Netflix doesn’t skimp on incredible sci-fi series. It’s obsessive., as well as this is just the beginning. Then there is the international content: is one of the best series on Netflix full stop.
Scroll down to find the best Netflix sci-fi for you, as well as great international deals.
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Love Death + Robots (2019—)
This adult animated anthology series spans many genres, with many episodes falling in comparison to Black Mirror. Robots in a post-apocalyptic city, farmers driving mechanical suits, and a failed space mission all resurface in the first season. While the episodes can be random (some have been criticized for their treatment of women), you’ll find plenty of thought-provoking and impressive animations.
This apocalyptic sci-fi movie from Belgium is likely to put you off flying anytime soon. While on the plane, Into the Night sees a red-eyed soldier hijacked who, along with the rest of the passengers, end up surviving a deadly global event on earth. Can they get the plane to fly long enough to get them to safety? That premise alone should be enough to entice you to watch this excellent, tense thriller.
Hilary Swank is the main star of the space drama Away. She plays Emma Green, a NASA astronaut and commander of an expedition to Mars. Things get off to a bad start, and Emma’s international team makes her question her ability to command. Divided between earthly drama and reliable entertainment above the stratosphere, Away basically manages to land on an all-round trip.
Do you like sci-fi series with two timelines? Is there a special place for cults and mysteries? Meet Archive 81. In the multi-genre show, Mamoudou Ati plays Dan Turner, an archivist who is in charge of restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from the 90s. He gets a lot more than he bargained for, embroiled in investigating a mysterious cult and a young woman who may or may not be dead. A supernatural thriller with elements of horror, mysticism, noir and sci-fi infused with an eerie atmosphere, Archive 81 has it all.
Stranger Things (2016—)
It wouldn’t be the best list without Stranger Things. If you somehow missed the Duffer Brothers’ ode to 80s horror and Steven Spielberg, things are about to get tubular. We follow El, an almost mute girl who was the subject of scientific experiments. She develops telekinetic abilities which she uses to fend off monsters invading from a frightening alternate dimension. The world of Indiana, Hawkins, is lovingly detailed for those in need of a nostalgic ’80s hit, and the misfit characters played by a stellar young cast are part of everything that makes this show a show of strength.
Full disclosure: Netflix unfortunately canceled The Travelers after its third season, but this carefully crafted sci-fi from Canada manages to end with an ambitious explosion. We start with Marcy, a disabled woman who was beaten up after helping a friend escape from thugs. She dies and then comes back to life. This strong character-driven sci-fi reveals its secrets in clever ways, following operatives from the future tasked with preventing the collapse of society while also navigating the complex territory of dual life.
While Charlie Brooker’s dark tech anthology series may be accidental, at best, Black Mirror contains in its mini-movies an exploration of futuristic technological ideas through painful human stories. One of them is San Junipero, which is about two women in the 80s (cue soundtrack) as they fall in love with each other in a way they couldn’t do in their “real” life outside of a beach town. The technical aspect is revealed with a stroke of genius, and overall the series explores the consequences of our connected lives in a disturbing and sometimes uplifting way.
Screenshot Warner Bros./YouTube/CNET
If The 100 looks like a standard teen drama, get ready to have your expectations exceeded. There’s a reason this post-apocalyptic series has hit seven seasons: The 100 offers rich world-building and moral dilemmas that push stereotypical characters into unique, compelling places. These 100 people are a generation of juvenile prisoners sent to Earth to determine if it is fit for life after the apocalypse. 100 percent give it a go.
Germany’s response to Stranger Things is deliberately slow before moving on to utterly compelling and original passages. The sci-fi noir Dark combines time travel, conspiracies and torn families into a multi-generational story that begins with the disappearance of a child. If you need these elaborate layers in your storytelling, sit back. All three seasons of Dark’s meditative look at time travel and its impact on human nature are waiting to hit you in full force.
The cancellation of Netflix does not become more criminal than the closure of OA. This wildly unique story follows Prairie Johnson, a young blind woman who returns after being away for years and is now able to see. She claims to be a “real angel” and convinces a small group of locals to listen to her incredible story, including kidnappings and great escapes. OA is the kind of down-to-earth sci-fi that takes you and its characters by surprise when it presents its fantastical concepts. Watch the first two flawless seasons on Netflix and pray the third is filmed elsewhere.
Lost in Space (2018-2021)
The reboot of the 1965 series of the same name takes us to 2046, two years after humanity was on the brink of extinction. The talented Robinson family, together with the team, sets out to colonize a new planet. Aside from the inevitable family drama, they encounter a strange new environment and a strange alien robot who befriends young Will. The mystery, the heart, and the memorable villain in Parker Posey’s Dr. Smith give Lost in Space a lot of fuel to get off the ground (seasons 2 and 3 are markedly improved over season 1).
Yes, Gong Yoo from Squid Game is in it. What else do you need to know? This South Korean sci-fi mystery follows a crew of astronauts on their way to an abandoned research facility on the moon. Their goal: a sample of an unknown substance for obscure purposes. Betrayal, government lies and personal secrets turn this exciting space journey into a tailspin.
Modified carbon (2018-2020)
Altered Carbon is set in a cyberpunk world where human consciousness can be transferred into different bodies. It shows investigator and ex-soldier Takeshi Kovacs being transferred into the body of Joel Kinnaman in the first season and Anthony Mackie in the second season. Initially, Kovacs’ story involves solving a murder before he goes on a quest to unravel what happened to his own lost one. love. Altered Carbon may feel clunky at times, but its visual appeal and entertainment value lifts your spirits with its exposition and tough social commentary.
From the creators of The Matrix comes another story that plays with reality. Sense8 follows eight strangers from around the world who discover they are connected mentally and emotionally. Not only do these windows into completely different lives teach tolerance, the “sensual” can also use each other’s skills when faced with a sinister organization hunting them. If you like the diverse characters of Sense8, you will fall head over heels in this serious and sensual sci-fi drama.
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