Netflix just got one of Max's most underrated shows — and it's 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

A lone figure in a spacesuit looking out at another planet in Scavengers Reign
(Image credit: Courtesy of Max)

The streaming world can be a brutal place. Sometimes, must-see shows can fail to find their audience and get the chop, even if they're seriously worth a watch.

"Scavengers Reign" is one such show. It's an animated science-fiction survival drama that originally debuted on Max in October last year. Despite drawing incredible praise from viewers and critics alike, the show was canceled after just one season just a few weeks ago... but there's hope it could get a second life at another one of the very best streaming services.

On Friday, May 31, "Scavengers Reign" arrived on Netflix in several regions including the U.K. and the U.S.. Longstanding fans are now desperately encouraging would-be viewers to give the show a try, especially seeing as there's some hope that Netflix might be interested in picking it up for a second season.

Fancy giving what has been called one of the best shows of 2023 a go? Here's what you need to know about "Scavengers Reign"... 

What is 'Scavengers Reign' about?

"Scavengers Reign" is an animated sci-fi series from filmmakers Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner, who co-created the show after previously making the 2016 animated short, "Scavengers." The 12-episode series follows the surviving crew of an interstellar freighter as they are stranded on an unforgiving new world. 

After the Demeter 227 gets damaged, our survivors are left stranded and fighting for survival on the bizarre alien planet of Vista Minor. It's a beautiful, breathtaking world that's otherwise thrived without human interference (until now).

Divided across the planet, our crewmates must adapt to the many challenges (personal or planetary) and confront its terrifying creatures as they wait for rescue. 

‘Scavengers Reign’ reviews — critics vs viewers

“Scavengers Reign” currently holds a perfect 100% score from professional critics on Rotten Tomatoes, from a total of 22 reviews (at the time of writing). 

RT’s critical consensus reads, “Disturbing and wondrous, “Scavengers Reign” presents a vividly realized world that beckons exploration by its marooned characters and television viewers alike.” Among the reviews, you’ll see universal praise for the show’s beautiful, distinctly alien visuals, with many claiming the show as "a triumph," "a wonder" and "uniquely thrilling."

The viewers’ score skews slightly lower at 94%, but when you consider that’s an aggregate rating from more than 250 audience ratings, that’s almost as impressive as that perfect 100% score. 

“Captivating”, “intelligent” and “beautiful” are some of the most common buzzwords among audience reviews, with some out and out declaring “Scavengers Reign” as one of the best sci-fi shows out there. Even some of the show’s detractors couldn’t help but praise the visuals, even if they weren’t fans of the overall mood. 

Should you stream ‘Scavengers Reign’ on Netflix? 

As a UK-based writer, I’ll admit that I hadn’t laid eyes on “Scavengers Reign” until it debuted on Netflix. And whilst I've only managed to check out a couple of episodes, I'm already hooked.  

This is sci-fi that openly relishes in just how alien the universe could be. It's drawn beautifully and conjures up a fascinating, terrifying landscape where the stakes feel so high for our crewmates from the get-go. I literally cannot wait to see what the show still has in store.

Be sure to stream "Scavengers Reign" on Netflix or Max now. Not in the market for some fresh science fiction? Check out our roundup of the best TV shows in the Netflix top 10 to find your next streaming fix.

More from Tom's Guide

Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.

