Sifitrek Blog


The best sci-fi/fantasy TV and film coming in 2023

By Rich Haridy

December 27, 2022

Concept art from the upcoming Netflix film Rebel Moon

Concept art from the upcoming Netflix film Rebel Moon

Zack Snyder/Netflix


In the world of TV and film, producers are always looking to adapt or remake a successful property. And while most big titles have been covered in recent years 2023 looks set to showcase some weirder intellectual property. From a TV remake of a classic 1980 film to Adam Sandler playing an astronaut who befriends a giant alien spider, the next 12 months are set to deliver some interesting science fiction and fantasy titles.

Some big titles are missing here, and that’s because you can find them on prior year’s lists. Still anticipated titles including 65Wool and Distant can be found on our 2022 list, and we’ve been waiting even longer for shows such as The Last of Us and another Battlestar Galactica reboot.

Time Bandits (Apple TV)

The first season will consist of 10 episodes
The first season will consist of 10 episodes

Terry Gilliam’s second solo feature film post Monty Python was Time Bandits, a beloved family flick following a young boy who travels through time with a group of thieves. Forty years later Taika Waititi has turned the film into a TV series, co-written with UK writer Iain Morris (The Inbetweeners) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords).

So far, the series is perhaps most notable for a casting controversy. Early casting announcements suggested one of the most iconic features of the film, its band of six dwarf thieves, had been removed from the series and the titular bandits had been replaced with normal statured actors.

Kaos (Netflix series)

Jeff Goldblum is no stranger to playing God-like characters after portraying The Grandmaster in several Marvel films
Jeff Goldblum is no stranger to playing God-like characters after portraying The Grandmaster in several Marvel films

Jeff Goldblum stars as the Greek God Zeus who, after getting his first wrinkle, worries that this sign of aging foreshadows the looming end of the world. The series also stars Janet McTeer, Cliff Curtis and David Thewlis, and apparently follows six humans who discover they are part of an ancient prophecy.

It’s hard to guess what kind of show will emerge from such a strange pitch, but the general synopsis feels very reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens (recently turned into an Amazon series with a second season expected in 2023). Kaos is written by Charlie Covill, best known for her Netflix series The End of the F***ing World, which may give some indication of the possible dark comedy tone we could expect from the series.

Spaceman (Netflix film)

The book is classified a work of absurdist fiction
The book is classified a work of absurdist fiction

Stick with me here. Adam Sandler stars as an astronaut from the Czech Republic sent into space, alone, to investigate a mysterious cloud of dust near Venus. On the eight-month mission he progressively loses his mind and begins talking to a giant telepathic spider that claims to be an alien from another planet.

Based on a book titled Spaceman of Bohemia, this story is not a broad comedy but more of an absurdist drama with humorous undertones. One critic described the book as “Solaris with laughs,” and the film is directed by Swedish filmmaker Johan Renck, best known for working on HBO’s recent Chernobyl series.

Fallout (Amazon series)

The above still if the first look at the new Fallout TV series
The above still if the first look at the new Fallout TV series

Fallout is another of those big video-game franchises that has long been mooted for film or TV adaptation. After 20 years of failed film development, the video game will finally make it to our screens as a TV series thanks to the big pockets of Jeff Bezos and Amazon Prime.

Continuing the partnership between Amazon and Westworld creators Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan, Fallout follows the pair’s 2022 William Gibson series The Peripheral. There’s not a lot of detail on specifics of what to expect from a Fallout series, after all, the games are set in a huge open world with the player largely setting their own path through a 1950s-styled post-armageddon landscape.

In a 2021 interview Joy described the series as, “a gonzo, crazy, funny adventure… like you’ve never seen before.” There is definitely that potential in the bizarro source material, although to be fair, “funny” isn’t really Joy and Nolan’s strength given their past work is pretty humorless.

The Three-Body Problem (Netflix series)

The series is based on a trilogy of books from Chinese author Liu Cixin
The series is based on a trilogy of books from Chinese author Liu Cixin

Arguably one of the biggest science-fiction novels of recent years, it was huge news when the series was announced back in 2020. Netflix spent a truck-load of cash to lure Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and let them assemble an international team for this massive adaptation.

The series started filming over a year ago so hopefully we will see it sometime in 2023 and finally get an idea of how Benioff and Weiss grappled with adapting the novel’s complex narrative, which jumps between three different time periods and spans thousands of years. Despite fumbling the ending of Game of Thrones (mainly when the show’s timeline progressed past its source material), Benioff and Weiss initially showed themselves to have a great ability in adapting massive novels to the screen. Can they pull it off again with one of the most immense sci-fi stories of the 21st century?

Megalopolis (Independent)

Unable to find funding elsewhere, Coppola has raised the $100-million budget himself
Unable to find funding elsewhere, Coppola has raised the $100-million budget himself

After directing legendary 70s films such as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola started working on an epic sci-fi drama titled Megalopolis. For 40 years the infamous filmmaker tried to get this ambitious movie made but for various reasons it stayed stuck in development hell.

