36 best science fiction TV series, ranked worst to first

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Image: NBC

2. Star Trek

While it is not the best of the franchise (that would be Star Trek: The Next Generation) or the most creative (that would be Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Star Trek: The Original Series is the most influential science fiction TV series of all-time.

There isn’t anyone close.

What is amazing is that Star Trek achieved this in just three seasons. The ratings were not great when the series aired from 1966-68. However, as time went on, more and more people discovered the series and the rest is history.

The show tells the story of the USS Enterprise and its crew — Captain James T. Kirk, second-in-command Spock, chief medical officer Bones McCoy, communications officer Uhura, helmsman Sulu, navigator Chekov, and chief engineer Scotty.

No show in science fiction TV history has a crew this iconic and memorable.

There were only 79 episodes and NBC canceled the series, appearing to kill the franchise.

That did not happen.

Instead, Star Trek became a massive hit on syndication and a decade later a movie was made … then another … then another. Eventually, there would be six movies with the original crew of the USS Enterprise, four with the Next Generation crew, and three with the original crew back in a rebooted franchise.

There would also be five sequel television series with a sixth one coming with Jean-Luc Pickard in the lead again. There was also an animated series in 1973, a bunch of games, too many books to list, and even a comic book series.

Star Trek is the template for how to build a science fiction franchise and no one has touched it in the realm of success.