  • Fox Tread3
    June 3, 2024 - I have included "Scavenger's Reign" in my list of shows to watch on Netflix. The animation
    looks very well done. My main reason for commenting here is the excessive use of superlatives that
    both the author of this article, and also of the reviews written by professional reviewers and "TV viewers."
    '"a triumph," "a wonder", "uniquely thrilling, Captivating”, “intelligent” and “beautiful”'.
    This hyperbole sounds more like an advertising campaign from Wall street. In past years Rotten Tomatoes
    has been shown to be very supportive of the entertainment community. To a point that is questionable.
    Frankly, I take the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with a grain of salt, and I'm sorry that so much stock continues
    to be put in their reviews. I pay more attention to independent reviewers on Blogs and on YouTube. Who don't
    rely on the entertainment industry for funding, or need to curry Hollywood's favor. I hope that I do enjoy
    "Scavenger's Reign", and I will write a review after I've finished watching the series. Of course, Netflix stopped allowing their customers from posting their reviews on the Netflix website years ago. When many were questioning the quality of what Netflix was offering in its inventory of films and TV series.
    Reply
  • LiQuiDM3tH
    Lol good points, I will say though the show is awesome, I watched it originally when released I thought it had to be a hot it was just some original sci Fi with awesome animation..
    Reply
  • Fox Tread3
    LiQuiDM3tH said:
    Lol good points, I will say though the show is awesome, I watched it originally when released I thought it had to be a hot it was just some original sci Fi with awesome animation..
    Yes, I hope to enjoy it, but I have concerns about it jambing "current social sensibilities" into. I hate being "preached to" by anyone when trying to be entertained. I have ranted a lot in various forums that anime and animated productions are often more interesting and adult than a lot of "live action" films and TV productions are currently. They are at least original. Stay well. :giggle:
    Reply
  • Braaainz
    I didn't find it trying to insert "current sensibilities". I did think it's one of the best examples (if not the best) of portraying an alien world. I think this was an incredible season and consider this show in my top 5 best sci fi shows ever
    Reply
  • Fox Tread3
    Braaainz said:
    I didn't find it trying to insert "current sensibilities". I did think it's one of the best examples (if not the best) of portraying an alien world. I think this was an incredible season and consider this show in my top 5 best sci fi shows ever
    Good to know. Thank you. As I said in my initial comments here. I'm going to watch the series. I realize that whatever my feelings are after viewing the show. It all comes down to a matter of taste. I very much support people and production companies that create original and interesting work. I would like to think that AI along with real talent will give us some productions that we can appreciate and enjoy. Stay well. :giggle:
    Reply
  • wozzzeck
    Underrated doesn't seem like the right adjective for a show with zero bad reviews.
    Reply
  • Fox Tread3
    wozzzeck said:
    Underrated doesn't seem like the right adjective for a show with zero bad reviews.
    June 4, 2024 - Agreed. However, in the era of hyperbole, and the quest to "grab as many eyeballs" as possible for revenue purposes. Many tactics are used to get attention. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that there were no bad reviews, but considering the report is based on questionable statistics from Rotten Tomatoes. I'm not surprised. Last night I binged the entire season of Scavengers Reign, and agree that the imaginative variety of life forms is impressive. I don't like the animation style (I prefer the animation used in series like "Blood of Zeus"), the color palette, which I found "muted", and I wasn't impressed with the conclusion of the plot. I would give the series three stars out of five.
    Reply
  • Fox Tread3
    Braaainz said:
    I didn't find it trying to insert "current sensibilities". I did think it's one of the best examples (if not the best) of portraying an alien world. I think this was an incredible season and consider this show in my top 5 best sci fi shows ever
    June 4, 2024 - Hi. In my original reply to you. I tried to be as discreet as possible when mentioning my concerns about the inclusion of "current sensibilities" in the narrative of Scavengers Reign. Apparently, you missed my meaning. While I'm sure that many people have become accustomed to, and basically take for granted. The inclusion of certain political and social issues being infused in storylines and plots. I will say plainly that I have homosexuals in my family/social circle, and have no problem with their lifestyles. I also, had a Japanese godfather that was like a stepfather to me for decades. However, I would find it disturbing if every film and TV production felt it necessary to artificially insert a Japanese character into them. My point is that certain political and social agendas are being included in much our entertainment. As I said earlier, I don't like to be "preached to" by anyone regardless of what their social and political views may be. Here are some of the comments made on the series' search page for reviews - "Okay going to be straight to the point. The show is decent, the story good but it is woke. Female centric, its pretty wired in a survival story that it is only the women who seem to have the best capabilities and skills. But that is what you get. But even then the story is decent. It is a B+. Its pretty predictable when you keep in mind that it is a female empowered show. Its hard to miss." Another viewer said - "There isn't much playback value in this series so it is just good for a one off play through. It started strong but started to sway towards Gay agenda from mid season. Pacing was slow, boring narrative and unnecessary forceful Gay scenes."
    You may or may not know, that there are companies that contribute money to productions that include certain political and social material. I resist that because I see it as trying to sway public opinion in a particular direction. Stay well.
    Reply
  • Fox Tread3
    admin said:
    Critics and viewers alike fell in love with "Scavenger's Reign" on Max in 2023, and now the show's streaming on Netflix.

    Netflix just got one of Max's most underrated shows — and it's 100% on Rotten Tomatoes : Read more
    My review of the series after binging the entire season in one evening -
    June 4, 2024 – I understand why many people would really like Scavengers Reign. The variety of vegetation and animal life forms is really extensive and very imaginative. I think those are the reasons for so many four and five star reviews. I gave the series three stars because I don't like the animation style (I prefer the animation used in series like "Blood of Zeus"), the color palette, which I found "muted", and I wasn't impressed with the ending. I didn’t like the “Ain’t this planet cool” vibe that was of one of the central themes. I found it annoying that the characters acted like they were at a petting zoo in some place like Central Park in New York City. They seemed to have no fear of interacting with the vegetation or the various animals that they knew nothing about. Only to move the narrative, did they ever suffer bad effects eating, touching or using anything on the planet. They actually catch a ride on a moving creature that just happened to be going partly in the direction that they had to go in. Another real eye roller was when one of the characters expressed his hate for a character that was responsible for the death of a lot of people on their spaceship. His fellow survivor says that she thinks he is being to harsh and hard on the murderer. I guess in her mind people should be forgiven for the worst of crimes because.. umm.. like you know.. they had a bad childhood or something. Also, I agree with the other viewers that gave the series three stars, because they didn’t like the characters for the most part. Also they didn’t like the ending, and I totally agree with them on that point. I think for a twelve episode series, the writers could have come up with a more detailed and understandable ending.
    Parting shot – If Scavengers Reign is so wonderful. Why did Max cancel the show that according to the “impressive reviews” should have been a block buster for the streamer.
    Reply