TV shows like Star Trek?

I'm trying to figure out what to watch next.  I really like a few sci-fi shows, but I feel like most sci-fi doesn't cut it for me.  I'm looking for a show that

1) doesn't have lots of sex (I'm O.K. with violence and a little language)

2) tries to treat ideas seriously (Not like Doctor Who's farting aliens or its baby aliens that pop out of fat people.  I'm O.K. with unrealistic aliens as long as they aren't totally cheesy and cringy) 

3) has decent character development

I love star trek, doctor who, and the x files, but I am preferably looking for a show that's more like star trek.  I want to watch a show that's not afraid to have scenes where a robot is reciting poetry or playing with his cat.  I don't want a show that's all about space battles.

Any suggestions (they don't have to fit my criteria perfectly)? 

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Orville is probably the most Star Trek like show there is given that it's basically a love letter to Star Trek.  The downside is that it's Seth MacFarlane.  So YES, there is some Seth MacFarlane like humor that gets inserted into it.  Usually through the biological processes of the alien Bortus.  But it's not really that bad.  I'm not going to claims that Orville is a great show, but I think it's more Trek-like than some Trek shows.

    ==========

    Firefly is kinda-sorta not like Star Trek.  It's not a story of exploration, but it is a galaxy spanning space story.  Unfortunately, FOX killed it partway through it's first season after sabotaging it in the usual FOX way including constantly moving it's time slot (this was before DVR's were common), and airing the episodes out of order.  It's by Joss Whedon and looked to be on pace for an amazing run.  The movie Serenity finishes it, albeit by compressing several seasons of planned plot into a 2 hour movie.

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    Stargate SG-1 is something you should consider.  Warning, it started on Showtime and I think the producers/writers took that as a mandate to include some nudity in the two-part pilot "Children of the Gods".  It's completely out of place other than to show how dedicated to their gods these people are.  However, while this scene is borderline soft-porn, it is brief, and once it's gone, they never made that mistake again.  It is very much NOT indicative of what's to come.

    SG-1 does have the disadvantage in that the premise, that a race of aliens posed as our ancient gods to enslave us and we've just recently been 'rediscovered' by them, is kind of silly when you say it out loud.  But trust me that this silly premise is handled VERY well and SG-1 balances humor and action and pure sci-fi metaphor as well as any sci-fi show I've ever seen.  I would argue better than Trek ever did.

    And the actual SCIENCE of SG-1 is brilliantly good.  TNG and other Treks are usually decent, but fall into the 'vent some anti-matter from the warp nacelles' as the solution to every problem, and cheat a lot.  And to be certain, SG-1 cheats sometimes too, but they seemed to work harder at making their speculative sci fi more grounded and plausible than most sci fi.  SG-1 starts a little unevenly, but if you're not in love with the show by the end of season 1, then you and I have VERY different tastes.

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    Expanse is a show that I actually bailed on after a couple episodes.  But every sci fi fan I know LOVES IT, and you should give it a try.  I found it dry and uninteresting.  But it's so well received by so many.  I have no idea how much sex is involved, but it's definitely a show that takes itself very seriously, unlike SG-1 which could always laugh at itself.

    ==============

    Battlestar Gallactica (the remake) is another one that I didn't like (though I watched the whole thing) but ALOT of people ADORE it.  I felt that I hated every single character on the show and was rooting for the Cylons to exterminate this entire ship full of unbelievable backstabbing bastards.  And there is sex but no nudity.  In fact, one of the moments I hated most about the show was sexual.

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    Babylon 5 is an odd one.  How much are you willing to sit through slow and gradual storytelling to get to one OUTSTANDING plotline that lasts about a season and a half?  Because that's what B5 does.  B5 is boring...for a couple seasons at least.  But it all leads up to this story in the middle of the show that was EXCELLENT, during which the plot and character and geopolitics and sci fi metaphor are all wonderfully perfect.  But boy was it painful to get there.

    ==============

    It's a movie, not a TV series, but if you haven't seen GalaxyQuest, you MUST because it's the most perfect Trek parody ever.  But it's more than a parody because it's actually a good sci fi movie unto itself if you look below the surface.

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    Farscape is another one I don't actually like, but I know many sci fi fans who do.  You should at least be aware of it and give it a shot.

  • Moloch
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    Blake's 7

    Low budget but good writing and characters

  • 2 months ago

    Stargate Atlantis.

    Millennium (similar to X files).

    The Mandalorian.

    Crusade (a Babylon 5 sequel series)

  • 2 months ago

    1.  Earth: Final Conflict

    2.  Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    the original Lost In Space

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Well there's the recent Trek series Discovery and Picard. 

    If you've seen those, I might recommend The Expanse.  It's on Amazon Prime now.  It's a hard scifi show set about 200 years in the future (so around the same time as TOS) when humanity has colonized the solar system and there's political conflict between Earth, Mars, and "Belters" in farther out settlements.  The first season starts off with two plotlines that gradually come together: the crew of an ice harvesting ship discovering a derelict spacecraft and a cop on the asteroid Ceres investigating a missing woman.  It's a darker show than most of the Trek series (both visually and in terms of tone).  It's got some sex, but not a ton of it (especially compared to many prestige dramas).

    You might also want to check out the Battlestar Galactica reboot from earlier this century.  It's a pretty gritty show about the survivors of a genocidal attack on their planet who flee into space, pursued by the robots who carried out the attack.  The first season especially is exceptionally good, although it loses its way a bit later on.

    A third one which isn't a space opera like Star Trek, but which is pretty good is the recent Tales From the Loop.  It's only available on Amazon Prime, so if you don't have that then you can't watch it.  It's a series of interconnected stories set in this weird town where this company is doing research into various advanced concepts like time travel and robotics.

  • TB12
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If you're going to do Battlestar Galactica you got to go with the old one, the new one was not that good.

    If you can find it the original Lost in Space, very campy by today's standards but still interesting.

    On a different line, Quantum Leap.

    Red Dwarf is a British sitcom along the lines of space travel,

    Sliders was interesting,,, for the first two seasons and then it just got stupid for some reason.

  • 2 months ago

    Have you seen the new Picard and Discovery? I thought they were both good. Try The Orville. It's kind of a parody of Star Trek, but it plays straight. The Expanse is really good but it's kind of slow-paced and non episodic so you need to binge watch it.

  • 2 months ago

    Have you considered Babylon 5?

  • Kathy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Battlestar Galactica

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