Now, at the ripe old age of 82, Coppola has said it’s now or never. He sold a chunk of his valuable wine estate to fund the US$100-million project entirely with his own cash, and filming finally started in November with a massive cast including Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Shia LaBeouf, Dustin Hoffman and Giancarlo Esposito.

What is the film about? No one is entirely sure. The best description to come so far is, “It’s a love story that is also a philosophical investigation of the nature of man; it’s set in New York, but a New York steeped in echoes of ancient Rome.”

Leave The World Behind (Netflix Film)

The book, Leave The World Behind, was released in mid-2020
The book, Leave The World Behind, was released in mid-2020

Based on a novel that was written before the pandemic but published in the thick of 2020, Leave The World Behind has been described as a story that perfectly captures, “what it was like to live through the nightmare of 2020.” It tells the tale of a two families living at an isolated country house while an unexplained “end-of-the-world” event plays out.

According the reviews of the book, the story illustrates the ways human beings obsessively continue “normal behaviors” in the face of catastrophic world-changing events. Sound familiar? The film stars Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali and Kevin Bacon, and was written and directed by Mr Robot creator Sam Esmail. Knowing Esmail’s prior work there is no doubt this will be a weird, hallucinatory and unsettling take on apocalyptic stories.

Mrs Davis (Peacock series)

The series follows a nun waging war with a super-intelligent AI
The series follows a nun waging war with a super-intelligent AI

A nun joins forces with her ex to fight a nefarious artificial intelligence dubbed Mrs Davis. Sounds absurd but considering creator Damon Lindelof’s near-perfect strike-rate (WatchmenThe Leftovers, Lost) there are high hopes for this one.

A recent announcement regarding the show’s April premiere date was accompanied by a message from the show’s AI character Mrs Davis. The statement reminds us Mrs Davis is our friend and only wants to make us happy.

“… despite being the most popular Algorithm in the world – there are those actively plotting my demise. One such detractor is a nun – a Sister Simone of Reno who rejects my very existence. Something about my intention to enslave all of humanity…or whatever… Which is utter nonsense – as I desire no such thing. I only desire to make humans happy. I want to make YOU happy. And that is why I highly recommend you become a User yourself. Yes, your life could use some adventure, some escape – a hearty laugh and a cathartic cry. All of which you will experience if you join me on this Quest. And what do you have to lose?”

Rebel Moon (Netflix Film)

Concept art from the upcoming Netflix film Rebel Moon
Concept art from the upcoming Netflix film Rebel Moon

A few years ago every major franchise was jockeying for Zack Snyder’s input. Ultimately DC took him in, and after a few disastrous movies he was unceremoniously dumped (although the infamous black-and-white Snyder cut of Justice League ultimately was released to mixed critical reaction).

Rebel Moon is a reworking of a Star Wars trilogy Snyder apparently pitched to Lucasfilm before Disney bought the whole thing and turned it into what it is today. Netflix, never one to miss an opportunity, snatched up the idea and gave Snyder $100 million to make his dream space opera. The first film will premiere sometime in 2023 but its sequel has already been shot and Snyder says the idea could expand into its own larger Star Wars-like franchise.

Black Mirror (Netflix series)

The last new Black Mirror entry came in the interactive experiment Bandersnatch
The last new Black Mirror entry came in the interactive experiment Bandersnatch

It’s back! After an absence of nearly four years the blackly comic futurist anthology returns with at least three new episodes. Back in 2020 co-creator Charlie Brooker publicly questioned whether he would do more Black Mirror stories after the world basically became a real-life extended pandemic-themed episode.

As per usual, very little info has been leaked about the upcoming episodes, despite several already having completed filming. Aaron Paul, Zazie Beets and Josh Hartnett have all been announced as starring in episodes that have been described as each being a small movie.

In a new book, the cultural critic Maya Phillips explores the impact and evolution of nerd culture, especially in her own life.

What Even Is a Nerd Anymore?

Maya Phillips’s new book “Nerd” is a look at what millennial nerds read and watch, which together create what we call nerd culture.

By Stephanie Burt

Oct. 12, 2022BUY BOOK ▾

When you purchase an independently reviewed book through our site, we earn an affiliate commission.

NERD: Adventures in Fandom From This Universe to the Multiverse, by Maya Phillips

Who wants to be a nerd? Fifty years ago the word was a schoolyard insult; 25 years ago it connoted job opportunities in the dot-com boom. Today the word has come to imply a devotion to things found at comic book and science fiction conventions, from niche works (Joanna Russ’s fiction) to the absolutely mainstream (“The Avengers”). Journalists and scholars now study the origins and the nature of the nerd: You can read histories of the nerd as a cultural figure (Benjamin Nugent’s fine “American Nerd”) as well as sociological studies of nerdy practices (Camille Bacon-Smith’s underrated “Science Fiction Culture”).

