12 Best Science Fiction and Technology TV Shows

Here’s a quick view of some of the current or recent fiction-based television series that explore science and technology.
  • TV has long been a fertile ground for science and technology fiction. Star Trek alone has prospered mightily on the small screen, even if the first series only gained traction in re-runs. Today, TV networks are combing novels and past movies for new series-based content.

    One new strain we’re seeing is fictionalized depictions of the tech world in series such as Silicon Valley and Halt and Catch Fire. We’re also seeing depictions of current technology, such as robotics and cloning, projected into the near future. This list of TV series proves that there’s a substantial audience for science and tech fiction. 

  • Westworld, science fiction, TV shows

    Westworld is a science fiction Western created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Produced by HBO, it is based on the 1973 film that was written and directed by Michael Crichton and, to a lesser extent, its 1976 sequel, Futureworld. The story takes place in Westworld—a fictional, technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by android “hosts.” The park caters to high-paying "guests," who may indulge their wildest fantasies within the park without fear of retaliation from the hosts, who are prevented by their programming from harming humans. But of course, things go terribly wrong. (Image source: HBO)

  • Silicon Valley, science fiction, tv series

    Silicon Valley is a satirical comedy television series created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on five guys who create a startup tech company in Silicon Valley. The series premiered in 2014 on HBO, and the fifth season premiered in 2018. HBO has renewed the series for a sixth season. (Image source: HBO)

  • Halt and Catch Fire, science fiction, tv series

    Halt and Catch Fire is a period drama created by Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rogers that aired on AMC from 2014 to 2017. The story takes place over a period of ten years, offering a fictionalized insider's view of the personal computer revolution of the 1980s and, later, the growth of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s. The show's title refers to computer machine-code instruction HCF—the execution of which would cause the computer's central processing unit to stop working. "Catch fire" is a humorous exaggeration. (Image source: AMC)

  • Black Mirror, science fiction, tv series

    Black Mirror is a British science fiction series created by Charlie Brooker, with Brooker and Annabel Jones serving as the program showrunners. It examines modern society—particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone and usually set in an alternative present or the near future—often, with a dark and satirical tone, though some are more experimental and lighter. (Image source: Netflix)

  • Mr. Robot, science fiction, tv series

    Mr. Robot is a drama thriller created by Sam Esmail. It stars Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who has social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Elliot is recruited by an insurrectionary anarchist known as Mr. Robot, played by Christian Slater, to join a group of hacktivists called fsociety. The group aims to destroy all debt records by encrypting the financial data of the largest conglomerate in the world, E Corp. (Image source: USA Network)

  • Altered Carbon, science fiction, tv series

    Altered Carbon is a dystopian, science fiction, cyberpunk web television series created by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the 2002 novel of the same title by Richard K. Morgan. The first season consists of ten episodes. It premiered on Netflix in 2018. The series was renewed for a second season of eight episodes with Anthony Mackie set to star in the lead role. (Image source: Netflix)

  • Humans, science fiction, tv series

    Humans is a science fiction series. Written by the British team, Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, it is based on the Swedish science fiction drama, Real Humans. The series explores the themes of artificial intelligence and robotics, focusing on the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the invention of anthropomorphic robots called synths. The series is produced jointly by AMC in the United States and Channel 4 and Kudos in the United Kingdom. (Image source: AMC)

  • Legion, science fiction, tv series

    Legion is a series created for FX by Noah Hawley, based on the Marvel Comics character David Haller / Legion. It is connected to the X-Men film series—the first television series to be so—and is produced by FX Productions in association with Marvel Television. Hawley serves as showrunner on the series. (Image source: FX Productions)

  • The Expanse, science fiction, tv series

    The Expanse is a science fiction series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on The Expanse series of novels by James S. A. Corey. The series is set in a future where humanity has colonized the Solar System. It follows United Nations executive Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), and ship's officer Jim Holden (Steven Strait) and his crew as they unravel a conspiracy that threatens peace in the system and the survival of humanity. (Image source: Syfy)

  • 3001: the Final Odyssey, science fiction, tv series

    A few years ago, Yahoo Entertainment announced that actor/director Tom Hanks was in discussions about turning Arthur C. Clarke’s novels 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey into movies. Hanks would reportedly play Frank Poole in the 3001 film. A later update stated that there was no further development on the project. Shucks. (Image source: Syfy)

  • Orphan Black, science fiction, tv series

    Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction thriller created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett. It stars Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are clones. The series focuses on Sarah Manning, a woman who assumes the identity of one of her fellow clones, Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing Childs's suicide. The series raises issues about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and its effect on issues of personal identity. (Image source: BBC America)

  • Dr. Who, science Fiction, tv series

    Doctor Who is a British science-fiction series produced by the BBC since 1963 (55 years ago!). The program depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "The Doctor," an extraterrestrial being from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-traveling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes, while working to save civilization and help people in need. (Image source: BBC)

 

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 17 years, 15 of them for Design News . Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper. 

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