5 Shows that got better after losing main characters

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Babylon 5

When TNT’s Babylon 5 began 1993, the series protagonist was Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O’Hare). A war hero promoted unexpectedly to the position of a leading a political significant space station, Sinclair had a compelling backstory but was somewhat bland as a character. While thoroughly moral and fearless, Sinclair lacked the texture sci-fi fans and come to expect from a space opera lead. The character’s lack of dynamism was compounded by O’Hare’s muted performance. And the fact that Babylon 5’s first season is largely dedicated to setting up concepts and characters that would come into play years later.

Thankfully, the show abruptly changed main characters beginning with its second season. Captain John Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) was brought in to leave the station after Sinclair mysteriously disappeared. A much more active and well-defined character, Sheridan gave the series a much-needed sense of focus and heart. And Boxleitner did his career-best work as he navigated his character’s transition from military leader to insurrectionist to politician.

If it kept its original protagonist throughout its run, Babylon 5 may have been considered a good show on the strength of its plotting and supporting performances. But its greatness is due in large part to the fact it switched main characters for the better early on.