The poet and New York Times critic Maya Phillips’s breezy, personal, engaging first book of prose is not a study of nerds, nor a look at their history. Instead, it’s a look at what millennial nerds read and watch, which together create what we call nerd culture. In “Nerd,” Phillips collects nine essays about her favorite nerd media, mostly American and Japanese TV and film from the 1990s forward, and discusses their impact on her life and the lessons they’ve taught her.

Each essay, like a longsword, has both an edge and a point. “X-Men: The Animated Series,” a Saturday morning cartoon from the ’90s, invited young viewers to a great, populous, intricate (and queer- and disability-friendly) universe that they otherwise may have found intimidating, or never found at all. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” set beside other millennial Goth classics like the music of “My Chemical Romance,” demonstrated to the preteen Phillips that “high school is a horror show.” “Black Panther,” and its version of Wakanda, opened up “a world rich with resources, its main export being Black ingenuity.” Other Black media, from the TV show “The Boondocks” to Marlon James’s novel “Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” had an impact too, showing Phillips that “my Blackness was not separate from my nerdy identity.”

James notwithstanding, Phillips devotes more words, and more enthusiasm, to audiovisual media than to print formats. Her chapter on superhero comics goes narrow, treating antihero stories such as “Watchmen” and “The Boys” as the endpoints of the cape comics genre. By contrast, Phillips shines when interpreting anime. “Sailor Moon,” and its main character Usagi, showed young viewers that what makes characters engaging is “when they try, and sometimes fail, to be better.” “Paranoia Agent” helped her understand her own anxiety. “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” with their apocalyptic religious symbols, showed Phillips that “to be human is to be constantly in the process of building and breaking down systems of belief.”

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The Best Sci-Fi Shows to Watch on Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, Hulu, Apple TV+, and More

Reality is so overrated


Lindsay MacDonald, Tim SuretteJan. 15, 2022, 5:00 a.m. PT

It’s not difficult to understand why sci-fi is such a popular genre. We’re always in the mood for a show that takes us out of this world, or one that explores worlds beyond our understanding, which is why we’ve put together this list of the best sci-fi shows to watch right now. Newest to our list are Netflix Oats Studios Vol. 1, a collection of short films from visionary filmmaker Neil Blomkamp, and Apple TV+’s ambitious space opera Foundation, based on the novel by Isaac Asimov.

Below you’ll find plenty of shows across various streaming platforms that are about future societies, clones, robots with feelings, galaxies far, far away, and even immortality. Our list of all the best sci-fi shows to watch right now covers several streaming services, including NetflixAmazonHuluHBO MaxApple TV+, and more.

We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love, as well as suggestions for what to watch on NetflixAmazon Prime VideoHuluDisney+HBO MaxApple TV+, and Peacock.

Oats Studios Vol. 1
Oats Studios Vol. 1 Netflix

Oats Studios Vol. 1

What it’s about: A collection of short science-fiction films from filmmaker Neil Blomkamp
Why it’s worth watching: Blomkamp (District 9) is one of sci-fi’s great directors, combining raw action with desolate landscapes to create a moody atmosphere that jumps off the screen. This collection of shorts that span anywhere from 8 minutes to 30 minutes and genres from black comedy to doomsday apocalypses show off Oats Studios’ tech and Blomkamp’s ability to tell a tight story. It’s like Black Mirror.
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: Netflix

Lou Llobell, Foundation
Lou Llobell, Foundation Apple TV+


What it’s about: In the future, a galactic empire struggles to hold on to its power when a mathematician predicts its demise and a descent into dark ages.
Why it’s worth watching: An adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s novels, Foundation is Apple TV+’s big-budget swing to get a genre drama to the masses, and it looks great. The story is a big task as well, as different characters are stationed on different planets and various ambitions create conflict with others. It’s a sort of Game of Thrones in space, if you will.
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: Apple TV+

Tom Hiddleston and Wunmi Mosaku, Loki
Tom Hiddleston and Wunmi Mosaku, Loki Disney+


What it’s about: What Loki got up to in Avengers: Endgame
Why it’s worth watching: Tom Hiddleston‘s God of Mischief is back, and free from that pesky conscience, in Marvel’s latest Disney+ series. This one is a crime thriller that follows the alternate version of Loki who stole the Tesseract in Avengers: Endgame, an event that basically broke reality. Now he has to fix it. He’s recruited by Owen Wilson‘s Mobius M. Mobius at the mysterious Time Variance Authority (TVA) to travel through history and correct the timeline he messed up. Forgive me for the blasphemy of comparing a Marvel series to a DC one, but it kinda sounds like Loki’s Legends of Tomorrow.
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: Disney+

Michael Dorman, For All Mankind
Michael Dorman, For All Mankind Apple TV+

For All Mankind

What it’s about: America and Russia race to be the first on the moon… to establish a moon base, in this alternate history drama.
Why it’s worth watching: If you want to watch some historical fiction but also have an itch for science-fiction, For All Mankind is your one-stop shop. The show posits what would happen if Russia landed on the moon first, and the great space race never ended as the U.S. and Russia tried to one-up each other for the decades that followed. Full of politics, social issues, and tons of what-ifs for space geeks, For All Mankind is for anyone who wants some grounded science-fiction.
How many seasons: 2
Where to watch: Apple TV+

