There’s nothing that makes a human happier than binge-watching a good show. You’ll sit and let Netflix yell at you to get up and stretch once in awhile, but you can’t stop a good show once it gets started. One thing I personally love to binge is a great sci-fi show. Sci-fi has a lot of different plots, storylines, layers, and imagery that you want to soak in as much as possible without stopping.
So, what better way to give that love of binge-watching than to suggest some television shows for you guys. Here are 11 of the best sci-fi tv shows to binge-watch. Don’t let Netflix tell you what to do, watch to your heart’s content!
Have enough comfort snacks at your disposable and want to see bad things happen to people via technology? I suggest you start your binge of Black Mirror sooner than later. Black Mirror is an anthology in the vein of shows such as The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits that proves just how technology and humanity are the absolute worst.
Created by Charlie Brooker and showrun by himself and Annabel Jones, Black Mirror is designed to make you think. More in the realm of how often and how much we use technology in our everyday existence and the amount of energy we’re putting into it. We aim to make our lives better with it. Are we getting better though, or only getting worse? Black Mirror has some heavily episodes under its belt with four seasons on Netflix and with a couple of awards as well. “San Junipero” (one of the only happy episodes you will receive) was nominated and won an Emmy award! Black Mirror is almost way too horrifying realistic, but with it’s vivid and star-studded episodes, Black Mirror is guaranteed to have you wanting to live in a remote cabin in the woods forever.
Fun fact about this writer: I’m heavily obsessed with The Twilight Zone. This was the first show I ever binge-watched as a young. I will re-watch to this day because I have the box set of all six seasons. It started to become a ritual treat yo self-gift. The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling, is an anthology series that wasn’t the first of its kind, but the first to do it bigger than ever with everyone trying to capture that magic. The one thing about The Twilight Zone that continues to get fans, critics and first-time watchers to this day is the spans all genre it goes through without compromising the show whatsoever.
Twilight Zone gives moral dilemmas and lessons on the backdrop of stories that use science fiction, drama, suspense, thriller, horror and more. This has long-time fans hanging on and new fans tuning in. The lessons and storytelling don’t age a bit. Humans are still latched to these problems today. The Twilight Zone gives you a terrifically rich and dramatic setting to tell these problems in. This is much like it’s successor Black Mirror that uses technology to teach about war, injustice, social issues, conflict, and much more. The Twilight Zone captures you because of its different type and types of storytelling. Rod Sterling, his writers and the team that worked behind this series were developing something extraordinary that shocks and astounds to this day.
I always feel like I give a particular show on this list that will make readers squint a little with heads to the side. However, I stand by this one (as do all my terrible choices) 100%. If you want a terrific show that gives a lot of characterization to some Star Wars characters that you found weak in the prequels, you totally want to see what this show is about. I was even super hesitant at first. I’m a massive Star Wars fan. I bounce in and out because of what people are doing to the franchise. But I took my time watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and once I started, the fun didn’t stop.
Created by George Lucas and developed by Dave Filoni, Star Wars: The Clone Wars takes place in the prequel between Episode II and Episode III. You know, back when everything was okay, and Anakin wasn’t so… Anakin. The Clone Wars ends up breathing new life into the Star Wars canon and taking characters in a direction that you wish would have happened on screen. They are stand-alone episodes, so you don’t have to watch them in order, but it shows epic development with Obi-Wan, Anakin, Ahsoka, Darth Sidious, Padme, Darth Maul, Grievous, the list goes on and on. Give it a try. Also, if you want to watch them in order, StarWars.com has given a chronological guide here.
The first time you hear the concept of Westworld, you can already think of how much of a bad idea it would be in retrospect. A technology-based amusement part with hosts at your disposal. You can do anything you want to them, and they can’t hurt you. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for disaster, right? Well… Westworld gives it to you on a horseback ride into nowhere. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy created the series based on the film Westworld (1973) by author Michael Crichton, who also wrote Jurassic Park. The film focuses on the same premise as the show but focuses its scope on a smaller level. With the TV show, Nolan and Joy take the ideas that Crichton made in that original movie and makes it completely bonkers.
