Netflix has an amazing range of sci-fi series, from, to . Excellent international content was also tapped, including one of the best series on Netflix, period.
Scroll down to hopefully find the best Netflix sci-fi for you, plus some great international deals.
Full disclosure: Netflix unfortunately canceled Travelers after its third season, but this tightly planned Canadian sci-fi manages to end with an ambitious bang. We begin with Marcy, a disabled woman who is beaten after helping a friend escape from a bully. She dies – then comes back to life. This powerful, character-driven science fiction reveals its secrets in a clever way, following operatives from the future who are tasked with preventing the collapse of society, but also navigating the tricky territory of living a double life.
While Charlie Brooker’s bleak anthology series can be hit and miss, at its best, Black Mirror fills its mini-movies with exploring futuristic technological ideas through painful human stories. One of them is San Junipero, which follows two women in the ’80s (cue banging soundtrack) as they fall for each other in ways they couldn’t in their “real” lives outside the beach town. The technological aspect is revealed with ingenious timing and, in general, the show explores the consequences of our connected lives in disturbing and occasionally exciting ways.
Warner Bros./YouTube/CNET Screenshot
If The 100 seems like your standard teen drama, prepare to have your expectations exceeded. There’s a reason this post-apocalyptic series has won seven seasons: The 100 delivers rich world-building and moral dilemmas that push stereotypical characters into unique, compelling places. It is about 100 generations of juvenile detainees who were sent to Earth to determine if the post-apocalypse is suitable for life. Give it 100 percent.
Germany’s answer to Stranger Things is deliberately taking its time before stepping into completely believable and original places. A sci-fi noir, Dark weaves time travel, conspiracies and estranged families into a generational story set in motion by the disappearance of a child. If those kinds of carefully crafted layers are what you’re looking for in your storytelling, settle in. All three seasons of Darko’s meditative look at time travel and its impact on human nature are waiting to hit you full force.
Canceling Netflix doesn’t get any more criminal than rejecting The OA. This completely unique story follows Prairie Johnson, a young blind woman who returns after being missing for years, now with the ability to see. She claims to be the “original angel” and convinces a small group of locals to listen to her impossible story, which involves kidnappings and great escapes. The OA is the kind of grounded science fiction that catches you and its heroes completely off guard when it introduces its fantastical concepts. Watch the first two flawless seasons on Netflix and pray the third gets picked up elsewhere.
Lost in Space (2018-2021)
The reboot of the 1965 series of the same name pushes us forward to 2046, two years after humanity finds itself on the brink of extinction. The talented Robinson family sets off with a crew to colonize a new planet. In addition to the inevitable family drama, they face strange new environments and a strange alien robot who befriends young Will. Mystery, heart and an unforgettable villain in Dr. Parker Posey’s Smith gives Lost in Space plenty of fuel to take off (Seasons 2 and 3 are vastly improved over Season 1).
Yes, Gong Yoo from Squid Game is in this. What else do you need to know? This South Korean sci-fi mystery follows a crew of astronauts on a mission to an abandoned research facility on the moon. Their target: a sample of an unknown substance for unclear purposes. Betrayal, government lies and personal secrets send this addictive space journey into the backcountry.
Altered Carbon (2018-2020)
Altered Carbon is set in a cyberpunk world where human consciousness can be transferred into different bodies. This sees investigator and ex-soldier Takeshi Kovacs transferred into the body of Joel Kinnaman in Season 1 and Anthony Mackie in Season 2. Initially, Kovacs’ story involves solving a murder, before he goes on a quest to discover what happened to his own lost one. love. Altered Carbon can be clumsy at times, but its visual candy and entertainment value lift you up through the exposition and heavy social commentary.
From the creators of The Matrix comes another story that plays with reality. Sense8 follows eight strangers from around the world who discover that they are mentally and emotionally connected. Not only do these windows into completely different lives teach tolerance, but the “sensates” can use each other’s skills when facing the sinister organization hunting them. If you’re into the diverse characters of Sense8, you’ll fall head over heels for this honest and sensual sci-fi drama.
Courtesy of NETFLIX
Love, Death + Robots (2019—)
This adult animated anthology series spans a range of genres, with many episodes hitting the Black Mirror comparison button. Robots in a post-apocalyptic city, farmers piloting mech suits, and a space mission gone awry appear in the first season. While the episodes can be hit and miss (some have been criticized for their treatment of women), you’ll find plenty of impressive and thought-provoking animation.
This apocalyptic sci-fi from Belgium will probably put you off flying in no time. Set on a plane, U noc sees a red-eye kidnapped by a soldier who, along with the other passengers, ends up surviving a deadly global event on earth. Can they hold the plane long enough to get them to safety? That premise alone should be enough to get you to pick up this excellent, suspenseful thriller.
Hilary Swank is the big star at the heart of space drama Away. She plays Emma Green, a NASA astronaut and commander of the Mars expedition. Things get off to a rocky start, with Emma’s international crew filling her with doubt about her ability to command. Splitting its time between Earthbound drama and reliably above-the-stratosphere entertainment, Away mostly succeeds in landing a well-rounded journey.
Enjoy sci-fi shows that play with two timelines? Have a special place for cults and mysteries? Meet Archive 81. The multi-genre show stars Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner, an archivist who restores a collection of damaged 90s video tapes at a concert. He gets much more than he bargained for, drawn into an investigation into a mysterious cult and a young woman who may or may not be dead. A supernatural thriller with horror, mystery, noir and science fiction woven into its eerie atmosphere, Archive 81 has it all.
Stranger Things (2016—)
It wouldn’t be the best list without Stranger Things. If you somehow missed the Duffer Brothers’ ode to ’80s horror and Steven Spielberg, things are about to get off limits. We follow El, a nearly mute girl who was the subject of scientific experiments. She develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to fend off monsters that attack from a terrifying alternate dimension. The Indiana world of Hawkins is lovingly detailed for anyone in need of a hit of ’80s nostalgia, and the misfit characters, played by a stellar young cast, are part of what makes this show a tour de force.
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more
See all photos