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With so many streaming platforms jockeying for our attention spans, there’s no lack of great sci-fi shows to watch. There are so many, in fact, that it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you want to look beyond the breadth of great series found in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes.
Whether they're new or old, 22 episodes or 10 to 13, there are enough sci-fi series out there to keep you busy until the Cylons come home. And if you're feeling overwhelmed with all those options, don't worry — we got you. Here are the best sci-fi shows streaming right now that aren’t Star Trek or Star Wars.
1. 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.
All four seasons of Battlestar Galactica are currently streaming on Peacock.
2. Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)
The Stargate franchise started off with the 1994 movie, but the series that came after it really solidified the franchise and makes for great sci-fi viewing. The ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 focus on a team charged with using the stargate — a wormhole to other worlds — to explore new planets and also to defend Earth from the Goa’uld, an alien species that take over their host humans. Over the show's many episodes we also get to know the team members involved with the stargate, including Amanda Tapping's Major Samantha Carter and Richard Dean Anderson's Colonel Jack O'Neill.
Stargate SG-1 is currently streaming on Netflix. Pluto TV also has an entire channel devoted to the Stargate franchise.
3. Doctor Who (2005-present)
One of the great sci-fi tropes is when things get timey wimey, and one show that gets extra timey wimey is Doctor Who. The show centers around The Doctor, a Time Lord who travels through space and time in a British police box. The Doctor is capable of regenerating, which translates into different actors taking on the role. In recent years, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker have taken on the mantle, with a new Doctor expected to be announced soon.
Past seasons of Doctor Who are on HBO Max with the most recent seasons available on AMC+.
4. Fringe (2008-2013)
Before J.J. Abrams entered the universes of Star Wars and Star Trek, he co-created a show called Fringe. In it, we follow two agents in the FBI’s Fringe Division, which investigates unexplained events that ultimately tie into an overarching plot that involves a parallel universe. In addition to the two agents Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson), the show also stars John Noble as Peter’s “mad scientist” father, Walter Bishop.
All five seasons and 100 episodes of Fringe are currently streaming on HBO Max and IMDbTV.
5. 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.
Babylon 5 is currently streaming on HBO Max.
6. 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 a new alien technology disrupting human civilization. The show is one of the best series currently streaming, genre or not.
The Expanse is currently streaming on Prime Video.
7. Eureka (2006-2012)
Eureka is a lighthearted sci-fi show that focuses on the fictional town of Eureka, where most of the residents are brilliant scientists who work for a research facility called Global Dynamics. A lot of technological mishaps happen at this facility, and local sheriff Jack Carter is the one who has to make sure everything gets sorted properly. It’s a fun, quirky show, and an enjoyable watch.
All five seasons of Eureka are currently streaming on Peacock.
8. Sliders (1995-2000)
Sliders has parallel universes that its protagonists keep sliding (see what I did there?) in and out of. The show is based on a group using this slide technology to visit a parallel dimension only to lose the coordinates to their original universe. The team are now stuck waiting for the sliding tech counter to countdown and send them someplace else. It's '90s sci-fi at its best, and fun to watch.
All five seasons of Sliders are currently streaming on Peacock.
9. Quantum Leap (1989-1993)
Sliders is most likely partly inspired by Quantum Leap, a show that follows Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) as he leaps from body to body across the span of his lifetime. In each body he inhabits, Sam tries to right a historical wrong, with a little help from his friend Al (Dean Stockwell). The show has a strong cult following, so much so that there’s currently a new series in the Quantum Leap universe in the works.
All five seasons of the original Quantum Leap are now streaming on IMDbTV and Roku Channel.