The best sci-fi movies and TV shows to stream on Netflix in February

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(Image credit: Syfy/Netflix)

So that you don't have to spend hours searching through thousands of movies, some good, some bad and everything in-between, we've compiled a list of the best science-fiction movies and television shows currently on Netflix.   

Movies

The Adam Project

Synopsis: 13-year-old Adam Reed, still grieving the sudden death of his father a year earlier, walks into his garage one night to find a wounded pilot hiding there. This mysterious pilot turns out to be the older version of himself from the future, where time travel is in its infancy. He has risked everything to come back in time on a secret mission. Together they must embark on an adventure into the past to find their father, set things right, and save the world. Adding to the challenge of the mission, the two Adams discover they really don't like each other very much, and if they're going to save the world, they're first going to have to figure out how to get along.

Why you should watch: Ryan Reynolds leads an all-star cast in this family action drama that incorporates much of Reynold's dry wit. While not paying too much attention to the so-called "rules" of time travel, it brings drama and the complexities of human relationships into a spirited science fiction movie aimed at older kids and young adults. Joining Reynolds is an impressive line up, including Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana and Catherine Keener. Plus it's directed by Shawn Levy, who also gave us "Free Guy" and "Real Steel." 

Apollo 10½: A Space Age Adventure

Synopsis: The story of the first moon landing in the summer of 1969 from two interwoven perspectives. It both captures the astronaut and mission control view of the triumphant moment, and the lesser-seen bottom up perspective of what it was like from an excited kid's perspective, living near NASA but mostly watching it on TV like hundreds of millions of others. It's ultimately both an exacting re-creation of this special moment in history and a kid's fantasy about being plucked from his average life in suburbia to secretly train for a covert mission to the moon.

Why you should watch: This is, in essence, a rotoscoped home movie about the space race from the perspective of writer and director Richard Linklater, who lest we forget, gave us the epic animated interpretation of Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly." It focuses less on actually going to the moon and more on what it was like to actually grow up during that chapter of history. This might not appeal to everyone and Jack Black’s “Wonder Years”-style narration might be appealing to many, it's not for everyone. Zachary Levi ("Shazam!") joins the voice talent along with Glen Powell ("Top Gun: Maverick") and Josh Wiggins ("Greyhound").

Bodies

This time-traveling-murder-mystery-period-thriller is an absolute must-see with a complex, nuanced plot (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Based on the mind-bending graphic novel by Si Spencer, "Bodies" is a time travel thriller with a twist. When a body — the same body — is found on Longharvest Lane in London's East End in 1890, 1941, 2023 and 2053, one detective from each period must investigate. As connections are drawn across the decades, the detectives soon discover their investigations are linked, and an enigmatic political leader — Elias Mannix (Stephen Graham) — becomes increasingly central. To solve the mystery, our four detectives must somehow collaborate and uncover a conspiracy spanning over 150 years.

Why you should watch: This and "Maniac" are two of the best, little-known sci-fi thrillers on Netflix at the moment. An impressive cast, including Graham and also Kyle Soller you might know from "Andor," Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Amaka Okafor and Shira Haas. The penultimate conclusion, is such an incredibly thrilling almost-finale, that when the actual finale comes, it throws you in a totally different direction. This is a masterclass in time travel thrillers and hopefully there will be a second season, but even if there isn't, this is still very much a must-see. 

Captain Nova

Synopsis: In 2050, Earth has become a dry and desolate place. Fighter pilot Nova is forced to travel back in time to prevent a devastating environmental disaster. However, an unforeseen side-effect of time travel makes Nova young again and she crash lands in the year 2025 as a twelve-year old. Nobody seems to take her and her mission seriously, except for Nas — a neglected teen who tries to keep this mysterious girl and her little flying robot ADD out of the hands of the secret service. Will Nova and Nas succeed in saving the future world?

Why you should watch: This Dutch children's movie is not without its charm. Both Kika van de Vijver and Anniek Pheifer play Nova, as different ages and Marouane Meftah plays Nas. The story is interesting and the production values are high. Thanks to a combination of quality cinematography and a relevant underlying message, this feature from writer and director Maurice Trouwborst will more than likely appeal to many adults as well. 

Cowboys & Aliens

Given Craig's dreadful American accent, the movie benefits greatly from his character being the "strong, silent" type

Given Craig's dreadful American accent, this benefits from his character being the "strong, silent" type. (Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Synopsis: Set in 1873 in the New Mexico Territory, a stranger with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. He quickly discovers that the townsfolk don't welcome strangers and everyone lives under the ruthless rule of Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the town is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.

