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The Genres Of Science Fiction & Fantasy

Updated on September 30, 2009

After decades of being effectively ignored as a "proper" genre in motion pictures and television, Science Fiction and Fantasy has finally come into its own. Even in the depths of the anti-sci-fi Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties there were always the obvious "tentpoles" such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and a few others, but the primary content mainstay of major studio motion pictures and television network programs was drama which rarely if ever delved into the universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Much of what passed for Science Fiction and Fantasy really wasn't that at all. A quick review of the television series which aspired to the genre finds that precious few could legitimately be called Science Fiction and Fantasy:

1953 - 1957: The Adventures of Superman
1955 - 1957: Science Fiction Theatre
1958 - 59: The Invisible Man (1950s)
1959 - 1964: The Twilight Zone
1962 - 1963: The Jetsons
1963 - 1966: My Favorite Martian
1963 - 1966: The Outer Limits
1963 - 1989: Doctor Who
1964 - 1968: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
1964 - 1968: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
1965 - 1966: Thunderbirds
1965 - 1967: The Avengers (with Emma Peel)
1965 - 1968: Lost in Space
1965 - 1969: Get Smart
1965 - 1969: The Wild, Wild West
1966 - 1967: Time Tunnel
1966 - 1968: Batman
1966 - 1969: Star Trek (Original Series)
1967 - 1968: The Invaders
1967 - 1968: The Prisoner
1968: Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons
1970 - 1971: UFO
1973 - 1974: Star Trek (Animated Series)
1973 - 1978: The Six Million Dollar Man
1974: Planet of the Apes
1974 - 1975: Kolchak - The Night Stalker
1974 - 1979: Wonder Woman
1975 - 1977: Space 1999
1976 - 1978: The Bionic Woman
1977 - 1978: Logan's Run
1977 - 1982: The Incredible Hulk
1978 - 1980: Battlestar Galactica (original)
1978 - 1981: Blake's 7
1978 - 1982: Mork and Mindy
1979 - 1981: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
1979 - 1982: Sapphire and Steel
1981: Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
1981: The Day of the Triffids
1981 - 1983: The Greatest American Hero
1982 - 1986: Knight Rider
1984 - 1985: V
1984 - 1987: Airwolf
1985 - 1987: Amazing Stories
1985 - 1987: The (New) Twilight Zone
1986 - 1990: ALF
1987 - 1988: Max Headroom - The Series
1987 - 1994: Star Trek - The Next Generation
1988 - 1990: War of the Worlds
1988 - 1999: Mystery Science Theater 3000
1988 - 1999: Red Dwarf
1989 - 1990: Alien Nation
1989 - 1994: Quantum Leap
1991 - 1995: Aeon Flux
1993 - 1994: Adventures of Brisco County Jr
1993 - 1995: seaQuest
1993 - 1997: Lois & Clark (New Superman)
1993 - 1999: Babylon 5
1993 - 1999: Star Trek - Deep Space Nine
1993 - 2002: The X - Files
1994 - 1995: Earth 2
1995: Space - Above and Beyond
1995 - 2000: Sliders
1995 - 2001: Star Trek - Voyager
1995 - 2002: The Outer Limits (new)
1996 - 1999: Millennium
1996 - 2001: Third Rock From the Sun
1997 - 2002: Earth - Final Conflict
1997 - 2002: Lexx
1997 - 2007: Stargate SG - 1
1998 - 2001: 7 Days
1999: Crusade
1999: Total Recall - 2070
1999 - 2002: Roswell
1999 - 2003: Farscape
1999 - 2003: Futurama
2000: Dune
2000 - 2002: Dark Angel
2000 - 2002: The Invisible Man
2000 - 2005: Andromeda
2001: The Lone Gunmen
2001 - 2005: Star Trek - Enterprise
2001 - 2006: Alias
2001 - Ongoing: Smallville
2002: Firefly
2002: Taken
2002 - 2004: Ghost in the Shell: SAC
2002 - 2004: Jeremiah
2003 - 2009: Battlestar Galactica (new)
2004 - 2007: The 4400
2004 - 2009: Stargate - Atlantis
2004 - Ongoing: Lost
2005 - 2006: Invasion
2005 - 2006: Surface
2005 - Ongoing: Doctor Who
2006 - Ongoing: Heroes
2006 - Ongoing: Torchwood
2008 - Ongoing: Terminator (Sarah Connor)

Many of these were only Science Fiction and Fantasy in name only. Can anyone legitimately call My Favorite Martian, ALF, Mork and Mindy, or Third Rock From The Sun Science Fiction and Fantasy? They were just basic comedy sitcoms with a wackier than usual character or two!

Continued In: The Genres Of Science Fiction & Fantasy - Part 2

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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      8 years ago from Toronto

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! :)

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Great list.

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