#1 Edited by Animasta (14691 posts) -

Okay so assuming I have watched literally no sci fi TV, which I think is accurate (unless you count anime, though I'd watch a live action steins;gate so hard), which one is the best one? I have watched like 6 episodes of Doctor Who in the past two days and before I continue on I wanted to know if I should check any others first.

A lot of it is the fact that stuff like star trek... THERE ARE SO MANY EPISODES. Not to say that I won't check something out if there's a lot, but you know, I'd want a lot of recommendations before doing so.

#2 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

The first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica scratches my sci-fi itch. I wish there were a proper sci-fi show running right now, with space, aliens and explosions.

#3 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4604 posts) -

As far as shows that are still currently in existence, the only good one is Orphan Black, which is really more of a pseudo-science conspiracy show but fuck it.

#4 Posted by Animasta (14691 posts) -

As far as shows that are still currently in existence, the only good one is Orphan Black, which is really more of a pseudo-science conspiracy show but fuck it.

I don't care about currently in existence. I have seen literally no sci fi TV, because I usually get that from somewhere else (mostly anime and games)

#5 Edited by ll_Exile_ll (1695 posts) -

I have several recommendations (in no particular order):

  • Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis
  • Fringe
  • Firefly
  • Battlestar Galactica

These all have different strengths, but they are all great. Stargate has an interesting mythology that's built over a decade plus (15 combined seasons with over 300 episodes) with just a lot of good stories.

Fringe starts out as a sci-fi version of procedural cop show, but evolves into much more as it goes on, with interesting characters (John Noble is fantastic) and a unique exploration of a lot of common sci-fi tropes like alternate universes, time travel, and many others.

Firefly is a cult hit for a reason. It's not as much about the sci-fi as it is about an outstandingly well written ensemble of characters that happen to live in a sci-fi world.

Battlestar Galactica is an extremely well produced show with a well realized continuous story. The quality of the acting and production is the closest we've gotten to a premium cable sci-fi show along the lines of what Game of Thrones is for fantasy. However, the later seasons go in a direction that I didn't like very much, and the hokey use of themes of fate and religion to go along with a piss poor ending really keep this show from being as good as it could have been in my eyes.

#6 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

Firefly is brilliant. I've heard great things about Orphan Black, specifically from Patton Oswalt raving about it on twitter.

#7 Posted by AnalogVinyl (17 posts) -

Short Joss Whedon Sci-fi: Firefly (TV Show)/Serenity(movie epilogue), Dollhouse

Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis, Quantum Leap, The Outer Limits, Sliders, Red Dwarf, Sea Quest: DSV

#8 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

"However, the later seasons go in a direction that I didn't like very much"

I 100% agree with you. I really enjoyed the initial two seasons of BSG.

#9 Posted by psylah (2173 posts) -

X Files.

#10 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1021 posts) -

@psylah said:

X Files.

Outer Limits

Twilight Zone

#11 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

Firefly is a nice introduction to some Sci-Fi, it's also fairly short so you should start with that.

#12 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

Don't rule out Star Trek because there's a lot of it. Think of each Star Trek show as one self-contained entity. That leaves you with individual shows of at most 7 seasons. Pretty standard for a TV show. I'd recommend starting with either The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine (for either of these, stick it out for the cringe-inducing first couple seasons). Also, I second the stuff that a lot of people are recommending, specifically Fringe and Firefly. I keep meaning to watch Battlestar as I hear it's good. Also, all of the Stargate shows are worth watching, although they have their ups and downs. The early seasons of Stargate SG-1 in particular are hard to go back to and Stargate Universe has a slow start, but picks up later on. Also, I think Alphas was pretty good, although it's sort of a superhero show so it's not quite conventional sci-fi. Unfortunately it only ran for two seasons, before being cancelled on a cliffhanger (which was also the case with Stargate Universe for that matter).

#13 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5476 posts) -

The three F's.

  • X Files
  • Fringe
  • Firefly
#14 Edited by Melos (239 posts) -

Farscape. No one ever gives Farscape enough credit. Great characters that change dramatically over the course of the show, and some wonderfully bizarre concepts throughout. If you like anime, I think you'll appreciate how colorful that show is.

