These mind-bending shows are presently streaming and will transport you to another dimension. These are the Good Sci-Fi Shows On Netflix Right Now.
We’re living in a golden age of science-fiction and fantasy television, with mind-bending new shows joining oldies in gaining new viewers thanks to streaming platforms. Because of the addictive interest inherent in genre programs, after you complete one, you’re left wanting more, more. Fortunately, Netflix has a robust catalog of original sci-fi shows (such as Stranger Things and Shadow and Bone) and inventive acquired hits from other sources (such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Magicians) to satisfy everyone’s appetites, so check out some of the titles below when you’re craving fantastic and speculative stories.
Good Sci-Fi Shows On Netflix: Altered Carbon (2018–2020)
Altered Carbon, adapted from Richard K. Morgan’s 2002 novel of the same name, is a glitzy, jargon-y, and at times dizzying fall into sci-fi decadence. The program revolves around a 22nd-century mercenary (Joel Kinnaman in Season 1, Anthony Mackie in Season 2) who is recruited to uncover the murder of a powerful nobleman and the resulting power battle.
What’s the catch? The affluent cannot die in this vision of the future; instead, their consciousnesses are uploaded to the cloud and downloaded into new bodies. In a world without death, the subsequent action features jaw-dropping vistas on par with Blade Runner and thought-provoking intrigue on par with HBO’s Westworld.
“Altered Carbon’s dense tale takes a few episodes to truly take off, and the second season slacks off a bit, but it’s an ambitious trip that’s worth hanging around for.”
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005–2008)
For good reason, this Nickelodeon cartoon has been recognized as one of the finest animated shows of all time. Maybe you were part of the generation that was infatuated with it when it first aired, or maybe you haven’t yet immersed yourself in this universe of elemental kingdoms, but there’s never a bad moment to watch or rewatch this magnificent, Western-meets-anime-style series.
Avatar: The Last Airbender is an adventure story that follows the quest of waterbender Katara, her brother Sokka, and a boy named Aang who they find frozen in an iceberg and who ends up being the avatar, a reincarnated being who can control all four elements and whose job it is to keep the Four Nations in harmony.
As they travel across the countries for Aang to master all of the elements and finally face the tyrannical king of the Fire Nation, the destructive scale of the world in Aang’s absence becomes clearer. Don’t let the title fool you: there’s a lot more to this kid’s program than you may think, yet Avatar: The Last Airbender makes it appear as effortless as walking on air.
Outer space shows and movies frequently fall into one of two categories: an interplanetary sci-fi journey, or what we like to call “the space weepy.” Even if it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to blast out into space, being that far away from loved ones is inherently alienating. That’s the premise of Netflix’s Away, a series based on an Esquire story but following a global group of astronauts on the first-ever manned voyage to Mars, led by Hilary Swank’s character who leaves her family in an emergency.
It’s not the type of sci-fi series to watch if you’re searching for an inventive, futuristic epic, but it also doesn’t claim to be something it isn’t, being set in a very near future when this form of space travel appears to be plausible. This optimism, along with the show’s sincere representation of what life onboard a starship is like, makes it one of the most compelling modern outer-space dramas.
Black Mirror (2011–2019)
Each edition of Charlie Brooker’s engrossing anthology takes a current techno-social phenomenon—from hashtags to five-star ratings—to its logical conclusion and questions if human nature can survive with it. Part satire, part (unintentional) prophesy, the series paints a suitably bleak picture of the future, one that will undoubtedly leave you concerned about the next generation and perhaps even motivate you to action. Consume this delectable dish of anxiety with caution.
This captivating series from the streaming platform is quite the Mindbender—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth watching. Dark is a German time-travel thriller about four families whose dark pasts begin to unravel quickly when a handful of youngsters in their tiny village go missing. It was marketed as “the German Stranger Things” due to the existence of missing people and the fact that it is set in the 1980s, but that cheap comparison undersells its authenticity as a terrifying and genuinely compelling series.
The 4400 (2004–2007)
If you want to develop a fantastic sci-fi program, add a number in the title. This undervalued series, produced by The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, imagines what might happen if 4,400 people abruptly vanished off the face of the earth in the early twentieth century… then flashed back into reality decades later. The mystery is revealed through the eyes of several outstanding performers, including Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as a US Air Force pilot who vanished but has a daughter in the present.
The Innocents (2018)
Based on their grandiose conceptions along with already dramatic high-stakes love situations, sci-fi and teen TV constitute the ideal pairing. The Innocents, one of Netflix’s entries in this category, is no exception, chronicling the star-crossed romance of Harry and June, two teens who run away from home to be together. They discover June has an incredible power while on the road: she can form change. Their foolish attempt to live out their love fantasies is abruptly foiled by a scientist who appears to be curiously interested in uncovering the truth behind June’s talents.
Lost in Space (2018–2021)
While it’s not as strange or entertaining as the legendary ’60s sci-fi TV series it’s based on—even the immortal tagline “Danger, Will Robinson!” has been sterilized—recreation Netflix