Adventure TV is exciting to watch and immerses the viewer in a rich plot, great acting and sometimes excellent action. Adventure TV shows have been around for quite a while. These are the top 10 adventure TV series of all time:
10. Magnum PI – Any show with a red Ferrari, a helicopter and is set in Hawaii is destined for adventure. Add in a hairy-chested private investigator and engaging plot lines and you have a great show. This was a favorite growing up and a great back up show as it is still on in syndication.
9. Knight Rider – The original Knight Rider series ran from 1982-1986 and there have been many attempts at recreating the series. None have been able to capture the balance that the original series had. Engaging but predictable plots, a little camp, a little cheese but overall an engaging adventure in every episode.
8. A-Team – With a movie recreation in the works, it secures a place on this list. Yes, the original series was cheese; it was the 80’s after all! You could predict the entire plot for almost every episode. Drinking games were easily crafted from its predictability (drink if “Mad” Murdock does something mad) but it was entertaining and always an adventure.
7. X-Files – Mulder and Scully find adventure with aliens, weird phenomenon, ghosts and other things that go bump in the night. Each episode was unique with plots that had immediacy and others that were consistent and strung out over multiple episodes. This series broke the mold of the adventure show. The TV series ran from 1993 to 2002 and with the franchise having 2 movies under its belt, it has proven that it has staying power.
6. Lois and Clark – The day to day and interpersonal adventures of our favorite superhero, Lois and Clark was a unique show from day one. The acting was better than most expected the new Lois was more gutsy and take-charge than what the movies had portrayed her as and the adventures never ceased.
5. Quantum Leap – Over the 4 years that this show ran, we saw Dr. Beckett, expertly played by Scott Bakula, playing just about every conceivable character imaginable (and some probably unimaginable). If you didn’t understand the show because you missed the first episodes, you could still be drawn into each week’s adventure solely based on Scott Bakula in drag, playing a famous person from history and the like.
4. The Shield – Some will argue that this show is a “cop drama” and therefore has no place on this list. It is my opinion that while it is a “cop drama” that there is enough action and adventure to qualify it as an adventure show as well. Columbo is a cop drama, The Shield keeps you on the edge of your seat and therefore is an adventure show as well.
3. Heroes – As one of the new breed of adventure shows, this series has had its ups and downs. The twists and turns in the plot, the character’s loose associations with good and bad as well as the well done special effects all lead to an incredibly engaging adventure series. Began in 2006 this series has years of potential to come.
2. Lost – By setting most of Lost on a seemingly deserted island, the adventure quotient is already set high. Then by adding a group of characters with dissimilar but sordid pasts and possibly the most tangled plot of any TV show ever, the adventure never ceases. Apparitions, dangerous monsters and dangerous people all appear and leave. If you miss an episode, you better hope your DVR is working as you will be Lost the next week.
1. 24 – Keifer Sutherland’s personal adventure’s aside, this show wins the top spot. The uniqueness of how the series plays out within a 24 hour time-frame makes it feel like a non-stop adventure, especially if you do a TiVo marathon after the whole series is recorded. There are no good guys or bad guys just the greyer on the right side of the law and the wrong and you never know who is really good or bad until the very end and that is not even guaranteed.