Top 10 Sci-fi TV Shows
I know I’m not really watching TV these days, but I haven’t been able to pry myself away from watching the new season of Doctor Who on BBC America. Sci-fi is by far my favorite genre of entertainment, so I started thinking about my favorite Sci-Fi TV shows of all time. This is a very subjective list and very much my own opinion, but I’d love to hear what you think as well!
Sliders was a mid to late 90′s Sci-fi show staring Jerry O’Connell as the physics student Quinn Mallory. At 10, when I saw the first episode, I was hooked. The heroes would travel from alternate world to alternate world discovering a lot about the universe… and themselves (see how I went all deep there). In hindsight it’s not really a “great” show, using just about every TV cliché available, but it kept me entertained every week.
9) Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf probably isn’t very well known show outside of Great Britain but I caught it on PBS in the late 90′s. The show focuses on the last human left in existence and how he copes with the drivel of day to day life with an evolved cat, the hologram of his deceased, annoying roommate and an android aboard a huge mining ship in space. It’s full of the typically dry British humor with little to no real science… so maybe not a show for everyone, but I loved it.
How can you beat a Sci-fi show that has beautiful women with a lot of action and a touch of conspiracy? Dollhouse was created by Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel fame, and set in a world where people could sign up to become mindless puppets of a corporation for the pleasure of others. Now, it’s not a purely sexual thing, though those elements exist. These dolls quite literally become other people with all the skills necessary to do anything from solve crimes, find kidnapped people, or make business deals. It only lasted two seasons but Joss was able to wrap just about all the story lines to a decent conclusion by the end.
The short lived series Firefly, also by Joss Whedon, was simply brilliant. It mixed the Sci-Fi and western genres seamlessly. Nathan Fillion stars as Malcolm Reynolds, the captain of the firefly class spaceship Serenity. He leads the supporting cast of Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass. I hate Fox for canceling Firefly, but I’m glad that it was able to move on a bit with the feature film, Serenity.
I’m not really sure I have to say much about Lost. It was one of the most watched TV shows of all time. While it did dive heavily on the characters and their situation (which was great) the elements of science fiction really brought me into it. This would be higher on the list for me, but I felt some parts were stretched out way too much, while others were rushed way too fast.
The Syfy channel (stupid spelling) really struck a chord with me with Eureka. It has just the right amount of comedy to the secluded town to set it apart from other shows. Colin Ferguson does a great job as the layman sheriff surrounded by an entire community of super geniuses who’s inventions and experiments often go awry. It usually plays as a summer show, which is great when there is a lack of decent programming.
4) Stargate: SG1
With 10 seasons, two spin off series and two movies, Stargate: SG1 is a powerhouse in the Sci-fi world. Richard Dean Anderson (Mcgyver) took over Kurt Russell’s character O’Neil from the original movie. Anderson brought more reliability to the character and quite a bit more humor. I didn’t start watching until it was in it’s second or third season, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen ever episode made. Worth watching if you’re a fan of sci-fi, but then again, if you’re a fan of sci-fi, you’ve probably already watched it.
3) Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek geeks, or Trekkies, might not like me for saying this, but TNG was so much better than the original series. With Patrick Stewart at the helm of the Starship Enterprise and the increase in technical jargon, the viewers feel like the people on screen were really in the 24th century. Even now I get excited when I see re-runs on Syfy or BBC America. What’s NOT to love about Star Trek!?
Farscape was produced by Jim Henson Productions. The aliens were all puppets. This means… it was awesome. It helped a lot too that the acting and storylines were great, though a bit difficult to follow. Ben Browder played human astronaut John Crichton who through a series of accidents, winds crashed aboard an alien prison ship in another galaxy. Through it’s 4 seasons, Crichton and the small crew of prisoners are chased around the foreign galaxy by a race called The Peacekeepers, who are anything but. By the end they find themselves in the middle of a war with a new born baby, a couple deaths and a few happily ever-afters.
1) Doctor Who (NuWho)
I wish I could say that I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who since the beginning but I can’t. For one, it started 20 years before I was born, and two, I didn’t start watching it until it was “rebooted” in 2005 with what is commonly called NuWho. The Doctor is from a race of aliens called Time Lords. He travels around time and space in a ship that looks like a police box, searching for adventures with human companions (usually women) and often getting in and out of trouble. A brilliant plot device used by the show is that when the Doctor faces mortal peril, he regenerates his body which then changes form, allowing a new actor to take over as the role. I think with each new doctor, the character gets wiser and far more fanatical. David Tennant is my favorite doctor, but the new guy, Matt Smith, is doing a great job.
Honorable Mentions: SeaQuest: DSV, Fringe, X-Files, Quantum Leap, Torchwood