Can Constellation break another Apple TV Plus record? Here are 5 more sci-fi smash hits to stream

Noomi Rapace's Jo stares in awe at something in space in Apple TV Plus' Constellation TV show
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

The early word on Apple TV Plus's new sci-fi show Constellation is that Apple has another hit on its hands following the success of Masters of the Air, its most successful debut to date – that show had more viewers in its opening weekend than any other Apple TV Plus series, the streamer says. 

Apple doesn't have the sheer range of programs that rival streamers offer, but it's developing a reputation for quality. Like my colleagues, I've raved about the best Apple TV shows many times already, and I currently have a new favorite: Criminal Record, which features Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo in a hard-hitting police drama. And it looks like Constellation could be my next Apple appointment with the TV.

Constellation has been compared to True Detective: Night Country (which I'm loving too) as well as plenty of other sci-fi series on the streamer. It's a disturbing story about an astronaut who returns to Earth after an orbital disaster to find everything has changed. Early reviews suggest that it's both spacey and spooky. But you can't watch it until February 21, so if you're needing a sci-fi fix, Apple TV Plus has plenty more where that came from.

For All Mankind

If this isn't the best sci-fi show on TV right now I'll eat an Apollo rocket. For All Mankind is an alternative history drama where the US didn't win the space race, and over four seasons it's taken us from the test pilots of the 1950s via guns on the moon to the most audacious heist in human history, a heist that takes place above the human encampments of Mars. 

It's an astonishingly ambitious show that largely delivers – although the ageing make-up in the fourth series sometimes breaks the spell – and it's notable for its diversity. Just like in real life, women and other marginalised people are crucial here and their stories are just as important as those of the spacesuited astronauts. Giving the fourth season the full five stars, Empire said that that it's "one of the smartest shows on TV". It's also one of the most entertaining.


Based on the best-selling Wool trilogy, Silo takes place in a far future where we all live underground, as predicted by UK jazz muppet Jamiroquai in his hit Virtual Insanity. But the insanity here is real, because something sinister is afoot in the Silo where offenders are sent outside to die a horrible death. Or are they? Rebecca Ferguson is fantastic as the newly appointed cop who dares ask questions others would really rather she didn't, and the dystopian world of the Silo is as convincing as it's claustrophobic. The first season was a lot of fun and had a fantastic cliffhanger ending. Silo season two should hopefully arrive in late 2024.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

If you've yet to experience the Monsterverse, this is an excellent introduction. Kurt Russell is having a whale of a time in this fantastical fantasy which, according to The Gate, has "action, humour, horror, intrigue, and even a bit of romance" – and MONSTERS. But this is no monster mash that prioritises big battles over character or plot: there's a human drama in here too, so the show doesn't sag too much when Godzilla isn't on screen. Not everybody loved the human stuff – some people just want to see the world burn or get stomped – but as the LA Times put it: "Where the big-screen American films can be a noisy, dark slog, the dramatic equivalent of a giant lumbering dinosaur, Monarch stays fleet, and fun."


Reports suggest that the third season of Foundation nearly didn't happen due to its significant expense – bringing Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi epic to the screen in such style doesn't come cheap. But the results are spectacular, and after a bit of a slow start in season one the second season achieved a rare 100% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Collider put it, "the general trajectory Foundation is on feels grimly thrilling. It is occasionally heady storytelling, but it's wonderful to see it done so uncompromisingly", while Empire gave it four stars, saying "this is sci-fi that’s worth putting the time in for".


One of the oddest shows on Apple TV Plus – which means it's very odd indeed – Severance is a strange, claustrophobic, hallucinogenic and often surprisingly emotional story focused around a single life-changing invention. The titular severance, which separates the personal-you and the work-you permanently. When its characters go to their very weird office job they have no memory of their life outside work; when they leave at the end of the day, they leave their work memories behind. Filming of Severance season two began in October 2022 but was held back by the writer's strike; we're hoping to see it later this year. 

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.