The best sci-fi and fantasy shows coming to TV in 2019

No, Doctor Who won't be on - but from medieval epics and outer-space voyages to returning foes from another dimension, there's still plenty to enjoy this year

Millie Bobby Brown in Stranger Things, Sonequa Martin-Green in Star Trek: Discovery and Kit Harington in Game of Thrones (Netflix, HBO)

There may not be a series of Doctor Who in 2019, but with plenty of other exciting new and returning series coming up it’s still looking like a great year for fans of sci-fi and fantasy.

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Check out the 10 shows we’re most excited about below – the pop culture cream of the crop, if you will – and mark your calendars accordingly.


Star Trek: Discovery – Jan 18

After ploughing its own furrow last year, Star Trek prequel Discovery is set to link up with the original 1960s series in 2019 with the inclusion of Vulcan Science Officer Mr Spock (Ethan Peck replacing Leonard Nimoy) and Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Kirk’s predecessor at the helm of the Enterprise who previously only appeared in the original pilot (and the recent JJ Abrams movies).

Meanwhile, old favourites Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Lt. Stamets (Anthony Rapp), Saru (Doug Jones) and Captain/Emperor Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) are back in action as the crew of the Discovery try to uncover a new interstellar secret. Maximum warp!


Nightflyers – TBC early 2019

While it already started airing in the US last year, 2019 will see the UK debut for sci-fi horror series Nightflyers, a new 10-part adaptation of Game Of Thrones author George RR Martin’s novella (and series of short stories) that streams on Netflix.

Starring Merlin’s Eoin Macken, the series follows a group of space travellers who begin to suspect their spaceship may have a stowaway when a series of violent and terrifying events begin to unfold.


American Gods – March 10

After some turbulent behind-the-scenes changes (which saw the departure of showrunners Bryan Fuller and Michael Green and star Gillian Anderson), the dreamy adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel returns, with the “old Gods” (led by Ian McShane’s Odin/Mr Wednesday) striking the first blow against the new guard in what may be the start of a divine war.

But as Shadow (Ricky Whittle) continues his travels around America, there may be more to the story than meets the eye…


Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – April 5

This dark take on the iconic teenage witch picks up the second half of its first series this spring, with Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) a fully paid-up member of the Church of Night while Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) plots against her once more.

And with two good-looking lads now showing an interest in Sabrina, fighting off the forces of the Dark Lord might be secondary to sorting out her love life…


Game of Thrones – April

This is it – the TV event of the year as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the full might of the Seven Kingdoms face off against the Army of the Dead in a long-awaited, eagerly-anticipated final season of the George RR Martin fantasy adaptation.

Characteristically, details are sparse and fiercely guarded by HBO when it comes to this final series, but a new clip shows Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) meeting Sansa (Sophie Turner) at Winterfell, the Stark family pile that may later be the site of a huge battle, if set rumours are to be believed.

As to who sits on the Iron Throne at the end of the series, well – we’ll just have to wait and see.


Good Omens – Spring

After a very long production process, this adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s offbeat apocalyptic tale has a lot of buzz behind it – so fingers crossed it can live up to the hype.

Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen as a demon and an angel who watch over the Antichrist (well, sort of), Good Omens ends up veering into weird and wonderful places that include chattering nuns, modernised horsemen of the apocalypse, low-budget witch-finders and magical Queen albums.

And with Gaiman directly in charge, we can be sure this will be a faithful adaptation. Call it a good omen, if you will.


Lucifer – early-mid 2019

Lucifer Tom Ellis
 

Tom Ellis’ devilish crime procedural (itself based on a Neil Gaiman comic – Good Lord that man gets around) was cancelled last year only to be saved by Netflix following an outcry from fans, who will be keen to see the further adventures of Lucifer Morningstar as he encounters an old, ahem, flame (newcomer Inbar Lavi’s Eve) and continues his work with the LAPD for a 10-episode fourth season.

Clearly, you can’t keep a good devil down.


Stranger Things – July 4

Like Game of Thrones, fans have had to wait an extra-long time for this new season, and it’s similarly shrouded in secrecy as the residents of Hawkins, Indiana face a new danger around the Fourth of July Celebrations.

So far we’ve learned that the series is set during the summer of 1985, adds Maya Thurman-Hawke among the new cast and may see the Dungeons and Dragons gang of Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas, Eleven and Max start to drift apart as they grow up. Meanwhile, the threat from the Upside Down may not yet be over…


Black Mirror – TBC

Black Mirror logo (Netflix, HF)
Black Mirror logo (Netflix, HF)

Choose-your-own-adventure episode Bandersnatch came as a welcome surprise in the last days of 2018, but the rest of the new series is coming in 2019 – though as to when, we’re not sure just yet.

As for details, we’re (appropriately) in the dark, though rumours suggest that Miley Cyrus has a role in one episode, while in other interviews creator Charlie Brooker has suggested the series could be a little more politically engaged than the series has been in the past. Intriguing…


His Dark Materials – TBC, winter 2019

Leading up the rear of the year is this big-budget adaptation of Philip Pullman’s classic novels by the BBC, which stars James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Logan’s Dafne Keen in the sprawling, magic-meets-technology-meets-religion tale.

Filmed in South Wales and scripted by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Jack Thorne, expectations are high for the eight-part adaptation of Pullman’s first book in the trilogy (The Northern Lights), which sees Lyra (Keen) and her shapeshifting animal daemon Pan travel from the dreaming spires of Oxford to the frozen wastes of the north and beyond.

From what we’ve seen and heard so far, this is set to be a must-watch.


Untitled Captain Picard project – TBC late 2019

Star Trek: The Next Generation

While is was only announced a few months ago this Star Trek sequel/spin-off IS supposedly coming at the end of this year, bringing Sir Patrick Stewart back to his most iconic role for a new series of adventures.

Described as “real-world, contemplative [and] grounded” by executive producer Alex Kurtzman, this new series is set to catch up with Stewart’s Captain Picard many years after his adventures on the Enterprise (as seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation and its movie sequels), though at the moment we’re not sure exactly what he’ll be up to or whether he’ll even still be travelling the stars any more.

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Still, apparently the series will answer many questions fans have had about the fate of Picard after TNG – so if you just think about all the questions you’ve been pondering since then, it’s probably one of those. Hopefully with a bit of flute-playing.