The Credible Hulk’s Top 5 Pilot Episodes

Nailing something right out of the gate is difficult, especially for television shows. Many have potential, and only with time do they find their direction. Others however, make such a grand entrance that nearly everyone takes notice. The right combination of writers, director, and showrunner (often the same person, initially) have a vision, knowing exactly what story they want to tell. While a few don’t pan out the way audiences would like, there’s still a sense of awe returning to the first episode, the pilot, refueling your imagination with possibilities.

5. Lost


There’s plenty to be said about how this ultimately ended, but the beginning is still spectacular. In retrospect, it’s obvious that Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof didn’t know where Lost was going, but they certainly knew what it was. This was meant to be a sci-fi. It wasn’t until the fourth season when that became perfectly clear, but the signs were there from the very beginning, only the characters, or the audience, were unaware. From day one this show was a hit.

4. The Walking Dead


I’ve long fallen off this particular bandwagon. Still, the first episode perfectly captured the tone and essences of the comic. Starting with the cold open, this knew exactly what it wanted to be, having Rick kill an adolescent zombie girl. A little too much Wang Chung in the score, but the imagery was astounding.

3. Firefly


The pilot, the real pilot, not the first episode Fox aired, made everyone who watched instantly fall in love with Malcolm Reynolds and the crew of the Serenity. Still gets me a little teary eyed remembering it.

2. The Shield


I didn’t start The Shield until a year or two after it ended. I’ve always heard great things, but never had the time. Finally, I sat down to watch. Honestly, the pilot was average by all accounts. It wasn’t until the final moments that I was hooked. That was the push I needed down the slippery slope of binge viewing. I finished all seven seasons in two weeks.

1. Battlestar Galactica


Nothing encapsulates potential better than the opening of Battlestar Galactica. This might be a bit of a cheat, as it was less of a pilot and more of a TV movie. Still, if this was unsuccessful, the series wouldn’t have been. From the moment this started, even the exposition was captivating. It perfectly set the stage, letting viewers know why their jaws should drop in the opening moments. It was a blurry sprint to the end after that.

With the exception of The Walking Dead, I binge watched every one of these shows. On a side note, these are some of myoldest posts I’m linking back to. I don’t think half of them have images. I’m almost scared to look in on their well being. If you do, treat them gently, they were young, and knew so little of the world.

What are your favorite pilots? What’s the bingy-est binge you’ve ever done of a show? Comment below!

And now, I’m making up words. Fryul. 


5 responses to “The Credible Hulk’s Top 5 Pilot Episodes

  1. I’d see Firefly higher up on the list than shield and totally remove lost, but this is not my list its yours. As for the rest of the list I love it both firefly and BSG were too of my favorite series of all time. Really great science fiction between the two of them.

    • The Shield, for me, ranks higher because of the ending. Until the last 5 minutes, I thought it was interesting, but didn’t grab me. The last few moments were shocking. I shotgunned the series in three weeks afterwards.

      Lost, while did eventually go nowhere, had an amazing beginning. Taking the pilot by itself, there was enough intrigue that made me captivated.

      I agree about the sci-fi 🙂

  2. Firefly and Lost were definitely on my list – I tried all of the others but couldn’t get into them.

    • I quickly dropped off the Walking Dead. Still, the opening, something we hadn’t seen on TV yet, was astounding. Basically, I gauged this list on how quickly I devoured the series after watching. I couldn’t sum that into a catchy title, so I just went with top pilots.

  3. Pingback: The Credible Hulk’s Top 5 Showrunners | The Credible Hulk·

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