If you are a science fiction enthusiast and have been lost in the myriad of shows that Netflix has to offer, here is a list of top sci fi series on Netflix that can help you figure out what to watch next. From extremely popular shows like Dark, Stranger Things, and Black Mirror to underappreciated gems like The Rain, this list includes science fiction shows that explore various aspects of the genure. Most of the shows recommended in this list are indeed binge-worthy and will keep you hooked over the weekend, and even during the weekdays.
A federal agent tracks four people who suddenly seem to possess entirely new personalities, leading to a startling discovery about humanity's future. Created by Brad Wright, Travelers is a highly enjoyable science fiction drama with some great performances. Hailed as "fun and freaky" Travelers is more of speculative fiction than science fiction, but that does not in any way take away its ability to come up with fresh concepts on time travel. The show is intriguing from the very first episode and manages to be highly unpredictable. While time travel has been an idea that has been in the science fiction genre for ever, and has been mined well enough, Travelers still brings in freshness and much novelty in ideas.
9. The 100
The 100 is a post-apocalyptic science fiction drama about 100 space station residents who are sent to the planet to determine whether it is habitable a century after Earth was devastated by a nuclear apocalypse. Mind you, it takes a few episodes for you to get in, but once you are hooked, The 100 promises to be a rewarding ride. Although it may come across as a young adult TV show, it has plenty of suspenseful moments and graphic violence and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. "Although flooded with stereotypes, the suspenseful atmosphere helps make The 100 a rare high-concept guilty pleasure," reads the critics' consensus of the show on Rotton Tomatoes. If you dig thrillers and love post-apocalyptic stories, this one is certainly for you.
8. The Rain
Next in the list of best sci-fi series on Netflix is a Danish post-apocalyptic show, The Rain. A virus that is carried by rainfall wipes out most of the humans in a Scandinavian town, forcing siblings Simone and Rasmus to take shelter in a bunker. They come out six years later, and begin searching for their father, a scientist who managed to get them to the bunker but never came back to them. They are joined by a group of survivors, and together, they travel across Denmark and Sweden, looking for a place to settle and answers. The show has been hailed for bringing in innovative concepts in the postapocaptic-dystopia genure even as it delivers a tout and thrilling ride. The show isn't just about a few survivors of a catastrophe trying to get on with their lives, but also poses a few questions about right and wrong, love, and courage. If you are a fan of survivalist drama that has plenty of science fiction elements, give The Rain a try.
Okay, this one's plot may appear familiar, about the alien invasion of Los Angeles in a dystopian near-future. "When LA is invaded by outside forces and becomes a walled-in settlement, a former FBI agent and his wife risk everything to find their lost son," reads the synopsis of the show on Netflix. Although the plot may not appear original, Colony is a smart and suspenseful series that will keep you hooked till the end. It does have a few good scares as well and offers some good performances. The executive producer of the show Carlton Cuse had said Colony was "conceived as a metaphor for France during the Nazi occupation". Co-creator Ryan Condal said in an interview that the concept behind the show was "inspired by Nazi-occupied Paris during WWII, where people went on living their lives, having coffee in street-side cafes while Nazi officers marched along the roads." The show was also hailed as highly topical in today's political environment.
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6. Altered Carbon
Based on a 2002 novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is a cyberpunk noir TV series set in a futuristic universe where where consciousness can be transferred to different bodies. Takeshi Kovacs, played by Joel Kinnaman in Season 1 and Anthony Mackie in Season 2, the only surviving soldier among an elite group of interstellar warriors who rebelled against the new world order, and has been given a chance to live again. The freedom comes at a price though: he has to solve the murder of 300-year-old Meth Laurens Bancroft, who in fact freed him. The second season is set after 30 years of the first season. Hailed as one of the most expensive Netflix productions, the show is sure to entertain cyberpunk enthusiasts as it pays homage to several earlier classics like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell. The show also has heavy philosophical undertones as it questions everything from religion, to justice systems and familial ties. The show has been praised for its fantastic set pieces, great acting, and fine action sequences. If you are a fan of the genre, do give this show a try.
