Science Fiction/Fantasy Television: The Best

by theNeoplatonist | created - 11 Feb 2015 | updated - 15 May 2018 | Public

The science fiction / fantasy television shows that most appeal to the bizarre taste of theNeoplatonist. In alphabetical order after some annoying numbers...

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1. The 4400 (2004–2007)

TV-14 | 43 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

As the reappearance of 4,400 missing persons on a single day confounds the global community, federal agents on the case slowly discover the ways in which the victims have been changed.

Stars: Jacqueline McKenzie, Joel Gretsch, Patrick John Flueger, Conchita Campbell

Votes: 40,841

Compulsive stuff: hard not to watch the next episode, then the next...

2. 666 Park Avenue (2012–2013)

60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

If you could make one wish, what would it be? And what would you do to get it? At 666 Park Avenue, all of your dreams and burning desires can come true: wealth, sex, love, power, even ... See full summary »

Stars: Rachael Taylor, Dave Annable, Robert Buckley, Samantha Logan

Votes: 16,866

Mind-boggling weirdness in a hotel no-one should ever stay in.

3. Ace of Wands (1970–1972)

30 min | Family, Fantasy

Telepathic stage magician, Tarot, and his two assistants solve mysteries and crimes of a bizarre or magical nature, and battle against villains with various powers.

Stars: Michael MacKenzie, Tony Selby, Judy Loe, Roy Holder

Votes: 85

A pity so many episodes are lost. The surviving ones (especially "Peacock Pie") show how atmospheric this was for a children's fantasy show. And the theme music is addictive in itself.

4. Arrow (2012– )

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

Spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen is missing and presumed dead when his yacht is lost at sea. He returns five years later a changed man, determined to clean up the city as a hooded vigilante armed with a bow.

Stars: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Susanna Thompson

Votes: 385,666

The first three seasons, at any rate. Even season 4 is good although the conclusion is rather weak.

5. Ashes to Ashes (2008–2010)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

DCI Gene Hunt swaps the Ford Cortina for an Audi Quattro and joins the London Metropolitan Police to deal with the 'Southern Nancy' criminal scum.

Stars: Philip Glenister, Keeley Hawes, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster

Votes: 8,004

The follow-up to "Life on Mars" - just as good.

6. The Avengers (1961–1969)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

A quirky spy show of the adventures of eccentrically suave British Agent John Steed (Patrick Macnee) and his predominately female partners.

Stars: Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman, Linda Thorson

Votes: 6,015

Steed and Emma Peel were the best partnership, in my humble opinion. Wonderful.

7. Babylon 5 (1994–1998)

TV-PG | 45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

In the mid 23rd Century, the Earth Alliance space station Babylon 5, located in neutral territory, is a major focal point for political intrigue, racial tensions and various wars over the course of five years.

Stars: Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas

Votes: 26,419

8. Battlestar Galactica (2004–2009)

TV-14 | 44 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protect a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony, Earth.

Stars: Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber, James Callis

Votes: 143,944

Plus the pilot movie from 2003.

9. Blake's 7 (1978–1981)

Not Rated | 50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

A group of convicts and outcasts fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from a highly advanced alien spaceship.

Stars: Michael Keating, Paul Darrow, Peter Tuddenham, Jan Chappell

Votes: 2,986

Oh my. The Federation is a totalitarian monstrosity (albeit run by a very beautiful woman), its opponents - apart from Blake himself - are little better, if more endearing. And in the last episode... No, I'd better not spoil it. Sob...

10. The Box of Delights (1984)

30 min | Family, Fantasy

Based on the classic children's novel by John Masefield, the story follows the exploits of a young boy, Kay Harker, who finds himself drawn into a world of magic and danger when he ... See full summary »

Stars: Devin Stanfield, Robert Stephens, Geoffrey Larder, Jonathan Stephens

Votes: 630

Enchanting. With Patrick Troughton, the second "Dr Who".

11. Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967–1968)

TV-PG | 25 min | Animation, Action, Family

A literally unkillable agent leads an international intelligence agency's fight against an extra-terrestrial terror campaign.