Why you should watch: Based on 105-page graphic novel published in 2006, this is an entertaining mix of two very disparate genres. Despite being well worth a watch, with Ford possibly giving his best performance since "The Fugitive," this movie didn't exactly set the box office on fire. It has however, slowly gathered a cult following since its theatrical release in 2011. Jon Favreau directs a strong cast including Clancy Brown, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde and Daniel Craig, who tragically, still hasn't mastered an American accent.

Don't Look Up

Synopsis: Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem is that it's on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem is that no one cares. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate.

Why you should watch: Not only does this boast an amazing cast, including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman and Mark Rylance, but the writer and director behind it is the same individual who gave us "The Big Short" and "Vice" And  "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," Adam McKay. It has all the signs that it's going to be a well-written, very funny, deeply disturbing and beautifully observed dark comedy-cum-satire. It is, in essence, a message about climate change and mocks those who willfully and repeatedly scoff at the science. And sadly, that could be applied to a number of things, including the pandemic, pollution, orbital debris...

Dune (2021)

Synopsis: It is the far future and a far corner of the galaxy. A mysterious spice, that is only found to exist on the one planet in the entire universe, is relied upon to "fold space" and thus enabling travel over great distances. Needless to say, like the Middle East during WWII, this planet is of extraordinary strategic significance. The power struggles come in the form of different houses and in particular, House Atreides and House Harkonnen and the Emperor Shaddam IV, who is simultaneously trying to manipulate events to his own advantage. But another story, or rather a legend is set to unfold as it turns out the son of Duke Atreides is a prophesy. 

Related: 'Dune' review: Denis Villeneuve brings us his version of the sci-fi classic

Why you should watch: Frankly, "Dune" is epic and everyone should be made to read them as school instead of all that RC Sherriff nonsense. Frank Herbert's series of novels were also a massive influence to George Lucas when he was writing "Star Wars" (Tatooine and Arrakis, spice freighters, Spice Mines of Kessel etc). This is a another interpretation that's quite different to the 1984 David Lynch version...and it will very much come down to personal opinion as to which yo prefer. Here at Space.com, we prefer Lynch's movie, but that's to say this isn't worth watching, it very much is. A strong cast very goes a long way, but we miss the steampunk aesthetic of the first attempt. 

Gravity

The best illustration of how one collision in orbit could create so much debris it stops spaceflight altogether (Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Synopsis: Sandra Bullock stars as Dr. Ryan Stone, a scientist on a space shuttle mission headed by astronaut Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), a charismatic leader full of colorful stories that he shares with his crew mates as well as mission control. As the two are on a space walk, debris hits the area where they are working, and soon the pair finds themselves detached from their ship and stranded in space. While figuring out what steps they can take to save themselves, Stone grapples with a painful past that makes her consider giving up altogether.

Why you should watch: Director Alfonso Cuaron's movie is simple but effective. The two biggest stars are Bullock and some outstanding VFX. Moreover, anyone who doesn't understand the "cascade effect" will do so after watching this...and perhaps they'll be more aware of the growing danger in sending so much stuff into orbit, all for the sake of making even more money for those who already have too much of it. 

I Am Mother

She'll keep you safe, no doubt about that. Mother, played by Luke Hawker and voiced by Rose Byrne (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: In the wake of humanity's extinction, a teenage girl is raised by a robot designed to repopulate the earth, but their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.

Why you should watch: Before "Raised With Wolves" came "I Am Mother," which also deals with the notion of robots raising humans. This Australian indie film stars Hilary Swank and features the voice of Rose Byrne; the story is well-written and relative newcomer Grant Sputore does an excellent job of directing, keeping your attention focused, right up until the plot twist at the end. It's simple and very effective.

Maniac

"Maniac" features arguably the best performances from both Stone and Hill and they work well together (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Two strangers, Annie (Emma Stone) and Owen (Jonah Hill), sign up for a pharmaceutical test program. Over the program's course, not only do previously-undiscovered parts of their minds and memories reveal themselves, but also their dreams and subconscious become interconnected. Over time, the two bond, however, the line between was is real and what isn't gradually becomes more blurred over time and there's a danger that the experiment might be shut down. 

Why you should watch: "Maniac" is one of the best limited series sci-fi shows on Netflix at the moment — and Netflix does offer a few high-quality sci-fi thrillers like this, including "Love, Death + Robots" and "Lost in Space." This is also among the finest performances from both Stone and Hill that we've seen so far. You quickly become invested in the characters and it's a self-contained, limited run show, so you don't need to worry about whether there will be a second season or not. Without a doubt, this is well worth a watch. Indulge in some edibles too if you want to take viewing to a whole new level.

