This is going to be a huge year for science fiction and fantasy television, including some major A-list creators (Jonathan Nolan, Chris Miller and Phil Lord!) coming to the small screen to make beautiful love your eyes and faces. This is your year, people! Here’s our complete guide to 2015’s science fiction and fantasy television.
Last year we got LEGO Simpsons, Clockwork Orange Simpsons and a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki. How can 2015 possibly top this run? How about an episode created from a long-lost Simpsons spec script penned by Judd Apatow at the age of 22? That’ll do.
Series Premiere - Galavant
Part musical, part relentless joke machine, watching Galavant is like watching a bunch of Costumed Disney Character (straight out of the park) do a stage play of Game of Thrones for children. And it’s great.
Preacher James is back and making it weird for everyone. Meanwhile, Margaret is imprisoned in a weird government holding center. But really all we want to know is what’s going to happen to Henry.
After a phenomenal first season, Sleepy Hollow hit a hard sophomore slope. Hopefully, the showrunners can retool it to be the weird, spooky/goofy that charmed us initially, even though they’ve apparently scrapped the series’ Big Bad already. Also, if the show could get rid of Hawley that would be grand.
Star Wars Rebels
Rebels took its first steps into a larger world in its final episode of 2014, when Ezra embraced the Force and revealed a great deal of power — power he can’t control. That should make for a compelling heroic journey, along with solving the mystery of what the Empire did with his parents. All Rebels really needs to do is connect a bit more solidly to the original trilogy to feel like a vital part of Disney’s new Star Wars universe.
Where: Disney XD
Returning Series/Series Premieres
James Gordon’s become a security guard at Arkham Asylum, which means shit’s about to get even crazier. But we’re mostly in it for the Penguin’s rise to crime superstardom, because watching Robin Lord-Taylor climb over the backs of organized crime lords on his way to the top never stops being fun. Plus, now that Bruce Wayne has been getting out of stately Wayne Manor, he’s become a character we can root for.
Series Premiere - Agent Carter
Marvel’s badass lady from Captain America (who did not get enough screen time) is back with her own series. Set in the past, watch Agent Carter kick so many bad guy asses, all the while looking just splendid. Seriously, where did you get that hat?
When: Jan. 6
An immortal police medical examiner solves crimes. Is immortal.
When: Jan. 6
Person of Interest
If you haven’t checked out this show in a couple years, you might not realize that it’s turned into a full-blown examination of artificial intelligence and what a self-styled A.I. “God” could mean for the human race. But at this point, the show has left a lot of its procedural “case of the week” stuff behind, in favor of tough, complicated questions about non-human intelligence and whether it can possibly share the same values as us. The war between the Machine and its rival A.I., Samaritan, is just heating up, so now’s a great time to check it out again.
When: Jan. 6
American Horror Story
Can Neil Patrick Harris bring back the creepy old magic to American Horror Story? Last episode, Pepper brought back the heart (and connected Freak Show to American Horror Story’s second series, Asylum) now all we need is the fun. And if anyone can, NPH can.
When: Jan. 7th
Series Premiere - Hindsight
Do you love nostalgia, the 90s, and time travel? Then Hindsight is the series for you. A woman on the eve of her second marriage is sent back to 1995, where she’s awesome, to relive her life knowing what she knows now, back then. The entire pilot episode is online right now (above), and if you love Beanie Babies and Ace of Base, you’re in for a treat.
When: Jan. 7
Season Premiere - Archer
After a year off of the spy game running a drug cartel, the whole gang is getting back together.
When: Jan. 8.
Get ready for so many wacky hijinks. Truly, this new show has learned how to fill the Warehouse 13-sized hole in our hearts.
When: Jan. 11
Series Premiere - Eye Candy
Based on the RL Stine book series of the same name, the story is centered around computer whiz kid Lindy Simpson who tries to chase down a serial killer in New York City.
When: Jan. 12
Season Premiere - Face Off
Syfy’s exceedingly addictive reality TV show where makeup artists turn people into monsters every week is back. And they’ve got a whole new crop of artists and creators. It’s like Project Runway for nerds!
