For every genius TV-to-film adaptation (Wayne’s World, The Simpsons, The Addams Family), there’s a Bewitched, Dukes of Hazzard and Yogi Bear that proves some shows just don’t suit the silver screen.
Yet as soon as a beloved TV series ends, there are still rumblings of a return in film form – or whispers that a childhood classic could get the Hollywood treatment.
So after hearing that Sabrina the Teenage Witch is to get an action film makeover, and even Postman Pat will appear in cinemas this summer, we’ve decided enough is enough.
Here are the 15 classic TV shows we’re saying “hands off!” to Hollywood execs – the programmes so doused in nostalgia and happy viewing memories, they should stay immortalized on the small screen forever.
Click on an image to launch the gallery. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.
My So-Called Life
It may have only lasted one season, but My So Called Life turned Claire Danes and Jared Leto into grungy, angsty teen idols in the 1990s. With Danes back on TV in excellent drama Homeland, and the nineties enjoying a fashionable revival, we can see why some might think the show is ripe for a film makeover – but we couldn't handle the Twilight-esque angst fest that would result.
To all the 90s kids who were lucky enough to have Nickelodeon, this was compulsory viewing. The reunited twin sisters and their teen traumas made us long to be a twin, and live in Detroit next door to a pesky scamp named Roger, with adjoining rooms. So let's remember the twins and their fabulous taste in hats as they were, and not as they are in new reality series Engaged, Pregnant, and Totally Unprepared.
With his eco-friendly motto and and rippling muscles, Captain Planet was the coolest, most conscientious superhero around, and we longed to be a planeteer (we would have had the 'heart' ring). It also made us militant at picking up litter in playground and buy a 'Save the Whales' keyring. But this parody starring Don Cheadle shows why a man with green hair, blue skin, and the power to turn things into plants might be a little too silly out of the cartoon arena.
We admit it, the possibility of a film version of Grange Hill (a classic BBC School drama) is unlikely bordering on completely ridiculous. And long may it stay that way. Showing normal kids, like us, facing normal issues at school, where we spent most of our time, still made it compelling after-school viewing. The plotline of plucky schoolboy Zammo’s tragic descent into heroin addiction was also very ahead of its time, and started a whole "Just Say No" to drugs campaign.
Another after-school classic (but this time on ITV), Byker Grove will always have a special place in our hearts for bringing Ant and Dec (we’ll forget PJ & Duncan) into the entertainment world, and showing the merits of attending a local youth club (although ours wasn't nearly so cool). Best storyline was when PJ was blinded in a "freak paintballing accident" - it was shocking stuff.
With her constant quips, bored tone and kick-ass DM boots, Daria like was the sarcastic cool girl at school we wanted to be friends with (sadly, our preference for Take That prevented this). Whilst there were two made-for-TV movies of Daria called Is It Fall Yet? and Is It College Yet?, we’ve heard rumblings across the pond of MTV making a non-cartoon film version. Firstly, Daria would never sell out to Hollywood and secondly, Jane Lane’s hair is so perfect as angular, cartoon block of a bob, we could never see it recreated on the big screen.
As anyone who had a Thundercats duvet during their childhood will attest, this cartoon must stay in the late 80s/early 90s as an action-packed Saturday morning cartoon to be watched whilst eating Flintstones biscuits/Sherbet Dip Dabs. No CGI, special effects laden remakes a la Iron Man. Ok?
Sweet Valley High
With their "perfect (American) size 6 figures", "blue-green eyes the colour of the Pacific", and swishy blonde hair that only exists in Californian high schools, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield were yet another pair of cool identical twin sisters we wanted to be. We were in awe of Jess and her bitchy best friend Lila, but bookish Liz with steady boyfriend Todd was more our kind of girl. A film remake could actually be happening, with Diablo Cody writing the script. But the film would apparently be a) a musical and b) set in the eighties, which sounds like a retro take on Glee.
Beverly Hills 90210
The current day version of 90210 (a feeble imitation of the original) just proves that no-one could ever recapture the true genius of 'Bev'. The first teen drama which even attempted to address social issues and real teenage problems on US TV, and that featured interesting grown-up storylines for adult characters too (like Cindy's "affair of the mind"). Who cares that half the cast looked about 35 - the fashion was amazing, Brandon was a heartthrob and storylines like drink spiking, stalkers, car bombs and 'Donna Martin Graduates' make Gossip Girl et al look simply, rubbish.
Come Saturday night at around 7pm, you'd find us seated firmly in front of the TV watching a group of burly women and men named 'Jet', 'Wolf' and 'Deadly Nightshade' duelling the general public wearing copius amounts of spandex, and tackling a contraption known only as 'the eliminator'. This was the genius of Gladiators. Throw in the referee skills of John Andersen, and actually, we would love to see this made into a movie.
The Animals of Farthing Wood
We loved The Animals of Farthing Wood (even bought the magazines) even if for a kid's cartoon, it was as brutal as Watership Down. The hedgehog's tragic slaughter at the cruel hands of a truck driver, Mrs Pheasant being shot, the field mouse impaled on a spike, a baby rabbit strangled by a snare - all these slightly graphic deaths would get an 18 certificate on the big screen.
Many of the Stylist team were inspired to embark on a career as a journalist by Press Gang - which showed the hectic nature and camaraderie of a newsroom staffed by comprehensive school students. Looking back, the show is very much of its time - a time long before twitter and the internet changed the newsroom forever. So let's keep Press Gang as an ode to school newspapers everywhere - with not a tweet, blog post or snarky online comment in sight.
Long before Matt Smith and Karen Gillen made Doctor Who cool again, we would watch old episodes and hide behind the sofa every time a Darlek appeared. Now it's a cult hit in the UK and the US - why wouldn't they make it into a film? Because we love the slightly budget special effects, and unconventional looking leading men (Matt Smith would surely be replaced by someone burlier/an American) that would be lost in a Hollywood makeover. Although apparently Harry Potter director David Yates is planning a remake.
This brilliant series from the late 1980s had it all - fantasy, time travel, and beautiful location shots around England. After her mother is injured in a car accident, Minty goes to stay with her aunt, who conveniently lives next to a large mansion with a time-travelling moondial in the grounds. Minty then travels back in time, where she meets children from the Victorian era and tries to save them.
With an air of The X Files and Twin Peaks about it, Eerie Indiana told the story of Marshall Teller, a boy who moves to the creepy small town of Eerie, Indiana, population 16,661, and encounters numerous urban legends like Big Foot and a still-living Elvis Presley. Pleasingly dark for a children's show, storylines included tupperware that can preserve human life, sinister dogs that want to take over the world, and a brace that can read said dog's minds.