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The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked 

Ranker TV
Updated October 11, 2019 2.4k votes 411 voters 11.6k views 34 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite British science fiction programs, no matter when they aired.

Science fiction combines real life drama with otherworldly settings to create a one-of-a-kind TV viewing experience. The top British sci fi shows tell stories about outer-space and what the future could look like with a few technological advances This is a list of the best British sci fi shows, including everything from Red Dwarf to Torchwood to The Avengers.

What series will you find on this list of the greatest British sci fi shows? The anthology series Black Mirror has become popular around the globe, thanks to its dark stories that double as cautionary tales. Every episode features a new cast, setting, and theme, but the dangers of new technology are present throughout the series. The Sarah Jane Adventures is another popular British sci fi television show. Doctor Who is one of the longest-running series of all time, making it a must-see among British sci fi fans. Other good UK science fiction shows featured on this list include Humans, Space: 1999, and Max Headroom.

Which English sci fi show do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give the best series a thumbs up and please add any great programs that are missing.

 

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1
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Premiered: 1963

Number of Seasons: 38

Number of Episodes: 861

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC America, BBC One, S4C, BBC HD

Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more

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2
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 41

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One, Starz, BBC HD, BBC Three

Torchwood is a British science fiction television programme created by Russell T Davies. A spin-off from the 2005 revival of long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who, Torchwood aired ...more

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#18 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #141 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

3
Red Dwarf is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules

Premiered: 1988

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 61

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, Dave

Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises ten series of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1993 and from 1997 to 1999, and on Dave ...more

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#28 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #10 of 152 The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

4
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Patrick Macnee, Diana Rigg, Honor Blackman

Premiered: 1961

Number of Episodes: 161

Network: ITV, Thames Television

The Avengers is a spy-fi British television series created in the 1960s. The Avengers initially focused on Dr. David Keel and his assistant John Steed. Hendry left after the first series and ...more

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5
Space: 1999 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Nick Tate

Premiered: 1975

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: ITV, RAI

Space: 1999 is a British-Italian science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, set in September 1999, nuclear waste ...more

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#37 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #287 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

6
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 22

Network: Channel 4

Black Mirror (Netflix, 2011) is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker. The show features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine ...more

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#103 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #46 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate Black Mirror Easter Eggs And References You Totally Missed

7
Blake's 7 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Glynis Barber, Jacqueline Pearce, David Jackson

Premiered: 1978

Number of Episodes: 52

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One

Blake's 7 is a British science fiction television series produced by the BBC for broadcast on BBC1. Four 13-episode series of Blake's 7 were broadcast between 1978 and 1981. It was created by ...more
8
The Hitchhiker's Guide t... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Stephen Moore, Simon Jones, David Dixon

Premiered: 1981

Number of Episodes: 6

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy broadcast in January and February 1981 on UK television station BBC ...more
9
Captain Scarlet and the ... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Francis Matthews, Ed Bishop, Donald Gray

Premiered: 1967

Number of Episodes: 32

Network: Associated Television

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, often referred to as Captain Scarlet, is a 1960s British science-fiction television series produced by the Century 21 Productions company of Gerry and Sylvia ...more

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#233 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time #335 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows #130 of 268 The Best Adventure TV Shows

10
The Sarah Jane Adventure... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Elisabeth Sladen, Daniel Anthony, Alexander Armstrong

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 53

Network: BBC One, CBBC, BBC HD

The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television programme, that was produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies starring Elisabeth Sladen. The programme ...more

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#69 of 104 The Best TV Spinoffs #373 of 422 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

11
UFO is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Ed Bishop, Dolores Mantez, Michael Billington

Premiered: 1970

Number of Episodes: 26

Network: Associated Television

UFO is a 1970 British television science fiction series about an alien invasion of Earth, created by Gerry Anderson and Sylvia Anderson with Reg Hill, and produced by the Andersons and Lew ...more
12
Primeval is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Primeval Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt, Ben Miller

Premiered: 2007

Number of Episodes: 36

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, ITV, ITV

Primeval is a British science fiction drama television programme produced for ITV by Impossible Pictures. Created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines, who previously created the Walking with... ...more
13
Thunderbirds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Sylvia Anderson, Ray Barrett, Peter Dyneley

