Gizmodo Movie Night: The Best Sci-Fi Movies And TV Series To Binge-Watch On A Winter Weekend

We're right in the middle of winter, so turn on the heater, rug up against the cold, and settle in to binge-watch some great sci-fi TV on Netflix, Stan and Presto.

We've re-jigged our existing Netflix Movie Night series, and brought in Australia's other popular subscription video on demand services — Stan and Presto — to give you a broader selection of movies and TV shows to enjoy. On all three services, you can watch from your tablet or smartphone, on your PC or laptop, through your Smart TV, or through a media streaming dongle like the Google Chromecast, although specifics can vary. Stan costs a flat $10 per month, Netflix can cost from $9 to $15 per month, and Presto is $10 to $15 depending which package you choose.

We'd love any feedback you have on the new Movie Night layout, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Stan

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer imagines a world taken over by winter, where man-made climate change kills off the vast majority of humanity. A few survivors stay alive by boarding the Snowpiercer, a constantly-rushing train with a perpetual-motion power source and a track that encircles the entire globe. On the train, a strict class system keeps some in comfort and some in chains. Watch it now on Stan.

Stan: Set in a future where a failed climate-change experiment kills all life on the planet except for a lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system emerges.

Dead Snow

Dead Snow was an absolute hit at the Sundance Film Festival, and there's no doubt as to why. This Norwegian "zombie splatter film" has all the usual, great sci-fi/fantasy tropes — an innocent group of young travellers stumbling into danger, a once-dead creepy environment coming eerily back to life many years later, and just a sprinkling of Nazi zombies. Watch it now on Stan.

Stan: A group of medical students head to the Norwegian Alps for a hedonistic holiday, but when they discover a stash of Nazi gold, they unleash an undead army of goose-stepping ghouls.

The Returned

The Returned is an amazing single series of speculative fiction, imagining a small town rocked by the completely unexplained simultaneous return of some of its citizens — citizens that have been dead for several years. The supernatural series explores the effect of something that jarring upon a small, sleepy town and the way it changes that town's inhabitants forever. Watch it now on Stan.

Stan: In a village in the shadow of a vast dam, a crowd of men and women find themselves in a state of confusion, trying to return to their homes. What they do not yet know is that they have been dead for several years, and no-one is expecting them back.

Edge Of Tomorrow

Edge Of Tomorrow is a criminally underrated film. Also known as Live, Die, Repeat it's like Starship Troopers meets Groundhog Day — with heavy influences from the Japanese manga All You Need Is Kill. I don't want to spoil any of the movie by talking about it's plot, because it's so good — just go and watch it. Watch it now on Stan.

Stan: An officer finds himself caught in a time loop in a war with an alien race. His skills increase as he faces the same brutal combat scenarios, and his union with a Special Forces warrior gets him closer and closer to defeating the enemy.

Star Trek

Star Trek is the TV equivalent of science fiction royalty. First screening in 1966, it follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as it completes its missions in space in the 23rd century, introducing us to memorable and quotable and lovable characters like Captain James T Kirk, half-human half-Vulcan science officer Spock, and the ship's doctor "Bones" McCoy. Watch it now on Stan.

Stan: The 23rd century adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and the U.S.S. Enterprise, a powerful interstellar spacecraft dispatched by Earth-based Starfleet Command to explore the galaxy.


Netflix

Firefly

Firefly is an amazing sci-fi-meets-western TV series, and for one incredible season it captured our attention in an iron grip. A rag-tag band of outlaws live in a beaten-up Firefly-class spaceship in a wild west universe set 500 years in the future, and they get up to a whole lot of fun. It's irreverent, it's silly, it's honest, it's clearly made on a shoestring budget, but you can't help but love Firefly. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: Set almost 500 years in the future, this short-lived but much-loved series follows the adventures of the ragtag crew of the spaceship Serenity.

Heroes

Heroes is one of the best sci-fi supernatural series ever to have been on TV — a band of wildly varying individuals who have to work together to save the world from a multitude of different threats. Settle down with this one if you've ever found yourself imagining who would win a fight between Spiderman and Superman, or whether it's better to be able to turn invisible or to have telekinesis. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: This groundbreaking sci-fi drama intertwines the stories of a disparate group of people who suddenly discover they possess superhuman abilities.