Alan Tudyk, Resident Alien
Alan Tudyk, Resident Alien James Dittinger/Syfy

Resident Alien

What it’s about: An alien visits Earth, assumes human form, and is mistaken for the town doctor… but his plan is to kill all humans.
Why it’s worth watching: Alan Tudyk. The science-fiction mainstay (Firefly, Doom Patrol) is at his most charming as an extra-terrestrial in disguise in this mystery comedy that’s part small-town mystery, part procedural comedy. Based on a graphic novel series, Resident Alien runs on the threat of Harry (Tudyk) getting exposed as an invader, as well as the strange lessons he learns about these oddball humans.
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: (free)

Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, WandaVision
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, WandaVision  Marvel/Disney+


What it’s about: The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Scarlet Witch and Vision find themselves… trapped inside classic TV comedies?
Why it’s worth watching: Better late than never, WandaVision is the first television show from the MCU, and represents the future of Disney+, which is kind of a big deal. For fans of Marvel, it’s a must-see, soft-launching Phase 4 of the MCU and affecting the events of the upcoming movie Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. As for the show itself, it adds comedic dimension to stars Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany while a slowly unfolding mystery keeps things captivating. 
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: Disney+

The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian Disney+

The Mandalorian

What it’s about: A bounty hunter zips about the post-Return of the Jedi Star Wars universe with some very precious (and adorable) cargo. 
Why it’s worth watching: The Mandalorian is arguably one of the best Star Wars products to be released… ever. As a story that’s only slightly connected to the rest of the franchise’s canon, it’s easy for anyone to jump into right away and enjoy the episodic stories of Mando (Pedro Pascal) and Baby Yoda, the most legit pop culture icon we’ve been blessed with in years. The real reason to tune in is that The Mandalorian is the TV equivalent of candy; it’s throwback, swashbuckling television that looks absolutely incredible, with flecks of tiny Star Wars Easter eggs sprinkled in. It’s pure entertainment of the highest degree. 
How many seasons: 2
Where to watch: Disney+

Abubakar Salim and Amanda Collin, Raised by Wolves
Abubakar Salim and Amanda Collin, Raised by Wolves Coco Van Oppens

Raised by Wolves

What it’s about: A pair of androids are tasked with saving humanity by raising children on a barren planet, but some religious fanatics have other ideas.
Why it’s worth watching: Ridley Scott added his touch — he executive produced the series and directed the first two episodes — to this out-of-this-world-and-any-other-world drama that asks big questions about parenting and religion — “Is a robot having kids an affront to God?” comes up more than once. It’s extremely weird, in a very good way, creating a universe unlike any other you’ve seen, and though its initial episodes appear to be pretty self-contained, there are hints pretty early on that there’s a lot of story to tell. Plus, Vikings‘ Travis Fimmel does some pretty good impressions of ducks. Did we mention that it’s weird? 
How many seasons: 1. A second season has been ordered.
Where to watch: HBO Max

Nick Offerman as Forest, Devs
Nick Offerman as Forest, Devs Miya Mizuno/FX


What it’s about: A woman investigates the disappearance of her boyfriend, who was working on a top-secret project at a powerful tech company in San Francisco.
Why it’s worth watching: After movies like Ex Machina and Annihilation, Alex Garland is proving to be one of sci-fi’s most exciting creators, and his TV debut features all his trademarks. Devs is packed with philosophy and intellectual discussions about existence, technology’s place in society’s advancement, and the dire consequences of tinkering with fate, almost to the point that it’s too cerebral. But take it slow and you’ll find a beautifully filmed single-season series that has big points to make about the dangerous precipice advanced computing has us inching toward. 
How many seasons: 1
Where to watch: Hulu

Abigail Spencer, Malcolm Barrett, Matt Lanter; Timeless
Abigail Spencer, Malcolm Barrett, Matt Lanter; Timeless Darren Michaels/Sony/NBC


What it’s about: A team of three travel throughout time to save the future from a mysterious organization that wants to change history
Why it’s worth watching: Time travel shows can become messy affairs of paradoxes, brain-busting theories, and plot holes, but Eric Kripke’s Timeless used time travel simply and splendidly in this throwback, swashbuckling adventure series. A historian, an engineer, and a soldier are sent back in history to prevent the villainous organization known as Rittenhouse from altering history in order to change the future to their advantage, meeting famous overlooked figures from history — often minorities and/or women — along the way. In that sense, Timeless is almost as educational as it is exciting. But the real strength of Timeless comes from its characters and their relationships, like the epic romance between Lucy (Abigail Spencer) and Wyatt (Matt Lanter). Timeless is a real crowd-pleaser, the kind of sci-fi series for people who usually shy away from the genre.
How many seasons: 2
Where to watch: Hulu

