Science fiction television shows have always been a gateway to exploring the unknown, stretching the boundaries of our imaginations. In this article, I have curated a list of 12 must-watch sci-fi series that have received critical acclaim and captured viewers’ hearts worldwide. 

1 ‘Stranger Things’ (2016 – Present)

Stranger Things (2016 - 2024)

Source: Forbes

Set in the 1980s, “Stranger Things” is a nostalgic sci-fi series that effortlessly blends supernatural elements, government conspiracies, and heartfelt coming-of-age stories. 

Related: “Stranger Things” Cast and 2022 Emmy Awards Nomination Snub

Created by the Duffer Brothers, the show revolves around a group of kids in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, who encounter otherworldly phenomena after the mysterious disappearance of one of their friends. 

With references to ’80s pop culture and exceptional performances from its young cast, “Stranger Things” quickly became a cultural phenomenon. This series has quickly become a personal all-time favorite!

[ Watch on Netflix ]

2 ‘The Expanse’ (2015 – 2022)

The Expanse (2015 - 2022)

Adapted from James S.A. Corey‘s novel series, “The Expanse” is a space opera that presents a future where humanity has colonized the solar system.

It led to a delicate balance of power and intrigue among Earth, Mars, and the Belters. 

The show combines political drama, stunning visuals, and complex sci-fi elements to deliver a thought-provoking and gripping narrative. 

Despite its cancellation after six seasons, “The Expanse” garners a passionate fanbase.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

3 ‘Doctor Who’ (1963 – Present)

The TARDIS - Doctor Who

A time-traveling alien known as the Doctor explores the universe in the iconic British series “Doctor Who.” 

This was a captivating and intriguing watch that I will never forget. It leveled up my interest in science fiction and my love of adventure!

The show’s extensive history from 1963 has become a cultural institution, introducing generations of viewers to thrilling adventures across time and space. 

The Doctor’s ability to regenerate has allowed various actors to take on the role, ensuring a diverse and enduring legacy for the series.

[ Watch on Brit Box ]

4 ‘Black Mirror’ (2011 – 2019)

Black Mirror (2011 - 2019)

Charlie Brooker‘s anthology series “Black Mirror” is a cautionary exploration of the darker aspects of modern society and technology. It kept me guessing, and I appreciated the constant and clever twists.

Each episode stands alone, presenting a dystopian or speculative future that often feels uncomfortably close to our reality. 

With its thought-provoking themes and mind-bending storytelling, “Black Mirror” has received critical acclaim and continues to provoke discussions on the impact of technology on human life.

[ Watch on Netflix ]

5 ‘Westworld’ (2016 – Present)

Westworld Season 4

Inspired by Michael Crichton‘s 1973 film, “Westworld” takes place in a theme park where guests can interact with lifelike androids inhabiting various historical eras. 

As the hosts gain sentience, the line between human and artificial intelligence blurs, leading to ethical dilemmas and intense philosophical explorations. 

The show’s intricate storytelling, stellar performances, and stunning production values have made it a must-watch for sci-fi enthusiasts like me.

[ Watch on YouTube ]

6 ‘Battlestar Galactica’ (2004 – 2009)

Battlestar Galactica (2004 - 2009)

A reimagining of the 1978 series, “Battlestar Galactica” takes place in a distant galaxy where the last remnants of humanity flee from the robotic Cylons, who have decimated their home planets. 

Related: 25 Best ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Episodes

The show delves into complex themes of survival, politics, and the nature of humanity, offering a gripping and emotionally charged narrative. 

Ronald D. Moore‘s masterful storytelling and strong character development have earned “Battlestar Galactica” a well-deserved place among the greatest sci-fi shows ever.

7 ‘Firefly’ (2002 – 2003)

Firefly (2002 - 2003)

Despite its short-lived run, “Firefly” has developed a cult following and remains a beloved sci-fi classic. 

Created by Joss Whedon, the show follows the adventures of a ragtag crew aboard the spaceship Serenity as they navigate a lawless galaxy. I fell in love with the characters and the beauty of the scenes as they travel amongst the stars!

With a perfect mixture of humor, drama, and action, “Firefly” has left a lasting impact on its devoted fanbase.

8 ‘The Twilight Zone’ (1959 – 1964)

The Twilight Zone (1959 - 1964)

Rod Serling‘s anthology series “The Twilight Zone” is a timeless classic that transcends generations. 

Each episode features standalone stories with mysterious, often supernatural, elements that serve as allegories for human behavior and societal issues. 

I appreciate a series that can keep viewers entertained, and if you get bored easily like me, I highly recommend this series.

Its influence on sci-fi and television is immeasurable, inspiring new generations of storytellers.

9 ‘Fringe’ (2008 – 2013)

Fringe (2008 - 2013)

“Fringe” combines sci-fi, mystery, and procedural elements to deliver a compelling narrative centered around a team of investigators working for a mysterious government agency. 

The show delves into parallel universes, bizarre phenomena, and ethical dilemmas, captivating viewers with its thought-provoking themes and intricate plotlines.

This will stay in my top three sci-fi favorites as it never fails to keep me intrigued and astounded by the interesting storyline and setting.

10 ‘Altered Carbon’ (2018 – 2020)

Altered Carbon (2018 - 2020)

Set in a future where consciousness can be transferred between bodies, “Altered Carbon” follows Takeshi Kovacs, a former soldier given a new lease on life to solve a wealthy man’s murder. 

The show explores themes of identity, immortality, and the consequences of technological advancements. 

I found the visually stunning world-building and gripping noir-inspired storyline make it stand out in the world of sci-fi.

[ Watch on Netflix ]

11 ‘The Mandalorian’ (2019 – Present)

The Mandalorian

“The Mandalorian” is a Star Wars spin-off series that follows a lone bounty hunter, known as the Mandalorian, as he navigates the outer reaches of the galaxy. 

The show, created by Jon Favreau, combines space Western aesthetics with thrilling action sequences and introduces fans to the adorable and enigmatic character, Baby Yoda (Grogu). 

With its old-school Star Wars charm and fresh storytelling, “The Mandalorian” has been a hit with audiences and critics alike. So, if you adore Star Wars as much as I do, this is a perfect fit for you!

[ Watch on Disney+ ]

12 ‘The X-Files’ (1993 – 2018)

The X-Files (1993 - 2018)

“The X-Files” remains an iconic sci-fi series that explores the paranormal and unexplained phenomena through the eyes of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. 

Over its long run, the show garnered a dedicated fanbase and tackled many intriguing and eerie cases. 

With its mix of conspiracy theories, horror elements, and character-driven storytelling, “The X-Files” has become a cornerstone of sci-fi television.

Sci-Fi Series That Will Take You to Another Dimension…

Science fiction is truly inspiring in all its forms, with its limitless creativity and ability to explore the human experience in unique ways.

Whether traveling through time, exploring distant galaxies, or pondering the impact of advanced technology, sci-fi never fails to captivate and entertain us. 

Related: 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time, Ranked by Viewers

If you’re seeking an escape to new dimensions, I hope you try these highly recommended 12 must-watch sci-fi series for an unforgettable and mind-bending experience!

Pia Vermaak

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Pia Vermaak is an accomplished digital marketing agency owner and professional content writer with a remarkable track record in the industry.

With her keen strategic insights and creative flair, she has carved a niche for herself as a trusted expert in the field.

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