When: Jan. 13
Season Premiere - Helix
The team is off the isolated Arctic Biosystems base an in an entirely new environment. The CDC team (now with a new leader and another new younger member) is investigating an outbreak aboard a cruise ship, which leads them to a very remote island — which just so happens to be inhabited by a cult lead by Steven Weber of Wings. Hooray!
When: Jan. 16
There are just five episodes left in the season, but both John Constantine and Zed have to get out of some big trouble in that time. When last we left the cynical exorcist, he was bleeding in a sewer with a hungry demon headed his way. And Zed has just been kidnapped by her cultist father. We don’t know if the show will get a second season, but it will be fun watching Constantine snark his way out of mortal peril.
When: Jan. 16
Series Premiere - 12 Monkeys
Inspired by the Terry Gilliam film (which was itself based on Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée), the 12 Monkeys series completely distinguishes itself from its predecessor. Yes, it still features time traveler James Cole and his doctor love, Cassandra Railly but this time Cole travels back in time more (or less) on his terms. He’s a bit more stable. But the oncoming outbreak that will doom almost all of the human race is still very much a pressing issue.
When: Jan. 16
Season two of this show is basically about Klaus and Elijah’s dead relatives all coming back to screw with them. (When we kind of want it to be about the romance between Vampire Josh and his werewolf boyfriend, Aiden.) Klaus and Elijah are determined to do anything in their power to protect Klaus’ baby, Hope — but given their track record of protecting stuff, we wouldn’t go buying Hope too many onesies.
When: Jan. 19
Getting the Mark of Cain seemed like a really good idea at the time — but now Dean is having a bit of buyer’s remorse. Maybe it’s the fact that he just enjoys killing a little too much. Or maybe he just wishes he had a cool tribal tattoo instead. Meanwhile, Crowley’s mom is apparently a big part of the show now, and she’s going to be helping him solidify his grip on Hell.
When: Jan. 20
The CW’s Flash series has done a great job establishing its own universe, apart from Arrow, but it’s still fallen into a lot of the same traps that its predecessor did — poor handling of the romantic lead chief among them. But assuming The Flash improves just as Arrow did, we want the show to continue to embrace the fantastic side of the DC universe — more superheroes, more supervillains, more powers, and more crazy plots like the Reverse-Flash’s mysterious time-travel scheme.
When: Jan. 20
Oliver Queen has suffered a wee setback in his quest to save Starling City. But don’t worry — Laurel Lance is finally ready to step up and claim her sister’s mantle as the Black Canary. Okay, maybe you should worry after all.
When: Jan. 21
After the brutal mid-season finale, it looks like the Ark survivors and the Grounders finally are teaming up to take on their deadliest foe yet. But the clock is ticking for the remaining 100 living underground as they submit to potentially deadly medial experiments.
When: Jan. 21
As is usual for this show, the good guys fumbled the ball and let the bad guy live — they had a chance to stop Kai, the psycho who wants to be the leader of the all-powerful Gemini Coven, and instead they let him go. And now Kai has turned Elena invisible, for reasons. Meanwhile, Sheriff Forbes suddenly has cancer, which is the one thing vampire blood can’t cure. They better not kill off Caroline’s mom, or we will riot in the streets. At least everybody can go home to Mystic Falls again.
When: Jan. 22
The Walking Dead
It seems like Rick and the others will be heading to the greater DC area in the second half of the fifth season, so it stands to reason that season 6 will mine major comic storyarcs, as well as villains like Negan. That’s cool, and it’d be great to have a bad guy that makes us forget how goofy the Governor was. But the show is always at its most exciting when it doesn’t give us what we expect — like hinting at the Whisperers well before their comics debut. More of that, please!
When: Feb. 8
Season Premier - Vikings
Series creator Michael Hirst has promised that season three will show the massive attack on super old Paris, back when Paris was a Roman city. Remember, he said in an interview, “Ragnar attacked Paris with one hundred ships,” Yessssss.
