Time travellers, space adventures something spooky happening in Wellington and enough conspiracy to make anyone paranoid: Discover these great sci-fi series streaming now at SBS On Demand.
Beforeigners is a Norwegian crime series with an intriguing twist: what would happen if people from the past suddenly appeared here and now? Across the world, flashes of light start appearing in the oceans and harbours; panicked people from three eras in the past – the Stone Age, the Viking era and the late 1800s – suddenly appear in the water. No-one knows why or how this is happening, and the ‘beforeigners’ have no memory of how they got here. Years later, with the appearances continuing but scientists no wiser as to why, burned-out Oslo police officer Lars Haaland (Norwegian actor Nicolai Cleve Broch, Acquitted) is paired with Alfhildr Enginsdottir (Krista Kosonen, Blade Runner 2049), a woman originally from the Viking Age, to investigate the murder of a woman with Stone Age tattoos. Beforeigners is part crime show, part sci-fi, with a dash of comedy.
Season 1 of Beforeigners is streaming now at SBS On Demand.
War Of The Worlds
Within days of a transmission from another galaxy, mankind is hit by a devastating alien attack. Things are bad, and then they get worse, in this new version of the classic H.G. Wells story, set in present-day Europe. Gabriel Byrne headlines as Bill Ward, a neuroscience professor whose dedication to his work has taken a toll on his personal life; alongside Ward we see the story through the eyes of a handful of other survivors, including an astrophysicist, a NATO colonel, a blind teenager and a refugee fleeing civil war in South Sudan.
From the creative minds behind Sausage Party and This Is The End comes a high-octane time-travel, action, adventure, comedy like nothing you’ve ever seen on your TV, or computer, or tablet, or phone before. Josh Futturman (Josh Hutcherson), a world-ranked gamer, still lives at home with his parents and has a dead-end job as a janitor at a sexual disease research center. His social ineptitude, low self-esteem and prominent inability to approach women can only be matched by his unparalleled prowess at 'The Biotic Wars', a dystopian video game where his character, Future Man, has the top ranking in the world. When he becomes the first and only person to beat the elusive final level, he’s visited by the game’s “fictional” characters, Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Wolf (Derek Wilson), who prove to be all-too-real warriors sent back in time from a desecrated future with the task of recruiting him to save humanity from a deadly super-race invasion.
Chock-full of sci-fi and gaming pop culture references, hello Terminator and of course Back to the Future, this show is weird, absurd and hilarious.
Seasons 1-3 of Future Man are now streaming at SBS On Demand.
There are some crimes normal cops can’t investigate. The spin-off series featuring characters from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s film What We Do in the Shadows, Officers Minogue and O'Leary from the Wellington Police are back to investigate all things paranormal when they are invited to join the new Wellington Paranormal Unit of the Police with the help of Senior Sergeant Ruawai Maaka. Wellington Paranormal looks like a typical police reality show in the style of Motorway Patrol or Police Ten7 but with The X-Files-style paranormal events as the ‘crimes’ being investigated. The show is a perfect mix of understated Kiwi Comedy with the scariness of a found footage horror movies like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project.
Seasons 1 - 3 (plus a Christmas special) of Wellington Paranormal are now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker
Long before Mulder and Scully were on the case, Darren McGavin’s intrepid reporter was taking down monsters of the week with only his sharpest pencil and his nose for news. In this classic series Carl Kolchak, a newspaper reporter investigates supernatural crimes that are not followed up by official authorities. Here’s your chance to meet Mulder’s spiritual father: a beleaguered truth teller battling demonic forces and tight deadlines with equal aplomb, searching the underbelly of ’70s America and finding magic, monsters and mystery. Kolchak: The Night Stalker is an absolute blast; while some cult classics don’t live up to their storied reputations, this one is all killer, no filler.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
It’s a long way from child queen to scavenger: Vagrant Queen follows former child queen Elida (played by singer and actress Adriyan Rae), who’s been on the run and making ends meet as a scavenger and outlaw since her mother was killed. But when Isaac, an old friend, finds her and tells her that her mother is still alive, she must travel across the galaxy to stage a rescue mission. To save her mother, Elida, Isaac (Tim Rozon – Schitt’s Creek) and an optimistic mechanic, Amae (Alex McGregor), must break into the heavily guarded region of space where Elida once ruled. Meanwhile, the increasingly deranged Commander Lazaro is chasing them down.
