TV 2000s
The state of sci-fi television in the 21st Century  (so far)


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The Invisible Man
46 episodes (2000-02) 60m


One of the best sci-fi shows to air in recent times. Conman and thief Darien Fawkes avoids jail with a glandular implant that can render him invisible. The catch is that he'll go nuts if he doesn't get regular doses of a counteragent controlled by the "Agency" - so he turns to public service taking on all manner of spies and criminals. One of the first "niche market" syndicated sci-fi shows.





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Dune (& Children of Dune)
6 episodes (2000 & 2003) 120m


Popular miniseries based on the famous Frank Herbert novel. Writer and director John Harrison does a great job depicting all the soap-operatic tension and nasty politics of the House of Atreides on the sandworld Arrakis. William Hurt plays the Duke and Alec Newman the young Paul Atreides destined for messiah status. Children of Dune followed in 2003.





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Dark Angel
43 episodes (2000-02) 60m


Genetically-enhanced humans in post-apocalyptic America escape from their military minders and head off in different directions. A corruption-busting journalist helps one of them to evade her captors and find the others of her type. Appeared set to be renewed for a third season, but unexpectedly got the axe at the last minute. Solid sci-fi outing.





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Alias
105 episodes (2001-06) 60m


Ultra-sexy Jennifer Garner stars as Sydney Bristow, an undercover agent recruited out of college to work for the shadowy SD-6 organisation. She faces a sort of spy identity crisis as the CIA and a couple of evil organisations enter the scene, all of which is linked to artefacts built by a 15th century scientist and prophet. Only mild sci-fi elements on offer.





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Jeremiah
34 episodes (2002-04) 60m


Luke Perry stars as the title character in this series based on the European comic book of the same name. A deadly epidemic which wiped out all beyond puberty leaves the survivors in a bad way. Jeremiah teams with sidekick Kurdy to make his way through the decadence and work on creating a new and better world. The darkness and pessimism did not gel with modern sci-fi audiences.





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Taken [miniseries]
10 instalments (2002) 2hrs


Steven Spielberg's small-screen outings are always visually impressive, but often short on action. Taken is the generational story of three families beginning with the legendary Roswell UFO crash in 1947. There's all sorts of alien intrigue and paranoia, culminating in the birth of a little girl that holds the key to the future. A bit over-blown, but generally watchable.





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Lost
121 episodes (2004-2010) 60m


Surprise hit that has spawned a host of imitators. A plane crashes on a remote Pacific island and, as it turns out, the 48 survivors are choc-full of deep dark secrets. The island itself seems to have a few secrets too, with a mysterious impenetrable chamber possibly the cause. Sci-fi elements didn't really start emerging until season two. Regardless, a difficult show to categorise.





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The 4400
45 episodes (2004-2007) 60m


Starting life as a miniseries, The 4400 is the story of 4,400 alien abductees who are returned to Earth supposedly to save the human race. Each episode focuses on the trials and tribulations of various returnees, providing plenty of scope for storytelling set in a host of different times and places. Topnotch sci-fi drama that will appeal to the soapies.


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