Can’t get enough sci-fi in your life? Yeah, we can’t either. That’s why we’re always checking out the latest TV shows, web series, short films, books and more to feed our sci-fi habit. To help ensure you get your fix too, here’s a list of the sci-fi TV shows we’ve been enjoying lately.
Playing Right Now
BLACK MIRROR // Netflix
If you haven’t seen this one yet, it’s time to do some binge-watching. BLACK MIRROR’s near-future story concepts offer a dark, satirical commentary on current society and technology. Reminiscent of TWILIGHT ZONE, the standalone episodes can vary in appeal, but one thing’s for certain—this show is in its fourth series for a reason. Highlight of the fourth season: “USS Callister,” the Star Trek homage episode, has been the talk of the Internet.
ALTERED CARBON // Netflix
A beautifully realized cyberpunk adaptation of the 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan, ALTERED CARBON is sci-fi TV at its best. Strong acting, thought-provoking premise, and eye-candy visuals help to build tension as the show immerses viewers in a bleak world where consciousness can be transferred from body to body by way of a “stack” (think USB or other digital storage device). The social, ethical, racial, spiritual, and philosophical conundrums that result make for rich storytelling. Hint: This series is like the NEUROMANCER film you always wanted, but never got.
THE EXPANSE // Syfy and Amazon Prime
This Hugo Award-winning show, adapted from a series of novels by James S. A. Corey, brings mystery and conspiracy to space opera. Set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system, THE EXPANSE meshes the Earth vs. outer planets/colonies politics you’d expect in this style of sci-fi, as is the conspiracy which threatens humanity’s survival. It’s space opera melodrama at its best.
THE ORVILLE // Fox
Some people love it; others don’t. But whether or not you’re a fan of Seth MacFarlane, THE ORVILLE is worth checking out to judge for yourself if it’s your cup of tea. The show cleverly reaches beyond its surface comedic take on space exploration sci-fi, and reminds viewers of the optimistic flavor of the original STAR TREK and ST: NEXT GENERATION. And it’s been renewed for a second season, so now’s the time to catch up with season one.
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY // CBS All-Access
Set roughly a decade before the events in the original STAR TREK, this series takes a darker look at the STAR TREK universe than viewers usually get. Though it pushes the boundaries of canon in a way that doesn’t please all fans, many love the unique take the show offers, including its openly gay characters, consideration of male rape, and other non-traditional story beats. Season two is expected to hit the air in 2019.
Soon to Air
THE CROSSING // ABC
Set to premiere April 2, THE CROSSING mixes sci-fi with a compelling mystery that, like most good sci-fi, reflects on today’s current social and political climate. Refugees from a war-torn country begin to arrive in America, with a twist—they’re from America’s future. Time travel, politics, conspiracies… It has potential.
LOST IN SPACE // Netflix
This gritty remake of the 1960s campy TV show promises, like most Netflix series, to be visually appealing and darker than you might expect from the space family Robinson. It’s ambitious, and the fact that director Neil Marshall (THE DESCENT, GAME OF THRONES) is involved in several episodes only adds to the intrigue. It hits Netflix April 13.
WESTWORLD // HBO
Season one of this re-envisioning of the classic movie written by Michael Crichton was a roller coaster ride of shocks and unexpected drama. If you haven’t watched it yet, binge it, because season two is hitting the screens April 22. And with the park in disarray and the A.I. hosts rebelling, it’s a good bet there will be even more drama, more bloodshed, and more heady consideration of the nature of consciousness.
Which shows have you been watching lately? And what did we miss on our short list here? Let us know in the comments.