Old and New: 19 Fascinating Sci-fi Shows and Movies to Watch

Whether you want to catch-up on a new science fiction series or just feel nostalgic about films from decades gone by, here are both old and new: 19 fascinating sci-fi shows and movies to watch. 

Under the Mountain (1981)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: under the mountain

Quite a number of sci-fi series tell of a peculiar phenomenon in space; when the story takes place on Earth, it usually is in the United States. While the premise of Under the Mountain is far from unique, in which an extraterrestrial being makes contact with humans, the events are set in New Zealand. The locals begin to display strange behaviors, prompting Theo and Rachel to investigate the matter. 

The Twilight Zone (1985-1989)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: the twilight zone

Most people remember either the 1960s or the 1990s version of The Twilight Zone. Younger audiences are probably only familiar with the 2002 rendition. That said, the 1980s revival arguably stands close in terms of story-telling quality compared to the first anthology, but often with much darker themes. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: star trek

Only few reboot TV shows can be as well-received as the originals; Star Trek: The Next Generation falls into this category. TNG is only the third series in the franchise, but it is popular to the point where Captain Picard and First Officer Will Riker have earned respect and recognition for their characters in TV history that’s equal to Kirk and Spock.

Futurama (1999-2013)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: futurama

If you think The Big Bang Theory is too nerdy, for sure you haven’t heard of Futurama. With three PhDs on the writing staff, Futurama is filled with tons of jokes only the well-educated could love. At heart it is an absurdist sitcom about how even the most advanced inventions are unable to get rid of the human tendency to embrace negativity. 

Phantasm (1979)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: phantasm

A blend of sci-fi and horror, Phantasm is an excellent recipe for a great movie. When properly executed, the two ingredients almost always deliver a fascinating combo. Take the 1979 film Phantasm for example, where a supernatural mysterious undertaker transforms corpses into zombies.

The Fly (1986)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: the fly

Another great film with the same recipe of sci-fi and horror is the 1986 The Fly, starring Jeff Goldblum as eccentric scientist Seth Brundle. After multiple attempts, Brundle is finally able to build a teleportation machine. While under the influence of alcohol, he tries the machine himself, but a fly accidentally tags along. This mishap has horrific consequences. 

Jurassic Park (1993)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: jurassic park

One thing that makes the original Jurassic Park an undying classic is how it answers the question every kid asks while on a tour in the museum of natural history: what if Dinosaurs were still here? Everything is wrapped into an action-packed cinematic work that every age can enjoy.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: the day the earth stood still

Back in the 1950s, The Day the Earth Stood Still was considered one of the best sci-fi movies ever. The premise was challenging in its day: extraterrestrial beings do exist with intelligence and technologies far superior to mere humans. As the people of Earth worry about what aliens might do to the planet, the aliens themselves already know humans are destroying their and will put a stop to the destruction.

Back to the Future (1985)

Sci-fi Shows and Movies: back to the future

Time travel is a staple in the sci-fi genre. It is the ultimate fantasy of being able to change the course of history and take a glimpse at what happens tomorrow. Back to the Future is not the first film to explore the theme, but its characters and storyline make the exploration a real joy. Marty McFly accidentally drives to the past in a DeLorean built by Doc Brown. While Marty is there, he might as well use his presence in an earlier decade to fix what’s wrong in his future.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Unlike most alien movies where interactions with extraterrestrial species usually instigate terrors, killings, and war, Close Encounter of the Third Kind places emphasis on the positive sides of making contact with aliens. The film is a good reminder that maybe some aliens are friendly and a good sci-fi film doesn’t always need blazing lasers. 

Orphan Black (2013 – 2017)

The story begins when Sarah Manning (portrayed by Tatiana Maslany) realizes that the woman who just committed suicide at the train station looked identical to her. Orphan Black is an excellent sci-fi series yet is grossly underrated by any standard. It follows Sarah’s curious quest for the truth about her own identity.

12 Monkeys (2015-2018)

Loosely based on the 1995 film on the same title, the TV series explores two major topics: time travel and an apocalypse. James Cole has to go back from 2043 (present days) to 2015 in an attempt to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. He is there to stop the people responsible for the disaster, otherwise the human race is in the fast lane to extinction.

Inception (2010)

Some say Inception is some sort of cinematic manifesto for director Christopher Nolan – a testament of his brilliance. The major concept of the film is “lucid dreams” which roots from deep inside the subconscious. With the right equipment and ingenuity, clever individuals with dangerous minds are able to infiltrate and manipulate other people’s dreams.

Gravity (2013)

Apart from impressive performances from George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts stranded in space, Gravity delivers an exceedingly mesmerizing CGI worth every praise anybody can muster (except probably Neil deGrasse Tyson). It is an immersive obstacle about a life or death scenario in space – even more so in 3D – that it deserved its six Oscars.

