Michael C. Hall , Tom Welling Michael C. Hall , Tom Welling

On Sunday, Syfy will fly viewers back to Neverland with a two-night miniseries that explores how Peter Pan (Charlie Rowe), Captain Hook (Rhys Ifans), and Neverland itself came to be. Hollywood's never been afraid to tell a good origin story — for better (Batman Begins, X-Men First Class) or worse (the three Star Wars prequels, Hannibal Rising) — and the trend is just as popular on the small screen. Behold, some of our favorite TV origin stories:

1. Clark Kent, Smallville
At 10 seasons long, this series about Superman's upbringing among humans is perhaps the longest origin story ever. Following a strict "no tights, no flights" rule, the series began as exploration of a high school-aged Clark Kent who struggles to come to terms with his alien origins and superhuman abilities in Smallville, Kansas. Over the course of the show, pieces of the Superman mythology fell into place: Clark went to work at The Daily Planet, other DC Comics heroes and villains popped up, and Clark (finally!) ended up with Lois Lane. And, yes, at the series' end, Clark eventually donned the Super-suit and took his first official flight as the Man of Steel.

2. Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Although it was revealed more as a general mythology, Dexter Morgan's bloody backstory is crucial to understanding his serial-killing ways. Orphaned at the age of 3 after his mother's murder, Dexter was found in a pool of blood by police officer and eventual adoptive father Harry Morgan. Noticing Dexter's penchant for killing neighborhood pets, Harry reined in Dexter's "Dark Passenger" by teaching him "The Code." The short version: Killing is cool, as long as the person is guilty of his or her own serious crimes. That might not be the best parenting, but it's given us several seasons of delicious drama. So thanks, Harry!

3. Gustavo Fring, Breaking Bad
In Season 4's "Hermanos," we finally learn why Gus is so darned hostile toward the cartel: They killed his partner (lover?) Max. In a tense, taut, all-in-Spanish flashback to 1980s Mexico, we learn that Gus and Max began cooking meth on the side in an effort to partner up with the cartel. But when Don Eladio doesn't approve of their underground shenanigans and because Gus is somehow "connected" back in Chile, Max gets shot in the head and Gus is forced to watch his partner bleed to death. His Chilean connection went with him to the grave, but at least we know how Gus became the most ruthless meth kingpin/chicken man of the Southwest.

4. Mr. Eko, Lost
On a show where everybody had a crazy backstory, Mr. Eko's was among the more interesting. A series of flashbacks revealed that a young Eko killed a man to protect his brother Yemi from the same fate when a gang of guerrillas terrorize his Nigerian village. The gang recruits Eko, who returns home years later as a fearless drug lord to ask force Yemi, who has since become a priest, to help him smuggle heroin in Virgin Mary statues. During the operation, Yemi is shot as the plane takes off and Eko, who is dressed as a priest, is mistaken for his brother. He continues to serve as the village priest out of guilt. No wonder the guy doesn't talk much!

5. Noah "HRG" Bennett, Heroes
Late in its first season, Heroes abandoned its multi-story format to focus on a single character: Noah "HRG" Bennett. While he and his family are held hostage at their Texas home, the show flashes-back to HRG's recruitment by Primatech, his adoption of Claire, and his (presumed) murder of his former partner Claude. Although the episode reinforced that HRG was comfortable with the morally gray areas, it mostly showed how far HRG would go to protect his "Claire Bear," whose powers he had kept secret from the Company out of fear that they would take her away. Suddenly, all his evil acts didn't seem so evil — especially when he sacrificed himself so that Claire could escape.

6. Olivia Dunham, Fringe
Although Fringe's first season revealed that Olivia was once among the 30 children Walter and William Bell used to test the drug Cortexiphan, it wasn't until Season 2's "Jacksonville" that we learned the implications of those tests. Facing the threat that one of the buildings in this universe's New York will soon be ripped back to the alternate universe, Walter reveals that Olivia once had the power to determine which objects didn't belong here because they glimmered. After a series of failed tests, Olivia finally regains the power in time to save the civilians in that office building. But more importantly, she begins to notice that Peter also has the tell-tale glimmer, which, coincidentally, teed up another origin story!

What are your favorites?