Nuclear bombs devastate 23 American cities, and the small town of Jericho struggles to cope in the absence of supplies or outside help. Like the new Battlestar Galactica, this show examined how our social and political institutions would hold up after a major disaster — but it also transformed into a suspenseful thriller about a post-apocalyptic U.S. falling into corporate-sponsored fascism. By the end, Jericho's fate seemed intertwined with whether the U.S. would survive in any recognizeable form — and the show still sticks in our minds.
The spirit of Andy Griffith lives on in Syfy's gentle comedy-drama that never forgets that science fiction is always as much about the characters as it is the unknown. Not that they stint on generous helpings of the unknown when it's necessary... As long as it can all be tied up within the hour, of course.
Land Of The Lost
The most famous, and memorable, of the Sid-and-Marty-Krofft science fiction shows, this family adventure had everything: a family lost in the wilderness, ape people, lizard people, dinosaurs, and weird surreal touches galore.
Planet Of The Apes
Given that this concept spawned a half dozen movies and an animated show, you might wonder why it needed a live-action TV show as well. But featuring classic actors like Star Trek's Mark Lenard, and weird plots like "a blind ape woman falls in love with a human by mistake," this show took the post-apocalyptic ape-dominated world in plenty of bizarre directions in its short run.
My Favorite Martian
Before there were Mork and Mindy or Third Rock From The Sun, there was this sitcom about a Martian with strange powers, who comes to live with a human while he repairs his spaceship. Featuring future genre MVPs Bill Bixby and Ray Walston, this show was one of the most popular science fiction shows of the early 1960s.
Steven Moffatt's quasi-sequel to the classic novel brought a new take to the story, with James Nesbitt compelling as the descendant of the original story's Dr. Jekyll (Or is he...?) and future Bionic Woman Michelle Ryan proving that she really could act, as assistant/enabler Katherine Reimer. Ignore the uneven humor of the first few episodes and become as frustrated as we are that they never made a second season.
A Seattle family finds a naked young boy with no bellybutton and amazing mental abilities — and even before we find out he's a genetic experiment, it's clear he's something different. Kyle's struggle to understand normal people is often super-entertaining, but watch the show for its supporting cast, including Kyle's fellow lab-rat Jessi, and Andi the cute nerd girl.
The Hulk, traditionally, has been a Godzilla-esque force for destruction and metaphor for nuclear weapons. So how do you do a weekly TV show about his adventures? By turning him into a Fugitive-style drifter who comes to town, sorts out your problems, turns green and destroys a few things, and then leaves. The Hulk has never been so superheroic, and Bill Bixby's wry humor is always fun to watch.
Reporter and family man Dan Vasser finds himself occasionally and involuntarily pulled back in time to change the life of an individual for the better, a circumstance that greatly hampers his work and family life. But Journeyman isn't just a time travel show; it's a mystery, as Dan tries to figure out why he travels back in time and why he keeps running into his ex-fiancee Livia, a woman he long believed to be dead. The past frequently becomes a bizarre horror show, and relationships become slipperier and slipperier as Dan keeps changing his own past.
Star Trek: Voyager
The fourth live-action Star Trek series was notoriously plagued with problems, including errors in continuity and the defanging of the Borg. But by flinging the starship Voyager into the Delta Quadrant, far from their Federation and their allies, Star Trek: Voyager returned Trek to the original spirit of exploration. Plus, it gave us Robert Picardo as the snarky, opera-loving Emergency Medical Hologram, and Jerri Ryan as the slowly humanizing Borg Seven Of Nine.