The Omega Factor
This 1970s science fiction programme has a premise that would fit today’s trends like a glove. Tom Crane is a journalist that possesses extraordinary psychic abilities and is recruited by the government. It all sounds very X-Men, but it doesn’t stop there as Crane is partnered with a female agent who helps him track down others of his kind. Shot in Scotland, The Omega Factor lasted ten episodes, which is epic by British standards, and was remarkably ahead of its time.
Sapphire and Steel
One of the strangest shows ever to come out of the United Kingdom, as well as noted thespian Joanna Lumley’s most bizarre role. Sapphire and Steel starred Lumley, and David McCallum as a pair of investigators tasked with protecting the fabric of time. Made on a shoestring budget that was getting smaller all the time, Sapphire and Steel was nevertheless a show brimming with ideas, thanks to excellent writing and a resourceful crew.
Space Island One
Space Island One is possibly one of the most obscure British science fiction shows out there but it really deserves and audience. A British and German co-production, Space Island One centres its story on the first privately funded space station in existence. A precursor to the rebooted Battlestar Galactica, and dealing with issues that frequently popped up on bigger shows across the pond, the show found elegant ways of talking about issues of biowarfare and artificial intelligence. For those that love hard sci fi, Space Island One deserves your attention.
The Quatermass Experiment
No classic science fiction list would be complete without an appearance from The Quatermass Experiment. This 1950s series was a huge inspiration for Doctor Who as it followed the adventures of heroic scientist Bernard Quatermass, who was also slightly mad. The show got a lot of mileage out of London being a magnet for the types of strange artefacts that would get Quartermass’ attention, but its influence on the science fiction genre cannot be downplayed.
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