U.S. Television Science Fiction (especially considered historically)

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,150
The following list is derived from the shows mentioned in the Wikipedia article "U.S. television science fiction". Obviously, it mentions a fantasy show or two and a non-US show or two but it's mostly on-topic. Does anyone have any historically significant titles to add that the article missed? Or any other comments on it? (And, similarly, if people want to stray into fantasy or UK shows or the like, have at it.)

As far as missing shows, I'm thinking that if Max Headroom and Alien Nation are on, Firefly certainly has to be, though a case could be made that they should all be out for not running long enough, if that's an important criterion. Also, the list seems to stop at 2008 with Fringe so I might add Person of Interest to bring it all the way up to 2011 or whenever it was. But some might argue that's more a cop show than an SF show, even with its speculative element. Anyway - that sort of discussion. And here's the list:

* Adventures of Superman (1952-8)
* Alien Nation (1989-90)
* Angel (1999-2004)
* Babylon 5 (1993-8)
* Battlestar Galactica (2004-9)
* Battlestar Galactica/Galactica 1980 (1978-80)
* Buck Rogers (1950)
* Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-81)
* Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
* Captain Video and His Video Rangers (1949-55)
* Captain Z-Ro (1951-3; 1955-6)
* Charmed (1998-2006)
* Doctor Who (1963- ; since 1972 in the US)
* Farscape (1999-2003)
* Flash Gordon (1953-4)
* Fringe (2008-13)
* Land of the Giants (1968-70)
* Lost in Space (1965-8)
* Max Headroom (1987-8)
* The Outer Limits (1963-5)
* Quantum Leap (1989-93)
* Red Dwarf (1988-93 plus revivals)
* Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954-5)
* Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers (1953-4)
* Science Fiction Theatre (1955-7)
* seaQuest DSV (1993-6)
* Sliders (1995-2000)
* Smallville (2001-11)
* Space Patrol (1950-5)
* Space: Above and Beyond (1995-6)
* Star Trek (1966-9)
* Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973-4)
* Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-9)
* Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-5)
* Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-94)
* Star Trek: Voyager (1994-2001)
* Stargate Atlantis (2004-9)
* Stargate SG-1 (1997-2007)
* Stargate Universe (2009-11)
* Tales of Tomorrow (1951-3)
* The Time Tunnel (1966-7)
* Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (1950-5)
* The Twilight Zone (1959-64)
* V (1984-5 after a series of miniseries)
* Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-8)
* The Wild Wild West (1965-9)
* The X-Files (1993-2002)
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,277
Location
Scotland
I notice that Buffy is in there and if that’s included, then surely Rod Serling’s The Night Gallery should be there as well.

Also for consideration: The Ray Bradbury Theatre.
 

Dave

Non Bio
Staff member
Joined
Jan 5, 2001
Messages
21,362
Location
Way on Down South, London Town
Is The Fantastic Journey (1977->) not science fiction? (Albeit with large elements of fantasy) and for that matter, what about Fantasy Island (also 1977->)

I suspect that one of the problems with such a lists is (as usual) determining whether something is science fiction or fantasy, or neither. Especially, as more recently, science fiction and fantasy have become mainstream TV, and elements of both have been included in many more mainstream dramas.

However, that list is missing many more short-lived series. Two that come to mind immediately are:

Odyssey 5 (2002-2003)
The Lone Gunmen (2001)
 

Glaysher

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
223
I'm assuming that the list is of shows that were shown on US television given the appearance of shows such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. In which case, it is extremely short.
 

KiraAnn

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
146
Location
Texas
If the purpose is to simply list fantasy or science fictio9n tv shows, then here are some missing:
  • It's About Time (1966-67, 1 season)
  • I Dream of Jeannie (1965-70, 5 seasons)
  • Bewitched (1964-72, 8 seasons)
  • My Mother the Car (1965-66, 1 season)
  • Space Academy (1977, 1 season)
  • Jason of Star Command (1978-79, 2 seasons)
  • Secrets of Isis (1975-77, 2 seasons)
  • Six Million Dollar Man (1973-78, 5 seasons plus 3 tv movies)
  • The Bionic Woman (1976-78, 3 seasons plus the same 3 tv movies as 6 Million Dollars Man)
These are just a few off-hand. Overall, that Wiki article is very poorly researched and written.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,676
The Outer Limits (The original ) 1963 to 1965
The Invaders 1967 to 1968
In the mod 1970's Filmation did several live action science fiction tv shows on Saturday mornings including Jason of Star Command which is mentioned above They also did Ark II 1976 and Space Academy 1977
The Invisible Man 1975
UFO 1970
Korg 70,000 BC
1974 to 1975
Space 1999 1975 to 1977
Gemi Man 1976
The Adventures of Flash Gordon 1979 to 82 One of best animated shows of all time.
Cliffhangers 1979
The Amazing Spiderman 1977 to 79
Beyond West World 1980
The Incredible Hulk 1978 to 1982. plus several TV movies
The Powers of Mathew Star 1982 to 1983
The Twilight Zone 1985 to 1989
War of the Worlds 1988 to 1990
Space Rangers 1993 to 94
The Outer Limits ( New) 1995 to 2002
Hypernauts 1996
Mission Genesis 1997
The Invisible Man 2000
Babylon 5 Crusade
The Lost World
1999 to 2002
Primeval 2007 to 2011
 
