TV shows grounded in science

In recent years, TV shows have reached a prominence that used to be reserved exclusively for movies with theatrical release. With casts, budgets, and writing teams to rival any theatrical release movie, TV shows have really taken off with big-budget titles like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Stranger Things, and Sherlock setting the bar to a level beyond what was even expected of TV shows before.

Like recent movies upping the bar on historical and scientific accuracy, TV shows have done the same as well. Shows like The Crown, featuring the royal family of the United Kingdom are very meticulous about being historically accurate. On the science end, there are also some shows out there that make sure they’re accurate. Here are our favorites:

Cells At Work

A charming anime about the cells in our body, Cells At Work follows the daily life of a Red Blood Cell as she goes about her tasks. Also featured regularly is a particular White Blood Cell, the Platelets, and the other cells found in the human body and how they respond to parasites, infections, and the other hazards our bodies face on a day-to-day basis.

The series was praised by a Japanese Cancer researcher, who particularly praised the how the series portrayed how the body’s immune system reacted to infections. The show also refers to the cells through their actual scientific names and thoroughly discusses their functions. It’s a great way to educated kids and adults alike about the specific functions of each cell as well as their own internal processes.

Numb3rs

An older entry on our list, Numb3rs first aired in 2005 and ran for 5 seasons. It was rather different from the other crime action-dramas of the time, because rather than using the more special-effects friendly forensics that CSI and its many spinoffs used, it instead focused on a mathematician and his FBI agent brother using math to solve crimes. Not the most exciting premise but it was actually pretty good!

What was amazing about the show was rather than just showing the audiences random numbers and diagrams to confuse them, Numb3rs had a consulting team of mathematicians to develop and complete the formulas. This means that every formula presented on Numb3rs is accurate and properly formulated and solved. Pretty amazing for a show that could have gotten away with flashing random formulas!

The Expanse

First launched in 2015, the Expanse has received quite a bit of praise for its talented cast, compelling storylines and hard-hitting portrayal of politics in a resource-starved environment. There is one other element, however, that the Expanse deserves praise for: its scientific accuracy. With all the effects and the like possible, it would be generally easier to go with what’s more visually appealing rather than what’s accurate.

The Expanse, however, decided to go with using scientifically accurate depictions of how gravity functions in space. They also went with spaceship designs that were more practical in design than flashy, like the ships you’d see in Star Trek or Star Wars. When mankind finally does make it to the stars as a colonist-explorer, I wouldn’t be surprised if that future looked a lot like the one from The Expanse!