Torchwood

Torchwood is a Doctor Who spin-off, and follows an entire team of heroes as they battle other-worldly (and other-timely) villains and supernatural threats attacking our planet. Captain Jack Harkness is the group's inimitable and sometimes inexcusable leader, but the adventures that the crew get themselves into and the fantastic creatures they encounter are the real attraction. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: This "Doctor Who" spinoff follows the fight against hostile aliens by the Torchwood Institute team, with the enigmatic Capt. Jack Harkness in command.

Sense8

Sense8 takes some getting into — make sure you stick with it through the first two episodes, which are slow — but turns into a mind-bending tale of eight people around the world whose minds suddenly merge inexplicably. The name is a reference to sensate, or awareness, and the show takes a fascinating look at some themes — like the concepts of religion, of gender, and of sexuality — that other sci-fi shows ignore. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: From the creators of "The Matrix" and "Babylon 5" comes this tense series in which eight people can telepathically experience each other's lives.

Lost

Lost, like Heroes, is an absolute must-watch for its amazing otherworldly and entirely escapist plot — a crashed plane, a deserted island, and supernatural events happening all the while. If you're committed enough to watch Lost through the extent of its several seasons, you might end up extremely confused, but you'll have also had a great time along the way. Watch it now on Netflix.

Netflix: After their plane crashes on a deserted island, a diverse group of people must adapt to their new home and contend with the island's enigmatic forces.


Presto

The X-Files

X-Files is absolutely legendary — it's the TV series that brought sci-fi and aliens and supernatural happenings to life for so many avid viewers through its 10 years of showtime. Join FBI agents Mulder and Scully as they explore unexplained and inexplicable happenings, and contend with the forces of evil and alien powers arrayed against them. Watch it now on Presto.

Presto: The X-Files is the legendary drama series about FBI special agents who investigate cases called "X-Files," involving all manner of unexplained phenomena, monsters and extraterrestrial life, from the bizarre to the terrifyingly commonplace.

Divergent

Divergent is an action-packed adventure thriller, with the central theme of humanity being divided into distinct groups based upon their personal traits and virtues. When one group, the Divergents, is targeted in a conspiracy to wipe them out, one individual must use her unique powers and skills to prevent an atrocity from occurring. Watch it now on Presto.

Presto: In a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues, a Divergent, who is told will never fit in, discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader to destroy all Divergents.

Roswell

Roswell takes the anguish of young adulthood and blends it with the chaos of the (alleged, or was it?) Roswell alien craft crash in New Mexico. What if those aliens, hidden away in their shining silver disc, escaped the authorities and blended in to live amongst us humans on planet Earth? Roswell runs with that idea and takes it to some very fun places. Watch it now on Presto.

Presto: A suspenseful drama that blends science fiction with the alienation of young adulthood, Roswell portrays a group of otherworldly teenagers living among us on Earth.

Sunshine

Sunshine is a freaky film. It's freaky not just because of the upsetting future — where the Sun is dying, and there's only one possibility of saving it by delivering a nuclear device right into its heart — but also because of the horrible, horrible, gruesome things that go on to the crew as they go about their mission. Settle in with some popcorn and try not to jump. Watch it now on Presto.

Presto: It is the year 2057, the Sun is dying and mankind faces extinction. Earth's last hope lies with a crew whose mission it is to deliver a nuclear device designed to reignite the fading sun.. But disaster strikes everywhere in this superb blend of doomsday thriller and thoughtful sci-fi starring Rose Byrne.

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is one of the biggest and most popular TV shows in the world right now, and there's a very good reason for that — the world that it creates, a world where a pandemic of zombies rising from the dead utterly destroys any chance of survival that humanity has, is completely unsettling. Watch, on the edge of your seat, as a precious few struggle to stay alive. Watch it now on Presto.

Presto: After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone – ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as ‘the dead’ stalk them at every turn.

Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.

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