Stars: Ed Bishop, Donald Gray, Francis Matthews, Sylvia Anderson

Votes: 1,296

My favorite Gerry Anderson puppet series. The Mysterons are pretty spooky.

12. Catweazle (1970–1971)

30 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

Catweazle is a magician from the time of the Normans who is cast into the future by magic. With the help of two boys he uses magic in an attempt to return to his own time.

Stars: Geoffrey Bayldon, Robin Davies, Gary Warren, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell

Votes: 696

13. The Champions (1968–1969)

60 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Craig Stirling, Sharron Macready and Richard Barrett were agents for Nemesis, an international intelligence organisation based in Geneva. Their first mission as a team; investigate some ... See full summary »

Stars: Stuart Damon, Alexandra Bastedo, William Gaunt, Anthony Nicholls

Votes: 881

14. Charlie Jade (2005– )

45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

A missing persons detective finds himself caught between three parallel universes.

Stars: Jeffrey Pierce, Michael Filipowich, Michele Burgers, Tyrone Benskin

Votes: 1,047

Film noir sci-fi, all about parallel worlds. Highly distinctive visual and narrative style.

15. Children of the Stones (1977– )

30 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

Scientist Adam Brake and his son Matthew arrive in the sleepy English village of Milbury to find it under the grip of weird psychic powers unleashed by the sinister village squire, Hendrick... See full summary »

Stars: Gareth Thomas, Veronica Strong, Peter Demin, Ruth Dunning

Votes: 538

Some creepy stuff here. Plus Gareth Thomas before he was immortalized as Roj Blake in "Blakes 7" (see above).

16. Continuum (I) (2012–2015)

45 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A detective from the year 2077 finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver and searching for ruthless criminals from the future.

Stars: Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen, Stephen Lobo

Votes: 55,412

Probably the ultimate time-travel series, where the actual concept of time-travel drives everything and produces a few exquisite paradoxes.

17. Daredevil (2015–2018)

TV-MA | 54 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A blind lawyer by day, vigilante by night. Matt Murdock fights the crime of New York as Daredevil.

Stars: Charlie Cox, Vincent D'Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson

Votes: 337,267

18. Dark Skies (1996–1997)

60 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

In 1960s America, a young couple struggle to expose the truth about a hidden alien invasion, while a secret government organization follows its own agenda in dealing with the threat.

Stars: Eric Close, J.T. Walsh, Lackos, Megan Ward

Votes: 1,689

19. Day Break (2006–2007)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

Today Detective Brett Hopper will be accused of shooting state attorney Alberto Garza. He will offer his rock solid alibi. He will realize he's been framed. And he will run. Then he will wake up and start the day over again.

Stars: Taye Diggs, Moon Bloodgood, Victoria Pratt, Meta Golding

Votes: 7,547

Brilliant time-travel series, akin to Groundhog Day.

20. The Day of the Triffids (1981– )

50 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

When a comet blinds nearly everyone in the world, a genetically-engineered species of plant takes over.

Stars: John Duttine, Emma Relph, Maurice Colbourne, Jonathan Newth

Votes: 1,802

A faithful adaptation of the novel and terrific tv science fiction.

21. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.

Stars: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker

Votes: 33,560

My favorite. Not so keen on New Who, as it has become increasingly a vehicle for Political Correctness. Ugh.

22. The Event (2010–2011)

TV-14 | 43 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

When a man goes looking for his missing girlfriend, he stumbles upon a government conspiracy that is bigger than the president himself.

Stars: Jason Ritter, Sarah Roemer, Ian Anthony Dale, Zeljko Ivanek

Votes: 25,024

Another well-made show cancelled by the Evil Powers. May Shub-Niggurath dance on their skulls.

23. Firefly (2002–2003)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

Stars: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin

Votes: 230,441

24. The Flash (2014– )

TV-PG | 43 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After being struck by lightning, Barry Allen wakes up from his coma to discover he's been given the power of super speed, becoming the Flash, fighting crime in Central City.

Stars: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes

Votes: 283,019

Wonderful modern version of the DC classic. Includes time-travel, hero-villains, and much else.