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black 

Orphan Black

What it’s about: A woman discovers that she may not be the only one of… her
Why it’s worth watching: Orphan Black burst onto the scene in 2013, coming out of nowhere to stun critics and viewers with its crafty premise: a con artist witnesses the suicide of another woman who looks just like her, leading her down a rabbit hole of clones and conspiracies. The BBC America series combines action, science-fiction, and humor extremely well, creating characters you’ll adore (Alison Hendrix is a legend) and anticipate venturing into each others’ orbits. Chameleon Tatiana Maslany won an Emmy for her roles as the many different versions of the same woman, though she really should have won at least three. The first seasons are the strongest, but Maslany and the great cast stay great throughout its run.
How many seasons: 5
Where to watch: AMC+

Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica Syfy, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Battlestar Galactica

What it’s about: A reimagining of the 1970s classic in which alien robots threaten to wipe out humans
Why it’s worth watching: Battlestar Galactica is considered one of the all-time great sci-fi series, and when it was released in the mid-2000s, one of the best TV shows period. Ronald D. Moore’s take adds a wrinkle that increases the paranoia tenfold; the Cylons can impersonate humans, meaning the crew of the Galactica realizes that some of its members could be Cylons in disguise, even if the Cylons don’t know it themselves. Watch the miniseries that launched the series first, then dive into the next two seasons, which is some of the greatest sci-fi television ever made. Later seasons tail off a bit, and the ending wasn’t well-received by all, but the show is still well worth the journey.
How many seasons: 4
Where to watch: Peacock

Adrianne Palicki, The Orville 

The Orville

What it’s about: In the far future, the crew of a space ship explores the galaxy to bring alien cultures into the Planetary Union, while also sometimes manufacturing pot brownies in the ship’s food synthesizer.
Why it’s worth watching: The Orville is an homage to Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generationfrom Family Guycreator Seth MacFarlane, who fawns over all things Trek while also not afraid to make fun of it. It’s hard to tell what kind of show The Orville wants to be at some points because it’s really trying to be all of them: an interstellar stoner comedy, a sci-fi swashbuckler, a workplace drama, a futuristic Twilight Zone. But that’s part of the fun. Season 1 has some bumps, but Season 2, especially the midseason two-parter “Identity” is an improvement. Though the first two seasons aired on Fox, Season 3 will be a Hulu exclusive.
How many seasons: 2
Where to watch: Hulu

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, The X-Files
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, The X-Files Fox

The X-Files

What it’s about: A pair of FBI agents investigate the paranormal and inexplicable — UFOs, ghosts, and even cannibals.
Why it’s worth watching: It’s a classic for a reason. The X-Files set the mold with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) — the definitive believer and skeptic, paired up to investigate the unexplained. But the Fox procedural was always too smart to draw a clean line between faith and science; even Mulder wanted proof, and even Scully had her religion. This is the most scientific thing about the science fiction of The X-Files (which is otherwise not all that sciency): The show’s heroes are two people willing to upend their entire belief systems to get the truth. Mulder and Scully asked the messy questions, and it changed genre television. –Kelly Connolly
How many seasons: 11
Where to watch: Hulu
Bonus: 9 Shows Like The X-Files That You Should Watch Next

J.K. Simmons, Counterpart
J.K. Simmons, Counterpart Starz


What it’s about: A government desk jockey (J.K. Simmons) an an office in Berlin learns that an event split the world into two parallel universes, and the two sides are slowly approaching an all-out war against each other. Yikes!
Why it’s worth watching: The gimmick gives its wonderful cast (which includes Olivia Williams and Harry Lloyd) the opportunity to play dual roles as each universe has a “counterpart” in the other. Simmons leads the way as his counterpart is a superspy, and watching him play against himself is incredible. Fans of espionage and science-fiction will have their heads full with the intricately plotted and twisty story.
How many seasons: 2
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis; Black Mirror
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis; Black Mirror Laurie Sparham/Netflix

Black Mirror

What it’s about: This anthology series tells different tales each episode about the dangers of technology and the depravities people will use it for. From digital worlds to dark dystopias, Black Mirror will have you second-guessing whether you should cut every cord you own just to be safe.
Why it’s worth watching: If you’re in the mood to start hating the human race, Black Mirror is the sci-fi show for you. While most of these stories are a little bit depressing (and some are borderline horrific), a few are uplifting enough to cleanse your palate (check out Season 3’s “San Junipero” or Season 4’s “Hang the DJ” for some heart eyes). The best part about this binge is that while you’ll definitely get hooked, the fact that it’s an anthology series means you won’t necessarily find yourself powering through episodes at 3 a.m. since each episode is a standalone story.
How many seasons: 5
Where to watch: Netflix

Brian J Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue, Alaina Huffman and Jamil Walker Smith, Stargate Universe
Brian J Smith, Elyse Levesque, David Blue, Alaina Huffman and Jamil Walker Smith, Stargate Universe Syfy, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Stargate Universe

