Actors Alexa Mansour and Aliyah Royale in 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond.'

Worst sci-fi shows of all time

May 31, 2022
Sarah Shatz // AMC

Worst sci-fi shows of all time

The best science fiction TV is incredibly imaginative, allowing the audience to be completely absorbed by a foreign world. Whether that means conversing with a new species, exploring the possibilities of technology, or diving deep into the far reaches of space, a science fiction universe beckons the viewer into a place that is all at once fantastical and unknown. It allows viewers to believe that the unimaginable just might happen—someday, somehow—in a distant galaxy or aboard a spaceship traveling to one.

Successful science fiction shows are not just defined by ratings, awards, or critical acclaim. They also give rise to fandoms, whose passion and knowledge are as boundless as the stories and worlds they love. Often these shows reach cult classic status. But not all sci-fi shows find such loyal and devoted fans.

Maybe it's the fault of overused tropes, one too many manic plot twists, unbelievable acting, or silly dialogue. Perhaps it is remaking that which should not be remade or that which should never have been made at all. Whatever the reason, the sci-fi shows discussed on this list each have their shortcomings. In order to form this ranking, Stacker collected data from IMDb. All shows listed received at least 2,000 user votes; the lower a show's number is on the list, the worse it is.

This list features remakes that can't compare to the originals, shows based on novels that were much more successful, and animated adventures that weren't all that exciting. Whether it's a show about Mexican wrestlers, a family of superheroes, a battle between good and evil, or a janitor exposed to toxic chemicals, this list contains the worst of the worst. Without further ado, join us as we take a trip through the worst sci-fi shows known to humanity.

#40. Osmosis (2019)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 2,568

This Netflix series set in Paris, France, blends science fiction and love. Singles use a dating app to find their soulmate by using an implant that mines data from their brain. Netflix did not pick up the series for a second season because, with little promotion, the show failed to find its audience.

#39. The Replacements (2006–2009)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 2,616

Two orphans can replace adults whenever they want thanks to an ad they answered from the mysterious company Fleemco. While this Disney show received some positive, critical reviews, they weren't enough to save it, and "The Replacements" was canceled after three seasons.

#38. Painkiller Jane (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 2,903

Painkiller Jane, a comic book character designed in the 1990s, is portrayed by Kristanna Loken in this TV spinoff. Jane, beginning as a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, eventually discovers her own possession of superhuman abilities, like immediate healing after experiencing an injury. Unfortunately, the show's title may be its sole point of interest.

#37. Neo Yokio (2017–2018)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 3,048

This animated sci-fi show featured some enviable talent like Jude Law, Jaden Smith, and Susan Sarandon. It focused on Kaz Kaan (Jaden Smith), a bachelor, demon hunter doing his best among the elite society of Neo Yokio. Writing for The Mary Sue, critic Vrai Kaiser found fault with the show's transphobia, classism, and misogyny.

#36. Mutant X (2001–2004)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 3,947

A genetically engineered group of people known as "New Mutants" exists as the result of government experiments. The members of this group must protect the other victims of this experimentation and help them understand their power. Changes in the production company led to the abrupt cancellation of the show.

#35. Nightflyers (2018)

- IMDb user rating: 5.9
- Votes: 11,724

This SyFy series focuses on a common science fiction trope: A crew aboard a spaceship realizes they may not be alone. In this particular show, the mission that finds them on the ship is connected to a mysterious alien signal. The series was canceled after a single season due to its modest ratings.

#34. RoboCop (1994)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 2,015

The premise of this Canadian television show—based on the film series of the same name—is pretty much summed up in its title: a high-tech, robotic cop fights crime. Starring Richard Eden, the show was anything but a hit, with moments of various insanity.

#33. ¡Mucha Lucha! (2002–2005)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 2,502

Exploring the Latino cultural phenomenon known as "lucha libre," the animated show follows three wanna-be masked wrestlers. While "¡Mucha Lucha!" was the first broadcast television show to feature all-flash animation, it didn't make much of a splash and only lasted for three seasons.

#32. Ben 10: Omniverse (2012–2014)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 3,281

Superhero Ben Tennyson continues to save the day in this follow-up to the original. While many fans didn't hate "Omniverse," they did find it paled in comparison to "Ben 10," which received a much higher rating on IMDb.

#31. The Thundermans (2013–2018)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 3,737

This Nickelodeon show featured a family of superheroes while focusing on the very different personalities and lives of the eldest twin siblings in the brood. While the show lasted for four seasons, it was a wonder given the unbelievable plotlines and subpar special effects.

#30. Bionic Woman (2007)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 7,927

"Bionic Woman" first existed as a television series in the 1970s, and was brought back in 2007 with Michelle Ryan in the title role. Jaime Sommers (the lead character's name pre-bionic transformation) is nearly killed in a car accident, and the surgery that saves her also gives her bionic powers. The show experienced a massive ratings drop throughout the season and was subsequently given the boot.

