There are plenty of great new sci-fi TV shows in 2019 — including some that have been thrilling fans for a few years now. That’s why we’ve updated our list of the best new sci-fi shows to include new sci-fi from 2019. Below, you’ll find all of the best sci-fi shows that you can tune in to or stream right now. True to our mission of finding the best new sci-fi shows, we’ve focused on recent shows and hits that are still airing right now. Read on and find your next favorite!
HBO's new show Watchmen is based on the famous comics by Alan Moore. Moore's Watchmen is widely considered to be one of the greatest graphic novels ever written, but HBO isn't trying to adapt that particular story — instead, this series functions as a spin-off.
It's set in the Watchmen universe in the years after the apocalyptic conclusion of the Watchmen graphic novel. All is not well in this weird world. In Tulsa, Oklahoma — where this new series is set — a racist gang has taken over the city and all but eliminated the police force that would oppose them.
The Mandalorian (2019-present)
Disney+'s recent arrival has fans of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars pretty fired up. It's not just that Disney+ has lots of great movies and TV shows on it (though that's certainly true) — it's also that Disney+ is making all kinds of new stuff.
The biggest title in Disney+'s debut lineup of original series is undoubtably The Mandalorian, a live-action TV series set in the Star Wars universe. This is the Star Wars universe’s first-ever live-action TV show. The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian — a member of a warlike race known for mercenary work and bounty hunting.
True to the stereotypes, Pascal's Mandalorian is a bounty hunter with highly questionable morals. Also — and this is a mild spoiler — you’re going to love baby Yoda (who is not actually Yoda, but that’s okay).
For All Mankind (2019-present)
The streaming wars have been good for science fiction fans so far. Apple's new premium subscription streaming service, Apple TV+, features this sci-fi title among its very expensive new crop of original series.
For All Mankind is set in an alternate history: The show imagines what it might have been like if the Soviet Union had been the first to land a man on the moon, rather than the United States.
RELATED: 13 Thrilling Space Movies
The Twilight Zone (2019-present)
Jordan Peele's horror sensibilities are beyond reproach, so it's pretty exciting to see him involved with the reboot of the greatest sci-fi/horror show of them all: the anthology series The Twilight Zone.
Like its predecessors, this version of The Twilight Zone will collect one-off stories with spooky sci-fi subjects and plenty of plot twists. It's a great choice for fans of the original series — or of modern Twilight Zone-influenced shows like Black Mirror.
RELATED: The Best Sci-Fi on Amazon Prime
Good Omens (2019)
Amazon's adaptation of Good Omens is a must-watch for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, comedy, and any and all of the other genres that this wild ride flirts with. The unforgettable collaborative novel from Terry Pratchell and Neil Gaiman is a perfect fit for the small screen.
You’ll need an Amazon Prime subscription to watch this one — or a friend who is generous with their passwords. This is a miniseries, so you only get six episodes. Sorry!
The Orville (2017-present)
Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane is the force behind this farce. The Orville is a send-up of science fiction in general and Star Trek in particular. The series blends action and comedy, to pretty satisfying results. You don't necessarily have to be a big sci-fi geek to get a kick out of The Orville, but it certainly helps! The Orville has been airing on Fox since 2017, and it's still alive and well here in 2019.
Swamp Thing (2019)
DC's film and TV efforts have at times been overshadowed by the monster hits that Marvel Studios has been cranking out, but there have been some real bright spots for DC here and there. Among them is DC original Swamp Thing, DC's most ambitious attempt at an original series yet.
The show has James Wan on board — a wise choice, given Wan's cred with both superhero films (Aquaman) and horror (Insidious), which are two pretty valuable areas of expertise when you’re dealing with Swamp Thing. There’s bad news, though: Despite being pretty good, Swamp Thing only lasted one season. Thankfully, it's still available to stream.