What it’s about: A group of scientists, military personnel and a few civilians accidentally find themselves transported onto an ancient ship, thousands of lightyears from Earth. While stranded in strange galaxies, tensions run high as they attempt to explore the unknown universe and find a way back home.
Why it’s worth watching: Out of all the Stargate series that could have made this list, we picked Stargate Universe because it combines all of our favorite sci-fi elements: a brilliant group of stranded strangers, space, time travel, political infighting and terrifying aliens. It’s literally a one-stop shop for every nerd-tastic fantasy you’ve ever had with the bonus of great performances and top-notch storytelling. We do warn you, however, Stargate Universe was canceled after Season 2 and ended on a pretty huge cliffhanger, so you should go into this binge knowing that when you get to the end, you’ll want to pull your hair out wishing there was more. You’re welcome for the heads up.
How many seasons: 2
Where you can watch: Hulu



What it’s about: A team of experts led by a kooky old scientist (John Noble), his son (Joshua Jackson), and an FBI agent (Anna Torv) investigate strange occurrences around the country, X-Files style. Their work leads them to discover something entirely new that will change the world forever.
Why it’s worth watching: The J.J. Abrams-produced series is one of the best broadcast science-fiction shows of all time, particularly in its first three seasons, and perfected the art of the serialized procedural by weaving the show’s deep mythology and excellent character work into weekly standalone stories, making it easy to binge or watch in spurts. And by the time the end of Season 1 starts, you’ll have a hard time stopping.
How many seasons: 5
Where to watch: HBO Max

Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull, 12 Monkeys
Aaron Stanford and Amanda Schull, 12 Monkeys Syfy, Dusan Martincek/Syfy

12 Monkeys

What it’s about: After a deadly virus kills 7 billion people, the survivors living in 2043 send a scavenger named James Cole (Aaron Stanford) to the past to stop the virus from being released in the first place. Naturally, time loops and even forbidden romance get in the way of his mission to save the human race.
Why it’s worth watching: 12 Monkeys is a show you have to pay close attention to in order to keep track of the changing timelines and loops, but ultimately the mythology and the world-building are just too good to pass up! Plus, this show has some of the most kick-butt women on TV, which is harder to find than it should be in the sci-fi genre. With the fourth and final season come and gone, you’ll be able to binge the whole thing start to finish!
How many seasons: 4
Where you can watch: Hulu

Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who
Peter Capaldi, Doctor Who Ray Burmiston, BBC

Doctor Who

What it’s about: The Doctor, a humanoid alien of an extinct race called the Time Lords, travels the universe in his (or her!) Tardis, a time-traveling spaceship that takes that shape of a phone booth. Together with his (or her!) human companions, The Doctor regularly saves the world from destruction with his (or her!) quick wit and timey-wimey adventures.
Why you should watch: If you’re looking for something a little less intense and more whimsical, Doctor Who is the show for you. Typically, each episode travels to a new time period or galaxy (often both) where the Doctor and companions of the moment have wild adventures while escaping the evil clutches of the Daleks and Cybermen. Although, when you least expect it, the show knows just how to hit you where it hurts. So although it’s a show of whimsy, be prepared to cry your eyes out too. Jodie Whittaker joined the series as the first female doctor in Season 11.
How many seasons: 12
Where you can watch: HBO Max

From Dippers to Needlecasting: Here’s Your Altered Carbon Glossary


Altered Carbon

What it’s about: Far in the future, scientists have found a way to digitize and save human consciousness, allowing people’s minds to be copied and transported from one body to another, essentially making humans immortal. When one of the richest men in the universe is murdered — though his copied consciousness obviously survives — he hires, Takeshi Kovacs, a mercenary hundreds of years old to figure out who “killed” him. In Season 2, Kovacs, in an entirely new body, searches for his long lost love while investigating a series of new murders.
Why it’s worth watching: This futuristic series will have your head spinning with awesome technological advancements and a mystery that’s almost too tangled to unravel. The kicker, though, is the flashback portion of the saga that not only ties well into the overall narrative but will have you begging for a spin-off based completely in the past.
How many seasons: 2
Where you can watch: Netflix

Marie Avgeropoulos, The 100
Marie Avgeropoulos, The 100 DIYAH PERA, DIYAH PERA/THE CW

The 100

What it’s about: Nearly 100 years after nuclear war wipes out the human race on Earth, the only survivors are the members aboard a joint-space station called The Ark circling the globe. When overpopulation becomes a problem, The Ark decides to send 100 teenage delinquents to the ground to see if the Earth is habitable, but these misfits find more than bargained for when they arrive.
Why it’s worth watching: Assuming the words “apocalypse” and “teens” didn’t get you, The 100 is worth a binge simply for the dynamic storytelling alone. Rather than focus on hot teens running a community, the show hones in on the lengths to which humans will go to stay alive and whether that survival requires you to lose what it is that makes you human. It’s a pretty insightful look into the future, and with seven seasons under its belt, it’s a good, long binge.
How many seasons: 7
Where you can watch: Netflix

Now Is the Perfect Time to Watch All Those Shows You’ve Been Putting Off

Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Adam Baldwin, Firefly
Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres and Adam Baldwin, Firefly 


