The Best Science Fiction Television Shows

Regina King, Evan Rachel Wood standing next to a teddy bear

Science Fiction on television had a way of making us think and use our imagination. We didn’t need mind-boggling special effects or the gory details, just a good story line that made us think and wonder.

For those of us old enough to remember, the 1960s was during the space race and getting to the moon. Science fiction television caused us to wonder what was out there, beyond the moon and our galaxy. This is a list of my favorite science fiction TV shows, are your favorites listed?

The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)

This one television show had the ability to make you think with surprise endings. Each episode featured different characters and a different story. We might not remember the titles of each episode, but we remember when Burgess Meredith, the bank teller who loved to read broke his glasses, or when the lights went out only on Maple Street. Created by Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone had a unique way of combining social commentary with science fiction.

Star Trek (1966-1969)

Coming on later at night, this was the only school night my parents let me stay up that late. It came on late because it was more of an adult science fiction show for the time. Star Trek broke subject and racial barriers for its time along with interesting space travel stories going where no man has gone before and at a time when the U.S. was getting ready to land on the moon. Through the 1980s and 1990s, spin-offs like The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager became very popular.

Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979)

The show only ran for one season but had an almost cult like following. The plot starts out as Cylons, the enemy of humans, destroyed the home planets forcing the survivors to flee in search of the Thirteenth Tribe. Their ancient teachings taught them that their Thirteenth Tribe was located on Earth. Along the way they fight the Cylons and encounter other cultures.

The X-Files (1993-2002)

With one of the most recognizable theme songs ever, The X-Files had FBI agents Mulder and Scully track down anything that was odd, extraterrestrial or just out of the ordinary. From alien abductions to about any conspiracy around, they seemed to find it. Sometimes, The X-Files seemed like a new version of The Invaders with Roy Thinnes even guest starring for a few episodes as an alien. For those of you that don’t know, Roy Thinnes was the main human character on The Invaders.

Sliders (1995-2000)

Sliders was an interesting science fiction show that began with a scientific experiment gone wrong. Physics student Quinn Mallory discovers sliding technology allowing a person to slide between alternate or parallel Earths. When the experiment goes wrong, he and three others are trapped sliding from one Earth to another looking for home. The first couple of seasons were my favorites with interesting alternative history plots like what would happen if antibiotics were never discovered or the Wild West was still a way of life in the 20th century.


With so many favorite science fiction television shows to choose from, I should mention a few others. As a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, I remember some of them today as being rather silly, but they were fun sci-fi TV shows to watch like Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, The Outer Limits, Land of the Giants and Dr. Who.