We’re Crashing this Roswell Party, By Beaming up the 10 Best Sci-Fi Shows
It’s UFO day and we’re celebrating the only way we know how: with silly costumes and awesome TV shows! We would watch movies– but we want to BINGE, and nothing says “binge” like a good series. So we went on a hunt for the ten best Sci-Fi shows you can watch, and we think we found them.
So sit back, tune in, and get beamed up into the strange and wonderful world of great Sci-Fi. We promise that watching these will not get you abducted by aliens or pulled into another dimension (at least we think it won’t).
This one is only at the bottom of the list because the second season wasn’t as strong. On a scale of terrible to WOW — we give it a non-committal wiggly hand gesture and a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The first season was lit. The idea of robotic hosts serving the mega-rich in a consequence-free western world was such a great concept. It was a roller coaster as the world spiraled around us and we couldn’t take our eyes off the spectacle.
The first season of Westworld was so fulfilling to watch that when the second fell a little flat — well, we were disappointed. The first season was filled with incredible acting, wonderful drama, and stellar intrigue, for now, we would rather pretend it stayed that way.
9. Battlestar Galactica
Speaking of drama and intrigue, Battlestar Galactica has a whole lot of both. Humans in the future fleeing the robots they created to serve them? You have our attention. This is a very dark, very heavy story, as the crew of the Galactica (one of the last bastions of humanity) flees to find the mythical planet Earth so they can be free of the Cylons once and for all. But when can you trust when your enemies look just like you?
The whole cast puts on such great performances, you can’t look away as things keep getting worse and worse. We recommend that you enjoy this show with a stiff drink and a box of tissues.
This show has one flaw: it was canceled too soon. Scores of fans will tell you as much, and it holds a place in sci-fi fans’ hearts as a giant missed opportunity. In the future, humanity has spread through space and there was a war for control of the galaxy. Those on the losing side either fell in line or became outlaws on the fringes of the known universe in this incredible space western.
The show perfectly blends drama and humor with a lovable cast that you will want to see so much more from. From high tech train heists to navigating the politics of more populated worlds, this show had something for everyone. But Fox did not air the episodes in order, and they kept changing the air time of the show. Sadly, due to its lackluster start, the show was canceled after one season. But there was one silver lining — after fans spoke out for years, a movie titled Serenity was finally released to wrap up the major plot which was never concluded. Whether or not fans were happy with the ending they received — is up for debate.
If you told us last year we would be putting a Seth MacFarlane show on our top 10 Sci-fi show list… we would probably have laughed in your face. Like jerks. We would also be eating those words right now. When The Orville came out, we were hesitant to watch it. MacFarlane is known for his rather raunchy sense of humor and his smooth crooner voice. Yet The Orville has a lot of what made Star Trek: The Original Series so good.
He uses the show to toy with social issues that are poignant to our current situation, to reflect on differing values, and also to explore the human condition. The show shocked us with its surprising cast, and while it took them a few episodes to settle into their rhythm, it quickly became a stand out in last fall’s lineup. Sure, there is some base humor here and there, and in a few places the childish humor goes too far (we don’t recommend you watch it with kids). But overall we really appreciate the show for stepping up to the mission of the old Star Trek — exploration and understanding over explosions (even if there are a few of those in there, too).
6. The X-Files
One of the greats. X-Files was a phenomenon that pretty much everyone got behind. Mulder the believer and Scully the skeptic work for a paranormal research branch of the FBI. They solve cases that are beyond explanation and keep it from the public’s attention. The show focuses heavily on alien abduction and shadowy government organizations, making it the perfect blend suspense and curiosity.
We rewatch this show every couple of years, and each time we discover something we missed along the way. There is always some hint or clue that we would never have understood the first time through. It also helps that they brought the show back with the same actors. Like many shows, the later seasons can be a bit of a slog, but the new ones make the trek totally worth it.
