Top 50 SciFi Shows

Boston.com ran a list of Top 50 SciFi TV Shows of All Time.

Save yourself the Next-Button-thon…here’s the list:

  1. Star Trek (Original)
  2. Battlestar Galactica (New)
  3. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  4. The X-Files
  5. Babylon 5
  6. Stargate SG-1
  7. The Twilight Zone
  8. Dr. Who
  9. Mystery Science Theater 3000
  10. Sliders
  11. Lost
  12. Xena: Warrior Princess
  13. The Outer Limits
  14. Star Trek Voyager
  15. Logan’s Run
  16. Flash Gordon
  17. Firefly
  18. V
  19. Dark Angel
  20. The Hitchhiker
  21. Quantum Leap
  22. Andromeda
  23. Tales from the Crypt
  24. Wonder Woman
  25. The Jetsons
  26. Stargate Atlantis
  27. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  28. Adventures of Superman
  29. The Six Million Dollar Man
  30. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
  31. Alien Nation
  32. My Favorite Martian
  33. Lost In Space
  34. The Avengers
  35. Battlestar Galactica (Original)
  36. The Bionic Woman
  37. Space 1999
  38. Batman
  39. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
  40. The Thunderbirds
  41. Futurama
  42. Science Fiction Theatre
  43. Nowhere Man
  44. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
  45. The Greatest American Hero
  46. That Was Then
  47. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  48. 3rd Rock From The Sun
  49. The Wild Wild West
  50. Earth – Final Conflict

27 thoughts on “Top 50 SciFi Shows”

  1. I am not sure I would have come up with the same list. I mean the ordering is somewhat crappy in my opinion and they have shows that I would not title as SciFi on the lisst. Combine that with some shows that were absolute trash ranking higher than some show I thought were pretty well done. I mean honestly, V at 18? Criminies…

  2. The new BG, at only 1.3 seasons, is better than B5?

    MST 3K is one of my most favorite shows – but it’s a movie comedy show, come on. You can’t call that a sci-fi show. Futurama, Third Rock from the Sun, and My Favorite Martian are great sci-fi comedies, but MST3K isn’t sci-fi.

    Other non-sci-fi shows: Twilight Zone (certain episodes are sci-fi, but not the whole show), Xena (get out), Lost (do we know its sci-fi yet?), Tales from the Crypt (same reason as Twilight Zone), The Hitchhiker (same reason as TZ – since it was an NC17 ripoff of TZ)

    And what travesty has Futurama down at 41!

  3. Farscape didn’t make the list since it was no where near the quality show that Buck Rogers in the 25th century was (and yes that was sarcastic for those that may not know me :))

  4. If you read the comments on their site, you would find the same sort of ridicule on about list.

    But then, what you can expect from the Boston Globe? Are they just a bunch of commies like the New York Times?

  5. Here’s an idea, why don’t we resort this list ourselves (including adding and deleting entries). Then put the entire list up as the weekly poll and hope the Supernatural freaks don’t stuff the ballot again!

  6. The top 8 I won’t quibble with too much. All, except possibly SG1, are deserving of a high rank, and Star Trek should be tops on almost anyone’s list.

    Gotta mostly agree with the comments I saw here. Both Blake’s 7 and Farscape should be fairly high on the list. DS9 needs to be on the list and much higher than Voyager if Voyager is on the list at all. (One or two excellent episodes a season surround by crap does not make Voyager a good show.) Also the list is missing the new (90s syndicated) Outer Limits.

    I think that Earth: Final Conflict, Stargate Atlantis, and probably Voyager should be off the list.

    As for non-sci fi shows on the list. Twilight Zone always steered much more towards horror than Sci Fi. (The Outer Limits was much more sci fi and very much preferred by this sci fi fan.) And wasn’t Tales from the Crypt pretty much all horror which shockingly is not equivalent to sci fi. MST3000, Xena are totally misplaced. I really enjoyed Buffy, but it isn’t SciFi either

    I’d put V on list if we’re counting the mini-series. The actual TV series of V was pretty bad and only lasted one season. But the original mini-series and the second mini-series V: The Final Battle are both pretty good made-for-TV sci fi.

    And what the heck was with #46 That Was Then? Once I saw the description, I remembered it as a show that aired very, very briefly a couple of years back. Did anyone actually watch it? Shouldn’t there be a rule that a Top 50 SciFi TV Show of All Time has to have survived at least one season? Or be a special circumstance/cult classic like Firefly?

    Jsut my $.02. And I like Pete’s idea. (No 2005 premieres allowed though. That will keep the Supernatural freaks away.)

  7. The top 8 I won’t quibble with too much. All, except possibly SG1, are deserving of a high rank, and Star Trek should be tops on almost anyone’s list.

    Gotta mostly agree with the comments I saw here. Both Blake’s 7 and Farscape should be fairly high on the list. DS9 needs to be on the list and much higher than Voyager if Voyager is on the list at all. (One or two excellent episodes a season surround by crap does not make Voyager a good show.) Also the list is missing the new (90s syndicated) Outer Limits.

    I think that Earth: Final Conflict, Stargate Atlantis, and probably Voyager should be off the list.

    As for non-sci fi shows on the list. Twilight Zone always steered much more towards horror than Sci Fi. (The Outer Limits was much more sci fi and very much preferred by this sci fi fan.) And wasn’t Tales from the Crypt pretty much all horror which shockingly is not equivalent to sci fi. MST3000, Xena are totally misplaced. I really enjoyed Buffy, but it isn’t SciFi either

    I’d put V on list if we’re counting the mini-series. The actual TV series of V was pretty bad and only lasted one season. But the original mini-series and the second mini-series V: The Final Battle are both pretty good made-for-TV sci fi.

