“Beam Me Up, Scotty!” Top Sci-Fi TV Shows

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So, seeing as how it’s been almost two weeks of November so far, I’m a little late to the game. But I am a proud participant in Sci-Fi November, hosted by @ Rinn Reads and Oh, the Books!

For my first post, I thought it would be really fun to list some of my favorite Sci-Fi TV shows! I think I’ve definitely got a good mix of shows here — some new, some old, some favorites, and maybe some lesser-known shows. Hopefully one will spark your interest and get you hooked!


1. Star Trek The Original Series (TOS) 

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linkedin.com

This is classic Sci-Fi at its best! I first got into the series after loving the newest Star Trek movies. My dad recommended that I check out TOS, which he loved watching back when he was young. I was more than a little dubious to start the show (I mean, look how old and cheesy it looks!), and thought that it couldn’t ever compare with the movies, but I decided to give it a shot.

While the first episode I tried was a rare dud, I was hooked in no time as I found better episodes. Though it’s not as action-packed as the newer movies, it’s quite thought-provoking, and it’s all-too easy to grow fond of the Enterprise‘s crew and daring Captain. It also brings up questions of morality that are central to Sci-Fi, and it’s perhaps the best part of the show.

Recommended for: Purist Sci-Fi lovers, and people who enjoyed the new reboot movies!

Sci-Fi Elements: Spaceships, planets, and humanoids (aliens), oh my! Also brings up questions of morality quite a bit.


2. The Twilight Zone

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Since I watch quite a few old TV shows, it was only a matter of time until I stumbled across The Twilight Zone. While it’s in black-and-white, that doesn’t mean that it’s any less creepy than any of today scary movies. The show’s episodes range from simple murder mysteries to the slightly creepy to the full-out bizarre and impossible things that make it a Sci-Fi enthusiast’s dream (or nightmare?).  The short 30 minute shows are also fun and easy to watch back-to-back in a marathon of creep-tastic episodes.

Recommended for: Scary-movie lovers, but also those who avoid horror movies like the plague but do enjoy a small fright every now and then.

Sci-Fi Elements: The wacky, twisted, and impossible things that happen in the show! Be prepared for aliens, gremlins, doppelgängers, demons, and the even crazier stuff that at first appears normal.


3. Lost

screenrant.com

screenrant.com

Hands down, this is my favorite TV show — EVER.  Lost has an incredible cast, and a bizarre and twisting plot line that will always keep you guessing!  You will grow to love every one of the characters, no matter how daunting their appear at first, because each character has extensive flashbacks — and flash-forwards — that allow the viewer to get to know them better. It’s a show that’s difficult to describe exactly how great it is, but it certainly is spectacular.

Though the third season was heavily affected by the Writer’s Strike of ’07, Losties are such loyal fans that most will have no trouble blazing through the show’s 6 seasons. Not to mention that Michael Giacchino does the soundtrack for the show, so it’s superb.

Recommended for: Those looking for their next favorite TV show, and those who like their Sci-Fi with a big heap of drama!

Sci-Fi Elements: Can you say polar bears in Hawaii, and island that won’t let people leave, and a black “smoke monster”? It’s a good kind of crazy, I promise.


4. Helix

syfy.com

syfy.com

I’ve already blogged about the show on my Top 5 Books That Made Me Want to Hide Under the Covers, if that tells you anything! Since I’m not a fan of horror movies, this is the scariest show I watch (and watching it at night is such a bad idea!). When the CDC and the army has to come down to a private research facility in Antarctica to try to stop a mysterious epidemic, you know things are going to get ugly (in a really entertaining way!).

Helix has plenty of heart-stoppingly scary moments that will keep you watching episode after episode. But if that doesn’t do it for you, getting to the bottom of the epidemic — and solving the secrets surrounding those working at the research base — will certainly keep you entertained.

Recommended for: Again, fans of scary movies. Or those who enjoy very plausible Sci-Fi.