What it’s about: Space cowboys. Enough said.
Why it’s worth watching: What list would be complete without the cult classic Firefly? This short-lived series took fans by storm back in 2002, though it was canceled after only 14 episodes. That makes it a quick binge full of shoot-outs and smuggling that will leave you begging for more. If you want an end to the story, you’ll have to find the wrap-up movie, Serenity, which is currently streaming through Starz.
How many seasons: 1
Where you can watch: Hulu

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld 


What it’s about: A western-themed amusement park serves as a playground for the ultra-wealthy, but the locals aren’t actors — they’re robots. Revolutionary advancements in artificial intelligence technology have allowed for stunningly life-like “hosts” to mimic human behavior and serve as the park’s entertainment, but unfortunately these hosts aren’t aware that the world they live in (and repeatedly die in) isn’t actually real — or are they?
Why you should watch: Despite having a shaky Season 2, Westworld is a great binge that will keep you on the edge of your seat. You’ll also have the added benefit of getting the answers to each season’s burning questions much faster than week-to-week viewers, who had to watch and speculate at a much slower speed. So long as you remember that literally anyone can be a robot at any time, you’ll enjoy your trip to Westworld.
How many seasons: 3
Where you can watch: HBO Max

Louis Hofmann, Dark Julia Terjung / Netflix


What it’s about: Thanks to a wormhole in the underground caves beneath the local power plant, strange things start happening in the small German town of Winden. Time travel, disappearing children, and family secrets intertwine in a thrilling mystery that spans three generations.
Why you should watch: Dark is Netflix’s first German-language Original, meaning you’ve either got to watch with subtitles or the English dub. Though it may take you a minute to get into it, once you do, you’re in for a wild ride. Tangled webs of time travel and family secrets pair well with the show’s odd sense of humor, making for a cool mystery that will keep you binging late into the night.
How many seasons: 3
Where you can watch: Netflix

The Expanse
The Expanse Kurt Iswarienko/Syfy

The Expanse

What it’s about: Set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system, prejudices have divided humanity into three camps: Earth, Mars, and The Belt (an asteroid belt). But when a mysterious alien technology is discovered and a political conspiracy spanning the solar system begins to unravel, it becomes up to the idealist James Holden to try and save humanity from the potential alien weapon — and themselves.
Why you should watch: The most intriguing part of The Expanse is the intricate world-building and political machinations that underscore the cool sci-fi stuff like space battles and even gravity torture. The interplanetary conflict at the core of the show’s story creates a ton of juicy arcs that all build toward some seriously unpredictable reveals.
How many seasons: 4. Season 5 is out Dec. 15.
Where you can watch: Amazon Prime

Contributed by

Trent Moore@trentlmooreJan 2, 2021, 10:30 AM EST 1.1kShared

Tag:TVTag:FeaturesTag:HBO MaxTag:NetflixTag:The NeversTag:Superman And LoisTag:Resident AlienTag:SYFYTag:LokiTag:Lists

Sure, we’re all pumped for new seasons of Stranger Things and The Handmaid’s Tale, but there are also plenty of new shows on the horizon for 2021 that have us amped. From Superman to secret small town aliens, here are the 10 new shows we can’t wait to watch in this new year.

With the pandemic affecting pretty much every TV show production and causing numerous starts and stops this past year (and that trend expected to continue for at least the first several months of 2021), it’s hard to guarantee which shows will actually hit their 2021 debut dates (especially as films like Jurassic World: Dominion and The Batman have already punted off to 2022). But that hasn’t stopped us from getting excited and marking our calendars, anyway.

The lineup runs the gamut from cable, to network, to streaming projects, and there are plenty we didn’t mention here because their release dates are still kind of nebulous. Shows like the Suicide Squad spinoff Peacemaker, and the DC series Green Lantern, are in the works at HBO Max — but we don’t know if they’ll actually debut in 2021 (and 2022 feels more likely). Then there’s Hulu and FX’s new Alien series, which will likely drop in 2022. The same for all those new Star Wars shows on Disney+, as Andor and Kenobi are likely slated for 2022 at this point.

No list of 2021 TV shows would be complete without plenty of Marvel fare from Disney+ making the cut, so we’ll explain that caveat now — we had to cap it, or else all those Marvel shows would’ve simply overtaken the list. So yes, we’re obviously pumped for projects like WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier, and Hawkeye on Disney+. It’s just that Loki looks like it could be the most fun and wildly weird of the bunch, so it’s holding down the Marvel slot on the list.


The Nevers (HBO)

This is a wild concept on the surface — The Nevers is set in the Victorian era and follows a group of superpowered women in a big ol’ science fiction story — but the behind-the-scenes shake-ups and pedigree adds to the intrigue. Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) created the series, but he departed well into production to take some time off. The cast includes Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, and Nick Frost. Aside from Whedon, the show also hails from several other Buffy/Angel-era alums, including Doug Petrie and Jane Espenson. Plus, you know, it’s HBO — so the production quality should be rock solid. The series is slated to debut in the summer.

