36 best science fiction TV series, ranked worst to first

28 of 36

Image: CBS

9. Star Trek: The Next Generation

Star Trek: The Next Generation did something amazing when it hit the air in 1987. It took a science fiction TV series that premiered two decades earlier and spawned a number of movies and it gave it a new spin that revitalized the entire franchise and basically replaced the original in the hearts of fans for years.

Replacing Captain Kirk is Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played magnificently by Patrick Stewart. Joining him is a cast of characters that are as iconic as the originals with Jonathan Frakes as Number One William Riker, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Michael Dorn as the Klingon Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Crusher and Brent Spiner as the android, Data.

The series took place 99 years after the mission of the original series began. While the original Star Trek was never a huge ratings’ success when it originally aired and picked up its army of fans over the years, The Next Generation was an immediate hit.

Even by its fifth season, 12 million viewers tuned in to the series and the finale in its seventh season brought in over 30 million viewers in 1994.

Overall, Star Trek: The Next Generation aired for seven seasons and had 178 total episodes. If it wasn’t for the success of this series, there would have been no Deep Space NineVoyagerEnterprise or DiscoveryThe Next Generation was also a critical success, winning 19 Emmy Awards, two Hugos and five Saturn Awards.

Not only was the series extremely successful, but the Next Generation crew replaced the original in the movie series starting with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and even included a meeting of Jean-Luc Pickard and Captain Kirk.