Sci-Fi Heaven: Four Great Science Fiction TV Shows You Should Watch

I have loved watching science fiction since I was a child when my father first started showing me old Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica episodes from the 70s and 80s. The mysteries of space, futuristic dystopia (and “utopia”), and the wild tales contained therein are among my favorite stories to consume. So, here’s a list of four of my absolute favorite science fiction TV series.

1. Battlestar Galactica (the re-imagined series)

I’m starting with this show because it is hands-down my absolute favorite on this list. It’s concept is among the best I have ever encountered in any genre. In an unknown solar system, twelve human planets represent what are known as “the Twelve Colonies of Kobol.” Kobol is, in the series’ lore, the planet where human life originated thousands of years in the past.

Forty years prior to when the story begins, a massive war between the humans of these twelve worlds and a group of human-made sentient robots called Cylons ended. The show begins with an all-out surprise attack from the Cylons, who can now appear in human form, that nearly obliterates the entire human race inside of a day. All twelve colonies were nuked hundreds of times, and their entire military fleet was obliterated—save one ship, the Battlestar Galactica.

The premise of the show is the Galactica’s journey, along with a small number of rag-tag civilian vessels, traversing the galaxy in search of a new home called Earth—the legendary home of the “13th Tribe” that left Kobol millennia in the past. From this point, the show progresses with copious amounts of drama, character development, stark choices, mythos and religion, intrigue, politics, and some pretty grandiose space-battle scenes for a show from the early 2000s. It’s also filmed entirely from hand-held cameras (yes, even the space scenes), so it looks very organic in its presentation.

You can find it available to stream on Hulu, but make sure you watch the two episodes from 2003 before going to the separate page where all the remaining episodes are available to stream. Check it out!

2. Stargate SG-1

Stargate SG-1 is another series that is near and dear to my heart. I have seen almost every episode of this show. There are still some episodes that I haven't seen from a few seasons in the middle, but it makes me happy that there is still more of this universe for me to explore. This show began in the late 1990s, and continued for 10 seasons. Additionally, there is a Roland Emmerich film from 1994 entitled “Stargate” that started the series off, although the show itself works without needing to watch the film.

Stargate SG-1 is very campy by nature. Many episodes in the series are filled with fan-service and some pretty wild adventures. However, despite the campiness, there isn’t anything that is starkly illogical, and the stories, characters, mythos, and adventure are some of the best I’ve seen in any series.

On the subject of mythos, the Stargate franchise bases much of its lore on ancient Earth myths surrounding the ancient Egyptian religion (among others), Arthurian legend, and the legend of Atlantis. From those bases, though, it morphs ancient myth into a futuristic space adventure—for example, the Egyptian god, Ra, is actually depicted as an alien being who commands a fleet of spaceships. The stargates themselves are wormhole portals that can make travel between different worlds instantaneous and they were made by an ancient species of human that also built the legendary city of Atlantis!

Stargate SG-1, along with the two other Stargate series, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, are available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime. In any case, I would definitely check this series out!

3. The 100

The 100 is a show that is deeply unlike any other show on this list. For one, it is definitely the most recent of them, and it is currently still airing. The show is set on Earth about 150 or so years in the future from today. By the time this show begins, 100 years have passed since a nuclear apocalypse wiped out almost all life on Earth. The remaining few live in space stations that were in orbit at the time of the detonations. These stations came together to form the Ark, and together they forged a new culture based on one day returning to the ground and starting human civilization anew.

However, all is not well with the Ark, as its air-filtration system is failing. In a desperate attempt to conserve oxygen, the Ark’s 100 prisoners—all of whom are under 18—are sent on what most believed to be a suicide mission to the Earth’s surface to determine if it was survivable almost 100 years before they estimated it would be. As it turned out, Earth was survivable, but if they could live, what else is living on the now mysterious planet’s surface? Watch, and you’ll find out!

The easiest access to the show is Netflix—all five of the currently released seasons are available to stream there. Season 6 will return next year on The CW.

4. Star Trek: Voyager

Star Trek: Voyager is one of my favorite Star Trek stories. Set in the same era as both The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Voyager has a very different premise. The show begins with Voyager being flung into the Delta Quadrant on the opposite side of the Milky Way Galaxy. 65,000 light years from home, the crew of the Voyager must survive in an unknown part of space and face enemies like the Borg while trying to continue their perennial mission to “boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Ironically, and importantly, Voyager is commanded by the series’ first woman captain: Captain Kathryn Janeway. Her leadership is tested throughout the show, and she is consistently seen as a capable, powerful, and worthy leader—and she doesn’t have to conform entirely to masculine standards of power in order to do so (although, as the show was created in the 1990s, there is still some of that).

Whether you’re a Star Trek enthusiast like myself, or someone just interested in starting a sci-fi series, I highly recommend this show! It is available to stream on both Netflix and Hulu.