When: Feb. 19th
Series Premiere - Last Man on Earth
Will Forte plays the last living person on Earth, just an average guy named Phil Miller who used to work at a bank, and now he’s soul remainder of humanity. So what does he do? Mostly a lot of stuff in his underwear. Produced by Forte and io9 favorites Chris Miller and Phil Lord (LEGO Movie, 21 Jump Street), we’re expecting big laughs from this new series.
When: March 1
Once Upon a Time
Rumpelstiltskin has been kicked out of Storybrooke, thus leaving him with no choice than to round up all the other ousted villains (how they got stuck in the real world is still a mystery) and band together to take back the town (or something) Also there’s the whole matter of “the author” still at hand. Who is this guy (or girl) anyway?
When: March 1
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Our ragtag group of underdog agents have been up against the wall ever since HYDRA revealed itself. And now they’ve got a brand new challenge: Something strange and mysterious has happened to Skye. This show is finally ready to start opening up some whole new cosmic areas of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we can’t wait to see what we discover. But we’re still pissed about Trip.
When: March 3
Series Premiere - CSI: Cyber
Patricia Arquette, James Van Der Beek and Bow Wow star in a detective series about cyber crime. Yep, that’s a real thing.
When: March 4
Series Premiere - Dig
We know so very little about this series other than this: “The story focuses on an FBI agent who is based in Jerusalem and discovers a plot that dates back 2000 years, during a murder investigation.” However, it does star Jascon Isaacs so by law we are all required to watch it because he is the absolute best.
When: March 5
After a torturously long wait, Ron D. Moore’s highland romance series returns. What will happen to Claire now that she’s kidnapped by Black Jack? We all saw Jaimie appear in the window, but getting her out of that hell hole isn’t going to be easy.
When: April 4
Series Premiere - Odyssey
When: April 5
Series Premiere - Daredevil
Marvel’s first big foray into the new online series world will start with Daredevil, but they have a lot more planned. The comic book show is being peddled as a gritty look into the seedy underbelly of MCU crime. It stars Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (mild mannered lawyer by day, vigilante by night). Also Cox is blind, but with his disability he also has superior powers that allow him to be a very cunning good guy. The rest of the cast is fantastic as well: Deborah Ann Woll stars as Karen Page, Elden Henson is Foggy Nelson and Vincent D’Onofrio stars as Wilson Fisk (otherwise known as the nefarious Kingpin). What we’ve seen so far we’ve really, really enjoyed.
When: UPDATE: April 10th.
Season Premiere - Orphan Black
Last season changed everything. We now know that there is a whole other collection of boy clones. But what does this mean? How will this change Sarah and the girls’ goals and dreams. More importantly how is Cosima holding up? Is she going to be OK? She has to be OK, has to.
Where: BBC America
When: April 18
Season Premiere - Game of Thrones
HBO has been relentlessly teasing an Arya Stark-centric Game of Thrones season, and we’re perfectly alright with that. What will happen to Arya Stark in Braavos? But of course that’s not all. Tyrion’s actions in the season finale will most likely land him far away from King’s Landing (presumably in hiding), which will probably be difficult for a man of his reputation (especially if there’s a price on his head). And across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys has decided entomb her beloved dragons, but Drogon still remains free and missing. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
When: UPDATE: April 12th.
Season Premiere: Salem
Somehow, this rape and torture-filled fantasy about the Salem Witch Trials is coming back for a second season, and it looks as inappropriate as ever. After the Grand Rite, Mary Sibley is the undisputed dark mistress of Salem, at least for now. And she has been reunited with the child she sacrificed to Satan, who is definitely not a creepy little monster.
Where: WGN America
When: April- Sometime
Series Premiere - Wayward Pines
M. Night Shyamalan’s Twin Peaks take, Wayward Pines stars Matt Dillon as Ethan Burke, a secret service agent assigned to track down two missing colleagues. However, just as he’s getting close, he gets into a car crash and wakes up in the tiny town of Wayward Pines with none of his belongings, surrounded by bizarre characters and unable to get out. And then everyone kind of smiles and mugs for the camera a lot. It’s creepy.
When: May 14
Season Premiere: Penny Dreadful
Eva Green returns as Vanessa Ives and it sounds like she’s using her “curse” to her advantage.