The Midnight Sky

If you appreciate good dialogue and character building storylines, then you might enjoy "The Midnight Sky" (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Set in the near future after Earth has recently undergone an apocalyptic event, a lonely scientist in the Arctic (George Clooney) races across the frozen tundra to reach a radio transmitter powerful enough to contact an exploration spacecraft still in space and warn them not to return home. Along the way, he finds and rescues a very young girl and the two form an inseparable friendship. 

Why you should watch: This is a low-on-action, character-driven movie that only just sneaks in under the genre banner of sci-fi. It's directed by and stars George Clooney and is very much a portfolio piece for him. If you like Apple TV+'s "Invasion" then you'll enjoy this, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. The cinematography is stunning and the film features an impressive cast, all in cameo roles, including David Oyelowo, Felicity Jones, Kyle Chandler, Ethan Peck and Tim Russ. Clooney however, has coaxed an outstanding performance from newcomer Caoilinn Springall. Aside from one or two liberties taken with the laws of thermodynamics, this is an enjoyable, in-depth illustration of Clooney's skills, both in front of, and behind the camera. 

Mute

In a dystopian, cyberpunk city, an unlikely hero emerges in Duncan Jones' second epic sci-fi movie (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Berlin. Forty years from today. A roiling city of immigrants, where East crashes against West in a science-fiction Casablanca. Leo Beiler (Alexander Skarsgard), a mute bartender, has one reason and one reason only for living here, and she's disappeared. But when Leo's search takes him deeper into the city's underbelly, an odd pair of American surgeons (led by Paul Rudd) seem to be the only recurring clue, and Leo can't tell if they can help, or who he should fear most.

Why you should watch: This is Duncan Jones second major sci-fi motion picture set in the "Moon" universe and it does not disappoint. (The trilogy was concluded with the graphic novel "Madi.") Rudd and Skarsgård lead the cast, joined by Justin Theroux, and together they all deliver strong performances in this vastly underrated, gritty sci-fi thriller set in the not-too-distant future.

Oxygen

Dr. Elizabeth Hansen (Mélanie Laurent) must discover the true nature of her reality before she suffocates (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: A woman wakes in a cryogenic chamber with absolutely no recollection of how she got there. Unable to exit the status pod and slowly running out of oxygen, she must try to rebuild her memory in order to find a way out of her nightmare.

Why you should watch: One of the good things streaming services have enabled is for relatively low-budget sci-fi movies to be made that would never have seen the light of day 10 or 15 years ago, and this is one of them. "Oxygen" follows a simple premise and demonstrates that less quite often can be more. It has very little in the way of set changes and is focused entirely on the incredible performance of Mélanie Laurent ("Inglorious Basterds," "Beginners," "Enemy"). Another French heavyweight, Mathieu Amalric ("Munich," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Quantum of Solace"), provides the voice for the Medical Interface Liaison Officer or MILO, the AI incorporated into the cryogenic chamber.

Predators

"Those who've hunted armed men long enough, and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter."

"Those who've hunted armed men long enough, and like it, never really care for anything else thereafter" (Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Synopsis: A seemingly random group of eight elite soldiers suddenly find themselves in freefall over a jungle. With no clue where they are of how they got there, they reluctantly team up and discover they are not only no longer on Earth, but they are also in some kind of planet-sized game preserve and they are the game. One by one, they are picked off by invisible alien hunters as they struggle to survive and attempt to find a way home.

Why you should watch: While "Predator 2" was entertaining and at least the first "Alien v Predator" movie was mediocre, this is by far the best entry into the franchise, aside from the original. Producer Robert Rodriguez went to great lengths to be as faithful to the first film as he possibly could. This time, an impressively buff Adrien Brody takes on the alien assassins in a different approach to this interstellar safari. He's joined by the likes of Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Topher Grace and Laurence Fishburne.

Project Power

An edgy, gritty sci-fi noir, the cinematography goes a long way to creating the mood for "Project Power" (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: In the very near future, on the streets of New Orleans, a new pill that unlocks superpowers unique to each user is becoming popular. However, the catch is that you don't know what will happen until you take it. While some develop bulletproof skin, invisibility, and super strength, others exhibit a deadlier reaction. A local cop (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) teams with a teenage dealer (Dominique Fishback) and a former soldier fueled by a secret vendetta (Jamie Foxx) to fight power with power and risk taking the pill in order to stop its production.

Why you should watch: Netflix's homegrown sci-fi often makes you wonder who on Earth is giving the green light to some of these projects, but this one is worth a watch. Gordon-Levitt is guaranteed to be outstanding in just about any movie he's in and Fishback also gives a stellar performance. It has a gritty, indie feel, with some nuanced layers to the story, making an enjoyable, interesting sci-fi noir. The cinematography in this movie is what Kathryn Bigelow's 1995 sci-fi noir thriller "Strange Days" desperately needed. 

