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What comes to mind when you think of your favorite sci-fi TV shows, specifically those set in space? Most likely a spaceship! Or perhaps a space station. Either way, it’s not unusual at all.
Why? Because in most sci-fi TV shows set in space, the spaceships are what give the show its visual identity. Plus, they’re often pretty awesome.
But not all spaceships on TV are made equal. That’s why we’ve rounded up and ranked the coolest spaceships on TV. Many failed to make the cut, but I’m sure you’ll agree that these deserve to be mentioned among the best spaceships on TV—at least among TV series put out so far.
9. Lexx (Lexx)
Lexx, from the series of the same name, isn’t mechanical like most spaceships in science fiction. Instead, it’s an organic spaceship that in no small part resembles an insect. It’s not just the outside either, with the ships interior looking like the interior of, well, something alive.
The ship is far from the strangest part of Lexx, which grew increasingly bizarre as it went on, an interesting element considering it was plenty weird at the series’ start.
8. Moya (Farscape)
Okay, so maybe Lexx isn’t that unique. Moya, the spaceship crewed by John Crichton and the rest of the crew in Farscape, is also an organic, or rather biomechanical, spaceship . In this case, Moya is a female Leviathan.
In contrast to the ships in many sci-fi TV shows, Moya has no weapons. This means that when many ships from other shows would stand and fight, Moya and her crew have no choice but to Starburst and run.
7. La Sirena (Star Trek: Picard)
Star Trek is filled with unique and memorable ships, which is why La Sirena is so interesting. Far from the hulking, regal ships we see used by the Federation, La Sirena is a bit more of a rebel-looking ship, right down the Eddie Van Halen-inspired paint job on the outside.
Despite the look, Captain Cristóbal Rios, hired by Picard, has maintained the ship to Starfleet standards, meaning it’s far more capable than it looks.
6. Shadow Vessel (Babylon 5)
If this was a list of the spookiest-looking spaceships on TV, Babylon 5’s Shadow Vessels would top the list. These ships, also known as Shadow Dreadnoughts are the appropriately named ships of the Shadows, one of the most ancient races in the universe.
The ship’s appearance is not unlike a spider, only with more legs and, you know, huge. These ships are so dangerous is that even touching one is enough to instantly kill you.
5. The Rocinante (The Expanse)
Named after Don Quixote’s horse, the Rosinante is a Corvette-class light frigate named by James Holden when he and his crew take control of the ship. While it’s not the only cool ship featured in The Expanse, it’s definitely the coolest.
The name is somewhat fitting given the way the humble ship becomes the crews home as the events of the series escalate.
4. The Razor Crest (The Mandalorian)
The Star Wars universe has produced some of the most instantly recognizing spacecraft in popular culture. The Razor Crest from The Mandalorian may not be as recognizable as an X-Wing or Tie Fighter, but who knows what may happen in the future.
The Razor Crest is the titular character’s ship, and it’s got some handy features, including a compartment used for storing bounty targets frozen in carbonite.
3. Battlestar Galactica (Battlestar Galactica)
In this case, we’re talking about the titular ship from the 2004 re-imagining, not the 1978 original. The Galactica on that show was nothing to sneeze at, but it wasn’t anywhere as impressive as the newer version of the ship.
Unlike many of the ships we’re looking at here, the Battlestar Galactica is every bit a military ship, and it looks the part. The show’s surprisingly well-done CG visuals also helped give the ship its imposing look.
2. Serenity (Firefly)
As I mentioned in my retrospective review of Firefly, creator Joss Whedon actually had the interior of Serenity, the Firefly-class ship the show’s characters call home, built as one continuous set. This gives the ship a realistic feeling that you don’t get in many sci-fi series.
Like many of the other ships we’re looking at here, Serenity is as much a character as the show’s cast members. There’s a reason why in the episode “Out of Gas,” you feel for the disabled ship almost as much as its Captain, Malcolm Reynolds, does.
1. USS Enterprise (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
It’s a toss-up between the Enterprise from the original Star Trek and from Next Generation. In the end, I chose Next Generation due to Jonathan Frakes telling the BBC “When we negotiate our contracts, Paramount’s company line is that the ship is in fact the star of the show!”
Largely, this entry represents all versions of the ship, one of the most iconic in television history. If hearing the term “Jeffries Tube” gets you nostalgic, you know why the Enterprise had to take the top spot.
And the Best Sci-Fi TV Series…
If you’re anything like us, reading through this article has you wanting to go back and revisit some of your favorite science fiction series. But maybe you’re torn on which sci-fi TV series to go for. We’ve got recommendations for you!