25. Flashforward (2009–2010)

TV-14 | 42 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A special task force in the FBI investigates after every person on Earth simultaneously blacks out and awakens with a short vision of their future.

Stars: Courtney B. Vance, Joseph Fiennes, Jack Davenport, Zachary Knighton

Votes: 57,785

Cancelled on a cliffhanger. May the fungi of Yuggoth devour those tv business executives.

26. Fringe (2008–2013)

TV-14 | 46 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

An F.B.I. agent is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist and his son in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena.

Stars: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole

Votes: 209,388

The X Files on LSD, if such a thing were possible (literally, in at least one episode). If you like "parallel world" stuff, THIS is your show.

27. The Guardians (1971– )

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In a declining England of the 1980s, the UK has broken up, and England is ruled by a fascist military force called "The Guardians".

Stars: Gwyneth Powell, Cyril Luckham, Derek Smith, David Burke

Votes: 54

England as a fascist state in an alternate reality or near future... Gripping drama.

28. Heroes (II) (2006–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Common people discover that they have super powers. Their lives intertwine as a devastating event must be prevented.

Stars: Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka

Votes: 220,764

29. The Invaders (1967–1968)

51 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

David Vincent, an architect returning home after a hard, hard, day parks his car in an old ghost town in order to rest for a while before continuing on home. Suddenly, in the middle of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Roy Thinnes, Kent Smith, Max Kleven, William Windom

Votes: 2,190

Terrified me senseless as a child.

30. Journeyman (2007)

45 min | Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi

A man travels back in time to help people in trouble.

Stars: Kevin McKidd, Gretchen Egolf, Moon Bloodgood, Reed Diamond

Votes: 8,760

Wonderful time-travel series. Cancelled by evil executives after only one season, but that season does tell a coherent story and reaches a conclusion of sorts. You won't see better acting than you get here.

31. Kings (2009)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A modern day, alternate-reality drama about a hero who rises to become the King of his nation, based on the biblical story of King David.

Stars: Ian McShane, Christopher Egan, Susanna Thompson, Allison Miller

Votes: 7,916

Brilliant re-imagining, in modern dress, of the biblical story of King Saul and his court. Liberties taken with the story, of course, but gripping as drama. Ian McShane as Saul is marvelous.

32. Kinvig (1981– )

30 min | Sci-Fi, Comedy

Des Kinvig, owner of a backstreet electrical repair shop and part-time UFO nut, discovers that one of his customers, the beautiful but fiery Miss Griffin, is really an emissary from the ... See full summary »

Stars: Tony Haygarth, Patsy Rowlands, Prunella Gee, Colin Jeavons

Votes: 49

Hilarious, affectionate send-up of UFO nerds. Open-ended: maybe our hero is delusional, or maybe these encounters are real... Funny either way. By Nigel Kneale of "Quatermass" fame.

33. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974–1975)

TV-PG | 51 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A newspaper reporter investigates strange supernatural occurrences in Chicago.

Stars: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt

Votes: 3,750

The most lovable paranormal investigator of all time.

34. DC's Legends of Tomorrow (2016– )

TV-14 | 42 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Time-travelling rogue Rip Hunter has to recruit a rag-tag team of heroes and villains to help prevent an apocalypse that could impact not only Earth, but all of time.

Stars: Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Amy Louise Pemberton, Dominic Purcell

Votes: 83,302

35. Life on Mars (2006–2007)

TV-14 | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of 'Sweeney' type policing, Mark III Cortinas, and flared trousers.

Stars: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews

Votes: 27,019

The first round of "Ashes to Ashes", introducing Gene Hunt, the politically incorrect police inspector - one of the most colorful creations on any tv show.

36. The Lone Gunmen (2001)

45 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

The X-Files' Lone Gunmen, their action-loving man-childish sidekick and patron, Jimmy Bond, and their sexy master thief frienemy, Yves, investigate crimes and conspiracies, often in a silly, comedic and over the top fashion.

Stars: Bruce Harwood, Tom Braidwood, Dean Haglund, Zuleikha Robinson

Votes: 4,683

Affectionate comedy spinoff from "The X-Files". For the finale, see the X-Files episode "Jumping the Shark", where our heroes get a fitting send-off into Geek Glory.