Last edited:

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,150
If the purpose is to simply list fantasy or science fictio9n tv shows

I notice that Buffy is in there and if that’s included, then surely Rod Serling’s The Night Gallery should be there as well.

I suspect that one of the problems with such a lists is (as usual) determining whether something is science fiction or fantasy, or neither.
It's not to simply list shows but to list "significant" shows that made enough of an impact that you can't tell a complete, good history of the subject without them, I think. So fantasy shows aren't excluded but things like Buffy were mentioned in the original article in the context of a supposed fallow period for SF which was partly filled by fantasy. But I think you're right, Dave, that definition is hard - probably more so in TV than even in print, where it's almost impossible to provide a generally acceptable definition. Still, the "when I point to it" thing generally has to suffice.
Overall, that Wiki article is very poorly researched and written.
Agreed - that's why I was curious what the Chrons hive mind had to say. :)
The Outer Limits (The original ) 1963 to 1965
That's on there.
I'm assuming that the list is of shows that were shown on US television given the appearance of shows such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf.

Space 1999 1975 to 1977
Yeah, I'm not sure what the exact criteria are but, based on Who and the US premiere date being given, that's what I figure and Space 1999 is another one that, whatever it's quality or origin, made a big impact in US SF TV. Weird that it's as many years past 1999 as the show was prior to 1999.

Anyway, if that is correct and if we define SF only medium-broadly, I think the Japanese Ultraman (1966-7) should also be on there, for instance.
 

J-Sun

Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
5,150
Good ones. I tend to forget sit-com/animated SF because I don't think of them in the same way, but they'd technically have to be in. In fact, I didn't include a final section of the article which does mention comic/animated shows and does mention Mork but not Futurama (which is essential, I'd think). Those lists are:

* My Favorite Martian (1963-6)
* Mork & Mindy (1978-82)
* ALF (1986-90)
* 3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001)

* Colonel Bleep (1957-60)
* Fireball XL5 (1962-3)
* Space Angel (1962-?)
* The Jetsons (1962-3)
* Jonny Quest (1964-5)

It also mentions something about a Zenon something, but that doesn't sound like a series.

I also forgot to mention in the last post that @KiraAnn 's mention of Six Million Dollar Man/Bionic Woman seem especially essential.
 
Last edited:

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,676
The Return of Captain Nemo 1978
Starblazers. 1979 to 1984
Knight Rider 1982 to 86
Otherworld 1985
Captain Power and the Solders of the Future 1987 to 88
Something is Out There 1988
Superforce 1990-92
Exosquad 1993 to 1995
Earth Final Conflict 1997 to 2002
Andromeda 2000 - 2005
 
Last edited:

paranoid marvin

Run VT Erroll!
Supporter
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
3,800
The Return of Captain Nemo 1978
Starblazers. 1979 to 1984
Knight Rider 1982 to 86
Otherworld 1985
Captain Power and the Solders of the Future 1987 to 88
Something is Out There 1988
Superforce 1990-92
Exosquad 1993 to 1995
Earth Final Conflict 1997 to 2002
Andromeda 2000 - 2005

Ah yes Knight Rider is a staple Saturday teatime watch in our house. Does that mean that we also potentially have Street Hawk and Airwolf?
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
Supporter
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
9,277
Location
Scotland
If we’re talking ‘significant’ shows then I think Twin Peaks should be there. It straddles both fantasy and SF as well as being utterly bizarre.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
19,676
The Planet of the Apes 1974 Live action
Return to Planet of the Apes 1975 animated
The Man From Atlantis 1977 to 78
Quark 1978 to 1979
Thunder the Barbarian 1981 to 82
The Misfits of Science 1985 to 86
Seven Days 1998 to 2001
 
Last edited:

Top