#15 Posted by mostman (248 posts) -

Was just about to add Farscape but @melos beat me to it. Also, check out Eureka. Its more of a comedy, but its very well done and has some great characters in it.

#16 Posted by mostman (248 posts) -

One more - Babylon 5. This show is not only a lot of fun to watch and experience, it was a genre shifting event for television SciFi. One of the best things about Babylon 5 is that the entire arc was written before filming started. This created some amazing end series pay offs when mysteries from the first season were perfectly resolved in the end. Great stuff.

#17 Edited by armaan8014 (5402 posts) -

Battlestar Galactica is an extremely well produced show with a well realized continuous story. The quality of the acting and production is the closest we've gotten to a premium cable sci-fi show along the lines of what Game of Thrones is for fantasy. However, the later seasons go in a direction that I didn't like very much, and the hokey use of themes of fate and religion to go along with a piss poor ending really keep this show from being as good as it could have been in my eyes.

I only watched the mini series yet, and I got pretty damn bored. Does it get better in season 1 onwards? I mean I like sci fi and everything but this wasn't going anywhere... story and character wise, is it strong? Anything like Mass Effect?

#18 Edited by Pvtporter (26 posts) -

@funkydupe: Definitely Battlestar, especially the first two seasons as you said. I also really enjoyed chunks of the fourth, including the ending. When I'm describing Battlestar to friends, I couch it as "a military drama that happens to be set in space." There are some episodes that could easily be set on an aircraft carrier without losing any of the story beats.

#19 Edited by joshwent (2199 posts) -

Battlestar Galactica (the reboot) is a tight 4 seasons with only like one or two filler episodes, so the time investment isn't as huge as some other series. Also it's one of the best shows I've ever watched. And you wouldn't have to worry about dedicating a lot of time anyway because you'll inevitably get hooked and just marathon the shit out of it.

ALTHOUGH... I wouldn't really call it sci-fi. It's much more of a military drama that could have easily been about aircraft carriers and soviet double agents. But the few sci-fi elements there are are fascinating and wonderfully done. Watch it!

(p.s.: Fringe is terrible)

#20 Posted by mostman (248 posts) -

@joshwent:

(p.s.: Fringe is terrible)

This is BS. I demand you backup that claim.

#21 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

I dare you to watch the totally amazing

(if you can find it)

#22 Posted by mostman (248 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

Battlestar Galactica is an extremely well produced show with a well realized continuous story. The quality of the acting and production is the closest we've gotten to a premium cable sci-fi show along the lines of what Game of Thrones is for fantasy. However, the later seasons go in a direction that I didn't like very much, and the hokey use of themes of fate and religion to go along with a piss poor ending really keep this show from being as good as it could have been in my eyes.

I only watched the mini series yet, and I got pretty damn bored. Does it get better in season 1 onwards? I mean I like sci fi and everything but this wasn't going anywhere... story and character wise, is it strong? Anything like Mass Effect?

Watch the entire first season. Thats pretty much where you need to get to in order to make a determination if its for you or not. Once you get into about the 4th season, feel free to stop at any time :)

#23 Posted by Fearbeard (830 posts) -

Firefly is easily my favorite. Also make sure to check out the movie Serenity after watching the show. It's only about 13 episodes so it shouldn't take you too long.

#24 Posted by Coafi (1488 posts) -

Twilight Zone.

#25 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Stargate SG-1

#26 Edited by BaneFireLord (2933 posts) -

Doctor Who is hands down my favorite show, but I think calling it "sci fi" is a bit of a stretch beyond the basic setting. It's more "space fantasy with no sense of consistent internal logic" than anything.

I will echo the Firefly recommendations. That's a hell of a show.

#27 Posted by DonChipotle (2746 posts) -

Babylon 5

It is still the best

#28 Posted by Deathstriker (312 posts) -

1. Battlestar Galactica (not a great ending, but still the best as far as story, acting, scope, and heart)

2. Firefly (sadly, only one season)

3. Fringe (I was indifferent to season one, but it quickly improves and goes crazy in a good way)

4. Farscape (can be fun, deep, and campy at will)

Honorable mentions: Sarah Connor Chronicles... I wouldn't call Misfits, Lost, nor Orphan Black sci-fi, but they do have some elements and are great.