Rebel Moon: Part One – A Child of Fire

Synopsis: When a peaceful settlement on the edge of a distant moon finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors — outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

Why you should watch: You may remember that Tig Notaro, was placed in "Army of the Dead" entirely digitally with her whole performance being filmed in front of a green screen that didn't requite any interaction with any other member of he cast. Well, that same technology has given us "Rebel Moon" and when you think that Zack Snyder gave us "300," "Watchmen" and "Man of Steel" one can't help but wonder if he's lost his touch. In other words, despite a strong start, this remake of "Battle Beyond the Stars" — and hence also "The Seven Samurai" — frankly ain't that good. We're only including it here 'cause such a fuss was made before it aired.  

Snowpiercer 

When it was released, "Snowpiercer" went largely unnoticed, but it has since built up a cult following

When it was released, "Snowpiercer" went largely unnoticed, but it has since built up a cult following (Image credit: Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Synopsis: In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. However, the human spirit cannot be suppressed and it's only a matter of time before revolution erupts. 

Why you should watch: It took the success of "Parasite" at the 2020 Academy Awards for the work of Boong Joon-ho to be bought to mainstream attention, but "Snowpiercer" is also one of his and it's really very good. Chris Evans leads an amazing cast that includes John Hurt, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton and Alison Pill. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is anything like the questionable television series that originally aired on TNT, because it isn't. This movie is far, far superior and sadly the series somewhat taints that. 

 

Space Sweepers

"Space Sweepers" is an enjoyable sci-fi action romp with high production values and effective VFX (Image credit: Netflix/Bidangil Pictures)

Synopsis: In the year 2092, space is full of dangerous floating garbage like discarded satellites and deserted spaceships. The crew of The Victory trawls between the Earth and the Moon looking for the garbage they can sell to make money, while also competing with junk collector ships from other countries and using the speediness of their craft to defeat their rivals.

Why you should watch: The South Koreans have produced some quality movies in the past that should really be watched if you have any interest in contemporary foreign cinema, including "The Brotherhood of War," "Parasite" and "The Host." While this might not be up to quite the same standard of dramatic quality, it's an enjoyable sci-fi action romp with high production values and extremely effective special effects. 

Spectral

Good cinematography and good sound design make "Spectral" a pleasure to watch on a big screen (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Set in the not too distant future, a US special forces unit fighting somewhere in Europe in what appears to be a global conflict encounters a weird, ghost-like entity that cannot be killed and is only visible in certain light spectrums. Before long, more of these phenomena are detected and troops are being wiped out, left and right. Can a scientist from DARPA work out how to defeat these deadly, ethereal demons?

Why you should watch: It's a little bit "Aliens," a little bit "Battle Los Angeles" and maybe even a little bit "World War Z" and if you like all of those, you'll enjoy this too. A great cast including James Badge Dale, Max Martini, Bruce Greenwood and Gonzalo Menendez — all veterans of quality action movies — carries this straightforward, but stylish sci-fi drama that shows off extremely high production values. 

Stowaway

Not exactly a classic, "Stowaway" is fine for watching while you work through that pile of ironing (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: The crew of a spaceship headed to Mars on a two-year scientific mission discovers an accidental stowaway shortly after takeoff. Too far from Earth to turn back and with the fuel and oxygen resources depleting, the crew faces an agonizing ethical dilemma. Their situation worsens further when they are informed of an incoming coronal mass ejection.

Why you should watch: Once you get past the hilarious situation engineer Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson) is in — waking up from taking a nap behind bulkhead to find himself two million miles from Earth — this is an okay movie. However, if you're a stickler for accurate factual representation, then this might not be your bag. The performances are strong and the movie is boosted by the presence of Toni Collette, who — let's face facts — is brilliant in just about everything.

Vivarium

Synopsis: A young couple is thinking about buying their first home and so they visit a real estate agency where they are received by a strange sales agent, who accompanies them to a new, mysterious, peculiar housing development to show them a single-family home. From this moment on, they are unwittingly trapped in a nightmare scenario with no apparent way out. 

Why you should watch: To put it bluntly, this is an extremely underrated, character-driven, sci-fi horror story. It very much follows the style of "The Twilight Zone" and strong performances from both Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg will leave you wondering what you would do differently, if anything at all. All in all, this is a simple but very effective frightener. 

The Wandering Earth

Hundreds of giant 'planet thrusters' propel the planet Earth through space to a new, safe location (Image credit: Beijing Culture)

Synopsis: Set in the distant future when the sun is about to expand into a red giant and devour the Earth, mankind makes an audacious attempt to save the planet. People all around the world unite and build giant planet thrusters to move Earth out of its orbit and sail Earth to a new star system. Yet the 2500-year journey comes with unexpected dangers, and in order to save humanity, a group of young people in this age of a wandering Earth fight hard for the survival of humankind.

