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The Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix

The Best Sci-fi Shows to Binge-Watch

Netflix

In honor of Netflix re-launching (pun intended) Lost In Space, with Parker Posey as June Harris/Dr. Smith and House of Cards' Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson, we've picked the best sci-fi TV shows you can stream on Netflix right now. While we've got modern classics such as Stranger Things and Black Mirror, you can also dig deep into the archives of retro sci-fi, with every Star Trek series, The Twilight Zone and the campy relics of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Star Trek: Enterprise (2001 - 2005)

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Star Trek: Enterprise struggled to find a fan base when it first aired. This is really too bad, since while Seasons 1 and 2 could be a rough ride, Seasons 3 and 4 were full of thrilling adventures and difficult ethical conundrums. In this prequel series, Capt. Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula) leads a crew of explorers aboard the experimental starship NX-01 Enterprise. Seasons 1 and 2 follow the crew's first-time encounters with various Star Trek mainstays, such as the Klingons, the Ferengi and even the Borg. The show peaks in Season 3, however, in a season-long mission behind enemy lines against the mysterious Xindi. Marshall Honorof

Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016 - 2018)

Netflix

Like all '70s cartoons, Voltron: Defender of the Universe was a blocky mishmash of Japanese children's shows discombobulated by English dubbing. The Netflix remake, Voltron: Legendary Defender, goes more modern. The key details remain: Robot lions combine to create a superbot named Voltron, who protects the denizens of the universe against the evil Zarkon. What's different is the stewardship of the creative team that brought us Avatar: The Last Airbender. With that group's help, Voltron's over-the-top premise is grounded by sympathetic characters, emotional story lines, and yes, amazing intergalactic space-fight action. — Kenneth Butler

Stranger Things (2016 - Present)

Netflix

Stranger Things' horror-tinted brand of throwback science fiction is a love letter to classic '80s genre films. But while you'll see shades of E.T. and Close Encounters, its story feels entirely new. Its first season finds a band of Dungeons & Dragons-playing buddies who come across a superpowered new friend, and deal with the mysteries of the nearby Hawkins National Laboratory. A second season has already aired and a third is set to be made. — Henry T. Casey

Dark Matter (2015 - 2017)

Dark Matter (2015 - 2017)

When the six main characters of Dark Matter wake up from stasis pods — aboard a spaceship and with no memories whatsoever — they're staring at major questions about their lives. The fun in watching the amnesiac crew of the Raza rediscover their past lives is in the push and pull between their former identities and their current selves. No spoilers there, but the questions are on par with those you'd have waking up beside a lover you don't recognize or being told that you are an ax-wielding psycho killer, with no memories to say otherwise. You'll end up watching this show for as long as it takes to get the answers. — Kenneth Butler

Sense8 (2015 - 2016, 2018)

Murray Close/Netflix

Sometimes, the shows that burn the brightest last the least amount of time. Such was the case with the mind-bending Sense8, wherein eight strangers from around the world became the Sensates, emotionally and mentally connected entities. When Netflix announced the show would end after its second season, Sense8's devoted fan base made such a huge push for more content that a 2-hour finale was made, which will be released this year. — Henry T. Casey

The 100 (2014 - Present)

If you cross Lost with Lord of the Flies, and sprinkle in some Lord of the Rings (in its third season), you get The 100. In this series from The CW, most of humanity was wiped out in a nuclear disaster, and the mere thousands who remain live on a space station called The Ark, which orbits Earth. But when the adults decide they want to find out if Earth is still  habitable, they send down 100 juvenile delinquents, who go from being stranded to in turmoil in a short amount of time. Not only have others survived the apocalypse, but many are in rough condition, and they're all in warring clans. — Henry T. Casey

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013 - Present)

Jennifer Clasen/ABC

It takes a season or two for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to find its superpowers. Set at the same hush-hush global espionage agency headed up by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) from the Marvel films, Agents stars a team of brainy scientists, heroic field agents and edgy hackers, all lead by the earnest but capable Phil Coulson. When wackiness hits the Marvel movies, that weighty drama and intrigue trickles into Agent's quotidien adventures. Worry not, the show does a great job of explaining the movies' plotlines without giving any of them away. And, eventually, you'll be hooked.  — Kenneth Butler

Black Mirror (2011 - Present)

Netflix

Technology is already addictive, and so it was only natural for Black Mirror to push things to the next level, and make you wonder about how it will manipulate you. From a drone army of bees that kill to terrifying and inescapable virtual worlds, this series (which came to Netflix from the British Channel 4) pushes all of your buttons, and does so in a gleeful, joyous manner. And while I won't spoil the twists of the award-winning San Junipero episode, I'll warn you to find a box of tissues for all of the emotions in that episode. — Henry T. Casey

The Walking Dead (2010 - Present)

Gene Page/AMC

Amid a zombie apocalypse, Rick Grimes and his ever-changing band of survivors continue to discover that man is just as dangerous as the walkers that changed the world. Netflix is currently streaming the first seven seasons of The Walking Dead, which means you've got enough episodes to pass the time if such a dystopia ravages our own world. Not only can new fans  start at the beginning and see the trouble between Rick and Shane, lapsed fans can see what the big deal is over the baseball-bat-brandishing Negan. — Henry T. Casey

Altered Carbon (2018)

Netflix

An adaptation of Richard K. Morgan's 2002 novel of the same title, Altered Carbon shows us a world where an entire person's sentience is downloaded into a disk stored in the back of the neck.  Joel Kinnaman stars as Takeshi Kovacs, who's trying to solve the mystery of his own murder, because wouldn't you? The show won applause for its gorgeous visuals, which nearly overwhelm, but in a good way. — Henry T. Casey

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