Tremors. What a beleaguered franchise it is. Can you believe that there have been seven movies made about the subterranean monsters that look like giant worms known as Graboids? That the latest entry, Tremors: Shrieker Island, came out in 2020? It’s true, you can read our definitive ranking of the series here.
How about the fact that there was a Tremors TV series? No, we’re not talking about the attempted revival in 2017/2018. We’re talking about the single season, 13-episode run that occurred in 2003.
A series that started off hot, breaking Sci-Fi Channel records with the airing of the pilot, but also one that quickly cooled off. Fans turned on it, the network turned on it, episodes were aired out of order, and unsurprisingly, it was cancelled.
So, it must be pretty terrible then, right?
Based off the Tremors franchise, and picking up from where Tremors 3: Back to Perfection left off. The story surrounds the handful of residents still living within Perfection Valley, attempting to live alongside the albino Graboid known as El Blanco. The creature is the last of its kind (supposedly) and is now a protected species. So, no matter how much Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) and Tyler Reed (Victor Browne) would like to, there’s no killing off this Graboid.
Consider El Blanco a guest star of the series. Instead, the show focuses on the town’s attempt to co-exist with it, government and scientific experiments, evil real-estate developers, protestors and more. It really is as boring as it sounds.
Choosing to continue the story from the third film puts Tremors: The TV Series at an immediate disadvantage. Firstly, the lack of Graboid action. Secondly, the lack of big name cast members. Even the franchise star, Burt, takes a massive backseat to everything in the second half of the season.
Although, it might actually be the first. Such is the muddle that is this show. For reasons that escape everyone (including the creators) Sci-Fi aired the episodes out of order and for this reviewer, they remained out of order when watching the show on Amazon Prime. Only notable when a character played by Christopher Lloyd was introduced halfway through even though he had already appeared in an earlier episode.
It speaks volumes about the way in which the show fails to hold the attention that this doesn’t really matter. Almost all the episodes are standalone with the threat in one episode, forgotten in the next. Threats that are rarely interesting and laughably silly for a show based on films about a giant underground worm.
Like the Tremors film that preceded it, the TV show seems to think the characters of Perfection is what people are interested in. The film was wrong and the show is wrong. The few returning characters add absolutely nothing to the show and slowly seem to fade into the background as the show progresses. This is particularly egregious when you consider Browne’s Tyler Reed is set up in the pilot as the new star and Gross’ Burt Gummer is the mainstay of the franchise.
They have nothing to do because the show has nothing to give them. Though that isn’t just the fault of the show alone as the next film in the franchise would be a prequel anyway.
There’s little to recommend here, even if you’re a Tremors super-fan. Almost every episode is completely forgettable. It doesn’t do anything to further the franchise, expand the lore or build the characters. Cancelled after a single season and for good reason.
Tremors - Season 1 (2003)
The Final Score - 4/10