up from there.
Voltron: Legendary Defender
Premieres: January 20 on Netflix.
It's Voltron, a giant robot made out of five smaller lion robots, fighting to stop an evil empire. If you like that sort of thing — and if you liked season one — then watch it. It's very simple.
Premieres: January 25, 9:00 pm, on Syfy. Syfy Channel on Foxtel in Australia.
This show, while very different from the books that inspired it, is fun, interesting, and surprisingly darker than you'd expect from how it was initially marketed. More than that, it put its characters through the ringer in season one and ended with Julia (Stella Maeve) making a deal with the Beast and Quentin the only (Jason Ralph) the only other person left standing. Everyone else was lying on the ground bleeding. If for no other reason than a resolution to that cliffhanger, the season premiere is a must watch.
Premieres: February 1, 9:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 and Netflix in Australia.
We saw in the trailer that season four of The 100 is full of people making choices that lead to bloody confrontation, as well as some hint that the disease talked about in the season three finale wasn't a lie.
Premieres: February 1, 10:00 pm, on Syfy in the US. Netflix in Australia.
This show ended with the "protomolecule" — an incredibly dangerous bioweapon — unleashed on Eros and killing tons of people. The crew of the Rocinante escapes, but sees the ship of the people testing the protomolecule leaving as well. Meanwhile, the tensions between Earth, Mars, and the Belt have escalated, as it has revealed that the ship that destroyed the Canterbury and the Donnanger was built on Earth. And while war is certainly being stoked by a third party as a distraction, only so many people actually know that. The Expanse is beyond just a slow-burn set of mysteries now and is a full-blown war and politics thriller.
Premieres: March 17, 8:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 (and possibly Netflix) in Australia.
The Vampire Diaries spinoff returns for a 13-episode season four, with season three ending with Hayley and her daughter left alone and defeated and the rest of her family unconscious.
Premieres: April 4, 8:00 pm, on The CW. Exclusive to Stan in Australia.
This show's premiere will run two hours, which is great because the more iZombie the better. The last season ended with Liv (Rose McIver) being asked to pick a side — zombie or human — in the attempt to turn her home city into a zombie safe zone. Programming note: This show moves back to 9:00 pm starting on April 11.
Premieres: April 2017 on HBO. Foxtel Showcase Channel in Australia.
Filmed in Melbourne, the third and final season of a show that takes place after the "Sudden Departure" of two per cent of the world's population. We know very little about the last season other than that it will eventually take place in Australia.
Premieres: April 2017 on BBC America. Airs on ABC Australia this Autumn.
No date yet, but season 10 of the revival will introduce Pearl Mackie as new companion Bill, giving Peter Capaldi's Doctor a companion with no weirdness in her history.
Game of Thrones
Premieres: Winter on HBO. Foxtel Showcase Channel in Australia. And later, Fetch subscribers plus iTunes and Google Play.
Instead of its usual April premiere date, Game of Thrones season seven will be delayed a bit, coming in the summer instead. Characteristically, we don't know much. But we do know that Cersei's in charge in King's Landing and that's where Daenerys and her army is headed.
The Good Place
Premieres: January 5, 8:30 pm, on NBC. TBC in Australia, which is a shame as this quirky show is great.
In order to see if she can stay in the titular Good Place, Eleanor's case is being taken to Sean, an eternal and grumpy judge, with Good Place steward Michael and the Bad Place's chief douchebag Trevor, presumably representing her good and bad sides, pleading their cases for ownership of her afterlife.
Agents of SHIELD
Premieres: January 10, 10:00 pm, on ABC in the US. Airs on 7flix in Australia.
The midseason finale ended Ghost Rider's run on the show, brought Daisy back into SHIELD, and introduced a Life Model Decoys into the mix. The second half of the season is going to be all about LMDs, because apparently no one learned anything from Ultron.
The Vampire Diaries
Premieres: January 13, 9:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 in Australia.
The finale season of The Vampire Diaries continues and with only nine episodes left, things are bound to get interesting. Probably.
Premieres: January 16, 8:00 pm, on Fox. Season 2 has only just kicked off on GO! in Australia.
Returning for its Seasonb 3 midseason premiere is Gotham, everyone's favourite banana-pants comic book show. When we last left them, Barbara had allied with Nygma to overthrow Oswald Cobblepot, Gordon killed Mario to save Leslie Thompkins, and Selina's mum helped her, Alfred, and Bruce escape after they killed Talon.
Premieres: January 16, 9:00 pm, on Fox. Foxtel FX Channel in Australia.
Lucifer will continue battling with his mum, presumably.
Premieres: January 23, 7:30 pm, on Cartoon Network in the US. TBC on Cartoon Network / Foxtel in Australia.
The penultimate season of Adventure Time starts at this time, but the miniseries Adventure Time: Islands will air from January 30 to February 2 and tell the story of Jake, Finn, BMO, and Susan Strong travelling the ocean to solve a mystery of Finn's past.
Premieres: January 23, 8:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 in Australia.
We actually ended the first half of the season with the big crossover event, but when Supergirl returns, we expect to deal with the escaped Henshaw and the mysterious aliens searching for Mon-El.
Premieres: January 24, 8:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 in Australia.
We last saw Barry dealing with accidentally seeing Savitar kill Iris five months in the future. Jay Garrick told Barry that the future "isn't fixed," so we bet Barry's going to meddle in time in a less disastrous way than last time. Savitar also predicted that one member of Team Flash would fall, one would be a traitor, and one would suffer the classic "fate worse than death." So nothing but joy and light.
Legends of Tomorrow
Premieres: January 24, 9:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 in Australia.
Legends of Tomorrow is the Arrowverse's most-improved show. After spending a lot of season one writing it off, we're a little in love with how much of this season the show has just embraced the ridiculousness of its premise. It's a bunch of people wandering around time — have fun with it! This crew now has to find Rip Hunter, who is now a movie director in Los Angeles. This will lead to them crossing paths with George Lucas because why not.
Premieres: January 25, 8:00 pm, on The CW. Fox8 in Australia.
Things are not looking good in Star City. We left the team devastated after Prometheus tricked Ollie into killing Billy, Curtis' husband leaving him, Diggle captured, and Laurel Lance somehow back from the dead.
Premieres: January 26, 8:00 Ppm, on The CW. iTunes and Channel Eleven in Australia.
Guess what is still on and will be on forever?
Premieres: January 30, 7:00 pm, on Cartoon Network in the US. TBC on Cartoon Network / Foxtel in Australia.
After two months off, Steven Universe returns with "Steven's Dream," where a dream that makes Steven cry sets him and Greg on a journey to find Pink Diamond.
The Walking Dead
Premieres: February 12, 9:00 pm, on AMC. Exclusive to the FX Channel on Foxtel in Australia.
The first half of this season of The Walking Dead was frustrating to say the least, but at least it ended with Rick and the other colonies on the road to fighting Negan and the Saviors. Presumably the mid-season premiere will pick up right where it left off — and there's still plenty of episodes for the season to redeem itself.