Prime Video: The best sci-fi TV shows to watch
First video has wisely had an interface overhaul, but it still takes a little digging to unearth its best sci-fi offerings. Hope this best list helps you with that. Amazon has picked out some of the best sci-fi series, from the spy sci-fi hybrid Counterpartto one of the greatest science fiction series of all time, The extent.
Scroll down to see our top picks for the best sci-fi TV shows you can stream right now on Prime Video.
Screenshot Amazon Studios/YouTube/CNET
Tales from the Loop (2020—)
Not just another show about a small town where weird things happen, Tales from the Loop has layers beneath its beautiful surface. Based on a narrative art book by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, the series is beautiful to watch. Meticulous and symmetrical frames somehow give off a painterly feel. The interconnected city dwellers are equally nuanced, their stories exploring loneliness, aging, and the impact of technology.
Is this the next Stranger Things? Bikes, check. The 80s, check. Ali Wong playing the older version of one of the characters who interacts with said younger character in a hilarious way…check? Yes, Paper Girls has its own thing. Based on Brian K. Vaughn’s superb comic book series, Paper Girls rolls out the shenanigans of time travel to the fullest, placing its four young heroines at the center of a war between time travel factions. Starring impressive young actors whose characters face harsh revelations about each of their futures, Paper Girls is a charming outburst. Unfortunately, Amazon canceled it after one season. Fingers crossed another network picks it up.
Night Sky isn’t the most evocative title, and the one-season series doesn’t reach the sci-fi heights that some may be looking for. Although it presents a slow-burning mystery involving an alien planet, Night Sky’s greatest strength is the touching, sometimes surprisingly funny drama between an old couple, the most unlikely of protagonists. Facing health issues, not to mention dangerous new guests, Franklin and Irene York (the huge JK Simmons and Sissy Spacek) do their best to make sense of a portal to a mysterious and desolate planet.
This sci-fi miniseries was more or less successful, so it’s a recommendation for the one episode that knocked it out of the park. This is largely thanks to Anne Hathaway. She stars in Episode 1 of Solos as Leah, a physicist who manages to communicate with the future, but runs into obstacles created by her greatest enemy: herself. This one-episode roller coaster runs the gamut of emotions and should be the only episode you watch from the lot.
The Man Who Fell to Earth (2022—)
This series, based on the novel by Walter Tevis, features a stunning cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor plays an alien who lands on Earth seeking the help of a brilliant scientist and Bill Nighy plays Thomas Jerome Newton, an alien who has fallen to Earth in the 1976 film. adaptation. The role was originally played by David Bowie and each episode of this movie sequel is named after one of Bowie’s songs. A more than solid and entertaining series that is best watched without comparing it to previous material. Although, if you’re not a fan of split timelines, beware.
Amazon rescued The Expanse from the realm of canceled television, bringing the series to six seasons. Thank goodness, because The Expanse is smart sci-fi with realistic characters, high production values, and a touch of detective noir. In a future where humanity has colonized the solar system, a plot threatens to ignite a cold war between the greatest powers. A band of anti-heroes find themselves in the center. Expect more space western themes in the still excellent later seasons.
Starring Chloe Grace Moretz, The Peripheral is an all-new sci-fi series from the creators of Westworld. It’s a step forward in terms of providing a simpler, easier-to-follow narrative. Flynne Fisher (Moretz) and her brother Burton (Jack Reynor) are embroiled in a dangerous new video game that takes them to Future London and a fight to save the world. Based on the novel by William Gibson, The Peripheral draws on rich source material and presents an exciting, if somewhat generic, adventure.
Screenshot Amazon Studios/YouTube/CNET
Black Mirror comparisons are inevitable with this British tech series gone awry. Set in futuristic London, The Feed centers on an implant that allows people to stream their lives live without needing to press a button on a phone. No, absolutely nothing is wrong. An impressive cast includes David Thewlis and Michelle Fairley. While not as polished or deep as Black Mirror, The Feed is still worth a look.
Screenshot of Channel 4/YouTube/CNET
Humans may not be entirely original, but the assembled parts sing. A British family buys an artificially intelligent robot called a “synthesizer” to help them through their busy lives. This grounded approach to sentient and potentially dangerous robots is one of humans’ greatest strengths. At the center of the sweet: an innocent bond between the youngest daughter of the family and Anita, the elegant and efficient synth of Gemma Chan. A mystery draws the family into the origins of robots, which explore inescapable philosophical themes such as humanity, pain, memories and reality.
Electric Dreams by Philip K. Dick (2017-2018)
Electric Dreams lives up to its name, each episode of the anthology series is a vibrant, polished product purring to the ideas of its source material: the works of Philip K. Dick. As with most anthologies, some episodes are better than others, but if you fancy telling stories with Black Mirror-like setups, let that reverie slip away.
For trippy sci-fi that asks you to turn on your wild theory generator, look no further than Outer Range. The sci-fi western is set on the Abbott family ranch, where the Royal patriarch (Josh Brolin) is hiding an all-powerful secret. When a stranger comes to town (Imogen Poots), he is forced to confront his past, present and future, and not just in a metaphorical sense. Bizarre in a way you wouldn’t expect, Outer Range is a solid sci-fi outing worth keeping. Another reason to invest: Amazon has renewed the neo-western for a second series.
The Man in the High Castle (2015-2019)
The Man in the High Castle imagines an alternate history where the Axis powers (Rome-Berlin-Tokyo) win World War II. Based on a novel by Philip K. Dick, the series follows characters from the 1960s who live in a parallel universe, where Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan control the United States. But there are impossible news images surfacing of a world where Germany and Japan are losing the war, causing some to rebel. To really hammer home its dystopian credentials, The Man in the High Castle is helmed by producer Ridley Scott. Fully realized and with a focused plot, it’s gripping television.
The counterpart features JK Simmons playing against JK Simmons. Get excited about it for a second. Set in Germany during a Cold War, the sci-fi thriller follows a lowly office grunt discouraged by his dark life. Then one day – episode 1 spoiler – he switches to work and meets, but a better version of a parallel world. Secrets, tense action and a masterful dual-role performance from Simmons make Counterpart a must watch.
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