5. Stargate SG1
This show was such a novel concept. Based on the movie Stargate, the show is a galaxy-spanning epic to fight the Goa’uld — parasitic creatures who fashion themselves as gods. The Stargate allows humans to explore other gates across the galaxy and gives them a way to fight the menace of the Goa’uld.
The cast has fantastic chemistry, and the show makes the threat of invasion feel ever present. If you missed its multiple seasons when they first came out, we have good news. Most of it holds up pretty well against the test of time. We highly recommend you add it to your watchlist — or rewatch list, if you’ve already watched it once. It goes a bit downhill after season 8 (as many shows tend to) but the final arc is fulfilling enough to make even that a fun watch.
4. Stranger Things
Another show that caught us completely off guard. Sure, this one doesn’t have aliens — but we feel like interdimensional beings totally count. When a shadowy government organization accidentally unleashes a monster into Hawkins and a little boy goes missing, it’s up to the residents to find out what happened to him and what is happening to their peaceful town. Not to mention the appearance of a psychic child.
This show will leave you guessing and nervous the entire time. It’s as if an eighties horror movie was a tv show and had modern graphics. We can’t recommend it enough. If you haven’t watched it, do. It’s worth the journey — and the second season is just as good as the first.
3. Black Mirror
This show freaks us the heck out. Not for the traditional “jump out and scare you” horror reasons (though there are a few of those moments), but because it feels like it could actually happen. The show takes current technology and then considers how the future could misuse it to become dystopian (well, more so than it is now). From Yelp for people to those creepy dogs from Boston Dynamics, there is a lot of stuff to process here.
The show is so dark that it has only ever had one happy ending. And fans were upset to see an episode end on a light note. This show serves as a warning and a curiosity. We can’t watch more than an episode or two at a time before we have to take a step back and think about where the world might be heading. It’s intense, amazing, and not for kids. If you haven’t watched it, the first episode is a doozy. None of them are connected, though, and most aren’t as… visceral as that one is. Get past it (or skip it if it looks like it’s too much for you) and the rest are dark but not quite as upsetting (usually).
2. Star Trek: The Original Series
Where to start with Star Trek: ToS? Well, if you don’t know about it, you’ve been living under a rock for the past 50 years. Star Trek opened a lot of doors that had previously been closed. The bridge crew included an Asian man and an African American woman as two of the ranking officers. The show depicted them as equals to their white counterparts in a time when that was unheard of. TOS also included the first interracial kiss ever shown on TV, and it came from the Captain himself.
It can be over the top and campy sometimes. And seeing how modern tech has advanced, the “future” tech in their ship feels a little dated — but this show chose to be a story of exploration instead of war, and that set it apart from other sci-fi of the time. It’s an incredible journey and well worth the time to watch (or rewatch) and it absolutely earned its place on this list.
1. Doctor Who
The longest running sci-fi show on our list — that’s right, it beats TOS by 3 years — Doctor Who is one of those phenomena that hits perfectly. The Doctor is a Time Lord, an alien who regenerates instead of dying. He flies through time and space in his TARDIS saving the universe one moment at a time. The show made itself timeless by creating a regenerating main character. Fans don’t like the actor? Change him. Fans don’t like his traveling companion? He can leave him or her back in their own time and move on.
That makes it sound so dispassionate, but it’s actually incredibly uplifting. The Doctor is ancient and he is kind. He wants to protect the earth from things that would destroy it and he does his best to do so time and time again (both figuratively and literally). The show swings between delightfully campy and genuinely terrifying from week to week. You never know what you are going to get until you’re in the middle of it. The delightful sense of humor and the artful handling of the characters makes this show wonderful to watch over and over again. We are never disappointed when we ride along with The Doctor for an evening.
Even better, the show will be returning in November to something completely new. The latest regeneration of The Doctor is a woman, and this is the first time this has ever happened in 50 years. The show will also have a new producer who will tell his story of The Madwoman in her little blue box. Count us in!