The 20 Best Science Fiction TV Shows

by enchantmentofeternity | created - 10 Dec 2011 | updated - 24 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 424,401

Despite it's mediocre final season and ending, this show remains the best TV series of all time. It's fantastic blend of character stories, mysterious themes, and unique use of time flashbacks, and unsettling reveals puts this as one of the best stories ever told, and the best use of television ever. With the first 3 seasons the best of the series (particularly the 2nd)

2. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999)

TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In the vicinity of the liberated planet of Bajor, the Federation space station Deep Space Nine guards the opening of a stable wormhole to the far side of the galaxy.

Stars: Avery Brooks, Rene Auberjonois, Cirroc Lofton, Alexander Siddig

Votes: 39,466

A truly unique and dark version of the Star Trek franchise that sets it a part from all the other series. What I like best about this series is that it focuses more on the aliens and has a wide slection of interesting regulars who are NOT in starfleet. However it keeps the traditional Star Trek story telling style of making powerful and relevant commentary on the human condition but in a unique way. With the 3rd and 6th seasons being the best, after the less than stellar first 2 seasons.

3. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

8.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Set decades after Captain Kirk's five-year mission, a new generation of Starfleet officers set off in a new Enterprise on their own mission to go where no one has gone before.

Stars: Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, LeVar Burton

Votes: 76,584

The series the pushed the Star Trek franchise in a new direction and kept it alive. Despite its disastrous 1st two seasons, the show really pulled itself together and defined science fiction from this point on, as many other sci fi shows and films used this as inspiration for its remarkable and unique storytelling. With the 3rd and 6th seasons being the best.

4. Fringe (2008–2013)

TV-14 | 46 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An F.B.I. agent is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist and his son in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena.

Stars: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole

Votes: 194,984

Pushing the boundaries of sci fi with a the best and most prolonged use of the parallel universe theme ever seen. Although it started off as an X-Files rip off, it far exceeded the show it was modeled after. With its truly interesting reoccurring stories including that of the bald headed "Observers", like Lost (which was also created by JJ Abrams) a strength in the show is the characters, in particular the character of Walter Bishops who is played brilliantly by John Noble (Denethor in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). Its best seasons (so far) is the 2nd season which blended the ever present parallel universe mythology with its X-Files type theme to great effect.

5. Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.7
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When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

Stars: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis

Votes: 132,205

Like Lost this suffers from a less than stellar ending and pay off to the ever intriguing story threads, however it also succeeded in its strong characters and serialized style of story telling that left you on the edge of your seat. And its dark and gritty style sometimes made the show unique even if sometimes it was taken too far. With the 2nd season being the best year, when the show was really at the top of its game.

6. SGU Stargate Universe (2009–2011)

Not Rated | 43 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Trapped on an Ancient spaceship billions of light-years from home, a group of soldiers and civilians struggle to survive and find their way back to Earth.

Stars: Robert Carlyle, Louis Ferreira, Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque

Votes: 42,073

I was truly amazed that the creators of stargate managed to take the series from the crazy barren wasteland that SGA left it in and take it back to reality with an amazingly strong character based series that showcased the best of sci fi. Killed before its time after only 2 seasons, this show's cancellation is the biggest tragedy in TV history. With the 2nd season its best year, it brings me great sadness to think what the 3rd year could have brought.

7. Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Pulled to the far side of the galaxy, where the Federation is seventy-five years away at maximum warp speed, a Starfleet ship must cooperate with Maquis rebels to find a way home.

Stars: Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson, Robert Duncan McNeill

Votes: 45,309

Carrying on the star Trek theme was strength this show was off and on, but when it was good it was really GOOD, with great characters even if they weren't always used right, and the final years of the show were less than stellar and strayed from it true theme, and it had the most disappointing series finale of all time, despite all that the show contained some of the best hours of Television the were better than any other TV show. With the 2nd season which really took advantage of the shows premise and the 4th season which saw the introduction of Seven of Nine and the Borg being is best years.

8. Heroes (II) (2006–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

7.7
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Common people discover that they have super powers. Their lives intertwine as a devastating event must be prevented.

Stars: Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka

Votes: 211,694

Although it strayed only after one year, the first season of this show remains one of the best years on TV ever, with strong deeply emotional characters stories that survived into it's lesser subquent years. A truly unique take on the superhero theme. With its 1st season being by far the best.

9. Star Trek (1966–1969)

TV-PG | 50 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore the galaxy and defend the United Federation of Planets.

Stars: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Nichelle Nichols

Votes: 59,872

Although many of its themes are no longer fresh as they have been repeated and improved upon, the power of this series and its messages remains, as it was the origins of a truly great scifi franchise. With its 1st season as the best.

10. The X-Files (1993– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

8.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.

