My Sci-Fi TV Watchlist 📺

Believe it or not, there are a lot of sci-fi TV shows that I haven’t watched. I don’t believe in blindly consuming every single piece of media that is thrown at me because I only want to experience things that truly interest me, not things that I feel like I “have” to experience so that I won’t feel left out. But my feelings on “nerd culture” are a topic for another day because I am here to talk about TV shows I want to watch.

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.

(Neon Genesis Evangelion)

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.

What sci-fi TV shows do you want to watch? Do you already have any favourites? Are there any essential classics that I should watch? (just not firefly, please bc i hate joss whedon)

18 Comments

  1. 09/11/2019 / 3:09 PM

    I’m a huge Next Generation fan, and I’ve watched the entire series multiple times. X Files is amazing, and The Twilight Zone is simply a classic that everyone should watch😁

    • Louise
      Author
      10/11/2019 / 11:21 PM

      I’ll definitely have to try extra hard when tracking down The Twilight Zone, especially now that I know it’s held in such high regard 🙂

    • Louise
      Author
      11/11/2019 / 2:53 AM

      I hope so too! 😀

  2. 10/11/2019 / 4:07 PM

    I’ve just started watching DARK – Netflix’s German SF show (available dubbed in English or subtitled), and I’m hooked. It is what the name suggests – it starts with suicide and disappearing children – but it’s fascinating to see the relationships emerge and the surreal suggestions of time travel and conspiracy appear. I’m two episodes in and cursing that I’ve got family visiting the next 2 nights that will keep me away from episode 3.

    Sort of SF – I always recommend Ultraviolet (the Channel 4 high-tech vampire thriller) – it’s about 20 years old now, but only a single stand-alone season of 6 or 10 episodes and absolutely gripping. Also, young Idris Elba!

    • Louise
      Author
      11/11/2019 / 2:57 AM

      Dark sounds like exactly the kind of show I would watch, so I’ll have to add it to my Netflix list. Same goes for Ultraviolet. I can’t turn down both vampires and Idris Elba in the same show.

  3. 12/11/2019 / 6:42 PM

    I am almost done watching Black Mirror and plan to start Dark soon. I am not sure I would like to watch Handmaid’s Tale though as the book itself was horrifying.

    • Louise
      Author
      12/11/2019 / 9:20 PM

      I’ve seen nothing but rave reviews for Black Mirror, so I may give that one a try someday 🙂

  4. 13/11/2019 / 4:37 AM

    I’m a big fan of Star trek:TOS although you’re right- it’s silly at times and has it’s issues, for sure. 🙂 I think the crew dynamics, or maybe just the Kirk/ Spock relationship, have always fascinated me though. Red Dwarf I don’t know much about but I’ve heard of it, and it sounds interesting!

    I’ve seen a few episodes of The Twilight Zone but I’d like to see more!

    • Louise
      Author
      19/11/2019 / 10:43 PM

      The crew dynamics are definitely the best part of TOS, I especially like the dynamic that Kirk, Spock, and Bones all have with each other.

  5. 13/11/2019 / 9:54 AM

    I’m a huge Next Generation fan but Beverly and Deanna aren’t any pillar of feminisim, either. If you want cool, compex, and interesting Trek women characters, Deep Space Nine delivers. Jadzia Dax and Kira Nerys are still some of my favorite female characters ever. Discovery has also wonderful female characters.

    For older SF shows I recommend Farscape which has multiple alien species in a faraway galaxy. In fact, the main character is the only human in the show. If you like alternate worlds, I recommend Fringe.

    • Louise
      Author
      19/11/2019 / 11:03 PM

      Beverly and Deanna aren’t the perfect female characters that I want, but I do feel like they’re a step up from Uhura and Nurse Chapel. Not a huge leap but it’s still better. I have heard of Fringe but I don’t know much about it, but the alternate worlds part does sound interesting 🙂

  6. 15/11/2019 / 2:43 AM

    One of these days I will get around to watching TNG, I promise this! My aunt and her husband are total trekkies and I have fond memories of watching the occasional show out of order. The Handmaid’s Tale is good, although I have only watched season 1 thus far.

    My favorite show by far is the reimagined Battlestar Galactica from 2004. I am obsessed with it and think it’s the finest piece of scifi for our generation.

    • Louise
      Author
      19/11/2019 / 11:28 PM

      I think I remember seeing ads for Battlestar Galactica when I was a kid, but I never watched it because I was more interested in cartoons at the time 😂 I may have to have a hunt for it sometime.

  7. 25/11/2019 / 7:57 PM

    I totally agree that Sci Fi TV is better than Sci Fi movies!

    I really enjoy TNG. I watch it fairly casually, usually when I can’t sleep because it has some nice, late night/early morning energy, I guess. And X-Files is one of my FAVORITE sci-fi TV series. I was just a kid when the episodes first aired, so I didn’t watch it until a few years ago, but it’s still amazing.

    My favorite Sci-fi series of all time though is Eureka. So, so good 🙂

    • Louise
      Author
      27/11/2019 / 10:25 AM

      I’ve only just started watching TNG and I’m really enjoying it. It makes for some great background noise when I’m doing something else at the same time 🙂

  8. 29/11/2019 / 6:12 AM

    Evangelion. I watched some of the more recent movies they released. It is really good <3
    I did start watching The handmaid's tale in october but haven't continued. It is kind of hard hitting.

    • Louise
      Author
      30/11/2019 / 12:54 PM

      I kind of expected Handmaid’s Tale to have that kind of effect, so I’ll have to prepare myself before going into it 🙂

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