Why you should watch: This is without the Chinese equivalent of a Michael Bay sci-fi movie and as such it's utterly bonkers, but beautiful to watch. The performances are good, but the VFX, along with the out-of-this-world concepts, are truly the stars of this flick as our now frozen planet begins its slow journey through space, powered by hundreds of giant "planet engines."

Warriors of the Future

Synopsis: A meteorite brings an extraterrestrial life to the earth. When powerful alien creatures threaten humanity, Commander Sing Lee's elite forces are almost wiped out, and the surviving soldier Tai Loi discovers an even bigger conspiracy.

Why you should watch: According to IMDb, this is Hong Kong's highest grossing local film as of November 2022. We suspect that if you enjoyed other recent sci-fi offerings from Asia, including "The Wandering Earth" and "Space Sweepers," which themselves were quite enjoyable, then you'll probably enjoy this too. Put your brain into neutral and coast through this fun flick, without paying too much attention to silly things like a plot or believability. 

TV Series

Altered Carbon

Anthony Mackie stars in the second season of Netflix's improving sci-fi drama, Altered Carbon (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: After 250 years on ice, a prisoner returns to life in a new body with one chance to win his freedom: by solving a mind-bending murder

Why you should watch: If you haven't seen Season 1, you've got 8 hours and 52 minutes worth to get through first. The second season is considerably better than the first, but to get maximum enjoyment, we suggest taking in the first season as well. The production design on this is incredible and thankfully Anthony Mackie helps bring the story up to the same standard of the Blade Runner-esque visual aesthetic. Tragically, Netflix canceled "Altered Carbon," so there won't be a third season, but these are without a doubt still worth watching.

Another Life

The Wrong Stuff. "Another Life" has had some bad reviews that's for sure, but the kids might enjoy it (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Set in the not too distant future, an anomaly from space appears in Earth's orbit and plants a stalk-like object into the ground. Humans attempt to determine what it is, why it's been placed there, and what's going to happen next, but it's taking too long to crack the code so they send a team into space to the source of the object to investigate further.

Why you should watch: Why you should watch this? Well … er, it's got Katee Sackoff in it, isn't that reason enough? No? Oh, okay. There's no other way to put this, "Another Life" is a mostly below-par sci-fi and frankly we're amazed that it got renewed for a second season. Sackoff herself seems to bounce around like a pinball in between amazing and atrocious sci-fi: "The Mandalorian" and "Battlestar Galactica" for example … and then "Riddick" and then this show. But, some people – mostly young kids – do enjoy it and if you've watched all the other sci-fi on Netflix, it couldn't hurt to give it a go, right?

Away

Some liberties have been taken with the plot, but those aside "Away" is an enjoyable sci-fi drama (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: An US astronaut struggles with leaving her husband and daughter behind to embark on a dangerous mission with an international space crew.

Why you should watch: This drama set in space really looks at the issues around family and relationships and in particular being a long distance away from them. What better backdrop is there than the life of a married astronaut? Hilary Swank stars in this 10-part series and while it's not perhaps as extreme as "Lucy in the Sky," it covers much of the same emotional ground. Granted, some liberties have been taken with some of the plot points, but then that just wouldn't make for compelling television would it?

Black Mirror — Season 4

Synopsis: A contemporary British re-working of "The Twilight Zone" with stories that tap into the collective unease about our modern world. Over the last 10 years, technology has transformed almost every aspect of our lives before we've had time to stop and question it. In every home, on every desk, in every palm is a plasma screen, a monitor, a smartphone — a black mirror of our 21st-century existence.

Why you should watch: There are only a few episodes in each season and among those are some truly inspired moments of genius from the show's creator Charlie Brooker. The first episode "The National Anthem" will frankly shock you into watching more and the standalone episode entitled "Bandersnatch" was the world's first interactive television experience, where you determine what happens to the principal character. Quite what dystopian misadventure awaits in this, the brand new fourth season...remains to be seen. 

Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space

The mission launched on Sept. 15, 2021 from the KSC and returned safely to Earth three days later (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Follow four civilians as they launch into space on a three-day trip orbiting Earth and reaching an altitude higher than that of the International Space Station (254 miles). The SpaceX Dragon mission, dubbed Inspiration4, was the most ambitious step to date in the rapidly-developing age of civilian space exploration, making history as the first all-civilian mission to orbit. The mission launched on Sept. 15, 2021 and returned to Earth three days later.