Season one of Vagrant Queen is streaming at SBS On Demand.
The Last Wave
In a peaceful seaside resort in the Landes, everything changes when a wave of clouds and water engulf a group of surfers, they disappear but their boards are left in tact. When the surfers mysteriously return they discover themselves endowed with strange powers. While most residents are frightened by all these changes, other residents think that these surfers have been changed by the cloud, that Nature has decided to change them ... If so, why? Was the phenomena caused by climate change or was it the beginning of the revolt of Nature? How will the inhabitants react to this phenomenon? The first of a series of phenomena that will be faced by the inhabitants of this small community, disrupting their intimate lives and the surrounding landscape. Fans of series like The Leftovers and The 4400 will find a lot to like in this tale of a community struggling to come to terms with a supernatural event beyond any obvious comprehension.
The Last Wave is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
How would you cope if you woke up on a derelict spaceship with no memory of who you are, or how you got on board? When the answer to “who are you?” is “I’ve got no idea…”? That’s what happens to the six-person crew in this series, based on the graphic novel of the same name, written by former Stargate writers Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie and published by Dark Horse Comics. From the opening scenes in the drifting spaceship, with ominous warnings about life-support being at critical levels, this space drama throws plenty of challenges at the six, as they’re hounded by their former employers, bounty hunters and galactic authorities.
While there’s action aplenty (starting with the ship’s android security system, which wants to do away with them all), this show is more than just a space adventure. Along with the rollicking ride, it’s an exploration of the question of nature versus environment. Would you be the same person if you woke up with no memory of your past? What would you do if you found out what appeared to be details of that past, and didn’t like ‘past you’? Can people change? And who can you trust when there appears to be a traitor on board…
3 complete seasons of Dark Matter are streaming now at SBS On Demand.
If you’re after a boxed set binge, this four-season time travel twister will do the trick. In the year 2077 Kiera Cameron (Rachel Nichols) is a cop; suddenly, she’s sent hurtling back in time, along with eight violent criminals, landing in 2012. Technology she takes for granted doesn’t exist, a lot of what folk in 2012 take for granted baffles her, and she’s cut off from her husband and son. She has one thing on her side though: when a confused Kiera tries to use the communications equipment built into her suit, nothing should happen. After all, she’s 65 years in the past. But someone does answer: 16-year-old Alec Sandler, a tech genius who hears her on a system he’s built in his home workshop.
Sandler uses his hacking skills to create a false identity for her as a police officer from out of town, allowing her to link up with local law enforcement and try to track down the criminals who came with her from the future. Looming over it all is the question of whether any of the travellers can find a way to return to their own time – and are there any other accidental time travellers?
All 4 seasons of Continuum are streaming now at SBS On Demand.
The very short summary is Star Trek meets office comedy meets, well, actually we’re not sure. Because while The Orville is funny, it’s not just a screwball comedy. While it is set 400 years in the future, it’s not exactly the Enterprise, though it certainly gives a comforting nod in that direction. The Orville is unique. Really, all you need to know is that it’s utterly bingeable, and there are two whole seasons – that’s 26 episodes – waiting for you at SBS On Demand.
Jump on over and meet creator Seth MacFarlane (previously known for Family Guy) as Ed Mercer, the captain of the mid-level exploratory vessel The U.S.S. Orville, and his human-alien crew. You want more? There’s also the fun chat of the SBS Orvilleland podcast.
Season 1 of The Orville is streaming now at SBS On Demand.
Want more to take you rocketing into unknown worlds? Explore SBS On Demand’s Science Fiction Movies collection.