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From 'Resident Alien' to 'Farscape': 16 essential SYFY shows you need to watch
All SYFY, all the time.
Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle is about to be back in the office for Season 2 of Resident Alien. With the hit show's impending return on January 26, we thought we'd celebrate a look at some of the most noteworthy shows SYFY — which also turns 30 this year — has produced over the decades.
To that end, SYFY WIRE has curated a list of 16 essential series — and in one case, a miniseries — from SYFY's impressive tenure on the airwaves. From the snowy streets of Patience, Colorado, to the desolate and worm-infested sands of Arrakis, there's a little something for everyone!
Resident Alien (2021)
A neat twist on the alien invasion concept. An exploration of what it truly means to be human. A showcase for the impeccable comedic timing of the legendary Alan Tudyk. Resident Alien (based on the hit Dark Horse comic of the same name) is all of these things and more! Did we mention a second season premieres on SYFY tomorrow?!
Wanna play? Of course you do! Charles Lee Ray's first-ever television show is a bloody good time that expertly builds on the Child's Play mythology of the last 30+ years. Series creator and executive producer Don Mancini has said that his goal has always been to constantly update pop culture's deadliest doll with the changing times. Chucky's stab-happy debut on the small screen couldn't be a better representation of that philosophy.
Day of the Dead (2021)
This love letter to George A. Romero (the godfather of the modern zombie genre) asks that one big question always lingering at the back of our minds: would you be able to survive the first 24 hours of a zombie apocalypse? Come on — don't act like you haven't thought about it. Funny, inventive, and above all, bloody, Day of the Dead checks off all the boxes on our undead checklist.
Squatting spirits, beware! When realtor Nick Roman and his team of experts get a whiff of spectral activity in an otherwise lovely abode, it's only a matter of time until those ghosts, ghouls, demons, and other spooky entities that go bump in the night are sent packing. Think The Exorcist by way of House Hunters. Created by George R. Olson, SurrealEstate is a work of fiction.
Deadly Class (2019)
Mark Millar and J.G. Jones' Wanted meets Netflix's Stranger Things! Inspired by the comic book series of the same name by Rick Remender and Wesley Craig, the '80s-set Deadly Class certainly lives up to its name, taking viewers into the hallowed halls of King's Dominion, a secret academy for the children of the world's deadliest criminals. And…oh yeah, the Russo Brothers were executive producers. You know, just the dudes who directed a little indie venture called Avengers: Endgame.
Deadly Class is currently streaming on Peacock.
What do you get when you throw Law & Order and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends into a blender and let the sucker run until the motor burns out? You'd probably get Happy! Christopher Meloni plays a low-life degenerate hitman cop who solves crime with the help of an imaginary flying blue horse voiced by Patton Oswalt. That elevator pitch should have you immediately sold on this pitch-dark comedy based on the acclaimed comic by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson — two legendary names in the world of graphic novels.
Happy! is currently streaming on Netflix.
Wynonna Earp (2016)
As cool as the Western genre is, it could always be made cooler with the addition of monsters and demons. Who doesn't want to see Wyatt Earp's great granddaughter take on supernatural forces of pure evil? It's just the kind of genre-blending we all need in our lives. Plus, Melanie Scrofano absolutely kills it (pun intended) as the titular character.
All 4 seasons of Wynonna Earp are currently streaming on Netflix.
The Magicians (2015)
Lev Grossman, upon whose novels The Magicians is based, once quipped: "If I thought magic was real I would be doing it, not writing about it." He left that part up to the folks making the show, and they didn't disappoint one bit. "There's a dedicated choreographer who works out the hand movements in advance," the author explained. "And the actors really sell it. You can't be half-hearted about magic, you can't wink while you're doing it, or the whole effect falls apart. I don't want to sound cheerleader-ish, but they really commit to it a hundred percent. I find it quite moving."
All 5 seasons of The Magicians are currently streaming on Netflix.
A must-watch for acolytes of 1982's The Thing, Helix presents a race against the clock to contain the spread of a lethal pathogen, whose escape from an Antarctic research station could spell the end of humankind. Think of it as a cross between John Carpenter, Michael Crichton, and Chris Carter. It also doesn't hurt that Ronald D. Moore, a clear lover of The Thing — having written an un-produced prequel script — served as an executive producer.
All seasons of Helix are available to purchase from the Google Play Store.
Alphas could very well be considered a forerunner to The Boys. Co-created by Zak Penn and Michael Karnow, the series centers around a team of meta-humans known as — you guessed it — "Alphas" who use their special gifts to track down others like themselves (some of whom might pose a threat to the rest of the world). During an interview with Collider in 2011, Penn revealed that the show idea for the show came from the CIA's real-world efforts to find and recruit individuals with genuine psychic abilities.
Alphas is currently available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video.
Warehouse 13 (2009)
Imagine an entire series about that mysterious warehouse glimpsed at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Got that visual in your head? Good, you've got the basic set-up of Warehouse 13, in which a pair of Secret Service agents collect otherworldly objects that are eventually stored in a secretly-guarded warehouse in South Dakota. Indiana Jones meets The X-Files, if you will.
All 5 seasons of Warehouse 13 are now streaming on Peacock.
Named after the famous exclamation associated with the arrival of a sudden epiphany, Eureka puts an inspired genre twist on the new-sheriff-in-town setup by dropping a U.S. Marshal into a Northwestern hamlet where the country's brightest minds cook up all sorts of zany inventions for the government.
All 5 seasons of Warehouse 13 are now streaming on Peacock.
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
Before he traveled back in time for Outlander and imagined an alternate outcome for the Cold War's Space Race in For All Mankind, Ronald D. Moore brought a sci-fi classic back to the small screen. Just as influential as the late '70s program that inspired it, Moore's updated take on Battlestar Galactica continues to remain the gold standard for how you reintroduce a property back into the public consciousness. The revamp was so successful, that X-Men vet Simon Kinberg hopes to do it again with his upcoming interpretation at Peacock.
All 4 seasons of Warehouse 13 are now streaming on Peacock.
Frank Herbert's Dune (2000)
16 years after David Lynch took an ill-fated stab at Herbert's massive sci-fi tome, SYFY (stylized in the early aughts as Sci Fi) decided that a return trip to Arrakis was in order. Good thing, too. This miniseries spanned three parts — each one running a little over an hour-and-a-half — giving the sandworm-sized novel more room to breathe in all that delicious spice. And remember: this was two decades before Denis Villeneuve arrived on the scene with a grand vision for a Dune-based movie trilogy.
If you're a fan of Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, then you'll probably be a fan of Farscape. Why? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that classic series was a major influence on writer-director James Gunn. The story of John Crichton — an astronaut who finds himself traversing the far reaches of the galaxy with a ragtag crew of aliens after he's accidentally sucked through a wormhole — is something we can all relate to... right?
All 4 seasons of Farscape are currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Stargate SG-1 (1997)
It can sometimes be difficult to spin a TV show out of a movie, but Stargate SG-1 is a prime example of how to do it the right way. Inspired by the 1994 film directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich (you've probably heard of him before), Stargate SG-1 ran for over 200 episodes across 10 seasons and a pair of direct-to-video features.
All 10 seasons of Stargate SG-1 are currently streaming on Netflix.