When: Sometime in May
Series Premiere - The Messengers
Something falls out of the sky and crashes to Earth causing a collection of strangers hearts to collectively stop. These people all basically die, and then come right back to life. All of them. And now they are somehow connected because of this physical experience. Together they are realize they have a destiny that will either damn the Earth forever, or save it.
When: Sometime in the Spring?
Series Premiere - iZombie
Inspired by the comics from Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, Veronica Mars’ Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero have teamed up again to make this completely bonkers zombie comedy a reality. It centers on “Liv,” the recently turned zombie who decides to take job in the police department’s morgue for the brains. But also to help. You see, when she feasts on the brains of the dead ,she can relive their memories and thus help the cops solve various unsolvable murders. Liv also retains the powers of whomever brain she devours, so if the deceased played the piano, Liv can play the piano as well (for a short time).
When: Sometime this Spring (we hope)? We just really want to see this series.
Season Premiere - The Strain
The first season ended with a lot of family problems for Eph, and a brand new vampire revolution for Gus. If you don’t think The Strain season 2 can get any darker, think again. We’ve read ahead in the books.
When: Summer Maybe? Production for the second season is already underway.
Season Premiere - Sherlock
The Sherlock duo will rise again, but only for a Christmas special. We’ll take whatever we can get.
Unknown Premiere Dates
Season Premiere - Community
The gang from Greendale is back, and now they’re on Yahoo. We have absolutely no idea what to expect now that Community will be premiering on the internet, but it feels safe on the internet, this could be a good home for its wondrous weirdness.
When: Early 2015 Was the Last Rumor.
Series Premiere - Twin Peaks
Just like Laura Palmer promised, “I’ll see you again in 25 years, meanwhile....” Twin Peaks is coming back with series creators Mark Frost and David Lynch both on board. This series will serve as a sequel to the original, and yes, it will be back on the 25 year anniversary (no idea what the official premiere date is yet, though). UPDATE: This won’t be out until 2016. Sorry!
Series Premiere - Westworld
Our most anticipated series of 2015. Inspired by the 1973 Michael Crichton movie of the same name, Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest, Interstellar) is show running this drama for HBO. Set in a futuristic theme park where humans can go and pretend to be cowboys and shoot up very believable robot folks (just like the cowboys did), it’s all fun and games until the robot cowboys revolt. The cast is bananas. Anthony Hopkins will play the head of the adult entertainment park and Ed Harris will be portraying the robot gunslinger originally portrayed by Yul Brynner.
Series Peremiere - Damien
You’ve seen the spawn of Satan as a shitty little kid who killed his mother and father, now see him as a teenage heartthrob. Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is making a 6-episode Damien series for Lifetime that is all about teenage Damien. We’re betting he’s just misunderstood, but here’s hoping he’s shoved into a love triangle with some hot hippie kid named Jesus. The center of their affectation, your immortal soul.
Series Premiere - Childhood’s End
Syfy is bringing Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel to life as a TV miniseries. After peaceful aliens invade the Earth, humanity finds itself living in a utopia under the indirect rule of their new alien Overlords. But utopia comes at a price: depriving humans of our culture and identity.
Series Premiere - Shannara
Terry Brooks’ ambitious saga was one of the first book series to help establish epic fantasy as a major genre, in the wake of Lord of the Rings-mania. And now, at last, it’s coming to television, from Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Miller, plus Iron Man director Jon Favreau. The first season will be based on the second book in the series, Elfstones of Shannara — in which Elves have to fight off a Demon invasion of the Four Lands, while some heroes seek to create a new magical tree to banish the Demons forever.
Series Premiere - Dark Matter
Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (best known for their work on legendary series Stargate) are getting another go at Syfy. Their graphic novel Dark Matter will be turned into a Syfy series. “The story follows a crew of derelict spaceship who wakes up with no memory of who they are or how they got there. Despite this, they have to work together to overcome the threats they encounter.” The 13-episode series is rumored to air this year. Fingers crossed!
