Sometimes, all you need is to escape the day-to-day and find distractions in the many worlds of science fiction. Yes, dystopian futures can be scary, as we’ve seen in many movies and TV shows. However, the feelings of excitement and awe that come with these stories show that the dangers of venturing off to space and encountering UFOs are worth it. The great unknown has a lot to offer — adventures a’plenty that we can’t even comprehend.
So, if you ever feel like regular life is sort of boring, repetitive, and all too real right now, there’s something you can do — you can stick to the world of sci-fi. Even among replicants, robots, and invading aliens, there’s some hope for humanity. Indeed, science fiction is the perfect genre to immerse yourself in and forget about the daily grind.
So, it’s no wonder that SF has found its way to cable TV and streaming services. More and more screenwriters are exploring space, introducing extraterrestrial life, creating parallel universes, and showing the effects of advanced technologies. These are all themes that people have been interested in for as long as they can remember.
If you’re tired of rewatching Blade Runner, Ex Machina, and Interstellar, we have five best sci-fi TV shows you simply must watch. Get ready for a ride across galaxies and time.
Battlestar Galactica (2004 — 2009)
We’ll start our list of best sci-fi TV shows of all time with a classic — Battlestar Galactica. This series has been around since 1978 when it first aired on television. The storyline is so appealing that different writers have created their own reimagined versions of this warfare-based TV show. And the 2004 version is the most popular one.
Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant past and a faraway part of the universe. Humans live on a group of planets in space, known as the Twelve Colonies. They migrated from their ancestral homeworld of Kobol.
The Twelve Colonies have been waging a war against an android race, called the Cylons, whose goal is to wipe out the entire human race. The series closely follows a battleship, Battlestar Galactica, which is fleeing an attack from the Cylons. This war people can’t afford to lose. Namely, the ship carries and protects the last of the human race. Their only hope is the mythical 13th planet — Earth. Will they find their sanctuary?
Black Mirror (2011 — Present)
The best sci-fi TV shows are those that delve deep into the human psyche and demonstrate terrifying predictions that could become reality if we don’t take some actions now. Black Mirror is definitely one of those series that is so good, it’s actually scary. This TV show is unsettling because each episode takes place in worlds that resemble our own, except for some leaps in technology.
Black Mirror is a science fiction anthology television series that examines modern society and the possible consequences of new technologies. Every episode explores a different technology-based dystopia. Set in a world only minutes from our own, Black Mirror shows how modern technologies and social media can easily backfire and be used as a weapon against people. So, the black mirror is the screen that rules our lives every day — a mobile phone, or laptop, or computer.
Each episode gets more thought-provoking and disturbing than the previous one. Charlie Brooker, the creator of this sci-fi TV series, develops worlds and alternative realities with believable tech.
Cowboy Bebop (1998)
Animated series deserve to be named alongside other best sci-fi TV shows. And one of them is Cowboy Bebop, a Japanese science fiction anime television series that aired in 1998. The show was also adapted into two manga series following its release. Something tells us that its plot line will be enough for you to realize why Cowboy Bebop was and still is so popular.
Cowboy Bebop is set in 2071, almost fifty years after the Astral Gate accident occured. The incident led to the accidental explosion of an experimental gate device which seriously damaged the Moon. This debris also fell on Earth and rock showers devastated the planet’s surface, resulting in the death of billions of people. Humanity needed to populate other places in space.
The survivors abandoned Earth in search of new habitable planets in the solar system. Now, Cowboy Bebop centers around the adventures of bounty hunters in space whose mission is to control the increased criminal activity. This crew tries to escape from their past while hunting down the most dangerous criminals.
Cowboy Bebop explores different themes, including loneliness, existentialism, and the influence of the past.
Let’s check which other best sci-fi TV shows we’ve prepared for you.
Doctor Who (2005 — Present)
Our next sci-fi show has entertained generations of devoted fans since it first aired in 1963. Its 2005 revival is quite popular around the world, attracting a cult following and generating great ratings. The BBC created and has produced this show since the very first episode. Of course, we’re talking about Doctor Who.
Doctor Who follows the adventures of a time traveller called “the Doctor.” He is a member and ancestor of an ancient extraterrestrial species known as Time Lords. They go by this name because of their command of time traveling. Namely, they are able to travel through time and space with the help of the TARDIS, a time machine that has infinite dimensions on the inside.
The Doctor is able to regenerate into a new person on occasions. His many incarnations often find events that interest them and we watch them as they try to stop evil forces that want to harm innocent people or even change history. Of course, like any real hero, the Doctor has many companions, i.e. sidekicks. They are humans because of his fascination with Earth.
Just one look at Doctor Who and you’ll see why we’ve named it one of the best sci-fi TV shows of all time.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 — 1994)
No list of the best sci-fi TV shows would be complete without Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). This plot was so successful that we got The Original Series, spin-off shows, and more than ten movies. New generations of viewers are rediscovering Star Trek and its popularity is increasing.
TNG is set in the 24th century. The Earth is part of the United Federation of Planets, the interstellar government that wants to investigate the universe. We follow the adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard who is running the U.S.S. Enterprise, a starship exploring the Milky Way galaxy.
The U.S.S. Enterprise is much larger than the ship captained by James T. Kirk and it carries more people aboard. However, the mission remains the same — to search for new life and new civilizations, and reach places where no one has gone before.
Although it took viewers some time to warm up to Star Trek: The Next Generation, it has now become one of the most popular parts of this franchise. The special effects of the show, in particular, are a vast improvement from the original series.
Visit New Worlds and Galaxies
So, there’s our picks for the best sci-fi TV shows. All that remains now is for you to take a seat, choose a series, and start your journey across time and space!