Disney+ Sizzle

Loki (Disney+)

The time-twisting events of Avengers: Endgame provided a fascinating set-up for a Loki series on Disney+, with the God of Mischief disappearing with the Tesseract into parts unknown. Turns out he’s run afoul of the Time Variance Authority, and gets embroiled in a wild thriller across all of human history. The first trailer looks absolutely bonkers, with Loki zipping across eras and possibly launching a presidential bid along the way(?!). It looks to be a vehicle to show off the greatness of Tom Hiddleston, basically, and isn’t that what we all deserve. It’s also just one of many, many Marvel shows in the works for Disney+. The show is tentatively expected to release around May 2021.

Resident Alien | Official Trailer 1 | Series Premiere Wednesday, January 27 At 10/9c | SYFY

Resident Alien (SYFY)

Imagine a small-town murder mystery, with a pinch of This Is Us, all with an alien played by Alan Tudyk in the middle of the bizarro action. Yeah, that’s essentially the elevator pitch for SYFY’s new original series Resident Alien, based on the acclaimed Dark Horse comic of the same name — and we can’t wait for it. Tudyk is joined by Sara Tomko, Corey Reynolds, Alice Wetterlund, and Terminator alum Linda Hamilton in the cast list. It’s set to premiere on Jan. 27 on SYFY.

Superman and Lois The CW

Superman & Lois (The CW)

The CW’s Arrowverse is gaining a new original series in 2021, spinning out of the world of Supergirl (which is slated to wrap up its run next season). The series brings back Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois Lane, as the duo look to report the big stories at The Daily Planet, raise their family, and of course save the world a few times along the way. With OG super-show Arrow already done, and shows like Supergirl and Black Lightning wrapping up this upcoming season, Superman & Lois represents an ambitious new project to kickstart the next era of the Arrowverse.


Y: The Last Man (FX on Hulu)

It seems like we’ve been hearing about a potential adaptation of Y: The Last Man for years (and we have, as the show has been in various stages of development hell for half a decade) — but now it’s finally set to hit the airwaves. The post-apocalyptic FX on Hulu series, based on the award-winning comic from Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, is set in a world where men have largely gone extinct — except for one man and his pet monkey. The series follows the survivors in this world, as they try to rebuild humanity. The comic is one of the most acclaimed of the modern era, and the story is an ambitious and gorgeous one — here’s hoping they do it justice.

The Book of Boba Fett

The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+)

We were pretty much all surprised to learn Disney+ is giving Boba Fett (played by Temuera Morrison) his very own miniseries of sorts, as revealed at the end of The Mandalorian‘s second season finale. Boba and his mercenary pal Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) became key players in the final arc of The Mandalorian’s second season, and now they’re off to establish their very own criminal syndicate in Jabba the Hutt’s old stomping grounds. The show will debut around December 2021, with a proper third season of The Mandalorian to follow in 2022.

MacGruber Peacock

MacGruber (Peacock)

The SNL spy spoof, starring Will Forte, is getting the full series treatment at Peacock. The concept, based on the extremely handy agent MacGyver (you know, the guy who can build a bomb out of bubblegum and a pencil), was already been turned into a movie back in 2010. Forte is set to reprise the role for the series, and is also attached as a producer. MacGruber, sadly, isn’t as adept as MacGyver when it comes to solving the world’s problems. Look for plenty of laughs and explosions when this one hits streaming — currently slated for the back half of 2021.

Foundation — Teaser | Apple TV+

Foundation (Apple TV+)

Apple’s upstart streaming service has already taken some big swings with genre shows, with projects like See, Servant, and For All Mankind already renewed for second seasons. But Foundation is arguably the most ambitious to date. The series, based on the sci-fi book series by Issac Asimov, spans centuries and is one heck go a big swing to try and bring to life. The cast includes Lee Pace, Jared Harris, and Laura Birn. The series is being produced by David S. Goyer and David Ellison. No word yet on a premiere date, but the hope is to drop it in 2021.


Cowboy Bebop (Netflix)

One of the most acclaimed anime sci-fi stories in history is finally getting the big-budget, live-action treatment thanks to Netflix. It’s a big, stunning, future-set sci-fi world — and it’ll be brought to life with stars John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell. Even cooler? The director of the original anime series, Shinichirō Watanabe, is also helping out as a consultant. You know, just to make sure they hopefully get all the little details right. Sadly, no word yet on when this one will premiere — but the plan is for mid-to-late 2021.


The Lord of the Rings (Prime Video)

This massive, expensive and ambitious adaptation of the Lord of the Rings franchise has been in the works for a while now — despite production being delayed for a while due to the pandemic. The show will reportedly be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, which means it’ll follow characters and stories well before the events of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. But, this being J.R.R. Tolkien, there are near-limitless stories to tell. The series has also reportedly locked in a massive cast, though we still don’t know exactly who and what the story will be. It’s tentatively set to premiere in late 2021, but there’s no formal date. Once the show does arrive, though, there should be plenty more to come. Amazon reportedly signed up to spend around $1 billion as part of its production plan with a massive, five-season commitment.

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