The nerd, once confined to displays of vintage toys on the desk or hidden He-Man tattoos, has risen from the depths of derision to be a celebrated category. Helping this ascension are stories that don’t rely on sleazy alien sex or giant monsters playing good touch/bad touch with each other, but focus on promoting deep plot lines and philosophical dilemmas. Walk a new road or revisit old favorites with these five essential Sci Fi shows every nerd should watch.
A true space opera, “Babylon 5” served an audience who were willing to wait for a story to unfold and not for the worshippers of instant gratification. "Epic" describes this science fiction show perfectly, as long as you’re using the term before it meant everything from your ability to get up in the morning to your latest weapon drop in a MMO. Serving diplomacy, intrigue, romance, strategy and fistfuls of action, this is a science fiction show that will satisfy every nerd-lust you have ever had. “The Fall of Night” doesn’t navel-gaze before engaging in action, it does what’s right for the characters and the future storylines, making it one seriously great season finale.
No mere war between once servile robots and human masters, the “Battlestar Galactica” starts to emotionalize the Cylons while making humans more machinelike as paranoia starts to reign over everyone involved. Place your bets on who the imposters are before you start watching so you can be surprised at the turns as well as how comfortable the nerd title will end up fitting you. Baltar’s treachery against humanity gets exposed in “Six Degrees of Separation” with interesting conclusions. Plus, the show has a fantastic sound score.
At first glance you wouldn’t think science fiction needed a prudish, uptight hologram or a slovenly, doltish crewman at all, let alone teamed up but you’d be terribly, terribly wrong. Lister, Rimmer, and Cat (the descendant of Lister’s pet after three million years of evolution) do their best to support, sabotage and get the immoral high ground on each other all while trying to find their way back to Earth with the help of Holly, the ship’s occasional prank playing computer. “Red Dwarf” is a science fiction show that will build your nerd street cred as painlessly as possible. Don’t miss Lister’s bout with divinity in “Waiting for God."