Related: Watch the first trailer for the Inspiration4 documentary from Netflix

Why you should watch: This five episode miniseries is the closest many of us will get to experiencing what it's like to train and then travel into space, and the privately funded mission raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Dark Matter

Sadly, "Dark Matter" was cancelled after the third season cliffhanger, so fans really felt robbed (Image credit: Syfy)

Synopsis: The six-person crew of a derelict spaceship awakens from stasis in the farthest reaches of space. Their memories wiped clean, they have no recollection of who they are or how they got on board. The only clue to their identities is a cargo bay full of weaponry and a destination: a remote mining colony that is about to become a war zone. With no idea whose side they are on, they face a deadly decision. 

Why you should watch: Sadly, this show is yet another example of poor judgment by the studios as it was canceled while still very much in its prime. Despite there only being three seasons, it's still well worth a watch. The action scenes were enthralling and fun to watch, especially on a nice, big TV screen, but at the heart of the show was the relationship that slowly developed between the characters as they all found themselves in the same position and were forced to work together.

Lost In Space

Synopsis: The human race has been forced to organize an evacuation from Earth and a giant spacecraft has been built that's made up of smaller ships, designed to act as landing craft that can each accommodate one family. On the way to Alpha Centauri, the Robinson's landing craft crash lands on an uncharted planet and they struggle to survive against all the odds as they must deal with weird indigenous creatures, alien robots and potentially fatal flora and fauna.

Why you should watch: Remember how "Battlestar Galactica" was reimagined? The same has been done to the old 1965, black and white show that came from the mind of Irwin Allen. And the result is amazing. The first season is marginally better than the second, but both are worth binge-watching in their entirety. You'll laugh, you'll definitely cry and you'll be on the edge of your seat as you watch John Robinson, his wife, Maureen, their children (Judy, Penny and Will) and Major Don West fight to survive against the natural elements of an alien world. In the third and final season, the stakes are higher than ever and the Robinson family's survival instincts will be put to the ultimate test. 

Love Death + Robots

Synopsis: A collection of short stories, ranging from eight minutes to 18 minutes, each one in a different style of animation with the occasional live action one thrown in. They usually incorporate technology and/or robots in the plot and often take place in a dystopian future.

Why you should watch: This is the best original series Netflix has produced since "Lost in Space." Each story is totally different and while some follow a familiar theme, or perhaps feature some ideas seen before, each one has a totally unique twist. Some episodes are dark and disturbing, while others exhibit a very dark, but hilarious, sense of humor. Every one is creative, well written and beautifully produced. The first season contains 18 episodes and the second just eight and quite often there are very subtle nods to well known sci-fi franchises, including "The Terminator" and "Aliens." Season 3 recently debuted on Netflix. It captures your imagination and never lets go. 

The Movies That Made Us

"Robocop" and "Aliens" were two of the biggest sci-fi movies of the 80s and they still stand the test of time (Image credit: The Nacelle Company)

Synopsis: A series of light-hearted, hour-long documentaries that focus on the production history of some of pop-culture's favorite flicks.

Why you should watch: Chances are high you've probably seen this before on Netflix, but this third season includes a look two of the biggest science fiction blockbusters to come out in the '80s, "Robocop" and "Aliens." Many of the cast members recount their experiences along with former senior studio executives. No matter how much of a fan you already call yourself of these epic sci-fi flicks, you will definitely learn something new. It's great to see Sigourney Weaver offer her insight, but sadly Peter Weller is a no-show. However, if you're a fan of "Robocop" you should definitely keep tabs on the fan-made "Robodocumentary" currently in production. And we'll keep you up to date with all the latest news about that here on Space.com.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Jonah Ray is joined by Servo (Baron Vaughn), Crow (Hampton Yount) and Gypsy (Rebecca Hanson) (Image credit: Netflix)

Synopsis: Set in the not-too-distant future, a Gizmonic Institute employee is lured to the dark side of the moon by third-generation mad scientist Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day) and her flunky, Max (Patton Oswalt). He is sat in front of cheesy movies with his robot buddies and forced to tortuously watch bad B-movies in their entirety as these mad scientists study the effects on his mind.

Why you should watch: Arguably one of the best hangover cures or rainy day shows ever made for television. During each atrociously bad B-movie, the crew of the SOL space station, Jonah, Servo, Crow and Gypsy, mercilessly shred it, with sarcastic and side-splittingly funny comments. The current Netflix offering is two seasons; the first is called "The Gauntlet" (six episodes) and the second is "The Return" (14 episodes). Back in November 2019, Netflix canceled the show, but in April of 2021, creator and star Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of more episodes and a dedicated platform to show every season of the show. The campaign reached its minimum goal of $2 million within 25 hours of launch and ended with more than $6.5 million, assuring that more episodes will be produced.