RELATED: The Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix
Electric Dreams (2018)
This Amazon series should be high on your watch list. Composed of 10 stand-alone episodes inspired by the writings of Philip K. Dick, the show depicts everyday people living in visions of the future that at times feel uncomfortably plausible. Each installment explores how humanity interacts with technology. That premise will sound familiar to fans of Netflix's sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror, but Electric Dreams offers a (somewhat) brighter vision of what the future has in store.
Electric Dreams' episodes explore everything from a future vision of North America where a presidential candidate uses subliminal messages to incite murder, to an intergalactic future where synthetic humanoids are desperate for rights, to a last-ditch effort to visit the ravaged planet Earth.
RELATED: 12 Riveting Steampunk Movies
The Umbrella Academy (2019-present)
Netflix's The Umbrella Academy is based on a comic book series from Dark Horse Comics. The clever concept focuses on a far-flung family of superheroes who once shared a home with their adoptive father — a mysterious figure who put a fortune of billions to use running a school called "The Umbrella Academy" for his own adopted super-powered kids.
All of these super-powered people were born in 1989 to mothers who never even knew that they were pregnant until they went into labor. That's pretty weird, and so was the adoptive dad, who seemed far more interested in his children as test subjects than as family members.
Lousy dad or not, the kids turn up for the funeral when dear old Dad buys it — only to have a time-traveling sibling show up to tell them that the world's about to end.
Black Mirror (2011 - present)
Often considered a contemporary version of The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is sharp, satirical, and totally creepy. Like Electric Dreams, each episode follows a different narrative and set of characters.
The series often examines the darkest compulsions of humanity, and how those compulsions relate to technology. The show’s description says the episodes are set in an alternate reality, but often Black Mirror eerily mirrors our reality today.
RELATED: 10 Books Like Black Mirror
Star Trek: Discovery (2017 - present)
Set about five years before the events of 1960's Star Trek: The Original Series, this new installment in the Star Trek saga follows the crew of the USS Discovery. The series centers around Sonequa Martin Green as Michael Burnham, a scientist on the Discovery.
Although the show has divided fans, in part because of CBS' controversial decision to air all but the pilot exclusively on their new streaming platform CBS All Access, a third season is on its way. Throughout its first season, Discovery has been unafraid to swing for the fences and take creative risks, for better or for worse, in its depiction of the final frontier.
The Expanse (2015 - present)
Based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, the pen name for authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, The Expanse details what a fully colonized solar system could look like. Set hundreds of years in the future, the series follows separate storylines that slowly intertwine as humanity careens toward potential destruction. The series is beloved both for its compelling characters and its commitment to realistic science.
Detective Josephus Miller is enlisted to find a missing woman in the Belt, a colonized asteroid belt. Meanwhile, Jim Holden, executive officer aboard the ice hauler Canterbury, becomes involved in a tragic accident after the Canterbury intercepts a distress signal. The intergalactic incident further jeopardizes the already tenuous peace between Earth, Mars, and the Belt, and Chrisjen Avasarala of the United Nations must work to prevent war. Over the course of the show, these stories are woven together as it’s revealed that the missing woman and ice hauler incident are part of a larger threat and pose a danger to all humanity.
The Handmaid’s Tale (2017 - ongoing)
This series takes viewers to Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. In the face of a deteriorating environment and declining birth rate, the society’s leading fundamentalist regime has resolved to treat women like property. In an effort to repopulate a dying world, remaining fertile women are forced into sexual slavery.
Our story follows Offred, a courageous, smart, and observant young woman who is one of the many forced into this position. The show is based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, and is just as shocking and terrifying as the book itself.
Season 4 of the critically-acclaimed series is expected to air in 2020.
RELATED: 13 Books Like The Handmaid's Tale
Legion (2017 - 2019)
David Haller has struggled with mental illness since he was young. After receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he meets and falls for another patient in his psychiatric hospital. But after strange experiences within the hospital, David learns the voices he hears and people he sees may actually be real.
Based on the character Legion from the X-Men comics, Legion was the first TV series to be set in same universe as the X-Men movies. It's disorienting, visually stunning, and filled with incredible performances. Fans have come to expect a lot from superhero shows in recent years, but Legion truly raised the bar in its three seasons.
