Best Action TV Shows on Netflix

Photo Credit: AMC
January 20th, 2014

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With the cost of cable going up without major improvements in services, instant streaming services are very popular. As the leader of the industry, Netflix is no exception. It is the go-to streaming service for classic and modern television shows of all genres, and that is great news for action fans. Here are some of the best action shows available on Netflix.

"Star Trek"

This popular science fiction and action series stars a young William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the captain of the Enterprise. The show follows the adventures of the crew as they explore the universe and defend the Federation. Although it only ran for three seasons, the classic show has inspired a number of remakes and films and continues to retain a large fan base. Many of these remakes and films are also available on Netflix, including the popular reboot, "Star Wars: The Next Generation."

"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"

This popular action show ran six seasons in the mid-1990s, and all of these seasons are available on Netflix. It follows Hercules, the son of Zeus and strongman, as he protects village people from mythical creatures and other powerful enemies with the help of his sidekick, Iolaus. However, Hercules' personal foe is Hera, his own stepmother. The setting of the show is ancient Greece, and many of the episodes are loosely based on ancient mythology. Although mainly an action-adventure series, the show has many comedic themes.

"Xena: Warrior Princess"

"Xena: Warrior Princess" follows Xena, a female warrior who is intent on making up for her dark past by fighting for the greater good. Her trusty companion, Gabrielle, provides companionship and moral support to Xena during her journeys. The character made her first appearance on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" as a villain. The character was so popular that her fate was re-written and a spin-off created. The show eventually surpassed "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" in ratings. All six seasons of "Xena: Warrior Princess" are available on Netflix.

"Quantum Leap"

"Quantum Leap" follows Dr. Sam Beckett as he "leaps" into the bodies of people throughout history to change history and prevent catastrophes. Sam Beckett is aided by Al, his sidekick and assistant who can only be seen as a hologram by Sam, and the calculations of Ziggy, a super-computer with artificial intelligence. Each episode encompasses a different story and time period as Sam "leaps" into men, woman and teenagers who lived within his lifetime, with some exceptions. He often interacts with political and popular historical figures during his adventures, which gives this action show historical fiction elements. All seasons of "Quantum Leap" are available for instant watching on Netflix. However, some of the more popular episodes and episodes that feature copyrighted material are only available on disc. 

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Based off of the film of the same name, this action television series is a cult favorite. The show follows the adventures of Buffy, a former high-school cheerleader who has what it takes to defeat vampires. All seven seasons of this show are on Netflix.

"The Walking Dead"

Newer than the other entries on this list, "The Walking Dead" began airing in 2010. This popular show is a serial drama that follows survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The group is led by Sheriff's Deputy Frank Grimes, a man who begins by looking for his family and comes across other survivors who need his help. The survivors work together look for a safe place and protect each other from zombies. Netflix carries the earliest seasons of this show, which is great for those who want to catch up or refresh themselves on this popular series.

"Doctor Who"

This insanely popular television show originates in Britain, but it is famous world-wide.  The show follows "The Doctor" as he travels through space and time in his TARDIS,  a spaceship that appears in the form of a classic British telephone booth for police. The show originally ran from 1964-1989. The original series is available on Netflix, although not in entirety as some episodes have been lost since originally airing. The series was rebooted in 2005, and many of the newer seasons are also available on Netflix along with "Torchwood",  a popular spin-off featuring Captain Jack Harkness.

Lovers of action shows need look no further than Netflix for new shows to watch. These are just a sample of the great action series' that Netflix has to offer on its instant watching service. The shows listed above are great for first-time watchers and those who want to see their favorite action shows all over again.