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Our favorite lost in space shows of all time, just in time for 'The Ark' on SYFY
SYFY's The Ark premieres on Feb. 1. Where will it rank amongst the best "lost in space" shows?
Space travel isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Sometimes, things go horribly wrong and humanity’s pristine vision of interstellar travel takes a turn for the worse, leaving cosmic travelers to fend for themselves in the harshest outer reaches of the galaxy.
Set 100 years in the future, the hotly anticipated show takes place aboard the Ark One, a vessel carrying the human race’s last hope at survival. The ship is tasked with one thing and one thing only: seeking out a hospitable planet where our species can continue to procreate in perpetuity. But when tragedy strikes and kills off a healthy portion of the passengers, the remaining survivors must band together in an effort to complete the mission.
To celebrate The Ark’s on-air debut this week, here are 10 of our favorite “lost-in-space” shows of all time…
Star Trek: The Original Series (1966-1969)
Technically speaking, the USS Enterprise wasn’t lost in space — at least not at first — but much like the Ark One, the iconic starship was launched with a single goal: to go where no one has gone before. And what’s more: Captain Kirk and the gang found themselves marooned, lost, sent back in time, overrun by Tribbles, and/or attacked by the Gorn plenty of times. Technicalities aside, this is freakin' Star Trek, one of the most influential pieces of science fiction media ever made. - Josh Weiss
Space: 1999 (1975-1977)
Sadly, we didn't actually have a lunar base at the turn of the century, let alone one that went flying into space by accident. But that’s beside the point! Co-created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson — the masterminds behind the puppet-based Thunderbirds — Space: 1999 stars Martin Landau as Commander John Koenig, the intrepid leader of a lunar outpost hurtling through the cosmos. - Josh Weiss
Babylon 5 (1993-1998)
Babylon 5 is a great ‘90s sci-fi show that takes place on a space station where humans from a united Earth as well as diplomats from alien civilizations reside. The show delves into the dangers of falling into totalitarianism and the impact of long-term conflicts and war. The series is a compelling one as well, so much so that a reboot is in the works at The CW. - Vanessa Armstrong
Farscape still has a dedicated fanbase even though it's been more than two decades since the show's premiere. The series follows human astronaut John Chrichton (Ben Browder) as he finds himself stranded on an alien world after accidentally getting sucked through a wormhole. In his effort to make it back to Earth, he joins a ragtag group of aliens on the run who soon become his newfound family. It's a show well worth a watch (or rewatch) if you're looking for some awesome space adventure. - Vanessa Armstrong
This short-lived cult favorite series, which was created by Joss Whedon, did the whole space Western thing long before The Mandalorian strode into town and entranced audiences with the cuteness of Baby Yoda. Sorry…Grogu. The show’s cancelation resulted in such vocal backlash, that a feature film (2005’s Serenity) had to be made to wrap up the story. - Josh Weiss
Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
Battlestar Galactica follows the straggling group of survivors on the spaceship Battlestar Galactica after the Cylons — artificial intelligences that humans created — have wiped out most of humanity. Over the course of the show, Galactica's beleaguered crew and the few remaining ships they're leading try to find a mythical planet called Earth in hopes of building a new home. The show is epic, has great characters, and explores meaty themes that will stick with you long after watching." - Vanessa Armstrong
The Expanse (2015-2022)
The Expanse series is sci-fi drama at its best. It takes place a couple hundred years in our future, where humanity has colonized Mars, the Moon, and the outer edges of the solar system in an area called The Belt. Over the course of six seasons, we follow the travails of the crew members of a ship called the Rocinante as they deal with the geopolitical ramifications of a new alien technology disrupting human civilization. The show is one of the best series currently streaming, genre or not. - Vanessa Armstrong
Lost in Space (2018-2021)
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Netflix's contemporary update of the classic '60s-era television program was a hit with critics and audiences alike, racking up an average score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (the first season alone boasts a perfect 100 percent) across its three-season run. And hey, while we’re at it, let’s give a quick shoutout to the 1998 film adaptation, which was pretty neat in hindsight. Gary Oldman turning into a spider-alien hybrid abomination is pure nightmare fuel! - Josh Weiss
Avenue 5 (2020-present)
Armando Iannucci (Veep, The Death of Stalin) brought his jagged-edged brand of satire to the stars with this uproarious comedy sci-fi series set aboard an interstellar cruise liner captained by Hugh Laurie's Ryan Clark. In this future, space travel is a booming multi-billion dollar industry, but humanity's penchant for greed, stupidity, and causing general chaos hasn't changed a single iota.
"After Veep, I didn’t want to do another political show," Iannucci told SYFY WIRE in 2020, adding that he still wanted to explore "emotions of anxiety and sense of doom and the madness of populism and how crowds can take on a life of their own. I also love sci-fi and [the idea of] this pressure cooker in space." - Josh Weiss
The Ark premieres on SYFY this Wednesday — Feb. 1 — at 9 p.m. Eastern. New episodes will be available to stream on Peacock the day after they air.