In the early days of television, when both technology and budgets for special effects were very limited, a great deal was left to the viewer's imagination; early episodes of Doctor Who, for example, were shot on very shaky cameras in grainy black and white, and it was not unusual to see a human limb protuding at some moment from underneath an alien costume or carapace. Many television science fiction productions borrow ideas from the film industry, in particular the use of digital manipulation, and are now comparable in production standards, if not in scale, with science fiction films. Many series which started in television, including Star Trek and The X-Files, have made the transition to cinema with varying degrees of success; many successful science fiction films have also been reprised as a television series, for example Alien Nation and Stargate. Whilst the short TV series of the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy largely followed a script previously heard on radio, it did feature inventive "computer graphics" (in fact animated by hand) that in many ways appeared to anticipate Flash animations and the blending of text and technical drawings that were later associated with webpages. Some of the verbal humour included on those images could only be appreciated by freeze-framing a videotape.
For a list of notable science fiction series and programs on television, see list of science fiction television.
People who have influenced science fiction on television: