5 Greatest Sci-Fi TV Shows Ever
Science fiction has always been a genre that existed just below the mainstream. But a few select series transcended boundaries and brought the genre to the forefront with immortal stories, grand adventures and technologically-driven plots of grandiose wonder. Now, there are quite a few shows dedicated to science-fiction through satellite TV providers, and companies such as Dish and DirecTV. The success of these new series, such as “Revolution” and “Being Human,” owe it to the forebearers of sci-fi television.
“Lost” is one of the latest series here, as its 2010 ending is still fresh in the minds of its fans. Famous for stirring controversy at the time, many fans claim that it is more about the journey than the destination, a sentiment echoed by showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. The “Lost” pilot was reported to cost upwards of $12 million, an astonishing number for a broadcast television series.
The thrill of following the mythology along with fans of series each week as the show aired has rarely been repeated. “Lost” breathed life into their marketing campaign, offering nuggets of information at Comic-Con events and building a world outside the show. It was the culture around the series that made the show all that much better, and the accessible sci-fi elements made it a mainstream hit through all its six seasons.
2. Star Trek: The Original Series
“Star Trek” is a classic series spawning future iterations, a legion of generation-spanning followers and an immortal pop culture status. The original series has an incredible charm that still radiates from every declaration from Captain Kirk, Spock and Sulu — all pop culture icons. The cheesy B-grade plots still work in a charming sort of way, and the overall dark underbelly of the series keeps it relevant in this day and age. It teeters the line between downright silly and oddly haunting in nearly every one of its 80 original episodes.
3. Battlestar Galactica
Reboots are often frowned upon, especially with science fiction fans. One of the most successful reboots of all time was the 2004 series, “Battlestar Galactica.” It followed the sprawling 1978 original series with a succinct 75 episodes, a miniseries and a film. The show is widely considered to have one of the best endings of any television show.
4. The Twilight Zone
“The Twilight Zone” had a few iterations after its original run, but its original 1959-1964 run was helmed by sci-fi mastermind Rod Sterling. Sterling had this innate ability to enchant viewers into this weird and eccentric world. A common myth is that every episode of the original series was dark or horror-esque. Some were quite the opposite, channeling this positive enlightening theme that pulled from common elements of the era. The advent of technology, nuclear war and the reconstruction of civilization were all common themes of many episodes. Many of these tales stand the test of time and are just as important as they were in the ’60s — some were eerily foreboding.
“Firefly” will always be considered a show stolen from its time to shine. In just 14 episodes aired in 2002, “Firefly” slowly rose to become a cultural masterpiece. The show is just as famous for its alumni, including actors Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin. Showrunner Joss Whedon penned the famous “Buffy the Vampire Series” and the mainstream Hollywood record breaker, “The Avengers.” The show was canceled after declining ratings, boasting a lukewarm 4.7 in Nielsen ratings. But it still managed to squeeze out a Primetime Emmy for Visual Effects: a stamp of approval in the science-fiction genre. The subsequent film, “Serenity,” closed the “Firefly” story brilliantly, confirming its status as a self-contained package.