Eight people who live around the globe and have never met each other before share an extraordinary connection with each other. They are connected both mentally and in some way physically as well. Coming from The Wachowskis, Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski, the directors of The Matrix series, Sense8 is a visually stunning, action-packed sci-fi drama that deals with several themes and won high praise for its representation of LGBTQ characters. Among the themes it explores are identity, sexuality, gender, and politics. The show also takes on corporate power, capitalism, and fascism while being deeply empathetic to humanity. There is a mysterious organisation that wants to hunt and destroy these strangers with their shared connect and abilities, ensuring there is enough surprise and intrigue if you decide to board and binge this show. The series received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour).
4. Love, Death & Robots
An adult animated anthology series, Love, Death & Robots (stylized as LOVE DEATH + R?BOTS) is an intriguing mix of genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comedy. Oscar-nominated director David Fincher is among the show's executive producers, and that name alone tells that there is quality material to look forward to for genre enthusiasts. There are episodes that explore alternate histories, life for robots in a post-apocalyptic place, and a plot on world domination by super-intelligent yogurt, to name a few. The show has been highly praised for the themes it takes up, the animation style, storylines and themes. Love, Death & Robots has won much praise from critics and received several Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The critical consensus for the show on Rotten Tomatoes reads: "This animated anthology has enough creative Death to satisfy cyberpunk aficionados who Love their Robots to have some Heavy Metal influence." Give this show a try, and you will not be disappointed.
3. Stranger Things
Of course, no list on the best science fiction series on Netflix can be complete without the fan favorite and the highly popular Stranger Things. Set in the 1980s, primarily in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things follows a number of mysteries and supernatural happenings in and around the town and the impacts these have. Besides being a gripping science fiction horror drama, the show also offers a whiff of nostalgia as it has plenty of pop culture references from the 1980s. If you are a fan of the genre, you will find that there are several thematic similarities in the show from the works of Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, David Lynch, Stephen King, Wes Craven and H. P. Lovecraft. "Exciting, heartbreaking, and sometimes scary, Stranger Things acts as an addictive homage to Spielberg films and vintage 1980s television," a consensus review of the show on Rotton Tomatoes reads. The show has won high praise and several awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards, Critics' Choice Television Awards, and People's Choice Awards. It was also ranked third-best TV show of the year (2016) by The Guardian and Empire.
"When two children go missing in a small German town, its sinful past is exposed along with the double lives and fractured relationships that exist among four families as they search for the kids," reads a synopsis of the German science fiction thriller Dark. The plot seems just intriguing enough but barely prepares you for the wild ride that Dark is. Set in the fictional German village of Winden, Dark is a complex tale that dwells in detail on the concept of time, family ties, human nature, possible alternative universes, repetition of history, and life and death in general. Mind you, it takes a bit of time and effort to get a hang of this show, but boy, once you have managed to catch up, you are sure to be bewildered and entertained. The show has received widespread critical acclaim and has been highly praised for its visuals, acting, casting, and music. Deservedly, Dark has been named as 58th best TV series of the 21st century, by BBC.
1. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is a British anthology television stand-alone series that mostly satirizes techno-paranoia. A social commentary and a dark and suspenseful show in equal measure, Black Mirror makes use of familiar things like social media and futuristic technological ideas to come up with smart and original tales that resonate with most of the viewers. The series “explores a twisted, high-tech near-future where humanity's greatest innovations and darkest instincts collide,” says the Netflix synopsis of the show. Each of the episodes creates a new, intriguing world and premise, dominated by technology but grounded in reality, and comes up with provocative and unsettling stories that are sure to make the viewers think. Recurring themes in Black Mirror include data privacy, surveillance, virtual reality, individualism and consumerism. The show has won several Emmy Awards and BAFTA Television Craft Awards among others. The show boasts of some great actors, including Daniel Kaluuya, Aaron Paul, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Letitia Wright among others.