Sci-Fi Elements: A genetically engineered epidemic that creates “violent, zombie-like” infected persons. Eeep!


5. Heroes

Unknown

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Heroes is very similar to Lost in my opinion, in that they both feature great actors playing characters you’ll learn so much about an grow to love. But instead of being survivors of a plane crash, the characters of Heroes discover they have superhuman powers. Where it goes from there is a bit complicated and twisting, but needless to say you’ll be intrigued.

Heroes was also hurt by the Writer’s Strike in 2007, but sadly it came out worse off than Lost. The series’ fifth and final season was bizarre and made little sense — and not in a good way. But the series is currently in the process of being rebooted as Heroes Reborn with an all-new cast! I have hight hopes, but the show will need a quality cast to take off again.

Recommended for: X-Men fans! And fans of good casts.

Sci-Fi Elements: I think superhuman powers qualify. Get ready for mind-reading, telekinesis, flying, healing and regenerative powers, time travel, and so much more awesomeness…


6. Terra Nova 

terranova.wikia.com

terranova.wikia.com

Viewer warning: this show got cancelled after the first season. But there’s a reason people still keep discovering it and zipping through the episodes: it’s worth it!  In a destitute future, the Shannon family is given the opportunity to travel through a recently-discovered “temporal rift” to travel back to an alternate past that just happens to be set in the Cretaceous Period. What follows is the story of a family determined to survive in their new adopted home. It’s heartwarming and intriguing all at once, even if the end of the series is frustratingly cut short.

Recommended for: Family viewing! Or just, ya know, by your lonesome.

Sci-Fi Elements: Umm, DINOSAURS! Oh, and just a rift in time and space.


7. Almost Human 

tvfishbowl.com

tvfishbowl.com

Sadly also cancelled after one season, Almost Human was one of my unexpected favorite shows last year. While I don’t usually enjoy ‘cop shows,’ I just couldn’t resist one with a Sci-Fi twist featuring Karl Urban (Star Trek shoutout!!) and Michael Ealy.

Set in the near future, crime has gotten out of hand such that the city decided to begin employing robot partners for every human cop. Urban’s character is reluctantly paired with a robot parter (Ealy) that has been designed as more ‘human’ that his fellow counterparts. Together they take on some of the city’s toughest crime — which has been given a boost by rising technology — and develop something of a ‘bromance’ while they’re at it. Seriously, these two are the perfect partners in solving crime.

Recommended for: Those who already love cop shows — but also those who don’t and are willing to be surprised!

Sci-Fi Elements: Robot cop-partners!  Also set in the future with oodles of cool technology.


8. The 100

seriesparaassistironline.org

seriesparaassistironline.org

Eeeep! Finally, the show I’m most excited about at the moment. While it is actually based of the YA book of the same name by Kass Morgan, I chose not to read the book because I had already gotten well into the TV show and had heard that the book’s plot line was drastically different.

When the “Ark,” or the conglomerate of space stations that managed to survive a nuclear apocalypse on Earth, begins to run out of air, they decide to send 100 of their teenaged prisoners to the ground to see if Earth is survivable yet. But when the 100 reach the ground, they find they are not alone. What ensues has a Lord of the Flies and Lost (:D) type-feel as the 100 desperately fight to survive on the ground. Bonus: this show is brilliantly plotted, and I have yet to watch a bad episode! It also has great character development. 

Recommended for: Those on the lookout for a fantastic new show! Seriously, this one has me hooked.

Sci-Fi Elements: Space? Check. Nuclear apocalypse? Check. Combined? Epicness.


Have you watched and enjoyed any of these shows? What are some of your favorite Sci-Fi Shows?