Series Premeire - The Expanse
Straight from syfy’s PR” Set two hundred years in the future The Expanse follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.” And yes this IS inspired by the book series of the same name penned by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
Series Premiere - The Magicians
Lev Grossman’s fantasy trilogy brought a welcome level of snark and realism to the story of a young man who goes to a magical academy and discovers that the fantasy realm he grew up reading about is real. The TV version is adapted by former Supernatural scribe Sera Gamble, and if it’s done right, it could be one of the most fascinating TV shows of the next year.
Series Premiere - Supergirl
The creators behind No Ordinary Family (Ali Adler and Greg Berlanti) were recently given a series commitment on a Supergirl series from CBS. Yeah, it’s not going to be on the CW, so color us surprised. However, word is the series will center around Kara Zor-El Superman’s cousin and other survivor of Krypton. The difference between this series and Smallville is that this series is supposed to start right as Kara has decided to embrace her powers. Lots of names have been cast out as a possible potential Supergirl, but nothing is confirmed yet. But we really, really can’t wait to meet the new Supergirl.
Series Premiere - Krypton
Yet another superhero prequel series — this one reaching way, way back into history. This show takes place on Krypton, long before the planet blew up, as Superman’s grandfather tries to restore the tarnished honor of his family. Man of Steel writer David S. Goyer is producing and the pilot’s being written by Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a Time, Flashforward). The big question is, can they do justice to the planet Krypton on a weekly TV show budget?
Series Premiere - Teen Titans
With the kid version of Batman currently ruling television, it stands to reason that we’d get a show about Batman’s kid sidekick, Robin/Nightwing, and his own team of teen heroes. The Titans have already had a couple of successful cartoon shows, but this would be a gritty live-action version, following Nightwing, Starfire, Raven and other heroes as they strike out on their own. But can it possibly measure up to the Young Justice animated show from a few years ago? Akiva Goldsman (who would probably much rather we list A Beautiful Mind than Batman and Robin after his name) is producing.
Series Premiere - Scream Queens
Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk return to horror with a hor-com series Scream Queens. And they’ve already cast the original Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis, as well as Emma Roberts, who has done great work in the American Horror Story series thus far. But the idea for this horror-centric show is more laughs and less really terrible shit happening to the characters all the time.
Greatest American Hero
Possibly the most promising thing we’ve put on this list. LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller are in the very early process of putting together a Greatest American Hero reboot. If you haven’t seen this the premise is simple, a guy finds a superhero suit and loses the instruction manuel. Cue comedy. Plus with these two guys behind it, there’s going to be both heart and laughs.
Series Premiere - Walking Dead Spinoff
Set in Los Angeles, this Walking Dead spinoff is not tied to the original series in any way (other than the fact that these characters are also stuck in the same post apocalyptic hell). With a new family, and new problems and new people this spinoff is just picking up and dropping down in another part of the country, just to see how these folks deal with the undead coming back to life. But just because it’s set in LA doesn’t mean it will stay in LA.
Series Premiere - Humans
Based on Swedish show Real Humans, this show’s set in the alternate future world where everyone has a household robot, called a “Synth.” The series centers around one family that purchases a second hand Synth. And the consequences of that purchase.
Where: Channel 4 in the UK, Xbox in the US
Season Premiere - Doctor Who
We know so little about the new season of Doctor Who other than it will star current Doctor Peter Capaldi and companion Jenna Coleman, and that Steven Moffat will continue his post as show runner. However there is plenty of speculation about the return of the new Master played by Michelle Gomez. And we would like that just fine.
Series Premiere - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Susanna Clarke’s wondrous fantasy novel about two nineteenth century gentleman who discover magic will be adapted for BBC America by Peter Harness. And Bertie Carvel and Eddie Marsan as Strange and Norrell, respectively.
Where: BBC America
Series Premiere - Evil Dead
Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi are re-teaming to make an Evil Dead TV series. We honestly didn’t include this right away because we thought it was so very far off. But then again, it could come together rather quickly. The new series will show what’s been going on with Ash (how he’s matured and grown since the many bloody happenings of his past). But there will also be two additional leads to star next to Ash. That being said, this still feels like a long ways off.