Best of SciFi in the 80s


Imagine sitting in your armchair with a freshly done mullet, lip syncing to ACDC blasting on the radio while munching on the Super Pretzel – just add a classic Sci-fi on your TV set and you are good to go. 

The epitome of mashing up genre and decade in cinematic history has to begin and end with 80s Sci-Fi TV shows and movies. Anything that this decade is one way or the other, inspired from 80s sci-fi cinematic brilliance. 

But what’s with all the hype about 80’s Sci-Fi?

Did you really have to ask that question? Now that you have, let’s time travel to an excellent roundup of these 8 genre classics (4 movies and tv shows each) that you need to watch ASAP if you haven’t already.

Best of TV Sci-Fi in the 80s 

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987)

It looked like people would have forgotten the Star Trek legend when the original got canceled after 3 years, but fast forward two decades it came right back with a bang in 1987 and lasted for seven seasons. 

This series has definitely bagged an era of dominance on television and gave a path to an entire franchise to have had stretched out to not just one but many decades, till now. 

It’s 7 seasons contain a total of 178 episodes so you might end up binging on it because this show has definitely been a childhood favorite of so many nerds and for a reason. 

If you want to experience the Star Trek world online your best bets are: Netflix or Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play

The Incredible Hulk (1977 – 1982)

The incredible hulk premiered in the late 70s and ran for five seasons on American TV screens. The show is based on the marvel comics original character “The Incredible Hulk” a.k.a Dr. David Banner, who carries with himself a terrible secret. 

The TV show was indeed a fan favorite for tons of valid reasons including the fact that the Favorite Martian wandered every Friday night in America to perform good deeds here and there with an occasional outburst painted green. 

The Incredible Hulk is honored to be one of the earliest Marvel superheroes that went live-action. Making our favorite big guy to turn pop culture superhero-saturated.

Quantum Leap (1989)

In April 2019, fans celebrated 30 years of Quantum Leap so we had a few flashback moments and couldn’t resist to include this show on our list of good tv.

Did you know? Quantum Leap owes its existence to Donald P. Bellisario’s stint on his Galactica 1980.

The show debuted in 1989 (on the NBC of course) starring Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett. Sam discovers that time traveling is in fact, is a thing and proves his theory after all. One of the major reasons for the success of this show was Bakula’s chemistry with Cylon Deam Stockwell who plays Admiral Al Calavicc in the show. It stood for 5 great seasons and has a total of 97 episodes.

Hard Time on Planet Earth (1989)

Hard time on planet earth has probably one of the forgotten sci-fi shows with getting canceled right after the first season since the ratings for this poor amazing show never really picked up. 

Martin Kove plays an alien military commander, exiled to our planet after an interplanetary war. The Alien Military guy tags along with a robot in this Disney cult series. 

It is more or less like Quantum Leap, with the duo traveled across America and stopped helping the ones in need and at Disneyland too. 

If you’re in the mood for classic but cheesy 80s science experimental shows then this could be a pretty good watch for you.

Best Sci-Fi Movies from the 80s

Aliens (1986)

Another James Cameron’s masterpiece that still holds its place among the greatest Sci-Fi movies of all time. Ellen Ripley awakens after decades of sleep and finds herself squaring off once again, next to acid-bleeding xenomorphs. Commandeering a jump-off-your-seat exciting finale against the Alien Queen. 

This movie has probably the most satisfying yet predictable climaxes from the 80s and thus bagged Sigourney Weaver an Oscar nominee. Also, let’s not forget the exquisite hairstyle of the main character, as it was a treat to watch. 

Back to the Future (1985)

Speaking of the best ever movies, Back to the Future cannot be exempted from them. With Bob Gale’s writing and Robert Zemeckis direction, the flick spins a lot of plates on its way back to the time. Marty McFly alongside Doc Brown must work in 155 Hill Valley to get Mart’s parents together at The Enchantment Under the Sea Dance or “1985 Marty” won’t exist. 

This movie has a special place in our hearts because of the much entertaining time travel expedition with timeless action and characters, it always will be.

The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron directed and written Original Terminator is an excellent flick for your Sci-Fi appetite. The Terminator is not just a sci-fi blockbuster but has given Cameron as well as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s immense success. This classic revolves around a cyborg who came from the future on his mission to kill one Sarah Connor.

Other than the first sequel, the series is pretty easily forgotten with time but the original glues with the legacy. 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

We won’t apologize for giving away the spoiler after 35 years of its release, but the Star Trek Wrath of Khan ended with Spock being dead. As a die-hard fan (80s pun intended), of all 13 movies of this franchise, this one takes the cake away with the quality and remains the best one till date. 

With Khan’s vengeance against the man who marooned him, William Shatner a.k.a Admiral Kirk the plot revolves around two starships stalking each other with a little drama poured with friendship, death, and new life.

The list of gold standard entertainment from the 80s ends here. You may struggle to come back from the interdimensional world once you enter it, so here’s our sole advice to you: be careful with the binge. 

Interested in real-world science? Read our article on the top science discoveries and innovations of the 80s

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