Television viewers have long been fascinated with science fiction television shows that stretch the imagination. With more than 60 years of quality shows to sift through, it is difficult, almost impossible, to select the best of the best, but here’s a list of five fondly remembered television shows that currently are available on DVD:
Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Sliders”
Jerry O’Connell played Quinn Mallory, a young scientific genius who finds a way to bridge the gap between dimensions. With the help of a hand-timer, he and his friends can “slide” to other versions of Earth that are similar to their own or completely different. In one dimension, for instance, Quinn is a scientific hero while in another, he could be Public Enemy #1.
Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “The Incredible Hulk”
Debuting on CBS in 1977, “The Incredible Hulk” focused more on plot than action. The late, great Bill Bixby played Dr. David Banner, a brilliant research scientist who couldn’t pull his injured wife from a car wreck. Wondering why other people exhibited super-strength in times of need, Banner exposed himself to an overdose of gamma radiation, which caused him to change into a hulking green creature when he was hurt or angry.
Heavily influenced by “The Fugitive,” this show succeeded thanks in no small part to Bixby’s acting and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno’s interpretation of the Hulk. Most episodes ended with Banner leaving town as “The Lonely Man,” a haunting piano solo written by Joe Harnell, played in the background.
Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Quantum Leap”
Scott Bakula plays Dr. Sam Beckett, a contemporary genius who creates a nuclear accelerator that’s supposed to send him back and forth in his own lifetime. Something goes wrong, though, and Dr. Beckett ends up “leaping” into other times and lives; he can only leap again after he corrects events that originally ended in tragedy.
Each week, Bakula rose to the challenge of playing different characters, including a pregnant woman, a test pilot and the infamous Lee Harvey Oswald. Despite the talents of both Bakula and co-star Dean Stockwell, Dr. Beckett disappeared from network television in 1993, but he’s still leaping around on DVD.
Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “Star Trek: The Original Series”
When pitching the idea for “Star Trek” to network executives, series creator Gene Roddenberry called it “‘Wagon Train’ to the stars.” NBC cut the five-year mission of the U.S.S. Enterprise short, but syndication turned this science fiction series into a phenomenon. In 1979, Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and the rest of the crew even made the jump to the big screen.
About twenty years after the original series ended its network run, Roddenberry unveiled “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” which proved to be just as popular as the first show. Other spin-offs and movies followed, the latest being J.J. Abrams’ reimagining of the original series. It’s easy to find the entire “Star Trek” universe anywhere where DVD’s are sold.
Top 5 Science Fiction TV DVD’s: “The Twilight Zone”
A show that set the standard for science fiction television, “The Twilight Zone” is an anthology series where extraordinary things happened to seemingly ordinary people. Each episode featured either the work of host Rod Serling or other talented writers. The original series spawned a 1983 movie as well as a few attempts to revive the concept on network television.
Everyone has their own favorite “Twilight Zone” episode, but one of the best was “Time Enough at Last.” Burgess Meredith played Henry Bemis, a timid bank clerk that adored the written word. As the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust, Bemis thinks he has time enough now to read as much as he wants, but fate has one more cruel trick to play on him.