Total Nerd The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever  

Ranker TV
890 votes 172 voters 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
109 13
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
20 4
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
15 4
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
19 8
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
13 5
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
14 6
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
17 9
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
10 3
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
14 8
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
12 6
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
12 6
Warehouse 13 is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
12 7
V is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
10 5
Falling Skies is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
12 8
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
9 5
Torchwood is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
13 10
Sense8 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton
Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A group of people around the world are suddenly ...more
17
12 9
The Walking Dead is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
9 6
The Last Ship is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Eric Dane, Rhona Mitra, Adam Baldwin
The Last Ship is an American action-drama television series created by Hank Steinberg and Steven L Kane, based on the 1988 novel by William Brinkley. After a global viral pandemic wipes out over ...more
19
8 5
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
8 5
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear
Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more
21
7 4
Haven is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
9 7
Travelers is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Sci-Fi Thriller Series Ever
Eric McCormack, MacKenzie Porter, Nesta Cooper
Travelers (Netflix, 2016) is a science fiction television series created by Brad Wright. Hundreds of years from now, surviving humans discover how to send consciousness back through time, into ...more
23
6 4
The Twilight Zone is listed (or ranked) 23 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
24
8 7
Continuum is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
7 6
Terminator: The Sarah Connor C... is listed (or ranked) 25 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