Monday, March 5, 2012

Top 5 Space-Based Sci-fi Shows of the Past 25 Years

We discuss a lot of sci-fi on this blog, so it seemed natural we run down the best (space-based) science fiction shows of the last quarter century.  This of course means shows like Lost, Heroes, and others were not considered because they don't have space ships...  So, here's the KT5 take:

5: Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994) - The first Star Trek spinoff and the only one to truly live up to the franchise name, it introduced us to the greatest Star Trek captain--Jean Luc Picard.  (Bring it on, Kirk nerds!)  In Star Trek, the future is bright and shiny, with general peace throughout the galaxy (an uneasy alliance with the Klingons, sure, and some random others, but nothing major, save the Borg).

4: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) - This reboot of the 1978 series of the same name wove a web of politics, religion, robots/cyborgs, space travel, apocalyptic scenarios, and the idea of "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," and presented it all in a way that hadn't previously been seen.  The mysteries of the show--the existence of Earth, the origins of the Cylons, and (throughout the show) which crew members might be Cylons--made every episode a cliffhanger and made the series a must-see.

3: Babylon 5 (1993-1998) - A space opera covering 5 consecutive years on a space station with a clear story arc from the beginning of the first season to the end of season 5, it set the standard by which all future sci-fi series are judged.  It explored everything, from drug addiction to same-sex relationships, to war and peace in a galaxy crowded with aliens.  Not a utopia, the space station itself had a ghetto, and all levels of government (both human and alien) had varying levels of corruption.  Despite a cult following, a lot of people haven't seen this show.  Do yourself a favor and rent it.

2: Doctor Who (2005-present) - The show has actually been on since 1963, but the current run started in 2005, and what a run it's been.  The show is hokey, no doubt, but it's crazy good.  The Doctor is one of the best characters ever created, and the stories--even the ones that seem cheesiest at first--always (always!) end well.  It's an amazing show, and has some of the best time-travel tricks in t.v. history (and gave us the sonic screwdriver--awesome!).

1: Firefly (2002) - The characters on this show were so real.  Unlike Star Trek, the future presented in Firefly is filthy.  Mankind has colonized and terraformed many planets, but terraforming doesn't take so well in a lot of places.  These inferior planets become the homes of smugglers and outlaws--the wild west of the 'verse.  In fact, Firefly has been described as a western in space.  Oh yeah--there are no aliens--just us, which makes the show heavily character and plot driven, both points in which Firefly excels.  Fox cancelled this Joss Whedon show after one season--tragic.

If you disagree, I'd love to know why or what I'm missing.  If you agree, I'd love to hear from you too (and can probably use the support).  Please leave a comment below, and "like" our page on Facebook!


  1. I never was much of a Doctor Who fan. Nice website ya have going there; think I’ll visit for a spell 

  2. You're missing the best Star Trek show, Deep Space Nine, where things weren't bright and shiny and there was no peace in the galaxy, which, together with arc storytelling, a truly ensemble cast and characters that changed, grew and developed, made it far more interesting and relatable than The Next Generation.

  3. Ivana Cvetanovic Yeah, I posted this at a Trek board I belong to, and that seemed to be the sentiment there as well.  I was never a huge DS9 fan, so for me it was TNG, but I do understand your point!
    Robert Deloyd Glad you stopped in--hope to see you back!  Feel free to "like" the page on Facebook (upper right-hand corner of the blog), that way you'll get an update every time there's a new post (which is to say, daily).
    @cb9f1e8138deaf2685f81c0e63d14258 No power in the 'verse can stop me!

  4. Dr. who was hardly space based... try space : above and beyond, lexx, starhunter, farscape, im sure there are more and im looking for them o7

  5. That is a fair criticism. I'd argue that it is as much as, say, Star Trek TOS, since both involve travel through space to non-Earth worlds, but most of the action takes place on the ground. FarScape, for example, is much more of a pace show, but I think Trek and Who should count.

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