2017 was the most subdued year for the release of science fiction and fantasy web series since we began covering them almost five years ago.
This is a testament to the difficulties and challenges inherent in independent filmmaking.
It also maybe why the few web series we did feature in 2017 were such standouts.
These projects are unique and varied in theme, tone, aesthetic, and scope, but they share one distinct commonality: they push the boundaries of the genre in provocative, groundbreaking, and exciting ways.
A young man discovers his nascent supernatural powers run in the family - and can be extremely dangerous. Pursued by mysterious forces, the titular Keloid and his mother are forced to live life on the run.
Produced by the Black TV & Film Collective and created by filmmaker Huriyyah Muhammad, this exceptional web series centers an African-American family at the heart of a compelling supernatural drama.
Superheroes have been all the rage at the cinema and on television for several years now. It may seem like the genre doesn't have anymore tread left.
The British superhero web series The Few refutes that notion with style and flare.
The Few is the origin story of the rise of individuals with superhuman powers in modern London, England.
The series centers on a young police detective determined to track down a pair of disillusioned citizens. A couple who are using their powers to follow a dark path.
Co-created by up-and-coming British actor Sam Benjamin (who also stars), The Few takes the superhero genre and lends it a more cosmopolitan sheen.
Atypical of the majority of superhero narratives, the series is set and shot in London, which itself is a major character.
Also notable and refreshing is the inclusive, diverse cast of talented actors. The London of The Few reflects the actual city in terms of its rich, vibrant ethnic and demographic makeup.
All this - combined with dynamic direction and excellent production value - makes the fascinating world of The Few a joy to watch.
This poignant supernatural drama boasts a most unique and intriguing premise: when people die, their souls are immediately transported to purgatory - a restaurant ironically named "Here." There they enjoy a final meal before moving on to their final destination in the afterlife.
The wait staff of Here are lost souls who must serve the restaurant's patrons until they receive their call to move on.
Created by Olivia Baptista and Diane Chen, this 20-episode web series serves up provocative commentary on the complexities of the human condition sans the cynicism and pretentious, murky mythology plagued by similar genre dramas like Lost, The Leftovers, and The OA.
Here We Wait is accessible because its diverse cast of talented young actors bring to life characters who wrestle with personal foibles and life's unending questions in a way that feels real and resonant.
Enjoyed our picks for best SF&F web series of 2017? Then please check out our list of top genre short films!
Make sure to check out our podcast Eye On Sci-Fi. Join host and The 7th Matrix founder Rod T. Faulkner as he spotlights terrific indie SFF short films and web series.
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