We are lucky nowadays to have instant access to some fantastic television, all fighting for our time. It can be difficult to decide what to watch with Netflix and Amazon Prime stocking hundreds of episodes of some brilliant TV shows.
I’ve taken the liberty of picking out five shows (not all of them sci-fi) that I think you should be tracking down and watching, so turn off sodding Ex on the Beach and get on it.
Based off the French-Canadian show of the same name, Canadian police drama 19-2 throws you into the complex work and home lives of police officers from Station 19 in Montreal.
It is gritty, realistic and hard-hitting drama. It drew me in from the start wijth the tense relationship between the two main characters and the human flaws shown by all the characters in the show.
I had never heard of this show until I saw it mentioned in a Reddit post a few months ago and everyone I’ve spoken to about it hadn’t either. It must not be very well known outside of Canada, which is a shame as it is an amazing “just one more episode” television drama and the season two opening could one of the tensest television episodes ever made. It’s a cop show done right and a winner of numerous television awards.
You can watch the first two seasons on Amazon Prime Video now. Season three and its fourth and final should be available soon.
More Canadian television. This time it’s time travellers (note the two L’s Americans) zapping back through time and possessing the bodies of people who are about to die.
In the far off future teams of operatives are travelling back in time from a post- apocalyptic Earth, tasked with preventing the horrible future from occurring. They travel back to the 21st century as historical records from smart devices etc. allow them to know the exact time, location and cause of a death. Once here they must assume the lives of their hosts as if nothing has happened to them, living in secret and working with their team to complete missions from the mysterious director.
It’s a surprisingly dark concept and top sci-fi.
Both Seasons are available on Netflix.
With executive producers including Charlize Theron and David Fincher, Mindhunter is a crime drama based on the book of the same name.
Set in the 1970’s, it follows two FBI agents and a psychologist as they travel round the US interviewing imprisoned serial killers attempting to understand what makes them tick, hoping it will assist them with solving on going murder cases.
The show is very dark and is worth watching for Cameron Britton’s stunning performance as serial killer Edmund Kemper alone.
All episodes are available on Netflix now and it has been renewed for a second season.
4: Black Sails
Originally debuting for free on YouTube, Black Sails is a historical pirate drama set in the golden age of piracy.
Technically a prequel to the events of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island it follows the adventures of Captain Flint and introduces us to numerous real pirates from history such as Captain Charles Vain.
Set on the island of Nassau it is a swash buckling adventure with superb story telling, lots of violence and enough shagging at times that it could rival Game of Thrones. At one point I found myself effortlessly watching ten episodes in a row which I think sums up how much I enjoyed it.
This could be one of the greatest and most often overlooked television shows out there at the moment. Watch it you scurvy dogs.
All four seasons are available on Amazon Prime Video.
5: The Expanse
Set 200 years in the future and based on the series of novels by James S.A Corey (pen name of the programmes writers Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), The Expanse is a conspiracy ridden sci-fi adventure.
The Solar System has split into three factions all with their own agendas. Earth, Mars and the belters (people who live in the asteroid belt). The story follows a police detective, a UN executive, and the Executive Officer on an ice mining ship as they find themselves dragged deeper and deeper into a conspiracy that threatens peace between Earth and Mars.
Visually The Expanse is stunning and it is often called Game of Thrones in space due to the amount of political shenanigans it has going on.
If by the end of both seasons you don’t want to be a Martian Marine, there is something very wrong with you.
You can find it on Netflix.
If you think I’ve missed any out that are well worth watching, pop it in the comments below and I’ll have a look.