Online
#29 Edited by OldGuy (1556 posts) -

The X-Files

The Outer Limits (original version)

The Twilight Zone (original version)

Babylon 5

Battlestar Glactica (new version)

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (a bit bumpy the first season and then it gets really good).

#30 Posted by JadeGL (861 posts) -

X-Files

Continuum

There are probably more but I just can't think of anything off the top of my head right now. X-Files has always been my favorite show of all time, and Continuum is a new show that I just fell in love with recently. I think everything else has pretty much been covered.

Moderator
#31 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3051 posts) -

Stark Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine are both great. Also, I have a soft spot for Farscape, but I'm not entirely convinced it's a good show.

#32 Posted by Nitrocore (369 posts) -

The first 2 and a half series of Sliders.

#33 Posted by YoungFrey (1321 posts) -

I won't claim Babylon 5 is perfect in every way. It has some bad acting, especially early on, and the sets are not amazing. But the character arcs and story were unheard of at the time. Some of the payoffs, years later in some cases, were mindblowing.

#34 Edited by NTM (7374 posts) -

Star Trek, all of them.

#35 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2561 posts) -

Battlestar Galactica - I loved all of it, but anything after the first two seasons isn't for everybody.

#36 Posted by cassus (373 posts) -

I will preface this with the following: I find sci-fi shows to be mostly about the people, the sci-fi is more the setting. Don't get me wrong, the setting is super important, without it the plots wouldn't work and the characters wouldn't develop the way they do in sci-fi shows. This is why my fav show(s) are Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. Those two shows had casts you couldn't help but become fond of.

BSG, X-Files, Fringe etc. are all "better shows" and for me they're pretty much right up there with Stargate, just not quite, and it's all down to how lovable a cast is. At least for me.

If you could write down why you like a specific show, what draws you, that would be sweet. Always been curious about what draws people into certain shows/games etc. Cause I want to be drawn in, dammit!

#37 Edited by SerHulse (685 posts) -

Red Dwarf, if you like your British comedy.

Also, technically, technically, Life on Mars. I say that because it kinda-sorta is Sci-Fi, but not really...I don't want to give too much away but there is some Twilight Zone stuff that happens in that show that is pretty incredible.

Not the U.S. remake though, that one IS Sci-Fi and shit.

#38 Posted by FreakAche (2953 posts) -

@joshwent said:

(p.s.: Fringe is terrible)

Wrong! Season 4 was unfortunate, but other than that, it's great.

#39 Posted by Sinusoidal (1474 posts) -

For the five major Star Treks, (The original, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise) I'd recommend looking up what are considered some of the best episodes and watching a few of those to decide whether or not you want to endure the entire thing. Each one of them is episodic, so you don't really need to watch them in order so much. TNG in particular has some really great moments, and lots of really awful ones especially in the first couple seasons.

If you want something completely different, give Lexx a try. It's not for everyone though. Each season changes tone completely, so you might really enjoy one and despise the next.

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#40 Posted by benspyda (2034 posts) -

Firefly is the best sci-fi show of all time, but it isn't really that sci-fi I guess. Modern Doctor Who is a good runner up. Neither are ultra serious shows, but I don't particularity like serious dramas anyway.

#41 Posted by Gamer_152 (14077 posts) -

I've gotta go with the modern Doctor Who, Firefly, Star Trek, and if you count it as a sci-fi show, The Twilight Zone.

Moderator
#42 Edited by hidys (1029 posts) -

Battlestar Galactica followed by Deep Space 9. In terms of what is running now Black Mirror is really fucking incredible and should really be watched by all.

#43 Edited by DeShawn2ks (1054 posts) -

@animasta: To hell what anyone says I really liked Farscape and the Stargate tv show.

#44 Posted by armaan8014 (5402 posts) -
#45 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

The Stargate franchise.

#46 Posted by Krataur (358 posts) -

Stargate SG-1 is my favorite TV series of all time, Sci-Fi or not. As has been said, there are other series that are technically better (BSG, for example, which I'd also recommend), but SG-1 has the perfect mixture of comedy, creative stories, extremely likable characters, and action, in my opinion.

I've also always liked how it takes place on modern day Earth. Makes for some interesting stories about the need for keeping the Stargate program secret to the public or not.

#47 Edited by CatMeat (42 posts) -

The Adventures of Brisco County Jr is a great, unexpectedly sci-fi series.