Just thought I share with you sci-fi heads a stimulating observation I just came across on a Scandinavian blog concerning Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.
Haven't read them in forever, so I have no idea whether this charge holds true against the s-f polymath (who's written on just about everything, though I've heard the claim that his encyclopedic knowledge of everything was marred by a conventional interpretative approach; being a pedestrian polymath is a problem this prematurely senile man would like to have). Given my fondness of critiquing Victorian intellectual holdovers in contemporary culture, Im half tempted to re-read just to confirm/disprove Stærk's snarky contention.
Agree whole heartedly about Babylon 5's strengths and innovation, but haven't seen the other stuff.
Where it not so uneven at times, I think "The X-Files" might warrant a spot in this list. It had a lot of really classic one-off speculative stories and the intergalactic conspiracy stuff was really interesting when it didn't get overly campy and needlessly cryptic. At times, TXFs had a timeless "Twilight Zone", updated for a multicultural, postmodern world.
If your only experience with history in science fiction is the 13-year-old's understanding of Edward Gibbon that went into Asimov's Foundation novels and the Star Wars prequels, you owe it to yourself to see the subject dealt with by real writers.