Premiered: 1965

Network: Associated Television, ITV

Thunderbirds is a British science-fiction television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, made by their production company AP Films, and distributed by ITC Entertainment. Filmed between ...more
14
Humans is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Manpreet Bachu, Emily Berrington, Ruth Bradley

Premiered: 2015

Humans (AMC, 2015) is a science fiction television series created by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. In a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a 'Synth' - ...more
15
Quatermass is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Margaret Tyzack

Premiered: 1979

Number of Episodes: 4

Network: ITV

Quatermass is a British television science fiction serial produced by Euston Films for Thames Television and broadcast on the ITV network in October and November 1979. Like its three ...more
16
Survivors is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Survivors Peter Duncan, Carolyn Seymour, Edward Underdown

Premiered: 1975

Number of Episodes: 38

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One

Survivors is a British post-apocalyptic fiction television series devised by Terry Nation and produced by Terence Dudley at the BBC from 1975 to 1977. It concerns the plight of a group of people ...more

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#550 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #229 of 314 The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

17
Sapphire & Steel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
David McCallum, Joanna Lumley, David Collings

Premiered: 1979

Number of Episodes: 34

Network: ITV

Sapphire & Steel is a British television science-fiction fantasy series starring David McCallum as Steel and Joanna Lumley as Sapphire. Produced by ATV, it ran from 1979 to 1982 on the ITV ...more
18
Stingray is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Lois Maxwell, Ray Barrett, Robert Easton

Premiered: 1964

Number of Episodes: 39

Network: Associated Television

Stingray is a British children's Supermarionation television series, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by AP Films for ATV and ITC Entertainment between 1964 and 1965. Its 39 ...more

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19
The Tripods is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
John Woodvine, Charlotte Long, Cindy Shelley

Premiered: 1984

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 25

Network: BBC One

The Tripods is a television adaptation of John Christopher's The Tripods series of novels. It was jointly produced by the BBC in the United Kingdom and the Seven Network in Australia. The music ...more
20
Dirk Gently is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Stephen Mangan, Darren Boyd, Lisa Jackson

Premiered: 2010

Number of Episodes: 1

Network: BBC Four, BBC HD

Dirk Gently is a British comedy detective drama TV series based on characters from the Dirk Gently novels by Douglas Adams. The series was created by Howard Overman and stars Stephen Mangan as ...more
21
K-9 and Company is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Elisabeth Sladen, John Leeson, Bill Fraser

Premiered: 1981

Number of Episodes: 1

Network: BBC One

K-9 and Company was a proposed television spin-off of the original programme run of Doctor Who. It was to feature former series regulars Sarah Jane Smith, an investigative journalist played by ...more
22
Misfits is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joseph Gilgun, Iwan Rheon

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 21

Network: E4

Misfits is a British science fiction comedy-drama television show, on E4, about a group of young offenders sentenced to work in a community service program, where they obtain supernatural powers ...more

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23
Joe 90 is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Len Jones, Rupert Davies, Keith Alexander

Premiered: 1968

Number of Episodes: 30

Network: Associated Television

Joe 90 is a 1960s British science-fiction television series that follows the adventures of a nine-year-old boy, Joe McClaine, who starts a double life as a schoolchild-turned-superspy after his ...more

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24
Max Headroom is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Matt Frewer, Amanda Pays, Chris Young

Premiered: 1987

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 14

Network: Cinemax, American Broadcasting Company

Max Headroom is a British-produced American satirical science fiction television series by Chrysalis Visual Programming and Lakeside Productions for Lorimar-Telepictures that aired in the United ...more

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25
Supercar is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best British Sci Fi Shows, Ranked
Cyril Shaps, Sylvia Anderson, David Graham

Premiered: 1961

Number of Episodes: 39

Network: Associated Television

Supercar was a children's TV show produced by Gerry Anderson and Arthur Provis's AP Films for ATV and ITC Entertainment. 39 episodes were produced between 1961 and 1962, and it was Anderson's ...more