Apple to revive sci-fi with 91% on Rotten Tomatoes – 42 years after original movie

Time Bandits returns as a new Apple TV+ series

Time Bandits
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

If there's one thing that has been confirmed time and again in the last decade or so, it's that people love a reboot – so many movies and series have returned in new guises to rave reviews. 

The latest to join those ranks is a slightly less predictable one, but Apple TV+ will be hoping that it helps to cement its place as the best streaming service available right now. It's reviving Time Bandits as a streaming series, starring Friends' Lisa Kudrow. 

The show was announced a while back, but we've now got the double whammy of both a release date (24 July, at least for its premiere) and the first teaser image of the show, which you can see up above, and in the announcement post from Apple below. 

Apple has already confirmed the brains behind the show – Hollywood darling Taika Waititi and old collaborator Jemaine Clement – which should ensure that it has plenty of the whimsy and off-beat charm that so marked the original movie.

That movie came out all the way back in 1981, so it's of a really venerable age now, but it's still entirely beloved thanks to whacky performances and a fun tone. It tells the story of a gang of oddballs who travel through time having fairly low-stakes adventures most of the time, which seems like a perfect milieu for Waititi.

Time Bandits isn't something to take lightly, though – it has a longstanding 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes to its name, so it's hardly some obscure franchise that can be retooled as its new showrunners see fit. It'll be fascinating to see how the team have changed things. 

Along with Kudrow, the show has a pretty eclectic cast of smaller names to boast, as well as what Apple calls "special guest appearances by Waititi and Clement" – which shouldn't come as any surprise to fans of either of the two. 

We know that the show will run through 10 episodes, and that this is being billed as "Season 1" rather noticeably, so you'd assume that Apple hopes to make more down the line. It'll help fill out Apple TV+'s family-friendly content, too, which is an area where it has some catching up to do compared to the likes of Disney+ and Netflix.

Max Freeman-Mills

Max is a freelance writer with years of experience in tech and entertainment. He's also a gaming expert, both with the games themselves and in testing accessories and consoles, having flexed that expertise at Pocket-lint as a features editor. He has tested all manner of tech too, from headphones and speakers to apps and software.