37. Lost (2004–2010)

TV-14 | 44 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The survivors of a plane crash are forced to work together in order to survive on a seemingly deserted tropical island.

Stars: Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly

Votes: 463,822

38. The Lost Room (2006)

TV-PG | 270 min | Action, Fantasy, Mystery

A detective investigates a mysterious motel room, which acts as a portal to an alternate universe.

Stars: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies, Peter Jacobson, Dennis Christopher

Votes: 27,419

Engrossing fantasy that deserved a second season. Still, the major story-arc is resolved.

39. The Martian Chronicles (1980)

360 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

In the 21st century, Earth begins the colonization of Mars. However, things do not go as planned, at first due to the hostile Martian natives and later because of the self-destructive Earthmen.

Stars: Rock Hudson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Bernie Casey, Christopher Connelly

Votes: 1,950

Beautiful adaptation of Ray Bradbury's book.

40. Merlin (1998)

Not Rated | 182 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The legendary wizard tells his story of his war against Queen Mab of the Sidhe and his creation of Camelot.

Stars: Sam Neill, Helena Bonham Carter, John Gielgud, Rutger Hauer

Votes: 19,606

Eye-popping Arthurian extravaganza.

41. Millennium (I) (1996–1999)

45 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A former FBI profiler with the ability to look inside the mind of a killer begins working for the mysterious Millennium Group which investigates serial killers, conspiracies, the occult, and those obsessed with the end of the millennium.

Stars: Lance Henriksen, Megan Gallagher, Terry O'Quinn, Brittany Tiplady

Votes: 9,274

X-Files spinoff, but much darker and sadder. The central character Frank Black is a craggy, tortured force for truth in a sick world.

42. One Step Beyond (1959–1961)

Approved | 25 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

Produced at the same time as the more well-known The Twilight Zone (1959), this series was an extension of the tradition of radio horror and supernatural dramas such as Light's Out, The ... See full summary »

Stars: John Newland, Robert Douglas, Olan Soule, Will J. White

Votes: 1,113

43. The Outer Limits (1963–1965)

TV-PG | 51 min | Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi

An anthology series of insightful science fiction tales.

Stars: Bob Johnson, Ben Wright, William Douglas, Robert Culp

Votes: 6,501

44. Paradox (2009–2010)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

During a period of high activity on the sun a physicist receives images in his lab that show an event that has yet to happen.

Stars: Tamzin Outhwaite, Emun Elliott, Mark Bonnar, Chiké Okonkwo

Votes: 1,521

Highly intriguing and addictive, police procedure colliding with sci-fi in a very gritty way. Canceled, of course, after only one season by the Evil Gremlins. May Cthulhu consume them.

45. Planet of the Apes (1974)

47 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Two astronauts and a sympathetic chimp friend are fugitives in a future Earth dominated by a civilization of humanoid apes.

Stars: Roddy McDowall, Ron Harper, James Naughton, Mark Lenard

Votes: 3,776

The best spin-off from the movies.

46. The Prisoner (1967–1968)

TV-PG | 50 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

After resigning, a secret agent is abducted and taken to what looks like an idyllic village, but is really a bizarre prison. His warders demand information. He gives them nothing, but only tries to escape.

Stars: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat, Peter Swanwick, Peter Brace

Votes: 11,614

And I confess to loving the last episode.

47. Pushing Daisies (2007–2009)

TV-PG | 44 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A pie-maker, with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.

Stars: Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, Jim Dale

Votes: 51,714

Hilarious.

48. Quatermass and the Pit (1958– )

30 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Horror

A team of scientists search for the origin and purpose of a mysterious capsule found on a building site.

Stars: André Morell, Cec Linder, Anthony Bushell, John Stratton

Votes: 800

The best, I think, of the Quatermass tv serials. Eerie and disturbing.

49. My Partner the Ghost (1969–1971)

Not Rated | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Jeff Randall and Marty Hopkirk are private detectives who specialize in divorce cases. Their long-running partnership seems to come to an abrupt end when Marty is killed by a hit-and-run, ...