Netflixsits on a wide range of sci-fi seriesWeird stuffForblack mirrorForDie OA. It also took advantage of excellent international content, includingDeutscher Science-Fiction-Dark- one of Netflix's best period series - as well as hidden gems like Canadian Sci-Fi Travelers.
Scroll down to find the best Netflix sci-fi for you, plus great international deals.”
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Lost in Space (2018-2021)
The reboot of the 1965 series of the same name takes us to the year 2046, two years after humanity is on the verge of extinction. The talented Robinson family sets out with a team to colonize a new planet. Inevitable family drama aside, they face strange new environments and a strange alien robot who befriends young Will. Mystery, heart and a memorable villain in Dr. Smith gives Lost in Space plenty of fuel to get off the ground (Seasons 2 and 3 were vastly improved over the first season).
Altered Carbon (2018-2020)
Altered Carbon takes place in a cyberpunk world where human consciousness can be transferred into different bodies. Investigator and former soldier Takeshi Kovacs is transported into the body of Joel Kinnaman in Season 1 and Anthony Mackie in Season 2. First, Kovacs' story revolves around solving a murder before he sets out on a quest to find out what happened to his own lost love. Altered Carbon can be clunky at times, but its visual sweetness and entertainment value will carry you through heavy social commentary and display.
From the creators of The Matrix comes another story that plays with reality. Sense8 follows eight strangers from around the world who discover they are spiritually and emotionally connected. Not only do these windows into very different lives teach tolerance, but the "scythes" can exploit each other's abilities when faced with a sinister organization that pursues them. If you agree with Sense8's diverse characters, you'll fall madly in love with this serious and sensual sci-fi drama.
The One (2021)
A DNA researcher claims it's possible to match people based on genetics and starts a dating service. A murder investigation takes a turn. The One is based on the book of the same name by John Marrs, published in 2016.
File 81 (2022)
Sadly, this sci-fi series isn't seeing a second season - another dead-too-soon Netflix victim. Two timelines, cults and a mystery are included in Archive 81's compelling package. The multi-genre show stars Mamoudou Athie as Dan Turner, an archivist who puts on a show to restore a collection of damaged videotapes from the 1990s. Much more than he bargained for, he becomes involved in the investigation of a mysterious cult and a young woman who may or may not be dead. Archive 81 is a supernatural horror, noir and sci-fi thriller immersed in its haunting atmosphere.
The Silent Sea (2021—)
Yes, Gong Yoo from Squid Game is included. What else do you need to know? This South Korean sci-fi mystery follows a team of astronauts on a mission to an abandoned research facility on the moon. Its purpose: a sample of an unknown substance for unclear purposes. Betrayal, government lies and personal secrets envelop this addictive space journey.
Screenshot from Warner Bros./YouTube/CNET
Die 100 (2014-2020)
If The 100 sounds like your standard teen drama, prepare for your expectations to be exceeded. There's a reason this post-apocalyptic series has seven seasons: The 100 features rich world-building and moral dilemmas that take the stereotypical characters to unique and compelling places. The 100 in question are a generation of juvenile prisoners who were sent to Earth to determine if it was habitable after the apocalypse. 100 percent give this one a shot.
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Love, Death + Robots (2019—)
This adult anthology series spans a variety of genres, with many episodes hitting the Black Mirror compare button. The first season features robots in a post-apocalyptic city, farmers piloting mech suits and a space mission gone wrong. While episodes can be hit and miss (some have been criticized for their treatment of women), you'll find plenty of engaging and thought-provoking animation.
Germany's answer to Stranger Things deliberately takes its time before going into completely compelling and original places. A sci-fi noir, Dark weaves through time travel, conspiracies and separated families in a multi-generational story that begins with the disappearance of a child. If you're after these types of carefully crafted levels when it comes to storytelling, be my guest. All three seasons of Dark's meditative look at time travel and its impact on human nature are waiting to hit you full force.
Hilary Swank is the big star at the center of Away's space drama. She plays Emma Green, a NASA astronaut and commander of an expedition to Mars. Things get off to a bad start and Emma's international crew fills her with doubts about her ability to command. With its time split between earth-based drama and credible above-stratosphere entertainment, Away mostly manages to land itself in an all-encompassing journey.
Black Mirror (2011—)
During Charlie Brooker's gritty tech anthology seriescan be hit and missAt its best, Black Mirror packs its mini-films with an exploration of futuristic technological ideas through painfully human stories. One is San Junipero, which follows two women in their 80s (soundtrack thunderous) who fall in love in a way they couldn't in their "real" life outside of the seaside town. The technical aspect is revealed with ingenious timing, and overall the show explores the ramifications of our connected lives in a disturbing and occasionally uplifting way.
Stranger Things (2016—)
It wouldn't be a leaderboard without Stranger Things. If you've somehow missed the Duffer Brothers' ode to '80s horror and Steven Spielberg, you're about to get tubular. We follow El, an almost mute girl who was once the subject of scientific experiments. She develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to ward off invading monsters from a terrifying alternate dimension. The world of Indiana, Hawkins is carefully fleshed out for anyone in need of a nostalgic '80s hit, and the misfit characters, played by an exceptional young cast, are part of everything that makes this show a tour de force.
Der OA (2016-2019)
Netflix cancellations are no more criminal than The OA's cancellation. This unique story follows Prairie Johnson, a young blind woman who returns after being missing for years and can now see again. Claiming to be the "original angel", she convinces a small group of villagers to listen to her impossible story, which involves kidnappings and grand escapes. The OA is the kind of grounded sci-fi that catches you and its heroes completely off guard as it introduces its fantastical concepts. Watch the flawless first two seasons on Netflix and cross your fingers that the third picks up elsewhere.
Deep into the night (2020—)
This apocalyptic sci-fi from Belgium will likely soon make you give up flying. Into the Night is set on a plane and features a red-eyed fighter being kidnapped by a soldier who, along with the rest of the passengers, is surviving a deadly global event. Can they keep the plane running long enough to get them to safety? That premise alone should be enough to entice you to check out this excellent suspense thriller.
Full disclosure: Netflix unfortunately canceled Travelers after its third season, but this well-planned sci-fi series from Canada manages to end with an ambitious bang. We begin with Marcy, a disabled woman who is beaten up after helping a friend escape from bandits. She dies - and then comes back to life. This heavily character-driven sci-fi cleverly unravels its mysteries, following agents of the future tasked with preventing society's collapse while also navigating the tricky terrain of a double life.
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