Battlestar Galactica, Science Fiction, Syfy

Battlestar Galactica, Science Fiction

The 20 Best SyFy TV Shows of All Time, and Where to Stream Them

Here are our picks for the 20 best @SYFY TV shows of all time, and where you can stream them: (Resident Alien update coming soon!)

6/14/2021 10:21:00 PM

Here are our picks for the 20 best SYFY TV shows of all time, and where you can stream them: (Resident Alien update coming soon!)

In more than 25 years on the air, Syfy —formerly Sci-Fi—has produced many memorable TV shows. Paste staff and TV contributors select the top 20.

Stars:Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Jamie Bamber, James Callis, Michael Hogan, Aaron Douglas, Tricia Heifer, Grace Park, Tahmoh PenikettThere’s often a dichotomy in art between the epic and the personal. Smaller stories, those dealing with the kinds of challenges we regularly experience-family, romance, friendship, work, money-connect because they’re familiar. We watch epic films like

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BraveheartorLord of the Ringsto get caught up in struggles much greater than we face and vicariously inherit the satisfaction of seeing them overcome. But then we read novels with minimal plots to see people like ourselves make the same stupid mistakes we do and come out on the other side having changed. Science fiction is almost entirely the domain of epic stories-working through a relationship gets completely overshadowed with the fate of humanity on the line. This is one of the main things sci-fi fans love about the genre and also what many people hate about it. So when people say that

Battlestar Galacticais a show with a broader appeal than sci-fi, this is partly what they’re getting at.Creator Ronald D. Moore took the bare bones of a campy 1970s series and completely reimagined it, bringing a realism that sci-fi hadn’t quite seen before. The ship itself is aging and cramped. Quarters are claustrophobic, leading their inhabitants to live in a hyper-sensitive fishbowl-everyone is in everyone else’s business. But where

Battlestar Galacticatrumps other sci-fi stories in the minutia, it also beats them at their own epic game. Each season propels the main story arc along at light speed. A limited number of Cylon models are perfect human replicas—“skinjobs” who’ve infiltrated the human fleet. Their relationship with humanity grows more complex as disagreement arises within their ranks. And humanity’s search for the mythical Earth is full of constant surprises.

Nearly every season is better than the last (even the misguided mess of a finale has its emotionally wrenching moments). With no alien civilizations to discover, Moore turns his lens inward on the species we know best. All the tensions in life are examined: religion vs. science, safety vs. freedom, the needs of the many vs. the needs of the few, conscience vs. loyalty, passion vs. commitment. And the show’s big question—”What does it mean to be human?”—is explored on every level, big and small. (Note for new viewers, make sure you watch the miniseries first.) —

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