Looking for the best TV shows to watch on the SyFy Channel? If you have exhausted all fantasy and sci-fi programs on Netflix, SyFy might be worth checking out. Once known as "Sci-Fi Channel," it was rebranded as SyFy in 2009 without changing its purpose: to deliver great fantasy, sci-fi, and horror content to speculative genre enthusiasts.
Table of Contents
- 1. Van Helsing (2016 - )
- 2. The Magicians (2015-2020)
- 3. The Expanse (2015 - )
- 4. Wynona Earp (2016 - )
- 5. Dallas & Robo (2018)
- 6. Ghost Hunters (2004-2016)
- 7. Alien News Desk (2019)
- 8. 12 Monkeys (2015- 2018)
- 9. Battlestar Galactica (2003- 2009)
- 10. Dark Matter (2015-2017)
- 13 . Warehouse 13 (2009-2013)
- 14 . Deadly Class (2019)
- 15 . Helix (2014-2015)
- 16. Eureka (2006-2012)
- 17. Magical Girl Friendship Squad (2020)
- 19 . Continuum (2012-2015)
- 20. Farscape (1999-2003)
Fans of the Resident Alien comic (and not only) are excited about the new Resident Alien TV show, coming to SyFy on the 27th of January. But what other great shows can you watch on SyFy in the meantime? Here are some of the channel's best shows:
1. Van Helsing (2016 - )
Vampires often tend to be associated with a particular gothic horror aesthetic that echoes of the past. Van Helsing comes to change that. While the title might connote the famous vampire hunter from Bram Stoker's Dracula, the setting is anything but vintage... and that is not the only viewer expectation that is subverted.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world plagued by uncontrollable vampires, Van Helsing follows not a male vampire hunter, but his descendant, Vanessa, who is humanity's last hope due to her unique abilities.
With Kelly Overton in the lead role, the series has received largely positive reviews, having already run for 4 seasons, while it's been renewed for a fifth and final one, slightly delayed as most production due to the ongoing pandemic but still scheduled to hit our screens sooner than later.
2. The Magicians (2015-2020)
The magical school setting has soared in popularity in the last two decades and SyFy couldn't stay behind. Based on Lev Grossman's New Adult fantasy novel of the same name, the series follows a group of young adults studying fantasy in New York academy and finding out it's much more threatening for humanity than they thought. While the premise sounds familiar, it will nevertheless be of interest to those who love this type of setting.
3. The Expanse (2015 - )
Who said Sci-fi is only about the futuristic aesthetic? As one of the highest-ranking SyFy tv shows, The Expanse has been praised not only for its aesthetics but also for its compelling characters and narrative.
It takes place in the 24th century after humanity has colonized many planets of the solar system and it follows a band of antiheroes, portrayed by Shohreh Aghdashloo, Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, Dominique Tripper, and others as they try to prevent a war between citizens of Earth and Mars. Only series 1-3 were developed by SyFy but the show was later picked up by Amazon and was renewed for a sixth season in November.
4. Wynona Earp (2016 - )
Wynona Earp combines supernatural horror with Western elements. Based on the graphic novel series by Beau Smith it follows Wynona, Wyatt Earp's great-granddaughter, and her dysfunctional allies in their compass against demons and other supernatural creatures. The series has been received very positively, with praises to its mythology and characters.
5. Dallas & Robo (2018)
Adult animation is arguably one of the SyFy channel's strong points. The series focuses on an unlikely pair of main characters, tough and outspoken space trucker Dallas and hat-wearing, artistic robot Robo as they journey in the universe doing something you might not have expected to hear: job hunting.
While the premise is weird, the motivation is not. The series only has 8 episodes so it's ideal to binge-watch if you are an animated series fan looking for something both original and familiar.
6. Ghost Hunters (2004-2016)
Arguably one of the most successful TV shows SyFy ever created, Ghost Hunters, follows a simple formula that works particularly well. The premise, (a group of real-life researchers of paranormal events investigating hauntings across America) might not seem like anything new now, but it used to be a big thing back in 2004.
After all, it is Ghost Hunters that made paranormal reality television and the idea of studying the paranormal so popular. Having aired on SyFy since it was still known as Sci-Fi channel, with a total of 243 episodes and more than 12 specials, this show definitely did something right.
7. Alien News Desk (2019)
While not as widely known as other SyFy series, Alien News Desk became a cult classic. Despite its very low budget, suggested by its only two characters and stock footage, this adult animated (created by Chris Prynoski and Austin Reading) is very well-written and quite funny, following two aliens news anchors.
Drexx Drudlarr and Tuva Van Void offer news coverage on the species that is most perplexing to them: humans. Unfortunately for its small but dedicated following, we don't have news about a possible season 2, but the premise, as weird as it seems, is oddly charming.
8. 12 Monkeys (2015- 2018)
12 Monkeys is a relatively loose adaptation of the 1995 film of the same name (dir. Terry Gillam), itself inspired by Chris Marker's short film La Jetee. Truth be told, this might not be the ideal quarantine viewing: it follows a team called "Project Splinter" with a focus on two-time travelers, Cole and Cassie who travel back, from 2043 to 2015 to stop a deadly virus... frankly, we all wish we could do something similar at this point.
But for those who are still interested in seeing how pandemics are depicted on sci-fi tv and other media, 12 Monkeys is a well-made series that gets better the more you watch.
