Anyone involved in the sci fi community knows the big classic sci fi TV shows. Shows like Babylon 5, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica.
Many of these shows solidified space opera’s place on the TV schedule, and popularized the sci fi genre with new, flashy filming technology and celebrity faces.
But, in the background, there were smaller sci fi classics on air, too. Even hardcore science fiction fans might have a hard time remembering this list of sci fi TV series.
While many people think of The X-Files as the definitive extra-terrestrials-among-us program, the trend actually started many years before Chris Carter’s iconic show.
Project U.F.O aired on NBC for 2 seasons from 1978 to 1979. The show was created by Jack Webb and Harold Jack Bloom.
This classic show followed two US. Air Force investigators as they worked there way through a number of UFO sightings and phenomena. Many of the episodes are based on actual case files from Project Blue Book, the Air Force’s undercover study of extraterrestrials from 1952-1969.
While The X-Files deviated into more supernatural and folklore-ish waters, Project U.F.O. stayed in it’s lane, focusing strictly on UFO phenomena.
Dick Spanner, P.I.
Dick Spanner, P.I. isn’t a show you might toss in with other classic sci fi TV shows like Stargate and Xena, but it’s certainly a classic in its own right.
The stop-motion animation series has 22 episodes and aired in the UK in 1986. The show became popular for its witty voice and pithy format. Each episode is around 6 minutes.
Now, what’s the premise? Well, Dick Spanner is a robot private investigator in a futuristic city. Yup, definitely science fiction.
It’s a fun little hour of stop-motion animation, with an interesting tone!
Most little-known sci-fi shows are lucky if they run for half a season. But, Jupiter Moon stands out as an oddball, having run for over 10 episodes!
The British sci fi soap opera broadcasted in 1990 on the Sci Fi Channel, and ran for 6 years.
This sci fi TV show is set on a space colony orbiting Callisto, in the year 2050. Instead of an intergalactic military space drama like the Expanse, Jupiter Moon is a show about simpler problems, and human relationships. Certainly a slower pace than a lot of current or upcoming sci fi tv shows.
While not particularly deep or provoking, Jupiter Moon is a fun show to watch once and remember vaguely.
5 Days To Midnight
5ive Days to Midnight aired in 2004 as a 5-part miniseries. The show followed J.T. Neumeyer, a physics professor, as he slowly discovers he’s traveled through time. But the clock is ticking, because in five days, he’s going to die.
It’s an intriguing show, and the miniseries format fits the story well. The first two episodes show the first 4 days of the story, while the last episode is dedicated to day 5.
Neat premise, and it’s more palatable than this next show:
Honorable (Horrible?) Mention: Woops!
Woops! was once called one of the worst TV shows of all time. And I can see why.
Woops! aired for only 10 of their 13 episodes in 1992. It follows six survivors of nuclear war that gather on a farm in hopes of rebuilding society. This sitcom attempts to humorize the plights of a typical last-people-on-Earth story, like reproduction and future generations. However, the 1990s humor and sitcom format didn’t match well with the post-apocalyptic vibes.
The episodes are kind of hard to find, but I did manage to watch a few on Youtube. They’re base-level humor, with a lot of cliches and stereotypes floating around like a doom-cloud. If your Youtube recommendations dry up and you have 20 minutes to waste, check it out.
Until Next Time…
If you know of a show that’s not on this list, drop it in the comments! We might be back in a while with another blog about old TV shows!