40 Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time

From superhero shows and space operas to creepy anthology series, the greatest small-screen sci-fi of all time

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6. 'The X-Files' (1993-2016)

Like its shape-shifting alien bounty hunters, Chris Carter's pop-paranoia series could be a different show every week. David Duchovny's true-believing Mulder and Gillian Anderson's skeptical Scully might be hot on the trail of a government conspiracy, then track down a supernatural mystery or stumble straight into a horror movie. Its mutability gave writers and directors a chance to develop their own distinctive styles — you knew that if Kim Manners showed up in the credits you were in for a treat — and its visual sophistication paved the way for bringing cinematic values to the small screen. But the consistent way it treated paranormal phenomenon gave The X-Files some serious sci-fi bona fides regardless of the route it took. It made you want to believe. SA

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