9. Battlestar Galactica (2003- 2009)
With 19 Emmy nominations and 3 wins, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most high-ranking and acclaimed TV shows of SyFy, then known as Sci-Fi. Set in a distant star system and starting with the near-destruction of humanity the series might sound like your typical science fiction story, but it is definitely much more than that.
Unlike other soap operas that rely heavily on aliens and other creatures associated with futuristic settings, Battlestar Galactica is primarily about humans; the things they do to survive, the moral dilemmas they face as their numbers decline, and the way they often perpetuate cycles of violence.
With unexpected twists and excellent visuals, this is a strong, character-driven work of science fiction that fans of the genre will definitely want to check out.
10. Dark Matter (2015-2017)
Dark Matter is a space opera created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. It's an adaptation of their comic book of the same name. The premise involves six people who wake in stasis pods with no memories of what happened to them, as they try to stabilize the starship they found themselves in and make sense of who they are and what happened to them.
This is an intriguing premise that was unfortunately canceled, but perhaps the comic book can explain any loose ends.
11. Killjoys (2015- 2019)
Killjoys, a space adventure series, follows three bounty hunters, John, Dutch, and D'avin. While they are sworn to remain neutral when planetary conflicts arise, this becomes increasingly difficult as their painful pasts catch up with them, forcing them to fight for survival. The series ran for 5 seasons and received positive reviews.
12. The Great Debate (2020 - )
Syfy isn't just about fantasy and science fiction... but also about the love for them. The Great Debate is a talk show with half-hour episodes that are easy to watch even for those not used to this type of show. This is a comedy by nerds for nerds, with guests arguing about nerdy things and answering the fandom's burning questions.
13. Warehouse 13 (2009-2013)
One of the reasons why SyFy changed the "Sci-Fi Channel" name by which they were known as the team's wish to cater to diverse fans beyond those who enjoy space operas and aliens. Warehouse 13 provides such a case of more subdued paranormal TV, following a group of agents as they collect artifacts charged with energy that grants them dangerous powers. The titular Warehouse serves as a storage space for these artifacts... but what does it take to get them there?
14. Deadly Class(2019)
SyFy seems to be fond of comic book adaptations. Their 2019 series, Deathly Class adapts Rick Remender and Wesley Craig's comic book series of the same name. It follows Marcus, a homeless and disillusioned teenager who is recruited to a secret academy that involves not magic, like The Magicians, but other, deadlier arts, as this is the school criminal families send their children to.
Markus's life turns into a struggle for survival. The series was unfortunately canceled due to a mixed reception, but the premise is definitely interesting, and if you love stories set in the 80s this might be for you.
15. Helix (2014-2015)
Another interesting science fiction premise, but as is the case with 12 Monkeys, watch at your own risk during this time. Helix follows doctors Alan Farragut and Sarah Jordan as they study the outbreak of a deadly virus with implications for the whole world.
The show becomes increasingly horrifying, descending to paranoia as it progresses. Not for everyone, but if you find intense, horrifying narratives somewhat cathartic, you might want to check Helix out.
16. Eureka (2006-2012)
Who said science fiction has to be dark? Eureka aims for the more quirky side of sci-fi; the seemingly perfect titular town is inhabited by brilliant scientists, whose experiments go horribly wrong, crippling their sheriff.
When Jack Carter, a man of average intelligence becomes their unlikely new sheriff, his simple common sense, his simple solutions, and common sense often resolve issues more effectively than the genius residents' brilliance. This is a very refreshing premise that shows sci-fi can be fun too - even if it's about disastrous, world-threatening experiments.
17. Magical Girl Friendship Squad(2020)
Don't let the title fool you. This is once again an animation for adults, even though the title might allude to magical girl premises aimed at younger audiences. Dubbed as "Queer Millennial Sailor Moon," the story follows two friends and roommates, Daisy and Anna, who are mistaken for warriors by Nut, a red panda, who is also the creator of the universe.
Due to this mistake, the two women are charged with saving the world - but being in their 20s, they also have mundane problems, such as paying rent. If this sounds like an odd premise, it's because it is. Magical Girl Friendship Squad received mixed reviews, but the idea is still interesting, and the odd combination alone is a reason to check this out.
18. Vagrant Queen (2020)
Vagrant Queen tells the story of Elida, who went from child queen to scavenger and outlaw when a revelation about her long-lost mother takes her back to the kingdom she once had to leave behind. With a lukewarm critical reception, the series was discontinued after one season, but fans of the Vault comics by Magdalene Visaggio might still want to check it out.
Continuum takes place in the not so far future and, as is the case with near-future premises, things are looking very dystopian. We follow Kiera Cameron, a law enforcement officer who is transferred back in time against her will when a group of terrorists time travel to escape execution.
From there on she tries to stop them while hiding her true identity and trying to find a way to go home. The series has been commended for its blend of dystopian and sci-fi elements. Unfortunately, it was canceled mid-story but was allowed to make six final episodes, so if you plan on watching it you won't be left hanging about your favorite characters' fates.
20. Farscape (1999-2003)
For those who want an older work of sci-fi that is fun and a bit silly, Farscape might be a good idea. It follows an astronaut from Earth, who gets lost in an unknown part of the milky way and finds himself aboard a starship of fugitive aliens.
Despite its positive reviews and many awards, the show was canceled abruptly. Nevertheless, it's an important cultural phenomenon that sci-fi fans might want to check out anyway.
If you are excited about watching these series on SyFy but don't have a cable subscription we got you covered. Here is a list of ways to watch Resident Alien and many more SyFy shows without cable tv.
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