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10 Sci-Fi Classics That Are Out Of This World

BY Anna Walker

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

10 Sci-Fi Classics That Are Out Of This World

This collection celebrates those influential and much-loved Sci-Fi film & TV shows that take us beyond the Milky Way into galaxies far, far away. Drama, comedy, thrillers, horror, fantasy – set phasers to ‘play’.


The desire to escape has always formed an element of the human psyche. Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s epic Sci-Fi venture explores this idea to its fullest. Earth is an environmental disaster. Natural resources are depleted, weather is extreme and the population has exploded to numbers beyond our imagination. There’s no place to go – or is there?

Enter Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine in a desperate wormhole mission; the Holy Grail is a new planet for humans to destroy colonise. This is Sci-Fi storytelling at its most ambitious, thoughtful, spiritual and marvelous. Extraordinary special effects land us on fantastic planets, and a journey into a mysterious time-bending wormhole boggles the mind. The poster strapline declares, “The end of earth will not be the end of us”. Hell yeah! 
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If you want to get a bit Meta, here’s Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar, reacting to the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.




Girl power! Roger Vadim directs his then wife Jane Fonda in this groovy slice of space-age kitsch. In the 41st century a renegade scientist threatens the peace when he develops a deadly ray. It’s up to scantily-clad astronaut Barbarella to clean up the problem. On the way she encounters a blind angel, has her clothes eaten by robots, partakes of the essence of man and runs into rebellious Dildano (David Hemmings). Just your average Tuesday then. 
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (BBC)

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With the overwhelming popularity of the film adaptation of Douglas Adams’ novel this BBC series is often overlooked, but it too is a delightful slice of Sci-Fi history. Unbeknownst to its inhabitants, Earth is to be demolished to make way for an intergalactic highway. Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) is whisked off the planet to safety by his alien neighbour Ford Prefect (David Dixon), and launched on a dizzying journey through space and time (with only a towel, and a fish to help them), culminating in the discovery of the meaning of life itself.
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Sandra Bullock and George Clooney launch into orbit in this 2013 space thriller that follows a veteran astronaut on his final mission and a medical engineer on her first space outing. When debris collides with their shuttle, the pair find themselves drifting in space with low oxygen supplies and cut off from all communication with Earth… Alfonso Curan’s thriller won seven Oscars including Best Director.
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Battlestar Galactica

In a distant quadrant of the universe, human civilization has expanded to a group of planets known as the 12 Colonies. After a brutal war between the battle fleet and their sworn enemies, only the Galactica has survived. Now the ship leads a fugitive fleet of survivors in search of the fabled thirteenth colony known as Earth… This series has such a cult following that a sequel, prequel, book adaptations, original novels, comic books, board game and video game have all been made in its honour!
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Star Trek

Another iconic TV classic, this series has certainly lived long and prospered. The original episodes, starring Leonard Nemoy and William Shatner, first aired in 1966 and since then the franchise has spawned five spin off series and 12 feature films as well as hundreds of novels, comics, games and magazines. The recent film reboots have starred Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Eric Bana, Zoe Salanda, Winona Ryder and Benedict Cumberbatch.


Doctor Who

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The first Brit entry, Doctor Who is a stalwart of all Sci-Fi fandoms and has been made by the BBC since 1963. The programme follows the adventures of ‘The Doctor’, a mysterious Time Lord who explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship with the appearance of an old-fashioned blue police box. There have been 13 different incarnations of The Doctor, with Peter Capaldi currently in the role. And the theme tune hardly needs introducing: Dun dun dun, dun dun dun…
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2001 Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece takes viewers back to the dawn of mankind, when a large black monolith visits a tribe of ape-like beings – but this is no Planet of the Apes. Flash forward to the year 2001 and scientist Doctor Floyd (William Sylvester) discovers a similar monolith on the moon emitting a signal aimed at Jupiter. A team of scientists is dispatched to investigate, but when the ship computer HAL begins to malfunction, all is not as it seems…
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The Alien films seem to multiply in numbers every time you look away. Including the Alien vs. Predator series five films have now been made, but the original remains the undisputed best. Highly aggressive extra-terrestrials stalk and kill the crew of a commercial spacecraft. It’s up to Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in the role that launched her career) to escape these ‘perfect organisms’, which breed like parasites in the stomachs of their victims. Ridley Scott’s masterpiece is without doubt one of the best Sci-Fi films of all time, with a fourth sequel currently under development. It also gave us one of the best taglines in film history; in space, no one can hear you scream…


Star Wars

Few movies can boast such long-lasting popularity when the most quotable line is also the ultimate spoiler. With an iconic theme tune, six feature films, innumerable books, games and toys and another three installments on their way Star Wars is the epic Sci-Fi space opera to end all epic Sci-Fi space operas. The fictional galaxy in which the series operates is held together by an omnipresent energy known only as ‘The Force’, which can be used for good (by Jedis) or evil (by Siths or Dark Jedis). The latest installment, The Force Awakens is set for cinematic launch in December 2015…