Jordan Peele Nope is a twist on classic sci-fi films, with subtle social commentary on issues like exploitation and Hollywood erasing black contributions to early cinematic history. The film still has all the sci-fi markers, including aliens and mysterious objects falling from the sky, and adds to Peele’s already impressive horror film summary.
For fans who can’t get enough sci-fi after watching the movie, Redditors has compiled some of the best underrated sci-fi TV series. While some shows were short-lived, others became cult classics for fans of the genre. From time travel to human cloning to other dimensions and universes, the plots of these shows deserve greater appreciation.
12 Monkeys (2015-2018)
Stream on Hulu
Loosely inspired by the 1995 film of the same name, 12 monkeys is a time travel series that aired on Syfy from 2015 to 2018. Following a man who is recruited to travel back in time to 2015 in order to prevent the release of a deadly plague-causing virus, the series is a must-watch for sci-fi fans. Reddit user Trevormooresoul writes that it’s “probably the biggest, grandest plot I’ve come across. And it was pretty well executed. »
Starring Aaron Stanford as the time traveler, the series is well-written and immerses audiences in the story through emotion. Exploring the idea of time travel can be tricky, but the story is developed to be realistic and logical.
The Orville (2017-)
Stream on Hulu
This sci-fi series, The Orville, chronicles the often humorous adventures through space on the USS Orville. Starring Seth MacFarlane as spaceship commander Captain Ed Mercer, the series strikes a good balance between comedy and drama. The funny moments aren’t overdone and don’t take away from the story.
Reddit user theassassintherapist writes that the series is “probably one of the best Star Trek type shows”. Although the series has a noticeably different tone compared to the star trek frankness, it stands out without being a pure parody. Have the ability to entertain non-sci-fi fans, The Orville garnered strong fan opinions.
Quantum Leap (1989-1993)
Stream on the Roku Channel
Starring Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett, quantum leap is a unique portrayal of time travel as Sam is stuck in the past, jumping into people’s bodies and correcting their mistakes. The writing is smart and it’s not a generic time travel series. With almost no special effects, the show relies on storytelling and action to keep audiences intrigued.
Reddit user mailordermonster appreciates the show and is ready for it to be widely available, writing: “Unfortunately, it looks like none of the streaming services have picked up reruns.” The series is funny, heartwarming and was ahead of its time, which makes quantum leap ready for a second chance.
Black Orphan (2013-2017)
Buy on Amazon, Vudu, AppleTV and Google Play
black orphan is a sci-fi thriller series starring Tatiana Maslany as Sarah Manning, a con artist who discovers she is actually one of many human clones. Maslany is the cornerstone of the series, delivering an outstanding performance with his different and unique portrayals of each clone. The show has plenty of twists and turns to keep audiences on their toes and coming back for more.
Reddit user MissionBandicoot writes, “Critically acclaimed, but not many people know about it or have watched it.” black orphan is a series about clones but offers a different perspective to the usual clone stories, with each clone being a more united front. As a Canadian series, it did not attract as many viewers in the United States via Neilsen’s ratings, but black orphan will receive a reboot in 2023 with all new characters.
Stream on Netflix
Travelers follows time travelers, who send their conscious minds back in time into the host bodies of dying people in an effort to change the post-apocalyptic future. Although the characters are sent to the current present instead of a distant time period, the show still feels like a time travel show, which proves the quality of the writing and the acting.
Reddit user lupine-the-third shares, “Travelers is awesome and ends with a satisfying third season. The series was canceled in 2019 via Deadlinebut the conclusion of the last season provides a good closure to conclude the story and does not end on a cliffhanger. Travelers is still available on Netflix for sci-fi fans.
The Lost Room (2006)
Stream to Roku, Vudu, Tubi and Freevee Channel
The lost room is a three-part miniseries that aired on Syfy in 2006. Starring Peter Krause as Detective Joe Miller, he discovers a mysterious motel room that defies time and space while searching for his daughter, and the room contains items that possess powers to solve the mystery. The series turns into a puzzle that Joe and the audience must solve.
Reddit user DialecticSkeptic applauded the series, writing, “It’s so misunderstood it’s beyond me.” With clever writing and a memorable, clever performance by Krause, The lost room is an interesting take on other dimensions, combining science fiction with supernatural elements, suspense and mystery to make it suitable for a wider audience.
Stream on Peacock and the Roku Channel
Originally broadcast from 1995 to 2000, Cursors tells the adventures of a group of time travelers who travel between parallel universes using wormholes. With a varied cast including twins Jerry and Charlie O’Connell, the characters visit universes with alternate histories, such as a universe where the United States Constitution is banned.
Reddit user massiive3 praises the serial use of the multiverse, saying, “What a way to bring multiverse and entry-level sci-fi to the masses.” Cursors is a unique idea before the MCU brought the multiverse to the big screen. Scenarios engage the audience and invoke “what if” thoughts without any stale ideas.
No streaming at the moment
Companion is a sci-fi romance that aired for a single season in 2007. The series stars Kevin McKidd as a journalist, able to travel through time to change lives. Although the premise has already been made, Companion shows the impact of the jump on the current life of the main character and his relationship with his family. The addition of his former fiancée, whom he believed to be dead, presents a new twist to the genre.
It’s a show with potential that was canceled too soon. Reddit user 88mph_pfr fondly recalls the show, writing, “It was fun, but it’s almost completely forgotten.” McKidd is best known for his role as Owen Hunt in Grey’s Anatomybut sci-fi fans will never forget his brief stint as a time traveler struggling to balance his life.
Stream to Amazon Prime Video
Currently available on Amazon Prime Video, To download introduces a future where humans can download themselves into a virtual afterlife to live forever, with virtual visits with the living. Focusing on Nathan (Robbie Amell) as he’s downloaded into a digitally rich afterlife, he uses the help of humans to solve his attempted murder. The series is funny and heartwarming as he adjusts to his new normal.
Reddit user maverick1470 enjoyed the show, commenting, “It’s humorous and shows a real capitalist view of the afterlife.” The show showcases realistic technological advancements for the future and shows how big business will take advantage of people. Fans are excited to see how To download changes in Season 3 now that Nathan is uploaded into a body.
Kyle XY (2006-2009)
Stream on Hulu
Kyle XY introduces the audience to a teenager waking up naked in the woods without a navel. Taken in by a family after his arrest, Kyle must find out who he is and why he has no memories. Although marketed to teenage sci-fi fans, viewers of all ages will be captivated by the mystery of Kyle and why he acts so alien.
Unfortunately, the series was canceled and never had a proper ending. Posts by Reddit user SonoftheLion33 Kyle XY is a “brilliant and wonderfully performed idea, and I often feel like I’m the only one who’s watched it”. Teen drama combined with sci-fi mystery makes for an entertaining series as Matt Dallas does a phenomenal job portraying Kyle’s weirdness and childlike curiosity.
NEXT: The 10 Best Hidden Sci-Fi & Fantasy Gems On Netflix