The Best Sci
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The Best Sci

Apr 14, 2023

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The bird app is where sci-fi's at!

Stories are the way we talk about the things we’re not good at talking about: love, death, fear, hope... We build proxies for ourselves that are better-looking, braver, or cleverer than we are, and we put them in the situations we can only imagine in order to explore the world as it is or as we wish it could be. Science fiction, more than perhaps any other genre, extends this unique form of cultural meditation to our own possible future.

Through science fiction, we see the ways the world might one day be, and we can make mistakes on page or screen in the hope that we don't make them when they really come knocking. Because we can only build what we can first imagine, we’d serve ourselves well by sampling the many different potential futures available in our fictions.

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If you’re looking for inspiration, Peacock's collection of science fiction movies and television series might be the perfect place to start. To be sure, not all sci-fi flicks present an ideal future, and they might serve you better as a warning than a blueprint, but you’re sure to have a blast along the way. There are scores of movies and hundreds of episodes of science fiction to choose from, these are but some of our favorites.

Jurassic Park is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release on June 9, giving you ample reason to revisit Spielberg's masterful dinosaur adventure movie. Fortunately, it is perhaps the most rewatchable movie ever made. Based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, Jurassic Park takes viewers to the titular park alongside a small group of scientists and one unfortunate lawyer.

The park is a monument to humanity's capacity for both wonder and hubris. Things start out beautifully. The look in the eyes of doctors Sattler (Laura Dern) and Grant (Sam Neill) is transcendent to the point that you’ll almost believe dinosaurs walk the Earth once again. But it wouldn't be a Crichton story if things didn't go horribly wrong.

Catch the entire original trilogy, streaming right now on Peacock!

Inside — not to be confused with Bo Burnham's 2021 special — takes a hard look at isolation by putting Willem Dafoe's Nemo in a room and locking the door. Nemo is an art thief with an almost spiritual connection to art, stemming back to his childhood. Disguised as workman, he breaks into the homes of the wealthy to steal works of art out from under their noses.

His latest job takes him to a swanky penthouse apartment where he hopes to find three specific works of art. While attempting to leave, Nemo accidentally triggers a security system, which seals the apartment with him inside. He has no food, no water save for occasional visits from an automated indoor garden sprinkler system, and the thermostat is broken. Weeks pass as Nemo tries and fails to escape, all while his mental and physical health deteriorate. What might a person do, and what might they become, when they’re trapped inside and all alone?

Okay, this is technically a TV show, but it's a TV show about watching movies, in full. That counts!

You never know what a new day might bring. If you’re very unlucky you might be kidnapped by a group of mad scientists, shuttled aboard an interstellar spacecraft, and forced to watch bad movies until your connection with reality shatters. If you find yourself in that situation, it helps to have a few friends. When Joel Robinson found himself in this exact unlikely but hilarious situation, and without any friends, he built some from scratch using pieces of the ship. Those friends are known as Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and GPC. And they, along with the human test subject, watch bad movies and crack wise to make them a little less painful. The great thing about Mystery Science Theater 3000 is it isn't just one bad movie, but so many. So many, that eventually, they start to look pretty good. Not every episode is streaming on Peacock, but several classics, including Mitchell, Pod People, and Hercules Against the Moon Men, are.

Turbo Kid isn't, strictly speaking, a vision of the future, but we’ll let it slide because it's INCREDIBLE. It takes place in an alternate reality 1997, in a world struggling for water. The tyrannical overlord Zeus (played perfectly by Michael Ironside) captures people from the Wasteland and crushes them to get their water. It's a tough world to live in when you’re a kid who just wants to ride his bike and read comic books.

When The Kid meets Apple, a friendship model robot, the two of them embark on a coming of age story like none you’ve ever seen. It's equal parts Napoleon Dynamite and Mad Max, with a disturbingly hilarious amount of blood splatter. It's a post-apocalyptic fever dream as imagined by a Power Glove-wearing teenager from the ‘80s. It's perfect.

Sometimes all you need is a friend who really gets you. When 9-year-old Cady's parents are killed in a car accident, she goes to live with her aunt Gemma, a brilliant engineer and inventor working for the toy company Funki. Despite Gemma's efforts, she struggles to keep her career afloat while caring for a child and opts instead to combine the two. Cady needs a friend, and Gemma needs someone to test her latest invention, the Model 3 Generative Android. M3GAN for short.

Thing start out wonderfully. Cady is smiling and laughing for the first time since her parents died, M3GAN is performing better than expected, and Gemma's bosses are happy. Of course, we all know that the other titanium shoe is about to drop. M3GAN takes her directive to protect Cady from physical and emotional harm a little too seriously. So seriously that she's willing to kill if that's what it takes to keep Cady safe. Catch M3GAN, unrated and uncut, streaming on Peacock!

Europa is one of Jupiter's four largest moons (the so-called Galilean moons) and it's covered in a global sheet of ice. Beneath that ice, thanks to the tidal forces between Europa, Jupiter, and its dozens of other moons, is a world-spanning ocean of liquid water. Research suggests activity at the surface transports oxygen and salts into the water, and seafloor vents could provide a source of nutrients and heat. With a bit of luck, life could spring up there and thrive in a lightless ocean world.

