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

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10. Warehouse 13

Just imagine the kind of fun you could get up to if you landed a job in the warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or, well, the sort of unimaginable dangers that could spring up at any moment. I suppose that glass half empty, glass half full sort of situation depends largely on your outlook.

That reference to Indiana Jones was definitely part of the inspiration for Warehouse 13, the 2009-2014 show from the SyFy Network. It’s also got distinct threads borrowed from shows as diverse as The X-Files and Moonlighting. If you don’t mind a little low-budget CGI here and there, you’ll find quite a lot to like about this lovable oddball of a show.

It all starts when two Secret Service agents are given an abrupt transfer to a facility in the middle of nowhere. Or, well, at least, in the middle of rural South Dakota. At first, Agents Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer assume that this assignment is a punishment for a previous incident. After all, why else would they have to deal with a huge, dusty warehouse managed by Special Agent Artie Nielsen? Artie is smart, sure, but he’s plenty weird and not particularly well versed in social graces.

As the series goes on, however, Myka and Pete learn that they have been granted an important job. The facility is actually Warehouse 13, one in a long line of warehouses intended to contain various artifacts, many of them exceedingly powerful and difficult to understand. Generally, the latest warehouse is contained within the strongest empire in an era. Organizers reasoned that the dangerous artifacts would be best protected there, guarded and managed by some of the smartest and toughest individuals around.

Also, Warehouse 13 was designed by none other than Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla (in a rare display of cooperation, it seems), along with master confuser M.C. Escher. Special help was provided by Albert Einstein.

With a team like that, it’s pretty clear that the warehouse contains some fantastic artifacts and a variety of stories to go along with it all. Though the series ended after five seasons, there’s plenty to enjoy as you work your way through the episodes.