Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sci-Fi Television Lists

I recently encountered an interesting list of the top 50 Science Fiction themed TV shows of all time at IGN. It is not a new list, but it got me to thinking about what my favorite ones would be—and how limited my TV viewing has been in this, one of my favorite genres. Some of the shows would fit into a “guilty pleasure” or “fond memories of childhood list.” Shows mostly from the seventies and eighties like: “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Battle of the Planets,” “Buck Rodgers,” “V,” and "Robotech." There are some truly great shows here too, though. So, here are two lists of 15. The top 15 I have to seek out, and my 15 Favorite Sci-Fi Shows so far:

Need to See:

“The Prisoner”

“Star Trek: The Animated Series”

“Red Dwarf”

“Adventures of Briscoe County, Jr.”

“Babylon 5”

“Star Trek: Voyager”

“Stargate SG1”




“The Lone Gunmen”

“Star Trek: Enterprise”

“Battlestar Galactica (2004)”



Top 15

15. “The Invaders” (1967-68)

I have vivid memories of the few episodes I saw as a kid. The idea of an infiltration going unnoticed, and the desperation of a man trying to reveal the conspiracy is rich and has been tapped often since. The “give-away” here of the unbendable pinkies was a fun idea.

14. “The Wild, Wild West” (1965-69)

Goes beyond childhood fond memory as it still works for me today. Almost steam-punk.

13. “The Outer Limits” (1963-65)

Not quite as good as number 3 on my list, but the same basic show.

12. “Quantum Leap” (1989-93)

Sometimes a bit too melodramatic, and more about people than concepts than most Sci-fi. Still one of the best series of television ever.

11. “Millennium” (1996-99)

The X Files gone even darker and more foreboding. Not for the faint of heart. Boasting on of my single favorite episodes of television ever produced.

10. “Fringe” (2008-13)

Still working through this one, but the best true offspring of a show like The X Files.

9. “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-99)

Also working through this one currently. For Trek, it is unusually concerned with conflict, politics, and religion.

8. “Star Trek” (1966-69)

One of the most influential TV shows, science fiction concepts, and religions (let’s face it, it is) of our age.

7. “Life on Mars” (2006-7) Season 1 Season 2

One of the more original TV concepts ever.

6. “Firefly” (2002)

Science Fiction meets Western with class and great writing.

5. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-94)

Still my favorite of the Treks. (But I do need to see more.)

4. “Lost” (2004-10)

Some felt that it lost its way towards the end, but I love the mystery.

3. “The Twilight Zone” (1959-64)

The best example of Science Fiction used to sneak real messages into the cultural conversation.

2. “The X Files” (1993-2002)

This is where this genre began to explore and be open to the unexplainable as an acceptable topic to explore.

1. “Doctor Who” (1963-current)

It’s been around forever (and enough to have some examples of the worst of Science Fiction television as well) and has a concept broad enough to explore anything the writers feel like tackling.

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