Europa Report imagines the sort of mission we dream of, sending brave explorers to an alien world to see it for themselves. Sadly, things don't go as planned. That's clear from the jump, because the story is narrated not by any of the crewmembers, but by the CEO of Europa Ventures, Dr. Samantha Unger. A crewed mission is sent to the icy moon, looking for life. In space, you should be careful what you wish for.

Upon landing, they drill through the ice and release a probe. One crew member sees a blue light in the distance but is dismissed as being sleep deprived. All doubt evaporates when the underwater probe sees a similar light just moments before being destroyed. There's life on Europa, alright, and it isn't happy.

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe would rewrite the way we tell superhero stories, and only a year after Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie, Ang Lee gave us his vision of the Hulk in the appropriately named Hulk.

The movie tells the origin story of Bruce Banner (Eric Bana) and the angry alter ego who emerges after a laboratory accident involving gamma radiation. You know the drill. While Ang Lee's Hulk received mixed reviews upon release, it has enjoyed something of a revival in recent years as fans and critics revisit the movie nearly two decades later. Whether your fondness for this version of the Hulk has grown like a big green monster or it just leaves you feeling angry is only a click away.

Juan Diego Solanas’ 2012 film, Upside Down, blurs the lines between science fiction and fantasy to tell a cosmic love story only possible in our imaginations. We enter the worlds of Upside Down through the eyes of Adam (Jim Sturgess). He's an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances, a citizen of a binary planet system with an impossible gravitational relationship.

The two worlds, known only as Up and Down, share a gravitational field, allowing them to orbit in incredibly close proximity to one another. But that doesn't mean that residents of the two worlds travel freely between them. On these worlds, matter adheres to a few seemingly inalienable rules. First and most important: All matter is only attracted to the gravity of its home world. Second: Matter can be counterbalanced by "inverse" matter from the opposing world. Finally: Contact with inverse matter is temporary and results in spontaneous combustion after a few hours.

Adam might have been satisfied to live out his life on one world, but when he meets Eden (Kirsten Dunst), a woman from Up, they set about rewriting both the laws of their society and the laws of physics.

Beyond the Black Rainbow, from writer-director Panos Cosmatos (Mandy), takes place largely inside the walls of the fictional Arboria Institute, a research facility dedicated to exploring the intersection between science and spirituality. Those studies are carried out by Dr. Barry Nyle, protégé of Mercurio Arboria, the institute's founder. And the focus of those studies is a single subject, tucked into the facility's lower levels.

There, Elena, a young girl with incredible psychic and psychokinetic abilities, is kept prisoner by an advanced suppressive technology. The story abandons many of the usual narrative stylings in favor of something more visceral. That's resulted in some mixed reviews, with critics citing unusual pacing and story structure. But if you’re willing to go for the ride, Beyond the Black Rainbow is a feast of visual storytelling you’re not likely to soon forget.

From 1931 until 1956, Universal Pictures released 41 movies in their classic monster series. The popular image of creatures from Dracula and the Wolfman to Frankenstein and the Mummy are defined in large part by those films. Unlike other creatures from the Universal pantheon, the Invisible Man is the result of science gone wrong.

In H.G. Wells’ original story and the 1933 adaptation, his character relies on chemistry to render himself invisible. The 2020 adaptation, directed by Leigh Whannel (Upgrade, Insidious: Chapter 3) and starring Elizabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) and Oliver Jackson-Cohen (The Haunting of Hill House) replaces chemistry with advanced optics.

When Cecilia Kass (Moss) leaves her abusive partner Adrian Griffin (Jackson-Cohen) she thinks she's finally free. That feeling is reinforced when Griffin is found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted injury. But when Cecilia starts suspecting an invisible presence in her home, there's only one explanation. Griffin isn't dead, and he's bent on continuing his campaign of control until one or both of them are dead.

You might be tempted to argue that Night of the Living Dead belongs in horror, not science fiction. To that, we say, "Yeah, but also no." There's no arguing that zombies are scary, and that Night of the Living Dead holds a crucial position in their narrative evolution. But you can't divorce the horror of the shambling dead from the weird and wacky science that creates them.

George Romero's 1968 classic practically defined the modern zombie and influences everything from The Walking Dead to The Last of Us, even today. While survivors hole up in an abandoned farmhouse, they secure themselves against the ravenous corpses at their door and listen to radio broadcasts about the developing global incident.

Scientists speculate that the strange behavior is a consequence of a downed space probe. On its way back from studying Venus, the probe exploded in the atmosphere over Earth, scattering its cosmic cargo far and wide. They might be spooky decaying monsters at the end of the day, but they are alien spooky decaying creatures. And they are very cool.

Stream these great movies and many more on Peacock!

RELATED: When and How to Watch Peacock's Twisty Science Fiction Series ‘Mrs. Davis’ Stream these great movies and many more on Peacock!