Resident Alien

Season 3 is FINALLY set to arrive on our screens in February so now you can catch up with seasons 1 & 2

Season 3 is FINALLY set to arrive on our screens in February so now you can catch up with one and two (Image credit: Syfy)

Synopsis: The alien, whose actual name is pronounced N'a [click] ka-tay-ahla-Oooay, has crash landed on earth on a mission to destroy humanity. Assuming the identity of a small Colorado town doctor, he remains undetected by the residents while he searches the snow-covered mountains for pieces of his ship. Along the way, he spends more time with humans and learns what it means to be human, which gives him pause, but he's still determined to complete his mission to destroy the people of Earth.

Why you should watch: This was the surprise hit of the 2019 New York Comic Con when the first episode was shown to an excited crowd gathered at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Frankly, it's one of the best sci-fi comedies out there, with other notable examples in a shockingly small sub-genre including "Red Dwarf" and "Avenue 5." The character development is outstanding and you'll eventually become invested in every single character. The show was adapted by Chris Sheridan (who also is a producer on "Family Guy") from a series of comic books by British creators Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse and published by Dark Horse. 

The Silent Sea

Synopsis: During a perilous 24-hour mission on the moon, space explorers try to retrieve samples from an abandoned research facility steeped in classified secrets.

Why you should watch: Korean television is undoubtedly on a hot streak in the West. This is an 8-episode series based on the short film "The Sea of Tranquility," which was written and directed by Choi Hang-Yong, the man behind this show. Sadly this doesn't have quite the same production budget as say, something like "For All Mankind" and the cross-lunar-landscape hike in the first episode was weighed down without the benefit of more expensive practical effects, but that's not to say this show isn't enthralling. Sadly however, what starts off as a few teeny-tiny, nitpicky issues steadily grows to incorporate more than a fair share of clichés, which is a shame because they overshadow the clever, well-thought-out ideas that shone through early on.

Space Force

Synopsis: The second season of the space-themed satire "Space Force" picks up from the ending of the first, with the threat of nuclear war hanging over everyone's heads, the arming, disarming and rearming of Habitat One, potential conflict with the Chinese, and General Naird (Steve Carell) headed back to the Space Force to deal with the situation. 

Why you should watch: The arid dry wit of this show is not for all, but if you enjoy shows like "Avenue 5" and even Amazon's "Upload," then this will almost certainly appeal. A dynamite cast, including John Malkovich (Dr. Mallory), Ben Schwartz (F. Tony Scarapiducci), Tawny Newsome (Captain Angela Ali), Lisa Kudrow (Maggie Naird) joins Carell and hopefully we'll see more of both Jane Lynch (Chief of Naval Operations) and Patrick Warburton (Commandant of the Marine Corps) too. The first season is also available to watch. Netflix has cancelled this show, so there won't be a third season.

Star Trek: Prodigy

Star Trek Prodigy Is No Longer On Paramount Plus

"Prodigy" remains more enjoyable than both "Discovery" and "Picard" and its great to see the show saved (Image credit: Paramount Plus)

Synopsis: This latest incarnation of "Star Trek" comes from a collaboration between Paramount+ and Nickelodeon and follows five alien adolescents from assorted origins who are incarcerated on an obscure planet in an uncharted part of the galaxy. They escape from their imprisonment and race across the planet to find a defunct starship buried in the sand of the planet's surface. They enter the ship, but are unable to make it work. With prison guards hot on their heels, they suddenly stumble upon an Emergency Training Hologram in the form of Capt. Janeway, voiced by none other than Kate Mulgrew herself

Why you should watch: You may recall that back in June we reported how Paramount had unexpectedly cancelled "Star Trek: Prodigy" and that it would remove the show from its streaming service. Post-production work on 20 episodes of the second season, which was originally scheduled to air this winter, was mostly completed, but without a new home, its future was uncertain. The reason? Nothing more complicated than trying to save cash. By removing the show, the network was no longer duty bound to pay royalties to the voice acting cast, which was a shame, because this was significantly better than most of the other nostalgia-driven "Star Trek" durge the studio insisted on spending countless $millions on. "Prodigy" is a surprisingly good show for new fans as well as veterans, both and young and old. 

The Twilight Zone

You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind (Image credit: Paramount+)

Synopsis: A series of unrelated, standalone stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, suspense, and/or horror, often concluding with a macabre or unexpected twist.

Why you should watch: This, the original "Twilight Zone" that ran for five seasons from 1959 to 1964 should really be on the national curriculum. The iconic opening narration and music are instantly familiar and the show influenced an entire generation of sci-fi writers, including Harlan Ellison and Gene Roddenberry and other shows, like "The Outer Limits." In fact, "the Twilight Zone" was a big influence on "Black Mirror" that we mentioned above. 

