The genres of science fiction and fantasy have excited me since I discovered reruns of the original Star Trek television series as a child growing up in the 70s and 80s. I think the key to its enduring appeal for me and legions of fans everywhere is that it poses one simple, profound question:
Genre television series like Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, The X-Files, and LOST have captured the imagination of millions, leaving an indelible mark on our cultural zeitgeist. Now, in our current era of video streaming and video on-demand, a nascent medium has emerged as an intriguing alternative to traditional broadcast and cable networks: web series.
While major film and television studios have dabbled in web series creation, the medium has shown the most growth and potential in the independent film space. Web series have empowered independent filmmakers — especially those from diverse and marginalized groups —by democratizing content creation and distribution.
Web series have empowered independent filmmakers — especially those from diverse and marginalized groups — by democratizing content creation and distribution.
In the years since I founded The7thMatrix.com to help promote genre web series, I have been astonished at the high level of production quality of many independent projects. Here are six exciting science fiction web series that are proof that if you’re looking for quality genre programming, the medium provides an exciting alternative — and the best is yet to come!
Part cyberpunk romp, space opera, and dark dystopia, this science fiction opus from the creatives at Karma Pirates draws from each of those sub-genres to create a surreal aesthetic all its own that defies categorization.
Filled with breathtaking visual effects, you will be hard pressed not to believe this web series didn’t cost millions to produce.
This series is set in a near-future dystopia where video games use advanced haptic technology to create fully immersive experiences. When young Maxine and her friends gain access to experimental haptic peripherals, they discover they retain the skills learned in their virtual gaming environment. Soon they become members of an underground subculture of rebels who use the technology to learn lethal combat skills.
Haphead not only features an intriguing narrative centered around a relatable young heroine, but its subject matter also seems eerily prophetic — especially in light of sensational virtual reality tech like Oculus Rift and Microsoft’s Hololens making headlines.
Produced by Ismahawk Productions, this web series is the latest to capitalize on the red-hot popularity of comic book superheroes. Nightwing tells the story of Dick Grayson, Batman’s former partner who has embarked on his own solo crime-fighting career in the city of Bludhaven. Filled with explosive action scenes and dynamic fight choreography, this project looks like an unofficial companion show to hit CW series such as Arrow and The Flash.
Produced by Comediva, this hilarious web series imagines what would happen if some of the world’s most famous fictional heroines were to live under the same roof a la Big Brother. This imaginative satire both celebrates and satirizes these pop culture favorites with sharply funny observational humor.
This dazzling science fiction mystery involves a disparate group of individuals whose lives are affected by the mysterious phenomenon known as lucid dreaming. Produced by Finite Films, Anamnesis uses gorgeous, surreal cinematography in addition to captivating performances to create a world where dreams and reality intertwine in unpredictable ways.
Set in the 1970s, RCVR centers on a federal agent who has been tasked with investigating UFO sightings across the country. However, as the investigation progresses, it becomes clear the government is involved in an elaborate conspiracy regarding UFOs, and extraterrestrial contact with earth.
Produced by the multi-channel digital network Machinima, RCVR is a dark and riveting science fiction mystery-thriller reminiscent of The X-Files.
Looking for your next favorite show? Head to Stareable.com for reviews of thousands of web series, all in one place.