Westworld is genuinely a delight with a killer build-up and containing a star-studded cast of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Hopkins, Jimmi Simpson and more. Westworld is something that you have to binge straight though. It’s hard to sit and wait each week for new episodes because of the guaranteed twist and turns you’re going to get. You’ll marvel at the visuals of the west, countered with the techno based lab and elegant settings with Ford (Anthony Hopkins). It combines so many fascinating intertwining loops that keep you drawn to your TV set. The second season of Westworld is premiering on April 22nd, so you better get your HBO subscription and check.
Without a doubt, Doctor Who is probably one of the best shows that you can binge. This is biased of my cause I adore the show so much. It’s a show that’s stood the test of time in sci-fi shows and continues to be as significant since its conception in 1963. Created by Sydney Newman, C.E. Webber, and Donald Wilson, Doctor Who tells the many journeys and misadventures of The Doctor, a mysterious, delightful and sometimes frightening time-traveling alien from Gallifrey. He travels in his beautiful blue-box called The Tardis, which looks like a police box and always manages to pick up a couple of companions along the way to join in his adventures. The Doctor change from time to time, as well as the companions. It keeps the stories fresh and exciting for the old and new audiences to jump in on the action.
Doctor Who is one of those shows that continue to be a part of geek life. It has a lot of history, lore and fictional goodness to absorb. If you haven’t watched this show, you’re missing out on storytelling that is something out of this world. These seasons and series carry plots that are heartwarming, heartbreaking, visually stunning, morally engaging and comedy gold. Currently, we’re in a massive shift in the Whoniverse. We just lost our Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and his companions (Pearl Mackie, Matt Lucas). But we now have our next one with Jodie Whittaker as the first female Doctor and Chris Chibnall as showrunner.
If you’ve binged Doctor Who and want some other shows in the Whoniverse that can satisfy your cravings, I got the perfect ones for you. Class, created by Patrick Ness, revolved around the adventures of kids attending Coal Hill Academy, the reassuring fictional school of the show. Torchwood, created by Russell T Davies (past Doctor Who showrunner) and lead by Jack Harkness (a companion of the 9th and 10th Doctor), this series is an absolute trip. It follows Jack Harkness and his team, Torchwood, as they go alien hunting in Wales. Sarah Janes Adventures, also created by Russell T Davies, puts Sarah Jane Smith, a past companion, in the title role as an investigative journalist. There are the comics, published by Titan Comics and Big Finish Productions. They specialize in storytelling audiobooks that brought back past Doctors to tell new stories for Who fans to enjoy.
Orphan Black in itself is just a big experience that you have to be apart of at least once. Even if you end up not liking the show, it will be something that sticks in your mind for a very long time because of how insanely quick and brilliant it is. Created by Greame Manson and John Fawcatt, Orphan Black stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, Cosima Niehaus, Helena, Alison Hendrix, Rachel Duncan and so many more. It’s hard to describe Orphan Black without getting into the full scope and spoilers of what it’s about so I won’t even try.
The show centers around a woman named Sarah Manning, who assumes the identity of another woman who has her same face and turns out to be her clone. The show centers heavily around human cloning, the ethics surrounding it and the bond of sisterhood. If you need another great reason to watch it, Tatiana Maslany is an absolute FORCE. She commands the screen in her many, many roles and carries a great and powerful presence in the show. She also makes every character remarkably individual and special. This show is utterly different and way out of the box then things we’ve seen on TV before. It’s honestly unique in a way where you won’t forget about it even when you finish watching.
There will never be a day where we don’t stop believing in The X-Files. For a good reason, it’s highly bingable and monumentally addictive. This sci-fi show is created by Chris Carter, airing on Fox in 1993 and lasting til this day. With a few brief hiatus and cancellations in between, The X-Files is stronger than ever. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson play Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, a believer and a skeptic working together at the FBI to solve cases that are… just a bit too odd for anyone else.
Something that has stood the test of time about the show is the storytelling themselves and the natural chemistry that Anderson and Duchovny have with each other. The stories are something out of the box. It sticks to the typical sci-fi elements that you’re “supposed” to do, but it doesn’t stop there. It gets into the weird and wacky parts of it while veering off into horror and drama sometimes. This gives the show a more realistic tone with also being out of this world. Anderson and Duchovny as Scully and Mulder are absolute delights that hold this show in such high regards. It doesn’t feel like The X-Files without them. They slowly become your parents of the paranormal and you walk hand in hand with them looking back at their cases together.
