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The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever  

Ranker TV
1.5k votes 246 voters 2.1k views 59 items

List Rules Vote up the best sci-fi thriller shows that have aired on television.

The best science fiction thriller shows are a perfect storm of futuristic imagination and out-of-this-world tension. The best sci-fi thriller series ever shown on television gets you excited for the possibilities of the future while also worrying about the future of the characters you’ve become invested in. If you’ve been looking for the best sci-fi thrillers to add some excitement to your TV nights, this list of the best science fiction thriller series of all time will help you figure out what needs to go into your queue.

The really good sci-fi thrillers, built on a history of satirical anthology series, basically never let you rest. Not only do you get the cool tech and new worlds of science fiction, but what’s next is probably a nerve-wracking twist that involves an alien or the worst monster - man. If you’re streaming your shows, their non-stop pace may make you miss commercial breaks. Although more modern science fiction thrillers include a fresh brand of cynism, as in The Purge and Black Mirror, older shows such as Under The Dome and Fringe also provide both sci-fi situations and thrills.

Which shows balance being thrillers and sci-fi series the best? Vote up the best science fiction thriller shows, vote down the shows that don't deliver thrills with their technological dreams, and add any thrilling sci-fi series that are missing.

list ordered by
1
Salvation is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Charlie Rowe, Jacqueline Byers, Santiago Cabrera
Salvation (CBS, 2017) is an American suspense drama television series created by Liz Kruger and Craig Shapiro. An MIT grad student and a tech superstar bring a low-level Pentagon official a ...more
2
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more
3
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is a series of unrelated stories containing drama, psychological thriller, fantasy, science fiction, ...more
4
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual
The Outer Limits is a US-Canadian television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The ...more
5
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard
Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
6
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek
Warehouse 13 is a U.S. television science fiction series that premiered on July 7, 2009, on the Syfy network. Executive-produced by Jack Kenny and David Simkins, the dramatic comedy from ...more
7
The Expanse is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Cas Anvar
The Expanse (Syfy, 2015) is an American science fiction television series developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, based on the novels by James S. A. Corey. In a future where humanity has ...more
8
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy
Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more
9
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole
Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more
10
Dark Matter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Marc Bendavid, Melissa O'Neil, Anthony Lemke
Dark Matter (Syfy, 2015) is a Canadian science fiction series created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie, based on their comic book. Onboard a starship called the Raza, six people awaken in ...more
11
Falling Skies is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Noah Wyle, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight
Falling Skies is an American science fiction post-apocalyptic dramatic television series created by Robert Rodat and executive produced by Steven Spielberg. The series stars Noah Wyle as Tom ...more
12
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Bruce Willis, Charles Aidman, Robin Ward
The Twilight Zone is the first of two revivals of Rod Serling's acclaimed 1950/60s television series of the same name. It ran for two seasons on CBS before producing a final season for
13
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
The Walking Dead (A&E, 2010) is an American post-apocalyptic horror television series developed by Frank Darabont, based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie ...more
14
Heroes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Hayden Panettiere, Jack Coleman, Milo Ventimiglia
Heroes is an American science fiction television drama series created by Tim Kring that appeared on NBC for four seasons from September 25, 2006 through February 8, 2010. The series tells the ...more
15
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz
Dollhouse is an American science fiction television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon under Mutant Enemy Productions. It premiered on February 13, 2009, on the Fox network and ...more
16
Haven is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant, Eric Balfour
Haven is an American/Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. The show, which deals with strange events in a fictional town in ...more
17
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
David McCallum, Kevin Conway, Beau Bridges
The Outer Limits (SyFy, Showtime, 1995) is a Canadian-American science fiction anthology television series and a revival of the original The Outer Limits. Its stories are described as more ...more
18
V is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Elizabeth Mitchell, Morris Chestnut, Joel Gretsch
V is an American science fiction television series that ran for two seasons on ABC, from November 3, 2009 to March 15, 2011. A remake of the 1983 miniseries created by Kenneth Johnson, the new ...more
19
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen
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
20
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Summer Glau
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is an American science fiction television series that aired on Fox. The show was produced by 20th Century Fox Television, Warner Bros. Television, and C2 ...more
21
Night Gallery is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Rod Serling, Gary Collins
Night Gallery is an American anthology series that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1973, featuring stories of horror and the macabre. Rod Serling, who had gained fame from an earlier series, The ...more
22
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
23
Continuum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lobo, Victor Webster
Continuum is a Canadian science fiction series created by Simon Barry and produced by Reunion Pictures Inc., Boy Meets Girl Film Company, and GK-TV. The series centers on the conflict between a ...more
24
Wayward Pines is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Matt Dillon, Carla Gugino, Toby Jones
Wayward Pines (Fox, 2015) is an American mystery, science fiction television series developed by Chad Hodge. A Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) goes to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two ...more
25
Killjoys is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Hannah John-Kamen, Aaron Ashmore, Luke Macfarlane
Killjoys (Syfy, 2015) is a Canadian space adventure drama series created by Michelle Lovretta. In the Quad, a planetary system a fun loving trio of bounty hunters attempt to remain impartial as ...more