Top-10 Sci-Fi TV Shows of All time

In my opinion, of course.

Originally, I thought I should rate shows based on what they represented when they were first broadcasted. This way, shows like the original Star Trek would have made the list below. But then, I thought that there are shows that are old but still remain timeless, both in spirit and regarding their filmmaking, so I decided to not give these older shows the benefit of the doubt, and instead judge all of them on the same grounds. So here’s my list:

10. The 4400 (mostly the 1st season)
9. Fringe (just few parts of it)
8. Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (some parts of it)

The 3 above are not really that much of favorites for me, it’s just that I can’t find anything better. My truly favorite shows are the following:

7. Babylon 5 (seasons 2-4 only)
6. X-Files (alien mytharc only)
5. Stargate: Universe (most of it)
4. BattleStar Galactica (Re-imagined series, seasons 1-2 mostly)
3. Firefly (all of it, inc. the movie)
2. LOST (seasons 1-2, most of 3-4-5, I hated season 6)
1. Star Trek: The Next Generation (seasons 3-6, hated seasons 1-2, blah season 7)

Here’s why I regard ST:TNG to be the best show ever. LOST would have been #1 if it hadn’t f’ed up in the last couple of seasons.


Clayton wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 9:54 AM PST:

This is an interesting list. I’m curious to hear what you think about Farscape and Doctor Who, two sci-fi shows I would certainly consider top ten material, possibly top five.

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Eugenia wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 1:51 PM PST:

I have already wrote about Dr Who in the comments of an older blog post. I don’t like Farscape either. Too old-style script/filmmaking for my taste. Maybe it would make my top-20, but since I don’t even regard the #6 to #10 to be very good in the first place, that would not be such a high rank anyway.

William Eggington wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 2:34 PM PST:

I would put Fringe higher and TNG lower but that is a pretty good list for sure. Firefly would have been the best if it had been allowed to get past it’s first half season.

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Eugenia wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 3:03 PM PST:

Please have a read on the link above as to why I put TNG as #1. Fringe is not that good IMO. It doesn’t really teach us anything new, or is an allegory of anything. The part where they changed Olivia’s memories, that was just pretty laughable, just a plot to get more episodes. They based half a season on this. They just don’t have the right crew teams to implement mystery with the same intense as X-Files’ mytharc or LOST had.

Clayton wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 5:18 PM PST:

I don’t mean to be trying to talk you into Doctor Who, but I just read your comments on it. The latest series, series five, is shot on new HD camcorders, so the production value is much higher, it has shallow depth of field, and the color grading loses that soap opera glow, which is actually a complaint I had with previous series myself. They’ve also got a new Doctor, who’s VERY good with the comedy, absolutely the best Doctor since Tom Baker, as far as I’m concerned. And with the new showrunner Steven Moffat the sci-fi gets a little harder (thought it’s still more Star Wars than Star Trek). Just a suggestion for you if you’re ever really bored, though I understand if the show’s not your cup of tea.

I saw Torchwood mentioned in that discussion, and I don’t wish to be irritating, but I wonder if you saw the Children of Earth mini-series that was season three, or just some episodes from seasons one and two. I really HATED Torchwood seasons one and two, I found it to be campy and cliche, but Children of Earth was among the best television sci-fi I’ve ever seen.

Also, your reaction to Farscape is completely the opposite to mine. I thought it took a lot of sci-fi television cliches and subverted them in really clever ways. I also found the atmosphere to be really unique. But to each their own, I guess.

Of the shows you listed, Firefly is the only one I ever really got into. It’s probably my number one sci-fi series, both the show and movie.

Did Fringe get better after season one? I started watching it, got to episode eleven, I think, then my DVR had to be reset and I missed the next episode, and I just never cared enough to get caught back up. Walter Bishop was the only character that really interested me.

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Eugenia wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 5:37 PM PST:

I don’t know about the brand new series 6, but up to the previous series 1-2 years ago, they shot in 50i. It looked dreadful, like a soap. The current series’ props, CGI, direction and cutting is as bad though. Doesn’t cut it for me, because what’s important for me on a movie/series is to be able to immerse me in its world. Cheap productions don’t feel real, and so I just can’t get into them at all.

Glenn wrote on January 19th, 2011 at 7:12 PM PST:

Three of those I’ve never watched. Lost I think I saw part of at someone’s house early on. I would have considered watching it from the beginning, but that one episode I saw was extremely boring with bad acting.

X-Files. At the time it came out I was hoping it would be documentary series on UFO sightings, but since it wasn’t, I gave it a miss.

Twilight Zone.. Actually I remember watching one or two episode after Miami Vice back in the 80s. Something different each week it seemed.

Colin wrote on January 24th, 2011 at 6:48 AM PST:

Firefly… I just don’t get it. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t hate it. I just don’t see why some like this show so much.

How do you and others rate this so highly?

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Eugenia wrote on January 24th, 2011 at 10:57 AM PST:

Colin, originally, I hated Firefly. I even blogged about how impossible the western theme is in the future, and that it didn’t make sense. But when two things happened, I was able to enjoy Firefly for what it was:
1. Get over the western thing.
2. Watch the episodes in order — FOX had not broadcast them correctly, which might have been the real reason for the show’s demise.

Ultimately, Firefly works because it’s fun. It has very strong, memorable characters, the plot is masterfully done, and the dialog is just so much fun. Most viewers root for the characters, being on the thin line of considered good or bad. Also, the idea that the outer rim is all poor and the central planets having all the technology, the fact that there is actual mystery and story background to the characters, all this create an interesting-to-watch universe.

memsom wrote on January 26th, 2011 at 7:32 AM PST:

Farscape is absolutely underrated here. So sad. You need to get past the “muppets”/”Henson” thing. It has far more depth than most of the other shows you list, save maybe X-Files.

TNG had moments, but it’s still cliched and dated to watch now. TOS looks dated, but content wise, is way better. TNG stinks of 50 script writers trying so hard to be clever that it “hurts”. How can you fumble so badly? I mean – Bajorans – good!! Why then fumble it so badly and spin it off in to DS9 – ultimate paint drying TV show? Sad.

The TNG cast only made one good thing – the Borg film. That is it.

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Eugenia wrote on January 26th, 2011 at 4:40 PM PST:

I really don’t like Farscape. Very old school too.

TNG is cliche in a lot of episodes, but in many others exceeds not only itself, but any other TV show, ever. This is what landed it in the first place: these few good episodes.

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