Stars: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis

Votes: 169,237

A Creepy show that set the tone for the future of sci fi, and had its own original themes of darkness and conspiracy. With the 3rd season being the best.

11. Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A secret military team, SG-1, is formed to explore the recently discovered Stargates.

Stars: Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping, Christopher Judge

Votes: 71,662

While many of the show's episodes could best be described as rip offs of Star Trek episodes, its long term storylines endured, and it had some really suspenseful and comedic moments. With one of its biggest strengths being Richard Dean Anderson's portrayal of Jack O'Niel. With its 4th and 7th seasons being the best.

12. Babylon 5 (1994–1998)

45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga.

Stars: Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas

Votes: 24,261

Refusing to watch it at first because I saw it as a DS9 rip off, the show actually had some really great moments despite its cheesy and cardboard characters. Some themes were truly exciting. And the Rebellion from Earth theme in particular was an awesome allegory that led to some spectacular story telling. With the 4th season being the best, and should have been the last.

13. Farscape (1999–2003)

TV-14 | 50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Thrown into a distant part of the universe, an Earth astronaut finds himself part of a fugitive alien starship crew.

Stars: Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Lani John Tupu

Votes: 28,891

This show also started out cheesy but improved over time. Although it never became truly great it did have some great moments like the 3rd season which had a spectacular season that the show should have ended with.

14. The Outer Limits (1995–2002)

TV-PG | 44 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A modern revival of the classic science fiction horror anthology show The Outer Limits (1963). Episodes often have twist-endings and involve aliens. Sometimes, a story from one episode continues in a later episode.

Stars: Alex Diakun, Eric Schneider, Garvin Cross, Larry Musser

Votes: 9,538

The best anthology series I've seen, the Outer Limits was a hit or miss series, with some episode being cheesy or boring it had some truly unique and amazing moments of sci fi.

15. The Twilight Zone (1959–1964)

TV-PG | 51 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

9.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

Ordinary people find themselves in extraordinarily astounding situations, which they each try to solve in a remarkable manner.

Stars: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts, Vaughn Taylor

Votes: 52,650

While a lot of the episodes (particular the ones with old people) were rather boring, it had some classic and truly epic episodes that shaped the future of all sci fi

16. Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A century before Captain Kirk's five-year mission, Jonathan Archer captains the United Earth ship Enterprise during the early years of Starfleet, leading up to the Earth-Romulan War and the formation of the Federation.

Stars: Scott Bakula, John Billingsley, Jolene Blalock, Dominic Keating

Votes: 35,167

I'm certain that this series single handily killed the Star Trek franchise with is poor premise and cardboard cast of characters (with the exception of the great doctor Phlox) The show started out with a truly awful first two years, it amazingly managed to redeem itself with an outstanding 3rd and 4th season with the spectacular Xindi extended storyline of season 3 and its many great 3 parters of season 4 that took more risks than any other Star Trek series, that paid off. With the 3rd season being the best.

17. Stargate: Atlantis (2004–2009)

TV-PG | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An international team of scientists and military personnel discover a Stargate network in the Pegasus Galaxy and come face-to-face with a new, powerful enemy, The Wraith.

Stars: Joe Flanigan, Rachel Luttrell, David Hewlett, Jason Momoa

Votes: 53,079

This series got worse with each year has it killed off too many beloved characters by the time it got to its fifth and final season it was mere shell of what it once was. However through out the whole series its strength was the commradry between its hero John Sheppard and one of the most interesting (and wonderfully annoying) characters on TV: Dr. Rodney McKay. With its first season as its best.

18. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008–2009)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

7.7
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Set after the events in Terminator 2 (1991), Sarah Connor and her son, John, try to stay under-the-radar from the government, as they plot to destroy the computer network, Skynet, in hopes of preventing Armageddon.

Stars: Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau, Richard T. Jones

Votes: 53,307

It began with an ordinary, average first season, but then exploded with a complex, and engaging 2nd season the takes the concept of the show to new heights, but is another example of a great sci-fi show prematurely concealed which resulting in one of the most horrible endings of any series, but despite that the 2nd season made this an outstanding series.

19. Firefly (2002–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

9.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.1/10 X  

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin

Votes: 209,641

An interesting show that brought a western feel to sci fi, but despite that I still liked it. What it lacked in originality it made up for in the interesting character of River, which led to a great movie sequel.

20. Caprica (2009–2010)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

7.1
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Two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, live together on a peaceful planet known as Caprica, where a startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence brings about unforeseen consequences. A spin-off of the Sci Fi Channel series "Battlestar Galactica" set 50 years prior to the events of that show.

Stars: Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson, Alessandra Torresani

Votes: 21,772

Prematurely killed before it was even able to complete its first season, we'll never know what it could have became but it was off to a pretty good start with great character stories.