    And what the heck was with #46 That Was Then? Once I saw the description, I remembered it as a show that aired very, very briefly a couple of years back. Did anyone actually watch it? Shouldn’t there be a rule that a Top 50 SciFi TV Show of All Time has to have survived at least one season? Or be a special circumstance/cult classic like Firefly?

    Just my $.02. And I like Pete’s idea. (No 2005 premieres allowed though. That will keep the Supernatural freaks away.)

  8. John, make it so! Else Kristen is going to kick your A55! You know she’s serious cus she posted it twice!! :P

    BTW, I’m going to be in town for the next couple of days. I wanna see the aftermath of the phantom hurricane the road-cloggers ran away from. Any of y’all wanna take me to lunch??

  9. Everyone’s bitching about Farscape, which i suppose would make my top 50, and DS9, arguably the best Trek (once they picked up the idea of long storylines from Babylon 5).

    But what really staggers me is the lack of Max Headroom, easily a top 10 show, exploring tons of near-future SF topics in its short run. Only one person on boston.com commented on it, but anyone who has not seen this show does not know what SF on television can be.

    The other sad, sad miss is Invader Zim, which no one mentioned at all. Doom shall rain down on his doomed enemies! Or perhaps they’re just trying to help keep his mission secret?

    Other obvious misses: The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, Night Gallery, Red Dwarf, Crusade, UFO, Blake’s 7, Bewitched (as long as we’re including fantasy), Starblazers, Lexx, Incredible Hulk, Fantasy Island (okay okay, but it’s better than a ton that _did_ make the list!)

  10. I agree, Max Headroom should be on the list. Incredible Hulk as well.

    Red Dwarf was too odd for me, and I normally like BBC stuff.

    Adding cartoons is hard – what about Battle of the Planets or Speed Racer?

  11. or the space opera, Robotech — yeah, yeah, it’s hack job of recycled anime shows but they did it well enough to tell a coherent story and its a pretty good sci-fi story for that matter.

  12. While I would love to add cartoons to the list, I would rather have them considered on a seperate list. The basic reason is the audience they were designed for – now if you go back to the original Anime versions they are quite presentable to adults, but the hacked up version shown on American TV were disjointed and not very well done.

    Also, I am sorry but I just don’t see the original Star Trek on the top of my list – its in the top 10, but I would put B5 up there prior to ST. I am sure somebody will get on me about its syndication record, but I am looking at the overall quality of the show. And I think we should all come up with our nominations for the top 10 Sci Fi shows of all time and lets keep shows like Buffy and Angel off those lists. I don’t see those as Sci Fi much like others have already stated.

    My list:

    1. Babylon 5

    2. Dr. Who

    3. Star Trek: Next Generation

    4. Farscape

    5. Star Trek

    6. Stargate SG1

    7. Space Above and Beyond

    8. The Outer Limits (both versions are quite good IMHO)

    9. Quantum Leap

    10. Sliders

    Another series (although short lived) that never made the list was War of the Worlds. The first season was pretty good from my recollection, but then again I was in college then so we were probably overtired and bleary eyed to identify it as crap at the time.

  13. Someone doesnt like Voyager :O, that was my favorite trek, and though the first two seasons of Enterprise were weak, i thought seasons 3 & 4 were outstanding Sci Fi, but then again, i hated Babylon 5, so to each his own

  14. SG1 not deserving a high rank? have you even watched the show?

    Yes It doesn’t deserve a high rank. The most bland skiffy show EVER!

  15. SG1 not deserving a high rank? have you even watched the show? :O

    it’s MacGyver … in spaaaaaaace!!!

  16. First – its not MacGyver in space. The character that Harry Dean Anderson plays is almost the complete opposite of MacGyver. Second, I thought SG1 was and is a fine show, and I dare say far better than some of the other crap that is on tv these days. Finally, this list of “shows” was obviously pulled together by some flunky somewhere since they didn’t do thier research as to what other options there are available outside of the US.

  17. You could make an arguement that it’s MacGyver in space…Richard Dean Anderson (why do I always use all three names again?) still plays a wise cracking special operative type, he just shunts the technically savvy aspects of the MacGyver character off on to his co-star, Amanda Tapping – who represents the eye candy portion of any good sci-fi show…see how nicely it all fits together? :) That’s also perhaps a bit unfair, but while I have thoroughly enjoyed the show over the past few years, it’s starting to become a little too formulaic for my tastes and in my defense of the eye candy bit (and lord knows I need one) the powers that be always primp Ms. Tapping (MRS?) to end up looking like a model..which doesn’t represent the majority of women air force light birds that i’ve met in my life but hey, what are you gonna do… It’s still a great show, but not up to the level of B5, which has to be the best sci-fi show ever…there’s nothing else that runs that long with that length of a continuous plot line…

    ok, so there’s my two cents

    (diving into a foxhole to avoid a pissed off lieutenant colonel in a death glider)

  18. The new BG, at only 1.3 seasons, is better than B5?

    Well the first 1.3 season of battlestar are much better than the first 1.3 seasons of babylon 5. But of course babylon 5 became a much better show latter on!

  19. Firefly, Space above and beyond, Farscape and the last 2 series of Enterprise, Great shows with tons of potential but the powers that be NEVER allowed them to become the classics they deserved to be, cancelled way before their time, and not one of them making wot has to be a crappy and rushed all time 50.

    Come on guys do it again but this time get it right i mean xena?? buffy ?? Lost?? great shows but hardly sci fi classics. And the jetsons but no tripping the rift?

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