There was certainly no lack of television content in the 2010s. With the introduction of Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and every other streaming service out there, there's so much to watch; nobody could see everything good. Because of this, a lot of really interesting and exciting science-fiction series went by the wayside despite being well-made and incredibly entertaining.
To be clear, the shows listed here aren't bad, nor did they lack a dedicated fan base. These underrated sci-fi shows are the ones that simply didn't have enough of a fan base to sustain them. They may have aired a couple of seasons, but without the numbers behind them, many were canceled before their time. Others built up quite a following, but their inclusion in the broader spectrum of pop culture never really manifested.
Seasons & Episodes: 5 / 64
Details: Warehouse 13 is about a group of Secret Service agents working for the titular facility, where they go on missions to recover dangerous artifacts of historical significance. These could include Lewis Carroll's mirror (which has the spirit of Alice trapped inside) and other interesting items. They carry an electric gun called a "Tesla," named after the man who invented it, and each agent also has a small television communicator, which was invented by Farnsworth, the man who invented the TV.
The series was almost prematurely canceled, but SyFy renewed it for a fifth and final season, which was cut down to only six episodes. The show had to rush its ending, but it found a way to come to a satisfying conclusion. Technically, this series premiered in 2009, but 85% of the show hit our television sets between 2010 and 2014.
Actors: Eddie McClintock, Joanne Kelly, Saul Rubinek
Seasons & Episodes: 3 / 27
Details: Legion follows David Haller, the near-omnipotent, yet mentally troubled mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier. The series is based on the Marvel Comics depicting Legion, but separates itself from the source material somewhat. It is told with David presenting an unreliable narration of events, and the character himself is afflicted with dissociative identity disorder, where each of his personalities has omega-level mutant superpowers.
Legion had a lot of support from the Marvel community of creators and fans, but it never gained widespread attention. As a result, it was canceled by FX, which allowed the series to conclude with an eight-episode third season.
Actors: Dan Stevens, Rachel Keller, Aubrey Plaza, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, + more
Seasons & Episodes: 3 / 38
Details: Defiance takes place on Earth, but it's a planet very different than the one we know. After aliens come to colonize Earth, their terraforming tech results in changes to the landscape, the extinction of many plant and animal species, and the emergence of entirely new species. The show takes place in 2046, and humans live among several different alien races, all vying to make their way in life. The strange setting is transposed over old-world St. Louis.
The series was canceled by SyFy for financial reasons, and while the television story did come to an end, Defiance lives on in a companion video game of the same name. The game was made by Trion Worlds, which continues to update it, and has announced no plans for a sequel; rather, it will continue to update the game with new content, serving as a fourth season of the show.
Actors: Grant Bowler, Stephanie Leonidas, Julie Benz
Seasons & Episodes: 2 / 18
Details: Dark is a German sci-fi/thriller set in the fictional town of Winden, Germany. The series follows the aftermath of a child's disappearance and the four estranged families that are strangely connected. They slowly unravel a conspiracy involving time travel, which spans three generations. The series explores the existential implications of human nature, and how it is potentially impacted by time travel.
Dark aired two seasons of 18 episodes and was renewed for a third and final season, which will likely stream on Netflix sometime in 2020.
Actors: Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel, Maja Schöne