The new season of Stranger Things is around the corner. While it ticks a lot of boxes including children’s adventure show, it’s primarily one of the best sci-fi shows out there. And there are quite a few of them. Here’s trying to list the greatest sci-fi TV shows of all time. (In no particular order.)
There have been many reboots of this one and we are not even talking about the dozen films that the series has spawned but the original, although troubled (ran for only three seasons), the show in the 1960s was what started it all. Leonard Nimoy as Commander Spock and William Shatner as James T. Kirk took us to adventures in unknown corners of the universe and soon became part of pop culture.
The Twilight Zone:
The original Rod Serling one, of course. Maybe in a couple of years, the Jordan Peele-hosted reboot will feature in a lot of best lists. But here we are talking about the 156 episodes of perhaps the best television content the world had watched at that moment in time. Even today when you think that these incredible stories were told in the late 1950s and early 1960s, your jaw does drop on the floor.
What a visionary juxtaposition of two diametrically opposite worlds – the old wild west and a futuristic tech lab. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy take Michael Crichton’s half-a-century-old clever idea – of a robot-populated amusement park where humans have their share of fun and games – and turn into a rollercoaster ride filled with twists and turns. The star-studded cast makes the experience better.
Two likeable leads to root for and one mind-churning monster after another. Starting in 1993, FBI agents Mulder and Scully took us through nine must-watch seasons where they battled all kinds of paranormal activities including alien invasions and mind erasures. That theme music still rings in your ears the moment you mention X-Files!
A no-brainer really. Ever since the Charlie Brooker-created show aired, pop sci-fi has never been the same. That all possible perils of future technology could transform to such terrific storytelling has to be seen to be believed. Also, this British anthology show can hop genres at will, making you cry, making you smile and, most likely, making you freak out.
The longest running sci-fi show in television history, Doctor Who has come a long, long way – in that iconic police box vehicle, TARDIS – but the nature of the titular hero’s adventures continue to be crazy, crazier, craziest. The best thing to have happened to the series is Steven Moffat joining the writing team in 2005 and then being involved for the next dozen years. It’s a pity, though, that it needed 13 reincarnations for Doctor Who to be a woman.
When it came out in the 1970s, its journey was restricted to just one long season of 24 episodes but when the reboot kicked in in the new millennium, it was an absolute marvel. In the fight between humans and robots called Cylons, what the series did brilliantly was focus on the moral dilemmas of the characters, giving humanity as much play time as the intergalactic battles.
Many might not agree with this selection on the list but sci-fi is a lot about the quality of the concept and as far as that goes, Altered Carbon is right up there with the best. Living forever through stacks which can be downloaded on to sleeves is a fascinating premise and when you add the plot of the protagonist being hired to find the murderer of his own sleeve, it sounds dynamite. Character development suffers under the heavy load of world building but still this series has enough action to keep packing a punch.