Personally I think that TV is one of the best places for sci-fi because even though the budgets aren’t as big as movies, there’s more room for storytelling because a single story arc can take a whole season to unfold. And that’s a lot more breathing room compared to two hours, or three if you’re willing to be ~daring~. (btw, you can’t complain about avengers endgame being three hours long bc i once watched cleopatra, which is just over four hours long. that’s endurance.)
I consider myself to be a relatively big Star Trek fan: not a newbie, not exactly a casual fan, but definitely not a megafan. And the main reason why that is is that the only Trek series I’ve seen in full is The Original Series. It’s silly, it’s campy, it couldn’t be more mid-1960s if it tried, and the final season is pretty garbage and the female characters aren’t the pillars of feminism that people hype them up to be, but it is still an entertaining show and, to me, a sci-fi staple. My original plan for going through the Trek shows was to go in chronological order, starting with Enterprise and working my way through to Discovery, but that kind of fell through the cracks. I don’t dislike Enterprise, it just feels like I started it too early, so now I want to go back to The Next Generation.
I have seen a few episodes of TNG here and there so I know the characters and what their ranks are, but I haven’t sat down to watch it all the way through, which is what I want to do. It’ll probably take me a long time considering that TNG is the longest Trek series in terms of episode count, but that’s something I am willing to commit to.
I have been wanting to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion for a million years but never got around to it because it was nigh-on impossible to get my hands on legally. It wasn’t on any legal streaming sites, and the home releases had been out of print for years, so I almost begrudgingly went to stream it illegally. Then last year, Netflix announced that they had acquired the rights to stream it, and that made me very happy. However, it took so long for it to finally go live because it turned out that they were redubbing it. Why? I don’t know because apparently, Eva has one of the best English dubs out there, alongside Cowboy Bebop. I tend to favour dubs over subtitles because I tend to do things while I’m watching TV, so that move just seems unnecessary to me. I may watch it subtitled, or I may bite my tongue and find the old dub somewhere else.
I have not read The Handmaid’s Tale, but these days I’m less likely to worry about reading the book first because I personally think that if you have to read the original material to understand the adaptation, it’s not a very good adaptation. And most references to the original book in an adaptation are just there for fanservice anyway. But whatever. For a while, I thought that I wouldn’t be able to watch this series because originally it was exclusive to Hulu, and we don’t have Hulu in the UK. But it is now on Sky, which we do have in our house, so it is available for me to watch after all.
I had to have something light on this list, and Red Dwarf seems perfect for something light set in space (apart from Mystery Science Theater 3000, but maybe I’ll try that show again another time). Something I both love and hate about British sitcoms is that they’re not very long, so you can binge view one in a very short amount of time. But then once it’s over, it’s very likely over and never coming back. Unless it’s this show, which has been brought back twice.
Here’s a fun fact for you: when I was little, I was scared of the theme song from The X Files. I can’t imagine that many children born in the mid-1990s like me weren’t scared of it. Naturally, I didn’t watch this show when I was a child because I was way too young, but the cult following it has does make me want to watch it. And that is not something I will say often because I’m not usually one to give in to the hype. But then again, hype and a cult following are two different things.
I did say that my original plan with Star Trek was to watch them all in chronological order, starting with Enterprise and ending with Discovery, but the fact that this series is still ongoing would have thrown a wrench into that because this series takes place between Enterprise and The Original Series. And that would really complicate my viewing order if I switched it to before TOS, so I’ll stick with watching it once I’ve watched all of the other series. That does bug me a little bit because I want to watch this show so badly, but I like my lore to be intact when going into something new. Even if that means watching out of story order.
When I was looking into The Twilight Zone, I learnt that there are four different versions of the show as it has been revived three times, and there is also a movie. But, for the sake of clarity, the version that I want to watch is the original series that ran from 1959-1964, which makes this the oldest show on this list. I’m not well-versed in vintage TV from the 1950s and 60s (apart from Star Trek TOS and classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons) and UK TV doesn’t show a lot of old TV shows unless they’re beloved British classics so finding this one may be a bit of a struggle for me.
What draws me into The Twilight Zone is that although it is primarily a sci-fi show, it brings in elements of fantasy, psychological horror, and surrealism. And I really do love surrealism, the stranger the better.
As much as I love DC, I don’t really watch any DC TV shows outside of cartoons and the 60s Batman series because I’ve been a little disappointed with the Arrowverse shows and Gotham twisted with the lore so much that I noped out two episodes in. But I am interested in Watchmen because I loved both the original comics and the movie, so I’m really interested in seeing how this series can expand on the universe created in the original comics. As long as they don’t try to bridge it to the regular DCU (or the Arrowverse *shudder*), that is.