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5 Prime Video sci-fi shows that are perfect to watch in the summer

There are tons of sci-fi shows from which to choose on Amazon Prime Video, but with a catch: You’ll usually have to sign up for an add-on channel. If you want to watch the thrilling series Orphan Black, for example, you need AMC+. For a show like Fringe, you can watch it with ads using the Freevee service. But there are actually many sci-fi shows on Amazon Prime Video that you can watch with just a base Amazon Prime subscription.

Looking for an exciting one to check out this summer? We have you covered with a selection of them, all Amazon Originals, that are perfect for laid-back, summer viewing.

The Peripheral (2022)

Chloe Grace Moretz wearing a futuristic gaming headset in a scene from The Peripheral on Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime Video / Amazon Prime Video

Executive produced by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the creators of Westworld, The Peripheral is set in a future where Flynne (Chloe Grace Moretz) thinks she’s playing an advanced version of a VR game. But she soon realizes that the exclusive invitation, which was actually sent to her older brother, sees her piloting a robot in the near future through quantum tunneling. Using her war veteran brother Burton’s (Jack Reynor) account, Flynne, who’s the better gamer anyway, dives deeper and deeper into the virtual experience.

Her initial hope is to win the financial reward to help pay her mother’s mounting medical bills. But Flynne soon realizes that the dangers happening in the virtual world begin to affect her life in the present one. You’ll be immersed in time travel, heists, spies, and, of course, plenty of AI with The Peripheral, making it an exciting summer watch. The show has been renewed for a second season.

Stream The Peripheral on Amazon Prime Video.

The Power (2023)

A teenage woman holds a paper that's caught fire in a scene from The Power on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video

Teenage girls in The Power discover they have a strange ability to electrocute people from their fingertips whenever they so desire. This isn’t a power they must acquire: it’s simply there and they can’t get rid of it. Naturally, these young ladies use this deadly skill to fight back against injustices, but they sometimes also get a bit carried away. When they discover that they can awaken the power in older women too, the entire balance of society shifts.

Now, women are in total power: it’s no longer a man’s world. Toni Collette stars as Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez, Auli’i Cravalho as her daughter, and John Leguizamo as her husband. Ted Lasso’s Toheeb Jimoh also stars as a video journalist covering the changing state of the world. There’s no word yet on a second season, but The Power was decently reviewed, with the interesting premise alone making it worth checking out.

Stream The Power on Amazon Prime Video.

Night Sky (2022)

J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek in the kitchen looking at one another in a scene from Night Sky.
Amazon Prime Video

Only lasting a single season, Night Sky offers an intriguing premise and a talented cast led by Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons. They play a couple living in a remote town who are seemingly quiet and, frankly, boring. That is until the truth is revealed. They have a portal to another world under their land, and they visit it almost every night.

Dive right into the strange worlds with Irene (Spacek) and Franklin (Simmons), uncovering everything from conspiracies to secret organizations, as well as plenty of twists and turns through their many journeys. At the heart of the story is a young man named Jude (Chai Hansen), who shows up and threatens to throw their entire routine into disarray.

Stream Night Sky on Amazon Prime Video.

Upload (2020-)

Nathan giving Nora five stars in a scene from Upload on Amazon Prime.
Amazon Prime Video

Imagine if death merely meant your consciousness and body would be sent to a digital afterlife where you could effectively “live on” forever? Now imagine if that digital afterlife was commercialized and commoditized such that it mirrored the economic divide, social-based currency, and invasive marketing of the real world. Wealthy individuals live in pristine communities with every luxury at their fingertips (for a price) while the poor exist in squalor; that is, if their family is guilted into not letting them die in the traditional sense.

That’s the premise of Upload, which follows Nathan (Robbie Amell), who, while on his deathbed after a car accident, has his consciousness hastily uploaded to a high-end community by his wealthy girlfriend (with whom he was about to break up). This places Nathan in a sort of blissful purgatory as he is forced to exist in the afterlife while she holds his purse strings. The story focuses on the budding relationship between Nathan and his living customer service rep, Nora (Andy Allo), as well as the friends he meets in his community, like former army corporal and resident party boy Luke (Kevin Bigley). The show is subtle in its parodies of our obsession with online culture and AI, but most importantly, it’ll make you laugh. Stay tuned for the confirmed season 3.

Stream Upload on Amazon Prime Video.

Paper Girls (2022)

An older woman walks with a younger one behind her in a scene from Paper Girls on Amazon Prime Video.
Amazon Prime Video

It’s a bit like Stranger Things with girls. There’s plenty of travel, not to an alternate dimension, but rather to the future. Also set in the 1980s, Paper Girls follows four young girls who get caught in the middle of a time-traveling war while delivering newspapers the morning after Halloween. In the fracas, the girls end up time traveling too, and meeting future versions of themselves, forcing them to make difficult decisions about their potential fates and futures.

Summer is the perfect time to watch a show that doesn’t require a big commitment, but will still entertain when you do have time to sit back and catch an episode or two. Paper Girls is a good choice, with just eight episodes in its first season. The show was favorably reviewed, but was ultimately canceled after the first season.

Stream Paper Girls on Amazon Prime Video

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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