Television Anthologies
Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself
- Rod Serling


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Tales of Tomorrow
85 episodes (1951-1953) 30m


The granddaddy of them all, this series was aired live and featured a much higher sci-fi content than its lauded successors - Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. Live TV means that most DVD and video versions still show the original ads and, of course, the occasional flub-up by the actors. The show was exceptionally well-written and is still highly entertaining.





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Science Fiction Theatre
78 episodes (1955-1957) 30m


Groundbreaking show that attempted to inject scientific credibility into the mix. Host Truman Bradley would demonstrate a scientific principle at a critical juncture, all backed by a real-live scientist who acted as technical advisor (Dr Maxwell Smith). The show's third season was an early foray into colour TV. Trailblazing show that deserves more credit than it is getting.





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The Twilight Zone (1959)
156 episodes (1959-1964) 30-60m


The most famous sci-fi/fantasy anthology series was host Rod Serling's baby from start to finish. He penned half of the screenplays and deftly delivered the dramatic monologues bookending each episode. When the show was finally shown in the UK in the 1980s it became an instant cult classic. Often pessimistic, but never dull - the sci-fi episodes are pure gold.





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The Outer Limits (1963)
49 episodes (1963-1966) 60m


Often straying into 'monster of the week' territory, this series is fondly remembered for its handful of genuine sci-fi gems. Somewhat conventional when compared to The Twilight Zone's eccentricities, writers like Harlan Ellison ensured the occasional spindizziness. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Martin Landau all honed their credentials on the show.





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Mystery Science Theater 3000
197 episodes (1988-1999) 90m


Comedy/sci-fi series that has done the rounds of independent stations and cable networks. We join an affable space exile and his robot sidekicks who each episode are railroaded into watching a really bad B-grade flick - often of the sci-fi variety. The crew hurls endless sly barbs and witty comments at the screen, while the rest of us laugh loudly. Unique concept that is still fun.





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The Outer Limits (1995)
154 episodes (1995-2002) 60m


The Twilight Zone revivals pale in comparison to this well produced anthology series that is jam-packed with sci-fi content. DVD collections themed under titles like 'Fantastic Androids & Robots', 'Mutation & Transformation', 'Aliens Among Us' and 'Time Travel & Infinity' give some idea of what to expect. Intentionally avoids the 'monster of the week' syndrome featured in the original series.





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Black Mirror
21+ episodes (2011-pres) 60m


British science fiction anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker. The show examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone, usually set in an alternative present or the near future, often with a dark and satirical tone, although some are more experimental and lighter.





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Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams
10 episodes (2017) 60m


A series of ambitious standalone episodes - each set in a different and unique world, inspired by one of Philip K. Dick’s renowned short stories. At a time when audiences clearly have an appetite for engaging with bigger questions, presented in a mind-bending, beautifully filmed format, this will more than satisfy. Assuming you’ll ever be able to sleep again.


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