How to Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek

So, you've seen all of Star Trek, or all that you care to (some omit the original series, or Enterprise, for various reasons) and other sci-fi offerings don't look like they'll live up to your expectations? Not only will some of those shows surprise you, but seeing how far sci-fi has come since Star Trek might make you re-examine the pedestal you've put Star Trek on.


  1. Image titled Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek Step 1
    Ask yourself why you really like Star Trek. What aspects of the franchise keep you coming back?
  2. Image titled Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek Step 2
    Research other sci-fi shows (or read on). Look to see what they offer.
  3. Image titled Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek Step 3
    Watch the pilot episode for a show you think might be interesting.
  4. Image titled Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek Step 4
    If you like it, continue.
  5. Image titled Rediscover Sci Fi After Star Trek Step 5
    Smile as you've found a good show to keep you occupied for another few months.

Babylon 5

  • Came out at the same time as Deep Space Nine; both feature a space station which gets caught up in an interstellar conflict or a series of them. Often considered to be a knockoff; the truth is quite the opposite as DS9 is actually thought to be based partly on ideas J. Michael Straczynski pitched to Paramount.
  • Shot in HD as its creators saw early specs for the HDTV format, and unlike Trek, thought it sounded promising, so B5 looks about ten years ahead of its time.
  • Focuses more on politics than any Trek show.
  • Patently non-technical. Stuff just works or it doesn't and they fix it, they don't explain all the ins and outs as to how their stuff works.
  • Comparative number of major alien races to the Trek franchise.
  • Similar epic atmosphere and maturity level.
  • Five seasons, though the first is mostly buildup.
  • Overall B5 is the logical next step for most Trekkies.
  • Basic premise: In the aftermath of a costly war, Humans and other major races build a space station to keep the peace while ancient races gear up for war.

Battlestar Galactica (remake)

  • The most modern sci-fi show, and it shows in the cinematography.
  • Very depressing; any remotely happy moments are spoiled by some kind of tragedy.
  • Very mature subject matter with regular sex, partial nudity, and a lot of F-bombs delivered with a clever censor bypass. Torture and other thematic elements not uncommon and not discouraged by the "good guys".
  • Four seasons long. Very slow start, but starts to get good just a few episodes in.
  • Technical, but not nearly as much as Trek.
  • Confusing command structure to a Trekkie (Commander above Captain, e.g.).
  • No alien races, just humans and Cylons. Cylons include androids, living ships, as well as wholly organic beings.
  • Humans lose hard all throughout the first two seasons and quite a lot after that.
  • Basic premise: Humans make Cylons, Cylons rebel and nuke the humans' 12 colonies. 50,000 human survivors set off in search of the rumored 13th colony, called Earth.

Battlestar Galactica (original series)

  • Made from 1978 to 1980
  • Family Friendly. More uplifting than the remake. Little Sex or Profanity.
  • Only one season (24 episodes) and a spin off series called 'Galactica 1980' (9 episodes)
  • Special effects from John Dykstra who worked on 'Star Wars' and 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture' were groundbreaking for their day and although they often seem corny compared to current CGI, they still hold up well.
  • More like 'Star Trek' than the remake with its optimism. Some guest stars were also guests on 'Star Trek: The Original Series'.
  • Occasional alien races but mostly just the Human race and the Cylon Empire.
  • Reruns on the Retro Television Network. Available on DVD.
  • Basic premise: Humans' 12 Colonies of Man are destroyed by the Cylon Empire and 220 ships filled to the brim with the survivors lead by the spaceship known as Battlestar Galactica to search for the lost 13th colony of man, a planet called Earth.

Doctor Who (remake)

  • The most non-scientific sci-fi show.
  • Modern, with pop culture styling.
  • Dark episodes are rare; most are light-hearted. More fun than serious.
  • More of a weekly serial like Star Trek: The Next Generation with only a couple season-wide or franchise-wide arcs.
  • Patently non-technical.
  • The one recurring non-human race, the Daleks, are supposed to be scary but are more 'cute' than anything (think R2-D2 from Star Wars but they can talk).
  • British references will confuse some Americans.
  • Basic premise: The Doctor is a Time Lord, over 900 years old, who studies the universe while taking a keen interest in Earth. Travels with one or more companions (mostly always humans, usually pretty girls) in a phone booth, like Bill & Ted (actually the original Doctor Who influenced those movies).


  • The classic series of Doctor Who is just as fun and is family friendly too, and is a good place to start if you like Old fashioned drama. If you hate the new series of Doctor Who, Try the classic series, many "fans" hate the new series and love the old ones.
  • Don't discount Star Wars, that's a great universe too.
  • Buying the DVDs is the best way to support good sci-fi, and the boxes will look nice in your collection.
  • Don't give up on a series after watching only the pilot. Watch at least 3 hours of a series before you decide on its merit. It may take some time to find something you like in a series.
  • You may be able to purchase iTunes or Amazon downloads to sample the first few episodes of a series.
  • A DVD rental company like Blockbuster or Netflix is a good way to watch TV series.
  • Most Trekkies would be best served to start with Babylon 5 and then move on to Battlestar Galactica, perhaps watching Doctor Who off and on to offset the depressing BSG episodes.
  • Downloading TV shows via torrent or peer-to-peer networking is the cheapest and sometimes fastest solution, but is illegal in most countries.

Things You'll Need

  • A television with cable or satellite
  • A computer with broadband Internet OR a good online DVD seller
  • An open mind


  • If you have kids, the Battlestar Galactica remake is not a family-friendly show. Be warned that BSG has thematic elements, coarse language, partial nudity, sexual content including rape, and violence including torture. Doctor Who or the original BSG is a better compromise for families.
  • Don't download TV shows if it's illegal to do so.

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Categories: TV Viewing and Shows