5 Perfect Pilot Episodes That Checked All The Boxes
With a kickoff like that, we couldn't help but get sucked right into the stories.
Throughout its long history, television has seen plenty of great shows that regularly make the top lists of viewers and critics. For many of them, it took some time to grow into an audience. But then there were those that grabbed our attention from the very first episode.
Here are five 10/10 pilots that are still etched in our minds as some of the best on TV.
Pilot (The X-Files)
While the creators weren't too inventive with the title, the episode that introduced Scully and Mulder and jumped right into the series' iconic mytharc by showing the agents investigating the alien activity was a perfect way to start the show. The excellent relationship building and alien conspiracy intrigue ensured that many viewers were hooked from the first minute.
Lost may have had its lows in later seasons, but the episode that introduced the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 stranded on a mysterious island is easily one of the most acclaimed pilots in television history, not to mention one of the most expensive.
While masterfully setting up the utter chaos of the plane crash and laying the groundwork for the characters and their individual stories, the pilot raises many questions that the show gradually answers later on.
The Long Bright Dark (True Detective)
The introduction of Woody Harrelson's Marty Hart and Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle as unlikely partners on a mission to find the killer of a young woman left no viewer indifferent. The body language and delivery of the interrogation scenes is perfection and will undoubtedly remain in the media space for years to come.
The Crocodile's Dilemma (Fargo)
If you want a show that goes from 0 to 100 in the first episode, Fargo is your answer. Watching Billy Bob Thornton's antagonist come to the Minnesota town and disrupt the lives of its residents is a truly unique experience.
But to be fair, Noah Hawley's crime anthology series is very consistent in having amazing pilots for each new season.
The premiere episode of Craig Mazin's miniseries could be a horror movie in its own right. The terror of the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the ignorance of the local population about the radiation threat is truly hair-raising.
As a bonus, the show's plot is built in such a way that the finale brings the story full circle so that the viewer can start the show again. And the pilot feels even more intense when you already know all the players and what will happen to them.