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Modern Science Fiction Television: 5 TV Shows Since 1990 That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 08:52 PM

As the new millennium approached, science fiction experienced a resurgence on modern television. The genre got its own cable network, classic sci-fi series made a comeback through spinoffs and remakes, and new shows pushed the envelope on what was possible to imagine on TV.

Here are five modern science fiction TV shows the shaped the genre for modern audiences.

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1. "Quantum Leap" (1989-1993)

Great science fiction is a window into humanity.

The award-winning drama “Quantum Leap” sent scientist Sam Beckett through time and other people’s histories, while making plenty of social commentary along the way. The sci-fi show also brought humor and heart as Sam, with the help of his hologram sidekick Al, clumsily made his way through the past to make it back to his own time and body.

2. "The X-Files" (1993-2002)

“The X-Files” got it right with the perfect marriage of modern TV drama and sci-fi action, which is why it had such a long run, became a box-office hit, and returned to TV in 2016.

The sci-fi show followed two FBI agents as they attempted to solve the agency’s unexplained and unsolved crimes. It teamed skeptic and conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and religious forensics scientist Dana Scully.

“The X-Files” played with the mysterious, mythic, and just plain weird. It tackled modern thoughts like mistrust in the government and the struggle between belief and reason.

3. “Battlestar Galatica” (2005-2013)

A remake of a campy ’70s TV series originally created to capitalize on “Star Wars”’ popularity, “BSG” became one of the Sci-Fi Channel’s (now Syfy) most celebrated series.

The new version tweaked the original plotline by focusing on humans trying to escape aboard a warship to survive the destruction of their home by their own invention — the cybernetic race of Cylons.

The grounded, post-apocalyptic space opera about the plight of these Earth-bound refugees drew parallels from the modern world tackling the emergence of AI technology and the war on terror.

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4. “Lost” (2004-2010)

Plane crash survivors in “Lost” find themselves marooned on a mysterious island. This critically acclaimed show has often been viewed as a battle between science and religion. The controversial finale is still talked about years after the series ended.

5. “Orphan Black” (2013-)

A woman assumes the identity of a lookalike who committed suicide. This double turns out to be one of many clones in this sci-fi thriller filled with conspiracy and murder.

Tatiana Maslany, the lead actress, adeptly performs under several guises throughout the series, which touches on the themes of identity and the moral, ethical, and spiritual implications of human cloning.

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As the new millennium approached, science fiction experienced a resurgence on modern television. The genre got its own cable network, classic sci-fi series made a comeback through spinoffs and remakes, and new shows pushed the envelope on what was possible to imagine on TV.
modern, science fiction, television
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2016-52-24
Wednesday, 24 Feb 2016 08:52 PM
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