Favorite Pilot Episode

Nothing like a first love. The thread on favorite TV season, got me thinking about pilot episodes. Does anyone have any favorite pilots that they still love (no matter how the show turned out)?

Some that come to mind for me are:
1. Mad Men - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
2. Lost - The whole post-crash scene was unlike anything I've seen on TV
3. Game of Thrones - Loved the opening, struggled with the middle, but the end with Bran was...different
4. The Walking Dead - Despite my recent disdain for the show, if the pilot is on in a marathon, I'll watch

TravisElisaTaraC73
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Comments

  • It's from a looooong time ago, but the pilot for Space: Above and Beyond is great, and the pilot for Battlestar Galactica (new one, not the old one)
    TravisElisarkcrawf
  • hisdudeness915hisdudeness915 Atlanta, Ga
    I really enjoyed the pilot episode of The Leftovers. I remember being immediately all in on this show within the first 10 minutes and the way the episode was bookended with the mom from the laundromat made it a great episode even if the series never got picked up. That opening scene might be my all time favorite cold opens too. 
    MattyWeavesTravisElisarkcrawfphoenyx1023
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    Twin Peaks
    Freaks & Geeks
    Stranger Things
    The X-Files

    TravisJovial_FalconElisa
  • Again I’m going with OZ that had my all time favorite pilot episode. 

    Sorry to drop a possible spoiler thats over 20 years old but the fact they had the guts to kill their best and main character off in the very first episode and managed to do so successfully speaks volumes to me.  
    MattyWeavesTravisDeerkcrawf
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    The Americans had an amazing pilot. It could almost be its own movie.
    TravisElisamajjam0770
  • MattyWeavesMattyWeaves Mid-State New York
    I could very easily say Lost, The Leftovers, Sons of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, etc. The other thread brought up a lot of good memories but I think I'm going rogue...

    Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. 

    I was borderline obsessed with the books, I have Snicket file, and the movie was a disappointment. I knew about the show a year in advance of the first season and was counting down the days with fingers crossed. It was perfect in every way a book fan could ask for.
    Travisrkcrawf
  • The Shield
    Lost
    The Sopranos
    The Americans
    Travisrkcrawf
  • AjasAjas Seattle, WA
    Breaking Bad

    had the greatest pilot of all time (that I have seen)...

    Lost 
    The Walking Dead

    Are also excellent
    anubus21TravisElisaDummyrkcrawf
  • Ajas said:
    Breaking Bad

    had the greatest pilot of all time (that I have seen)...

    Lost 
    The Walking Dead

    Are also excellent
    Forgot about Lost...was a great pilot
    TravisMichelleElisarkcrawf
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited July 12
    Lost was pretty amazing. As did The Leftovers and TWD (great choices by everyone so far). It's been a couple of years, but I remember Penny Dreadful having a very good pilot as well.

    I'm tempted to take the X-Files for my definitive choice. It does such an amazing job of setting up the show and it's one of my favorite episodes. I'm going to toss that out as a placeholder and meditate on it a bit.
    Elisa
  • For me it's LOST

    Honorable mentions off the top of my head - thinking of pilots that just instantly made me want to watch that show: ER, Twin Peaks, West Wing, Futurama, Breaking Bad, Mad Men

    TravisNoelElisarkcrawf
  • NoelNoel Dallas, TX
    Lost is the GOAT
    MichelleTravisMrXrkcrawf
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I want to go with the Breaking Bad pilot, but I don't like its framing device. Or maybe I do. It certainly was memorable.
    Travisrkcrawf
  • For me, it has to be Oz's pilot. While I found the show to be inconsistent and a little ludicrous in later seasons, it's strength was always with its characters and Dino Ortolani was the perfect guy to set up that show.
    TravisNervousRhino
  • MichelleMichelle California
    I'm going to sound like a broken record with all of the Lost love that I post in this forum from time to time, but I really do think they had the best pilot of any series; at any rate, it's my favorite.
    TravisMmmBopElisarkcrawf
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Handmaids Tale
    rkcrawfMichelle
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    recently ones that come to mind are Stranger Things and Barry. looking back and I'm curious to how it would hold up on a re-watch today The Shield.
    JaimieTAww_PHuuCk
  • Agree broadly with much of what has been said but I wanna just throw out there Last Man on Earth which had what I think was a brilliant pilot and like many shows didn't always live up to it
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    Game of Thrones I still watch it regularly.
    TravisElisarkcrawf
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    The Americans had an amazing pilot. It could almost be its own movie.
    That opening scene with Tusk - I’d always hated that song until then. Now every time I hear it, it makes me think of that scene. So awesome. 
    MrXElisarkcrawf
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited July 13
    The Killing pilot was amaaaazing. Such a fantastic set up, so many good actors, and the guy playing the missing girl’s dad was just so damn good that I feel a little sad he didn’t become a bigger name. The show did not keep the promise of its pilot in the end, but I still think it’s one of the best first episodes out there. 

    And come at me all you like, but Glee had a fantastic pilot. 

    Oh, and This Is Us - it was very sentimental and schmaltzy and at one point I was ready to go, nah, I’m not enough of an old person for this show and switch off, but then the twist was revealed and by the end Lily and I were sobbing messes on the couch hanging out for the next week’s episode. 
    MichelleTravisrkcrawfphoenyx1023KingKobra
  • MichelleMichelle California
    @Dee I don't think you have to be an 'old person' to enjoy a good television drama.  This Is Us is an outstanding show that I think appeals to people in their 20s (maybe younger?) through gawd only knows.  :smile:  And yeah, that pilot was stellar.
    Dee
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Michelle said:
    @Dee I don't think you have to be an 'old person' to enjoy a good television drama.  This Is Us is an outstanding show that I think appeals to people in their 20s (maybe younger?) through gawd only knows.  :smile:  And yeah, that pilot was stellar.

    My 17-year-old first cousin once-removed LOVES it.
    MichelleDee
  • Great answers all around! I def loved Handmaid’s Tale’s pilot and what I recall from The Americans. 

    One I forgot: The Night Of. The series wasn’t bad, but went downhill to me. But that pilot was near perfect. 
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    alright.. 8 year old me stepping in!



    hisdudeness915MattyWeavesHatorianTravis
  • The Shield by far is my most memorable Pilot. The ending had me hooked and wanting more. To this day I'd still put that show as my number 1 or 2 fav show ever
    Chinaskitom_grkcrawf
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    not necessarily a 'pilot' but first episode to a mini series. doing a Band of Brothers re-watch and hot damn, that first episode was soooo gopd. friggin Sobel (David Schwimmer) was suuuuuch a dick! loved it!. man, that cast was loaded!

    rkcrawf
  • edited July 30
    Game of Thrones
    The Wire
    Oz
    Carnivale
    The Shield
    12 Monkeys
    Battlestar Galactica (new one)
    4400
    The Magicians 

    im sure I’m forgetting many that I really liked and just can’t remember right now. 
  • Flight of the Conchords had some of their best songs in the pilot so that comes to mind. 

    Fargo every season has had really good opening episodes, but the first one will always win out.


    Chinaski
  • Game of Thrones is probably my #1 if I had to pick one but here's some others that I think were very good

    The Expanse (probably has my number 2 spot)
    The Sinner (tied number 3 spot)
    The Leftovers (tied number 3 spot)
    The Night Of
    Firefly
    Stranger Things
    Black Sails
    Into the Badlands (just because it was badass)

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