Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Obama's List of Must-See Sci-Fi TV Shows Includes Star Trek and Cosmos

We can't find anything wrong with his list

Tim Surette

Oh great, another Best TV Shows and Movies list.

But wait! This one comes from THE PRESIDENT. Yep, President Barack Obama -- as part of his stint as guest editor of tech mag Wired -- released his eight favorite science-fiction television series and movies, and any true fan of the genre, even the biggest stickler, will have a problem picking this one apart because it is solid. Though the list is film heavy, Obama singled out the original series of Star Trekand Carl Sagan's Cosmos as his representatives from television. (What? No Under the Dome?)

The best shows of 2016 (so far)

He was particularly in awe of Star Trek, of which he said, "What made the show lasting was it wasn't actually about technology. It was about values and relationships. Which is why it didn't matter that the special effects were kind of cheesy and bad, right? They'd land on a planet and there are all these papier-mâché boulders. [Laughs.] But it didn't matter because it was really talking about a notion of a common humanity and a confidence in our ability to solve problems."


Barack Obama


As for Cosmos, PBS' 13-part series hosted by Sagan which got a new version by Seth MacFarlane and Fox in 2014, Obama said "it fed my lifelong fascination with space."

On the movie side, Obama included the classics 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix and Blade Runner.

See the whole list, as well as brief reasons why Obama picked each choice, below:

2001: A Space Odyssey because "it captures the grandeur and scale of the unknown."
Blade Runner because "it asks what it means to be human."
Close Encounters of the Third Kind because "it is fundamentally optimistic."
Star Wars because "it was fun and revolutionized special effects."
Star Trek (original series) because "it uses science fiction to promote a humanist ethic."
The Martian because "it shows humans at problem solvers."
The Matrix because "it asks basic questions about our reality--and looks very cool"
Cosmos because "it fed my lifelong fascination with space."

Wired's November issue, with guest editor Barack Obama, will be available at select newsstands and tablets starting October 18, and nationwide on October 25.