20 best sci-fi TV shows that aren’t Star Trek

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Star Trek is a science fiction fan favorite, for good reason. But don’t stop there! Check out twenty other sci-fi shows that can expand your nerdy horizons.

If you’re a fan of science fiction, then it’s almost impossible to miss Star Trek. This sprawling collection of television series, movies, books, comics, and more is simply too big for any sci-fi nerd to pass up. Most of the time, that’s no big deal. There’s plenty of great storytelling and compelling questions in Star Trek that could keep you satisfied for years.

Part of the problem of such a large franchise, though, is how easy it is to get lost in a single playground. Star Trek is often great or at least entertaining, but you’d be missing out big time if you never stepped beyond its bounds.

Then again, there is so much great science fiction television out there that it can get overwhelming for the newbie. Don’t fear, as this list will help you narrow it down to a few series suited to your tastes. Even if you’re a grizzled older fan, chances are good that you’ll find something new here, too.

Of course, as with any list, there are some shows that get left out. Some were just too complicated for new viewers, like Neon Genesis Evangelion, a beautiful but dense anime sci-fi series. Others were too grim compared to the rest of the list, like the well-made and heart-wrenching Black Mirror. Don’t get me wrong: Black Mirror is generally excellent TV, as are all of the other sci-fi series left off this list.

By the way, if you’re looking for a good intro to Black Mirror that won’t completely destroy you and leave you laying in bed, staring at the ceiling and bleakly contemplating your relationship to technology, then watch the “San Junipero” episode.

Read on for some of the best science fiction television that, despite all odds, doesn’t connect to Star Trek. Generally, these synopses are spoiler-free, but tread carefully if you’re sensitive to revealing plot points or want to dive in without any prior knowledge.

Ready? Fire up your computer, cable box, reel-to-reel projector, or whatever else you need to consume your sci-fi television. It’s time to settle in, watch some great TV, and maybe up a little bit of that nerd cred.

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