10 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows

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10 Best Sci-Fi TV Shows

I started this blog with a list of the 10 Best Sit-coms since 1980, but in light of last week's season finale of Battlestar Galactica, it's time to unleash my inner geek and look at the best sci-fi TV series of all-time:

9. Dr. Who
Originally launched in 1963, The Doctor has once-again returned to the TV screen, traveling through time and space in the TARDIS, an antiquated and surprisingly spacious blue police box. The special effects may have gotten marginally better, but the camp has stayed the same. Two spin-offs are currently running, including the highly addictive (though strangely both campy and serious) Torchwood.

Stargate SG1, Amanda Tapping

8. Stargate SG-1

Based on a mediocre movie with a good premise—that all of our mythology was the result of alien contact with our ancestors—the 10 seasons of SG-1 brought back good clean star trekking fun, complete with its own Spock (Teal'c) and a team leader played by MacGyver. Stargate:Atlantis has kept the spirit of its predecessor alive and well.


7. Farscape
muppets (it's a Jim Henson production, after all). Like Lexx without all the sexual innuendo, a group of refugees are forced to coexist aboard a living ship. It's dark without being dreary.


6. Firefly
Leave it to Joss Whedon to dream up a space show without aliens. The smart writing he brought to Buffy turned the universe into one big frontier, where those who didn't conform to authoritarian rule were forced to eke out their livings among outlying planets where the long arm of the law can't follow. Watch the way-too-short lived series in full before finishing with Serenity.

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5. The X-Files

the paranormal, The X-Files at its best was as good as any other TV show in history. Its greatness waned in the later years, but the early seasons did more than investigate the implausible; it accomplished it by taking aliens and conspiracy theories to the mainstream.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Life, metaphysical questions as well as The X-Files, all while a female protagonist fought like Bruce Lee.

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3. Lost

J.J. Abrams convinced viewers to watch his sci-fi show by taking his sweet time to reveal that it was a sci-fi show. Filled with exceptional characters (man, I miss Mr. Eko), clever structures (flash forwards?), moral conundrums and more plot twists and hidden clues than 1200 websites can keep straight, it's kept the water cooler interesting the last four years.

Captain Picard is assimilated

2. Star Trek: The Next Generation
The original series was pioneering. Deep Space Nine and Voyager had their moments. But TNG was head-and-shoulders the greatest Star Trek franchise. Jean Luc Picard. Data. Worf. The holodeck. The Borg. Gene Roddenbury must not have had a cynical bone in his body, and watching his characters explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations, and boldly go where no one has gone before, I didn't either.

1. Battlestar Galactica
Based on a mediocre TV show with a great premise—robots annihilate most of humanity; the remnant search for earth—Ronald D. Moore's reimagined version has become the greatest sci-fi show in history. With gritty realism, the last remaining military ship feels like it's in a constant state of repair, like humanity is being held together with duct tape. The show explores major themes—politics, religion, terror, marriage, humanity, sacrifice, pragmatism, personal failure, free press, free speech, loyalty—while keeping the plot moving forward with every episode. Long live Commander Adama.