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Scott Snowden

When Scott's application to the NASA astronaut training program was turned down, he was naturally upset...as any 6-year-old boy would be. He chose instead to write as much as he possibly could about science, technology and space exploration. He graduated from The University of Coventry and received his training on Fleet Street in London. He still hopes to be the first journalist in space.

  • dfjchem721
    I am already watching the "Twilight Zone" - tons more to go. Of all the "movies" mentioned above, I have not even heard of half of them, but will have to Wiki them and see if I want to watch them. Some of these picks are questionable.

    But the one I want to remark on most is "Star Trek: Enterprise". This was grossly under-rated as the review states. I found this to be better than Deep Space Nine in many cases, and on par with the others in many episodes. You can really relate to so much of this series, and Captain Jonathan Archer is a match for Kirk and Picard in terms of tenacity and heroic performances. Star Trek: Enterprise is a must see. (It will also give you a different impression of those sneaky Vulcans!)
    Reply
  • mcgeearch
    dfjchem721 said:
    I am already watching the "Twilight Zone" - tons more to go. Of all the "movies" mentioned above, I have not even heard of half of them, but will have to Wiki them and see if I want to watch them. Some of these picks are questionable.

    But the one I want to remark on most is "Star Trek: Enterprise". This was grossly under-rated as the review states. I found this to be better than Deep Space Nine in many cases, and on par with the others in many episodes. You can really relate to so much of this series, and Captain Jonathan Archer is a match for Kirk and Picard in terms of tenacity and heroic performances. Star Trek: Enterprise is a must see. (It will also give you a different impression of those sneaky Vulcans!)
    Enterprise was a great show. The last few shows were throw aways. They must've known they'd been cancelled.
    Reply
  • jimbojoneskoolaid
    Nope, Scott Snowden you're way off. I felt compelled enough to create an account to comment on this article. These movies/shows listed are completely hot garbage. Do NOT waste your time on them:
    John Carter
    Star Trek Voyager
    Start Trek Enterprise
    Lost in Space (though not as bad as the Star Treks above)
    Reply
  • Dave
    Enjoyed your selection. There are a few on your list I have not seen yet, and will try to see. Some of the greatest sci-fi is not on netflix, these are the movies I am currently binge watching. 1 The original Planet of the Apes movies.
    2. Silent Running
    3. Soylent Green
    4. THX 1138
    5. Dr. Who and the Daleks
    These are some of the true classics. Enjoy.
    Reply
  • Truthseeker007
    Must be nice to not have to work and time to watch these shows.
    Reply
  • wangusangus
    Hellboy doesn't appear to be available on Netflix US right now, though someone was just telling me recently that I should watch it.

    I came to Star Trek late, and have been working my way through the different series over the last few years (taking some shortcuts thanks to binge-watching guides). I'm on Voyager now and am enjoying it--not as much as DS9 or TNG, but I think it's better than I expected it to be. Each series seems to follow a similar arc: promising first episode, rocky first season or two, then by S3-S4 it's pretty consistent and interesting. I wonder if Voyager's evaluation was hurt by the fact that DS9 was hitting its groove when Voyager was still rocky, then when Voyager was hitting its groove, DS9 was stellar.
    Reply
  • Dave
    Reading sci-fi never gets old, either. Highly recommend some of the classics. Some of these novels and their message or warning have actually come true, in reality. Take H.G. Wells classic The Invisible Man, recently redone as a movie. It tells the story of a good natured man who when invisible becomes the darker side of himself. Today, the reality can be seen on the internet, as trolling, by so many.
    Reply
  • Truthseeker007
    Dave said:
    Reading sci-fi never gets old, either. Highly recommend some of the classics. Some of these novels and their message or warning have actually come true, in reality. Take H.G. Wells classic The Invisible Man, recently redone as a movie. It tells the story of a good natured man who when invisible becomes the darker side of himself. Today, the reality can be seen on the internet, as trolling, by so many.
    What about the book 1984? Most of that has come true with government surveillance among many other things in that book.
    Reply
  • AgedWizard
    Dave said:
    Enjoyed your selection. There are a few on your list I have not seen yet, and will try to see. Some of the greatest sci-fi is not on netflix, these are the movies I am currently binge watching. 1 The original Planet of the Apes movies.
    2. Silent Running
    3. Soylent Green
    4. THX 1138
    5. Dr. Who and the Daleks
    These are some of the true classics. Enjoy.
    You definitely picked some of the really good classic Sci-fi movies, Dave. I hope to watch them soon.
    Reply
  • AgedWizard
    From the time children get hooked on Nintendo, they, and their parents, should watch and discuss ST-TNG Season 5, Episode 6, "The Game".
    Reply