As much as we have always loved the wonderful world of television, we have never been able to understand how some insanely average shows are able to roll on inexplicably for hundreds of episodes, whilst other beloved programmes get cancelled after one or two seasons.
And if you thought this premature culling of timeless TV classics was a modern day trend you’d be mistaken, because below are 13 examples of much loved shows from our childhood that were on the air for a surprisingly short amount of time.
13. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (37 episodes)
It may not have been loved by everyone, but we have extremely fond memories of our time spent watching Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Launched in 1979, it surprisingly only lasted for two seasons, adding up to only 37 episodes.
The second series was only 11 episodes due to a writers’ strike, and it wasn’t long before the show was cancelled completely, without giving us a satisfying conclusion to Buck’s intergalactic time-travelling adventures.
12. Jonny Briggs (33 episodes)
We could have sworn Jonny Briggs ran for years and years, but this much-loved Children’s BBC series about a Bradford boy and his eccentric family actually only lasted for two seasons of 33 episodes.
The show may not have been on the air for long, but Jonny’s cute little face and incredibly catchy trombone-based theme tune ensured it would live long in our memory.
11. Super Gran (27 episodes)
Long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our favourite live action superhero was old-aged pensioner with the strength and speed of Superman, not to mention a flying bicycle. Yet as beloved as Super Gran was, only 27 episodes were made: two full seasons and a Christmas special.
Once again, the show might have been short-lived but it burned a place into the popular consciousness, thanks in no small part to the memorable theme music performed by none other than comedy legend Billy Connolly.
10. Maid Marian and Her Merry Men (26 episodes)
Children’s BBC classic Maid Marian and Her Merry Men was written by Baldrick himself, Tony Robinson (who also co-starred as the Sheriff of Nottingham), so it’s not too surprising that it was basically Blackadder for kids.
There have long been rumours that the series could be set to make a comeback, but for now we’ll have to make do with the slim selection of 26 existing episodes.
9. Battlestar Galactica (24 episodes)
The original 1970s version may have only lasted for 24 episodes before being cancelled, but we have since been treated to a plethora of Battlestar Galactica reboots and spin-offs.
The franchise returned briefly for Galactica 1980, and in 2004 it underwent a successful – and much longer-lasting – reboot that led to a number of spin-offs.
8. The Girl from Tomorrow (24 episodes)
As good as The Girl from Tomorrow was, we were definitely a little bit relieved when this Australian children’s sci-fi show ended, as it was just a little too scary for our younger selves!
The dark-edged fantasy adventure series ran for 24 episodes from 1991 to 1993, although it was later followed by sequel series The Girl from Tomorrow Part II: Tomorrow’s End.
7. The Demon Headmaster (19 episodes)
Arriving on screens a bit later, Children’s BBC series The Demon Headmaster was adapted from the novels by Gillian Cross, and scared the living daylights out of us from 1996 to 1998.
Three seasons, adding up to a total of 19 episodes, meant that this show about an evil headmaster using his otherworldly powers to control his pupils was over just as we were getting into it.
6. The Chronicles of Narnia (18 episodes)
There are seven entries in C.S. Lewis’ treasured children’s book series The Chronicles of Narnia book, so we were a little disappointed when the BBC only adapted four of them in their brilliant late 80s TV show. Still, what we got was pure televisual magic.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came first in 1988, followed by Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (an amalgamation of the second and third Narnia books) in 1989, before things wrapped up with 1990’s The Silver Chair.
5. Street Hawk (14 episodes)
In our memories, Street Hawk was every bit as prominent a part of 80s TV as other action classics like Knight Rider, Airwolf, The A-Team and Magnum, P.I. – yet, believe it or not, Street Hawk was very short-lived, with only 14 episodes ever produced.
We could have sworn that the adventures of Jesse Mach and his unbelievably cool superpowered motorbike lasted for years, but in reality we must have been watching the same episodes over and over again.
4. Jossy’s Giants (10 episodes)
Written by sporting commentator and TV personality Sid Waddell, Jossy’s Giants is very fondly remembered (especially by sports-mad viewers), despite it having been on our screens for the briefest of periods.
This comedy-drama series about a boy’s football team ran for just two series of ten episodes in 1986 and 1987.
3. Interceptor (8 episodes)
Remember 1989’s Interceptor? A high-energy physical game show like no other, it saw two contestants go on the run in the countryside, trying to escape the titular leather-clad helicopter pilot who was out to get them.
It was one of the most exciting shows of its kind that we’d ever seen – so why oh why was it cancelled after just eight episodes?
2. The Box of Delights (6 episodes)
We knew it was adapted from a one-off fantasy novel by the author John Masefield, but we still longed for many more episodes of The Box of Delights.
This utterly terrifying Christmas classic, which told the story of a boy being given a magical box that allowed him to both shape-shift and time travel, ran for just six half-hour episodes in 1984.
1. Minipops (6 episodes)
1983 children’s entertainment series Minipops featured young performers dressed to look like popular music artists of the time like Adam Ant and Kim Wilde, whilst singing renditions of their songs. Seemed like a great idea to us at the time; after all, how many of us loved playing dress up as their favourite pop stars?
Looking back at now though, it’s easier to understand why Minipops proved controversial. Fears that it was inappropriate for children singing adult songs whilst wearing adult outfits saw the show axed after a mere six episodes.