#29. The Twilight Zone (2019–2020)

- IMDb user rating: 5.8
- Votes: 13,102

Though the original series created by Rod Serling is considered a classic in both television and the sci-fi genre, this remake, created by award-winning writer and director Jordan Peele, falls short. It was canceled after two seasons and will not run on the CBS All Access rebrand Paramount+ though it seems executive producers Peele and Simon Kinberg were the ones who wanted to step away from the series.

#28. Moonbase 8 (2020)

- IMDb user rating: 5.7
- Votes: 2,432

Featuring some truly funny people including John C. Reilly and Fred Armisen as astronauts attempting to land their first lunar mission wasn't enough to make this Showtime comedy funny. National Public Radio critic Glen Weldon notes, "What the series' comedy is not, terribly often, is funny." 

#27. Galactica 1980 (1980)

- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Votes: 3,407

After the cancellation of "Battlestar Galactica" prompted a public outcry, "Galactica 1980," was brought in as a replacement. In this next chapter, the crew discovers Earth, but learns that the planet has fallen victim to the Cylons. The show has most certainly not gotten better with age.

#26. Henry Danger (2014–2020)

- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Votes: 3,437

Teen Henry Hart becomes a superhero sidekick to Captain Man in this unbelievable series that lasted five seasons on Nickelodeon. While many fans enjoyed early seasons of the show, many felt it grew stale and more ridiculous with each passing season. It was quietly canceled in 2020.

#25. Halo: Nightfall (2014)

- IMDb user rating: 5.6
- Votes: 4,744

Based on the massively popular "Halo" video game franchise, this TV adaptation follows a group of naval officers fighting terrorism on a space colony. Starring Mike Colter as the lead agent, the show got off to a very bad start—and only got worse from there.

#24. Bakugan Battle Brawlers (2007–2010)

- IMDb user rating: 5.5
- Votes: 2,231

In this Japanese anime series, pre-teenagers stumble upon Bakugan. The discovery of these ancient creatures changes their lives forever. While many fans enjoyed the first season, some felt the show went downhill after that.

#23. Hunters (2016)

- IMDb user rating: 5.5
- Votes: 2,545

Starring Nathan Phillips as Flynn Caroll, "Hunters" tells the story of a former soldier whose wife mysteriously disappears. In searching for her, Carol discovers—and ultimately gets roped into—a government group that fights aliens. The series is based on a 2013 best-selling novel called "Alien Hunter," but the single-season show was not so successful.

#22. The Stand (2020–2021)

- IMDb user rating: 5.5
- Votes: 14,646

While many of Stephen King's novels have been translated into movies and television series, they do not always translate well. "The Stand," based on his novel about the apocalypse and the battle between good and evil, may fall into this category. Ben Travers, writing for IndieWire, gave it a D+ and called the series, "needlessly grim and deeply unpleasant."

#21. The Mist (2017)

- IMDb user rating: 5.4
- Votes: 22,232

"The Mist" is based on Stephen King's novella of the same name. In the show, a deadly mist slowly envelops a small town, leading to various mysteries and phenomena taking place with increasing intensity. Morgan Spector and Alyssa Sutherland star as two of the town's residents, but the show itself died pretty quickly.

#20. Teen Titans Go! (2013–present)

- IMDb user rating: 5.3
- Votes: 17,507

Teen superheroes room together while fighting the bad guys in this animated series. While the show has been on for six seasons, it only received a 33% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

#19. Golden Years (1991)

- IMDb user rating: 5.2
- Votes: 2,778

Written and produced by Stephen King, the "Golden Years" is about a janitor who is exposed to toxic chemicals that cause him to age in reverse. This strange event makes the man (Keith Szarabajka) a valuable target for the government; the show itself was not considered valuable to many.

#18. The Watch (2021)

- IMDb user rating: 5.2
- Votes: 3,241

A group of misfit police officers, based on characters from the "Discworld" book series by Sir Terry Pratchett, attempts to save their city which has fallen into corruption. Many have said the series, which only lasted one season, is a far cry from the novels, including Pratchett's daughter Rhianna and his friend, author Neil Gaiman.

#17. Johnny Test (2005–2014)

- IMDb user rating: 5.0
- Votes: 6,810

A kid from the suburbs, Johnny Test, played a hero who fought evil villains and was a guinea pig to his genius twin sister and her experiments. It appeared on Kids WB and moved to Cartoon Network, though many fans disliked it enough to recommend other shows in its place. The show appears to be getting a Netflix reboot.

#16. Inhumans (2017)

- IMDb user rating: 5.0
- Votes: 22,298

Marvel's elusive group of misfits and outsiders fight to defend their world in this ABC series that did not fare well. Even an IMAX debut of the first two episodes couldn't save the show from cancellation after a brief eight episodes.

#15. Another Life (2019–2021)

- IMDb user rating: 5.0
- Votes: 24,769

A group of astronauts goes on a space mission to explore an anomaly that may be of alien origin in this Netflix series. While it was renewed for a second season, many critics and fans are wondering why. The Hollywood Reporter chief television critic Tim Goodman wrote, "There's really no other way around this—the work on 'Another Life' is not good." Eventually, it seems Netflix agreed, canceling the show in February 2022.

