The past several years have been great for science fiction fans. A trend toward serialized storytelling and expanded cable packages have put more quality science fiction programming at their fingertips than ever. Right now, there are a number of great shows being made in the US and abroad. Here are some of our don’t miss picks:
Fringe – What began as a tepid rehash of The X Files has developed into one of the most ambitious and intriguing science fiction television shows now playing. While Fringe continues to explore quirky fringe science in many episodes, the main focus is on the fates of two intertwined worlds. The story is set to end next year, leaving us one season to enjoy these well-developed characters and the universes they inhabit.
Doctor Who – One of the favorite channels of many sci-fi fans is BBC America, which gives viewers access to many British programs, including UK favorite Doctor Who. Doctor Who is the longest running television show of its kind. The mood swings wildly, treating viewers to rollicking adventures, poignant character development, and astute observations about what it means, and why it is so wonderful, to be human.
Eureka – This cult SyFy favorite tells the story of an ordinary man acting as sheriff in an extraordinary town. The brilliant and eccentric residents of Eureka all work for Global Dynamics, a US defense contractor. Most of the action is light and fun, but the series has some of its best moments on the occasions when it explores the darker parts of the technology the town creates, and the times it focuses on the characters’ often bittersweet relationships with one another.
The Clone Wars – Star Wars fans can spend time each week immersed in the adventures of favorite characters from that universe. Picking up the action at the end of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars fills in what happens between then and the start of Revenge of the Sith. The animated show doles out the story in half hour bites. In 2010, the series won praise in the form of an award from the editor of the Guiness Book of World Records for making a series with the most photorealistic animation currently on television.
- Person of Interest – In this series, a super computer originally meant for counterterrorism purposes instead predicts day to day acts of violence. A team of two men try to intercede and save the lives of those whose numbers the computer pulls up. Michael Emerson, who played Benjamin Linus on Lost, brings us another complex character that hides great power and cunning beneath a deceptively nebbish exterior. The stories are mostly episodic, allowing viewers to pick up where they like without getting confused, which is a boon to the casual cable viewer.
Current science fiction television shows offer a range of entertainment, from intellectual treats to tense adventures to comedy to heart-warming personal stories. While fans will be losing some beloved shows lke Fringe and Eureka in the next year or so, other favorites such as Doctor Who will continue. Plus, next year promises many new science fiction series will take the lost series’ places. All in all, this is one of the best times in television history to be a science fiction fan.