Westworld (2016 - present)
Westworld is the amusement park of your dreams (or nightmares). Designed for rich vacationers, the Western-themed park allows its visitors to live out their wildest fantasies through interacting with the park's android 'hosts.' For an exorbitant fee, guests can fulfill their most transgressive desires — no punishments, no limits.
The show delves into humanity’s darkest indulgences, and interrogates the ethics of artificial intelligence. Westworld stars Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores, the park's oldest host. It also features Anthony Hopkins as the park's secretive founder, Ed Harris as the sinister Man in Black, and Thandie Newton as an android slowly awakening to the true role she plays within the park.
Season 3 of the complex sci-fi series is set to air in 2020.
Stranger Things (2016 —present)
If you're not familiar with Stranger Things, then you've probably spent the past few years trapped in the Upside Down. Netflix's runaway hit is an homage to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and other influential '80s creators, but also totally original in his own right.
After young Will Byers goes missing from his home in Hawkins, Indiana, his mother, brother, and friends refuse to give up on him. When a mysterious girl with a shaved head and a set of unusual skills wanders into Hawkins, Will's friends realize that his disappearance may be related to a series of strange occurrences in the sleepy town.
That’s just season one, of course. Stranger Things 2 and Stranger Things 3 have been great, too, which is why the series as a whole remains one of the best new sci-fi shows out there.
Killjoys (2015 — 2019)
Killjoys is an absolute delight for fans of space westerns. The SyFy show is set in the Quad, a terraformed star system rife with lawlessness. The governing body The Company tasks licensed bounty hunters, called 'Killjoys,' with bringing in Quad outlaws. Should a killjoy fail in their mission, they face harsh penalties.
The show follows a group of killjoys as they grapple with the considerable pressures of their profession amidst rising political tension. If you still miss Firefly, don't sleep on this this surprising SyFy series. This series wrapped up in 2019, but it’s too good not to stay on our list of the best new sci-fi shows.
This Netflix original was cancelled way ahead of its time, after only two seasons. However, a finale arrived in 2018, giving Sense8 fans some closure.
Co-created by Lana and Lily Wachoswki with J. Michael Straczynski, the show follows eight strangers from across the world who suddenly become connected in a 'sensate cluster.' As sensates, they are psychically linked with each other, and able to share skills and knowledge despite geographical and language divides.
Sense8 is gorgeously shot and depicts a far more inclusive breadth of human experience than the average Western sci-fi series. It developed a loyal fan base during its two seasons so far, and it's not hard to see why.
Orphan Black (2013 - 2017)
It might be a stretch to consider Orphan Black a 'new' show, given that this groundbreaking BBC ended its run in 2017. Still, we couldn't miss a chance to highlight one of the most innovative sci-fi series from the past decade.
After witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her, Sarah decides to steal this woman’s boyfriend, money, and entire identity. Sarah is a street-wise woman with a rocky past as an orphan who moved between foster homes throughout her young life. But she has always tried to do well by her daughter Kira, and she sees her doppelgänger's death as an opportunity to find a better life for them.
But it’s shortly revealed that the dead woman, Beth, was actually Sarah’s clone. Beth was a cop in the middle of a deadly conspiracy at the time of her death, and now Sarah must fight for her own life in a complex web of lies and murder.
When it seems there is no one she can trust, her only confidante is her foster brother Felix. This mind-bending BBC show looks at the implications of the future of genetic cloning, and features an absolute tour-de-force performance from star Tatiana Maslany as the clone sisters.
Altered Carbon (2018)
Based on the cyberpunk novel, Altered Carbon is a thrilling sci-fi series from Netflix. In the world of Altered Carbon, people don't have to die — not in the same way that they do here in our universe, anyway. But immortality isn't available at everyone's price point, so when our protagonist gets a shot at it in exchange for solving a very strange sort of murder, he gets down to business.
A second season of this Netflix Original is due out 2020.
Featured still from "The Mandalorian" via Lucasfilm.