#14. Star Trek: Renegades (2015–2017)

- IMDb user rating: 4.9
- Votes: 3,423

Set within the Star Trek universe, "Renegades" is set a decade after the USS Voyager returns to its home base. This time, the Federation is in major trouble due to a lack of dilithium crystals. The project was largely funded by crowdsourcing, but it did not prove to be money well spent.

#13. Aftermath (2016)

- IMDb user rating: 4.9
- Votes: 4,245

"Aftermath" is set just as civilization is beginning to end due to natural disasters and supernatural beings. The show follows a single family, whose parents are portrayed by Anne Heche and James Tupper. The show was considered a passable guilty pleasure at best.

#12. Star Wars Resistance (2018–2020)

- IMDb user rating: 4.9
- Votes: 4,285

A pilot for the resistance, Kazuda Xiono, investigates a galactic threat, the First Order. Fans were disappointed with this latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, and the show received only a 56% average audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

#11. Flash Gordon: A Modern Space Opera (2007–2008)

- IMDb user rating: 4.8
- Votes: 2,930

Steve "Flash" Gordon goes on a sojourn to another dimension to find the father he believed was dead. On Planet Mongo, Flash finds himself battling evil. The campy series, which didn't make it past the first season, has found a spot on many worst of lists.

#10. RoboCop: Prime Directives (2001)

- IMDb user rating: 4.6
- Votes: 2,334

The RoboCop franchise receives the honor of having two different adaptations on this list. "Prime Directives," a Canadian miniseries featuring Page Fletcher as RoboCop, takes place several years after the film. Four episodes of this concept were more than enough for viewers.

#9. Cavemen (2007–2008)

- IMDb user rating: 4.3
- Votes: 2,373

Perhaps it was the foolish plot or the ridiculous makeup that caused this ABC series to be canceled after only one season. It told the tale of three Neanderthals trying to live in the modern world. It may have been too much to expect a show spun from the Geico car insurance commercials to be a success.

#8. The Walking Dead: World Beyond (2020–2021)

- IMDb user rating: 4.2
- Votes: 8,769

A group of sheltered teens, the first to come of age during the zombie apocalypse, go on a journey to find the only person that they believe can save the world. While this is an AMC spinoff of the original series, the show did not perform as well and was called boring. It did not continue past the second season.

#7. Pandora (2019–2020)

- IMDb user rating: 4.1
- Votes: 3,009

In the year 2199, a woman trains at Earth's Space Training Academy to protect the galaxy from intergalactic threats. The series received less than stellar reviews and a piddly 14% on Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer

#6. Stargate Origins (2018)

- IMDb user rating: 3.9
- Votes: 4,898

"Stargate Origins" is a series comprised of 10 episodes, each running 10 minutes in length. The series expands upon the "Stargate" universe, which revolves around a portal that allows transportation throughout the cosmos; its strange format led to some very unhappy reviews from hardcore "Stargate" fans.

#5. The Powerpuff Girls (2016–2019)

- IMDb user rating: 3.6
- Votes: 3,216

Though this animated series that followed a group of little girls with superpowers became a cult classic, many found it annoying and difficult to watch. The show's movie spoofs often fell flat and while many fans found the animation retro, equally as many seemed to find it amateurish at best.

#4. Jinn (2019)

- IMDb user rating: 3.5
- Votes: 9,518

This Netflix coming-of-age show focuses on Jinn, which are ancient supernatural creatures. When two Jinn are awakened in this Arabian-language series, things were supposed to get interesting. Unfortunately, fans did not seem to agree and the show was not renewed for a second season.

#3. Batwoman (2019–2022)

- IMDb user rating: 3.4
- Votes: 32,784

In this superhero series, Batwoman fights crime in Gotham City. While the show featured an openly lesbian superhero, it was not without its issues including the departure of Ruby Rose, who played Batwoman, at the end of the first season. Writing for The Guardian, Lucy Mangan said, "…Batwoman's plot is ridiculously slight…her character is woefully underdeveloped and overtly presented as the real Batman's stand-in, rather than an opportunity to interrogate gender expectations, narrative norms and a variety of other fertile issues offered by the premise." Still, after Rose left, it went on for two more seasons with Javicia Leslie taking over the title role.

#2. Fanboy & Chum Chum (2009–2014)

- IMDb user rating: 3.2
- Votes: 3,327

With movie references outside of the target demographic, "Fanboy & Chum Chum" did not seem to understand its audience. The premise of the canceled 3D, computer-generated imagery, animated show focused on the adventures of two comic book obsessed kids who dress up in superhero costumes. Viewers found the characters much too annoying to connect with or enjoy.

#1. Ben 10 (2016–2021)

- IMDb user rating: 2.5
- Votes: 2,652

A boy named Ben discovers a device that allows him to turn into 10 different alien species. This animated action-adventure series is a reboot loosely based on the original that aired in 2005. The original had a much higher user ranking on IMDb, and many fans felt that the new series did not live up to its predecessor.

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