Comments

  • acps927 says:

    Almost Human!!!! *Mourning its loss* I also love Star Trek (all iterations!), The Twilight Zone (so many great twists!), and for shows you didn’t mention: Babylon 5, Firefly, and Fringe. From my understanding, if you loved Lost you ought to watch Fringe if you haven’t already (and vice versa for me since I haven’t watched Lost yet). Also, it sounds like everyone likes 100 the TV series more than 100 the book. Might have to look into the show one day…
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    • It’s really sad that Almost Human didn’t stick around — apparently the viewership just came around a little too late. 🙁

      I really want to get around to watching the other Star Trek series, especially TNG!

      My sister got me into The Twilight Zone, because she loves old movies and TV shows (and I’m really glad she did!). One of my favorite eps, of course, is the one William Shatner guest stars in!

      And besides just TNG, I know that there are so many other Sci-Fi shows I still have to get around to!! I’ve heard a lot about Firefly, but I hadn’t heard of Babylon 5 or Fringe. I’ll definitely have to check out Fringe, it looks good!! (And you have to check out Lost! :D). Thanks for the recs! :))

      And yes, I was advised by many people not to read the book if I liked the TV show, so I decided to restrain my natural instinct to ‘read the book,’ haha. You really should check it out, I think it’s brilliant!!

  • Firefly! I didn’t get into it when it was (ever so briefly) on the air, but I sat down a couple of years ago and watched the whole series and the companion movie. I loved it!

    I’m also partial to the Stargate franchise. I’m still sad that Stargate Universe got cancelled so soon. But Robert Carlyle’s busy doing Once Upon a Time now… even though it’s wandering aimlessly after jumping multiple fairytale sharks over the last couple of seasons. I wish they would do a movie for Stargate Universe like the did for Firefly; I mean, you can’t just fling a group of people billions of light years into the universe and then leave them there when you cancel the series!
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    • I’ve had a few people recommend Firefly to me, so I think it’ll definitely be my next Sci-Fi series of choice 🙂

      I haven’t watched Stargate Universe either, but I’ll have to check it out! It’s awful when such plot-intensive series get cancelled without any real wrap-up; the same thing happened with Heroes but 5 years later they’re making a new series for the show! Sometimes you get lucky…

      I’ve watched OUAT time for quite a while now, and I keep going back and forth on whether or not I like the current season. Sometimes it has its moments, and other times I just get kind of tired of them fooling around with the Frozen plot line so much and it borders on cheesy sometimes. We’ll see how it all ends, I guess!

  • I used to like Star Trek Voyager and The Next Generation, but I never really liked the original. I liked the new Twilight Zone, does that count? I watched Lost when it started, but I eventually gave up. Nothing ever seemed to happen. *hides* I tried Helix, but gave up in the middle of episode one. I lOVED Heroes, especially season one! I was so sad when it got canned. Terra Nova and Almost Human were also GREAT shows that didn’t deserve to only have one season! I watch the 100 too! Shannon had an entire blog talk about that show. http://itstartsatmidnight.com/2014/11/snark-ark-100-episode/ I haven’t read the book either, because it’s gotten some not so great reviews by people I trust. Nice list! 🙂

    I would also like to add Firefly too! Great show!
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    • There’s a new Twilight Zone?!? I haven’t heard of it, I’ll have to check that out! And yeah, that’s the thing about Lost — not much ever happens, per se (especially if you view the whole series from the point of view of the finale), but it’s more about the journey really and the characters, I’d say. If I remember correctly it took 3-4 episodes for me to really get into Helix, because all the drama starts to happen. It was really sad when Heroes got cancelled, but by that last season things were going kind of haywire. To continue the show like that wouldn’t have been exactly all that great, either. Terra Nova is an old lost, but my wound is still pretty fresh for the loss of Almost Human! What has TV come to these days…. But YES, The 100!! I’m slightly obsessed. I’ll be sure to check out that post as soon as I can (and I’m going to watch yesterday’s episode tonight!).

  • Oh man, I LOVED Terra Nova! I am still not over the fact that they decided not to renew this for a second season. It was just so good.

    *weeps silently*
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