Are you a massive geek for strange science that people won’t think is exactly “normal” science? Science that pushes you over the head? Looks at the unexplained, imaginary or extraordinary? You definitely want to watch Fringe. From the brilliant, noble minds of JJ Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci comes a show about a division of the FBI that revolves around science practices that dabble in the parallel universes, dreams, shapeshifters and so much more. The show is a bit bananas but in the best kinds of ways.
The one thing I appreciate Fringe for is the pay off when a plot happens. Many shows build up a side plot that’s so interesting and drop it halfway throughout the season. Fringe tries to keep that mystery going within its episode with a payoff at the end. It’s a show that keeps you glues into whats going or about to happen cause the situations, people and science get even more bonkers than the last. I will say this, season five of the show does get a little murky and muddy. Before you start your binge of this dope show, I should warn you about the slight bit of disappointment you may feel. (Or not! You may love it! Who knows? That’s the fun!)
If we’re gonna talk about animated sci-fi, we can pull out a lot of different shows. I don’t think I can just leave Star Wars: The Clone Wars for you guys. We can pull out some utterly dope animated sci-fi such as Futurama, Dexter’s Laboratory, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, The Jetsons and more. There’s one show that has ultimately made everyone go absolutely mad as they can get and that’s Rick and Morty.
Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, created this wickedly hilarious yet polarizing show about Rick, the maddest of scientists. With his nephew Morty, his boy assistant/torture-weapon/unwilling participate by his side and their family Sarah, Beth, and Jerry. The show is absolutely bonkers. No one should take it as anything but that. On my very first watch, I observed this show with a bewildered face, but laughing all the way through. Harmon and Roiland tend to create lightning in a bottle. They shake that bottle enough for it to obliterate everything when you let it go completely. I think that’s the best metaphor for this show.
I could go on and on about Legion, but I swear, I’ll keep it short and sweet. This was one of my picks for best TV to come out of 2017. It’s so different from any X-Men show or movie we’ve gotten in the past few years. Legion, created by Noah Hawley, focuses on the mutant David Haller aka Legion. He just so happens to be one of the most powerful mutants alive as he tried to navigate his new powers and tries not to let his mind wander. He’s also the son of Charles Xavier, yes, THE Charles Xavier. Legion is a character meant to blow your mind. As an omega mutant, it’s almost hard to imagine how this show was going to be a thing. Legion is a complex character filled with psychological, emotional storylines and characterization that can get a little…. weird.
This show absolutely nails everything you thought about the title characters. It’s funky, bizarre, wacky and downright brilliant in very few words (trust me, I could go on). It’s a show that isn’t afraid to push the limits and visuals of what a traditional show is. That’s the most crucial part about Legion. You’re dealing with a mind practically fractured. You need to go the extra mile to nail what the show can be. Legion does this by going above and beyond whats necessarily to the show. It brings viewers a fantastically beautiful and insane piece of TV that you can’t help but binge.
I feel like everyone knew this one was coming. Stranger Things was a sleeper hit that exploded overnight. Developed by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things implements a lot of elements from different genres including as sci-fi, horror, drama, and romance (which, happily doesn’t take up a big chunk of the story).
Stranger Things centers around the group of four friends (Mike, Will, Dustin, and Lucas) who are the greatest of nerds in the 1980s. Their lives drastically change when one of their friends goes missing. They search for him, but in between this, they also find a strange girl on a rainy night. Weird labs, conspiracies, upside down plans of existence, this show has it all.The young cast, plus some fantastic actors lead this series to full glory and will leave you holding your breath with its many, many, MANY hilarious, but terrifying moments. Plus, it fuels the nostalgic fix inside all of us.
It references some incredible movies of the 70s and 80s including, but not limited to The Goonies, IT, Altered States, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Videodrome. Stranger Things is such a study in character development and design. It’s also a study in the art of storytelling in a setting that twists and turns so frequently it leaves you NEEDING more.
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