Predestination (2014)

Here is another sci-fi film about time travel which deals with the possibility of changing the course of history and free will. It tells the story of Agent Doe in his adventures across multiple time periods to prevent future mass killings. The most interesting part of Predestination is its unwillingness to share all the important details with the audience; instead, viewers have to pick up the pieces scattered in the plotline to untangle the challenging narrative. 

Interstellar (2014)

Several years after the mind-bending Inception, director Christopher Nolan presents Interstellar – a film about the looming apocalypse on Earth and the search for alternative habitable planets. It also touches such topics as general relativity and father/daughter relationship. Intergalactic portals are no longer boundaries of existence, whereas faith and science seem to find an agreeable reconciliation with each other.

Ex Machina (2014)

The story takes off when a computer programmer, Caleb, earns a visit to the estate of the company’s CEO, Nathan. During the supposedly casual tour, Nathan asks Caleb to conduct a test to determine if a robot named Ava can really imitate a human. Ex Machina takes you on a slow ride into the questions of humanity as observed by Caleb in Ava. 

Annihilation (2018)

Following the disappearance of a team of researchers in a place known as the “Shimmer,” another team is sent to solve the mystery of the case. In Shimmer, the new team encounters all sorts of unearthly situations and phenomena that no one can explain.  

Dune (2021)

The 1965 epic sci-fi novel Dune is often considered too complex and dense to be transformed into a screenplay. After two disposable attempts, the big budget Dune, directed by David Villeneuve, finally does right by the novel in exploring the endless scope of the cosmos and its mysticism.

You gotta love science fiction! And why not? Anything that can happen in our world now, whether the story is a drama, a romance, a thriller, a mystery, or virtually ANY other movie genre, it can always happen in the future…or the past…or the present…or whenever! If you are a sci-fi fan, then you simply MUST let us know how strongly you feel about our favorite genre. Drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you may want to know about.

What are the highest rated Sci-fi movies?

According to pinkvilla.com here are the top science fiction movies of all time.

  1. Gravity (2013)  IMDb rating: 7.7/10
  2. Dune (2021) IMDb rating: 8/10
  3. Interstellar (2016) IMDb rating: 8.6/10 
  4. The Adam Project (2022) IMDb rating: 6.7/10
  5. Blade Runner 2049 (2017) IMDb rating: 8/10
  6. Star Trek Beyond (2016) IMDb rating: 7/10
  7. The Martian (2015) IMDb rating: 8/10
  8. Attack the Block (2011) IMDb rating: 6.6/10
  9. Inception (2010) IMDb rating: 8.8/10
  10. The Abyss (1989) IMDb rating: 7.5/10
  11. District 9 (2009) IMDb rating: 7.9/10
  12. Snowpiercer (2013) IMDb rating: 7.1/10
  13. Arrival (2016) IMDb rating: 7.9/10
  14. Tenet (2020) IMDb rating: 7.3/10
  15. Looper (2012) IMDb rating: 7.4/10
  16. Annihilation (2018) IMDb rating: 6.8/10
  17. High Life (2018) IMDb rating: 5.8/10
  18. Jurassic Park (1993) IMDb rating: 8.2/10 

What are the upcoming sci-fi movies for 2022/23?

According to space.com there are still plenty of months left for more sci-fi movies to thrill and scare you. 

Nope Release date: July, 2022

Prey Release date: August, 2022

Secret Headquarters Release Date: August, 2022

Samaritan     Release Date: August, 2022

Distant Release Date: September 16, 2022

Don’t Worry Darling  Release Date: September 23, 2022

Black Adam Release Date: October 21, 2022

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever    Release Date: November 11, 2022

Avatar: The Way of Water    Release Date: December 16, 2022

Hellraiser      Release Date:  2022 TBC

65 Release Date: April 14, 2023

Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse (Part One), Release Date: June 2, 2023

Check out Grace Dean’s article on space.com for more information on these upcoming releases.

What are the 20 best sci-fi movies on Netflix?

According to Jim Vogel’s article on pastemagazine.com here are the best 20 science fiction movies on Netflix. Check out “What to Watch on Netflix guides” that are updated each month. 

  1. Blade Runner
  2. Sorry to Bother You
  3. Blade Runner 2049
  4. Okja
  5. Black Mirror
  6. Men in Black
  7. Contagion
  8. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char’s Counterattack
  9. The Mitchells vs. The Machines
  10. Oxygen
  11. The Midnight Sky
  12. The Old Guard
  13. The Platform
  14. Don’t Look Up
  15. Space Sweepers
  16. Blame!
  17. Spiderhead
  18. Project Power
  19. Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus
  20. I Am Mother

If you want to know more details about these movies go to pastemagazine.com  and read Jim Vogel’s article called “The Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix (Sept. 2022)