11 one-season sci-fi TV wonders you can watch right now on Netflix

While we wait to see if freshmen series like Almost Human and Tomorrow People survive for a second year, we thought it’d be a good time to take a look back at some of our favorite one-season sci-fi wonders.

We’re drawing close to the dog days of summer, and though there’s more original sci-fi fare than there used to be, it’s still essentially the doldrums for a genre fan. Luckily for all of us, that’s where streaming services like Netflix come in handy. What better way to spend the downtime than to catch up on some gems that never got a second chance?

Sadly, not every great one-season wonder is on Netflix (see: Kings, Pushing Daisies, Journeyman, a million others), but there are still more than a few goodies just a click or two away.

Did we miss any great one-season wonders you're currently streaming? Let us know in the comments!

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    This show was truly brilliant, but cancelled. This short-lived NBC series flipped the cop genre on its head, by focusing on a cop who is living out two lives in two realities after being put into a coma. Which is real? What is reality? We never really got an answer, but all the fun was in the asking.

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    This short-lived BBC series was a smart, high-concept sci-fi series set a few decades in the future on the fictional planet Carpathia. It’s basically a character drama with equal parts intrigue and mystery, set on the outskirts of space. Sadly, there are only 8 episodes, but they’re well worth a look. Plus, Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber!

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    The Event

    This show tried as hard as it could to be the next Lost, but it was too big on mystery and not nearly big enough on actually being compelling. It’s funny to go back and watch the show now, as it basically went through a semi-reboot midstream, and it’s at least an ambitious study on a failed attempt to save a show when it’s gone too far off the rails.

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    666 Park Avenue

    While we wait to see what NBC does with that Rosemary’s Baby reboot, this short-lived supernatural ABC series took its best shot at being an homage to the horror classic, set in a scary penthouse building brimming with secrets and murderous drama.

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    Ronald D. Moore’s Caprica

    When Battlestar Galactica ended, Ronald D. Moore was keen to dig deeper into the universe he’d created with the high-concept prequel think piece Caprica. It was a mixed bag at times, but when it worked it was absolutely brilliant, and remains one of the smartest sci-fi series ever conceived.

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    The Tick

    This short-lived sitcom essentially brought the acclaimed animated series to life, and we still catch ourselves screaming “Spoon!” when we think about just how fun and insane this series was. It also helped launch more than a few genre careers, so keep an eye out for a few familiar faces.

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    You’ll either love it or hate it. This series, from Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon, did so poorly that even The CW was forced to pull the plug after a few episodes. But, the series is a neo-noir that takes a meta-meta look at a hit TV series and the fandom that surrounds it. The idea was more ambitious than the execution, but it could still be a fun show at times.

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    Joss Whedon’s Firefly

    ’Nuff said. This series is the poster child for a sci-fi show being cancelled too soon, and you’ve probably already seen the all-too-brief run a few dozen times. But, that doesn’t make Joss Whedon’s cowboy space adventure any less awesome.

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    This series hit in the crush of Lost-like series that started popping up after J.J. Abrams made mysteries cool again, but it was actually pretty good. It often gets lost in the jumble with fellow water-based alien-esque series Threshold and Invasion (which weren’t terrible, either), but it’s worth checking out if you could use a few more mysteries this summer.

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    Terra Nova

    This recent, big budget sci-fi series was a moderate hit at Fox, but failed to capture enough of an audience to justify its high price tag. The time-hopping story followed a group of colonists sent back into the past to colonize Earth in the past, and though it could be clunky as hell at times, it was still a fun dinosaur adventure story with some interesting ideas. Like most cancelled shows, it really hit its stride just at the end.

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    The Gates

    File this one under guilty pleasure, but there’s nothing wrong with that. This series is basically a supernatural version of Desperate Housewives, and it generated quite a little cult following, but never found enough mainstream success to stick around. If you’re looking for some steamy, summer fun, you could do much worse.

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