There’s no doubt that science fiction is one of the most popular films, TV, and books genres. Everyone has their favourite sci-fi TV show, movie or book. An offshoot of that is stories about space. TV shows about space exploration are among my favourite must-watch TV. But what makes a good sci-fi space story?
Some people might say it’s the futuristic setting, with advanced technology and radically different worlds from our own. Worlds, where humanity has unshackled themselves from earth and space exploration is possible.
There’s something about the vastness of the universe and the infinite possibilities that it offers that is truly fascinating. Space is an unconquered territory, and we may never get to colonise planets in our lifetime. Watching these shows gives us hope for the future.
Here are a few of my favourite shows about space:
The Expanse is set in a future where humans have colonised the solar system and are now at war with each other. The show follows the crew of a ship called the Rocinante as they get caught up in the middle of the conflict between Earth, Mars and the Belt.
The show is full of action and suspense, but what I love most about it is how it explores space colonisation politics. The different factions are all struggling for power and resources, and it’s fascinating to see how the human body changes over time because they have colonised places like planets like Mars. The political posturing and intrigue coupled with action and well-developed characters make this one of my all-time favourite shows.
Battlestar Galactica 2004
I’m on record as stating that Battlestar Gallactica is one of the best TV shows of all time so it should come as no surprise that it’s on this list. This show is set in a future where humans are forced to flee their home planet after it is attacked by a race of robots called Cylons. The humans are led by a military ship called the Galactica, and they must fight for survival against the Cylons.
Battlestar Galactica is another show that is full of action and suspense. But what I really love about it is how it deals with the themes of war and survival. The Galactica is constantly fighting against overwhelming odds, and it’s fascinating to see how they manage to survive. Like the Expanse, BSG has moments of political intrigue that tend to be relevant today despite the show being almost 20 years old.
Babylon 5 is set in the future, where humans have come together to form a galactic government. The show follows the adventures of Commander Sinclair, who must keep the peace and deal with the various races and factions that make up the galaxy.
Babylon 5 is an iconic TV series. The show features intelligent writing, worth production values and a stellar cast of actors. These ingredients combine to form one of the most influential science fiction shows ever made. It’s hard to believe that Babylon 5 is twenty years old now!
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a science fiction show created by Gene Roddenberry.
Deep Space Nine is a unique show, as it’s set on a space station rather than a starship. This allows for a more diverse range of stories, as the crew can explore different cultures and planets. Deep Space Nine is also notable for its strong characters, including the show’s main character, Benjamin Sisko. If you’re a fan of Star Trek or science fiction, then Deep Space Nine is worth checking out.
Star Trek: Discovery
This show is a prequel to the original Star Trek series, set 10 years before the events of that show. It follows the crew of the USS Discovery as they explore new worlds and encounter strange alien species. You don’t need to have watched any other Star Trek series to begin watching Discovery.
Like The Expanse, Star Trek: Discovery is full of action and suspense. But what I really enjoy about it is the way it explores the theme of exploration not just of space but of oneself. As they learn about new species they encounter, they also learn something about themselves as humans and as part of the organisation known as the Federation.
As a Trekkie, I could make this list all about the Star Trek franchise, but I’m not going to. I’ve listed my top two favourite shows of the franchise, but honourable mentions must go to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, which I find impressive after just five episodes. And, of course, The Next Generation, which used to have my number one spot. I highly recommend checking out the Star Trek franchise if you haven’t done so already.
Farscape is set in the future where Earth is no longer the dominant species in the universe. The show follows the adventures of John Crichton, an astronaut who is accidentally catapulted into outer space and must find his way back home.
Crichton finds himself aboard a starship inhabited by alien prisoners who are on the run. They make an unlikely alliance. They must keep one step ahead of a deadly race of mercenaries known as the Peacekeepers to survive.
Farscape starts with an episodic format but eventually evolves into long-form storytelling as it explores the vast universe Crichton finds himself in. There is some good world-building, excellent character building and strong storytelling.
Firefly follows the adventures of the crew of the Serenity, a small spacecraft that travels through the galaxy.
Firefly is a unique show, blending elements of science fiction, westerns, and comedy. The show was cancelled after only one season, but it has gained a large and passionate following in the years since.
The Serenity crew are a likeable and diverse group of characters. They’re all flawed in their own way, but they still manage to come together and help each other when it matters most. The cast of Firefly is one of the show’s strongest points, with a talented and charismatic cast of actors.
Space TV series Dark Matter is set in the future, where a group of astronauts wake up from cryosleep to find that they have no memory of who they are or what they’re doing. They must work together to figure out what happened and why they’re on board a space vessel.
Dark Matter has a unique premise and strong characters. Despite lasting only two seasons, the show tackles some big themes, such as identity, self-discovery and what it means to be human. It’s a must-watch for any science fiction space fan.
These are just a few of the excellent sci-fi TV shows about space. If you’re a space fiction fan, I highly recommend checking them out.