The term “television show” doesn’t mean what it used to. With the ubiquity of streaming services in 2020, you’re more likely to find something you want to watch on Hulu or Netflix than you are on ABC or Fox.
Let’s take a look at the upcoming sci-fi shows in 2020 to which I’m most looking forward.
Most Anticipated Sci-Fi Shows For 2020:
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney Plus)
This six-episode mini-series will feature Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson having just been handed the mantle of Captain America.
This is the first television tie-in which will share true continuity with the films, and that’s pretty exciting. They kind of tried it with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that never panned out quite as well as I’d have liked.
Sharon Carter as Agent 13 will be a cast-member, and there are rumors that we’ll also see an appearance by longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. member Maria Hill. It’s looking like the show’s primary antagonist will be Baron Helmut Zemo, the man responsible for the Avengers’ break-up in Captain America: Civil War.
We can expect to see The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in “Late 2020”.
Star Trek: Picard (CBS All Access)
We’ve been hearing about the new Star Trek series for quite a while now, and at this point it’s pretty much here. On January 23rd, you’ll see good old Jean-Luc back on the screen, gooder and older than ever. He’ll be joined by Brent Spiner’s Data, Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine, Marina Sirtis’s Deanna Troi, and Jonathan Frakes as William T. Riker. My bet is that none of these Next-Gen originals stay on the show for more than a season, but we can always hope.
The first season will have ten episodes, and Star Trek: Picard already been renewed for a second season. Despite the fact that Star Trek: Nemesis is pretty much the worst of the Next-Gen movies, I’m going to have to re-watch it within the next few weeks, because its events are apparently pivotal to this series.
It’s looking like we’ll also see WandaVision in late 2020. Similarly to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it will be a six episode mini-series. This MCU tie-in series will focus on Wanda Maximoff post-Endgame. The presumption is that the loss of both her brother Pietro and her love interest The Vision was too much for her to handle. To cope, she uses her powers to create her own reality in which she and Vision are alive in a 1950s-like setting. This will somehow culminate in events that lead into Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
In addition to Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, the show will include Kat Dennings in her role as Darcy Lewis – we haven’t seen her character since the first two Thor movies. It will also include Randall Park as Agent Jimmy Woo – he was one of my favorite parts about Ant-Man and The Wasp. Lastly, it will include Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, as last seen in Captain Marvel.
Avenue 5 (HBO)
While it’s not the show I’m looking forward to most, I’m very curious about Avenue 5. It’s a science-fiction comedy, and it sounds like a cross between The Orville and Star Trek: Voyager. It’s got Hugh Laurie, whom I haven’t personally watched in anything since House, and it’s got Josh Gad, who was obviously great as Olaf but was also fun as Gastonne’s sidekick in the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake. I’ll definitely check this one out on January 19th.
Another Season: Returning SciFi Shows of 2020
Umbrella Academy, Season 2 (Netflix)
I was a big fan of The Umbrella Academy. Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige are both awesome, and I loved watching Hazel’s relationship with the waitress develop. Pogo was a fascinating character, and Reginald Hargraves’s origins remain a fascinating mystery. I’m hopeful that now that we’re done with the Phoenix Saga plot of the first season, the show still has enough material in the source comics to continue its story.
Stranger Things 4 (Netflix)
Stranger Things remains my absolute favorite currently-running show. While the first season remains the best, I’ve enjoyed every episode thoroughly. I’m hopeful that the show’s quality remains high and that it eventually comes to a satisfying conclusion somewhere around the fifth or sixth season.
The Boys, Season 2 (HBO)
HBO’s adult-only take on the superhero genre certainly got my attention. I love what a frightening and nontraditional villain Homelander is, I love the unexplored mystery that is Black Noir, and I absolutely love the scene in the van between The Deep and the dolphin.
Travelers, Season 4 (Netflix)
At first, I wasn’t sure whether Travelers was a remake of Voyagers!, The 4400, or Journeyman, but it’s not. It is its own thing, and it’s very good. The storyline has been convoluted at times, but I’m a big fan. It’s got great characters who carry the show. And it’s got periodic standout episodes, such as the amazing seventh episode of season two, “17 Minutes”.
Altered Carbon, Season 2 (Netflix)
For well over a decade, if you’d asked me to recommend a science fiction novel, my shortlist would have always included Richard K Morgan’s book Altered Carbon. I’m not a huge fan of all the Quellcrist Falconer plot alterations that the Netflix show made, or the fact that they made the hotel A.I. into Edgar Allen Poe rather than Jimi Hendrix, but I was still able to enjoy it. If the showrunners have the second season follow the plot of Broken Angels, the second book in Richard K Morgan’s series, rather than deviating from the source novels like The Shannara Chronicles and Legend of the Seeker did, it stands a chance to be really good. Plus, I’ve loved Dichen Lachman since Dollhouse.
Raising Dion, Season 2 (Netflix)
My wife and I jumped into this Netflix series about a single black mother raising a child with superpowers, and loved it. Michael B Jordan is obviously the heavyweight on the cast, but my personal favorite is Sammi Haney, the adorable wheelchair-bound girl who plays one of Dion’s best friends. I’m not entirely certain how I feel about the twist at the end of the season, but I’m definitely coming back to this show once they get around to season two.
The Watchmen, Season 2 (HBO)
I was a bit late to the game on Watchmen, and I actually haven’t yet finished season one. But I’m digging it. I’ve not read the original comic, so I lose geek cred for that one, but I’ve seen the movie at least thrice, including the extended cut with the weird cartoons, so I’m down with the setting for the most part. The rave reviews the show is getting make me confident that the rest of the season will keep me engaged, and that I’ll want to return to Watchmen‘s bizarre alternate reality for another season.
The Mandalorian, Season 2 (Disney Plus)
Never before has a live-action Star Wars incorporated so much extended universe lore so well. While I’ve seen all the films multiple times, I’m not up to date on the Clone Wars cartoon, and the only novel I’ve read is Shadows of the Empire, so my own knowledge of Star Wars lore is shamefully inadequate. I wasn’t hooked at episode one, but the more of The Mandalorian I watched, the better I liked it. I loved the series finale so much that I went back and re-watched the opening five minutes, because those two scout troopers are the best.
Wynonna Earp, Season 4 (Syfy)
I’ve actually never seen an episode of Wynonna Earp, and so this one is a last-minute addition. It looks like Wynonna Earp was nearly cancelled, and then rescued at the 11th hour.
2020 Sci-Fi Shows: How Little We Know
Y, The Last Man (FX)
FX has provided very little information about their upcoming series Y, based on the comic Y, The Last Man. The premise is that one man and his pet monkey are the last two surviving male mammals on the planet, living in a female-populated post-apocalyptic world.
Space Force (Netflix)
Space Force will be a comedy series about the people tasked with creating Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military. Will it be good? Hard to say. But it’s got Steve Carell and John Malkovich on board, so if you like those actors you may want to check it out.
The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime)
It’s hard to say at this point whether the new Wheel of Time series will premiere in late 2020 or in early 2021. One thing is for certain: I’m a Wheel of Time fan, and I’ll be watching it.
Battlestar Galactica (Peacock)
Nearly everything we know about the forthcoming Battlestar Galactica series is from a single tweet by its creator, Sam Esmail, the man behind the TV series Mr. Robot.
BSG fans, this will NOT be a remake of the amazing series @RonDMoore launched because… why mess with perfection? Instead, we’ll explore a new story within the mythology while staying true to the spirit of Battlestar. So say we all!
— Sam Esmail (@samesmail) September 17, 2019
Will this remake be released in 2020? Your guess is as good as mine.