Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

10 Shows like Altered Carbon For The Sci-fi Fan In You

shows like altered carbon

In the far future of this cyberpunk series, technology has made it possible for a person’s consciousness to be stored on a spinal implant known as a “stack.” These stacks are transferable between bodies, or “sleeves.” A person will not die unless their stack is destroyed, and the very wealthy can create backups that effectively make them immortal. If you have already finished watching it, here is a list of spectacular shows like Altered Carbon that you can check out!

In the series, it is assumed that one of these extremely wealthy individuals, Bancrofts, committed suicide when he is discovered dead; however, his backup was created hours earlier, so he is unaware of what took place; however, he is persuaded he wouldn’t shoot himself. Takeshi Kovacs, a convicted killer whose stack had been stored for over two hundred years, is employed by him to solve the case.

List of TV Shows Like Altered Carbon

1. Travelers (2016)

100 years from now, humans have discovered how to transfer consciousness but in Time. In a desperate attempt to alter their fate, consciousness is sent back to the 21st century to inhabit the bodies of soon-to-die individuals. Travelers is a spectacular and engrossing show to watch.

Travelers’s concept and narrative style are similar to La Jetée (1962), which sets the show apart from the well-worn time-travel shows. My favourite aspect of Travelers is that it only gets better with each season; season 3 was a highlight of the show’s mystery, action, and thrills. The performance of Eric McCormack as the diverse group’s leader is absolutely brilliant. Travelers should be on your list if you are a fan of futuristic sci-fi shows like Altered Carbon.

2. The Expanse (2015)

The show follows the disappearance of Julie Mao a rich turned political activist in link to detective Joe Miller and ship captain James Holden and U.N. politician Avasarala. The 1st season starts off a bit slow, following political tension between Earth, Mars and the Belt, The Expanse quickly picks up the pace revealing a great conspiracy. 

What’s unique about this show is the sense of realism for a sci-fi story. The setting is not so far-fetched, it’s easy to imagine everything one sees in this as a part of our future. The plot is deep, layered and interesting, the characters are three-dimensional. In fact, every detail of the show is fantastic, including the satisfying ending. I will highly recommend The Expanse as a fan of shows like Altered Carbon.

3. Orphan Black (2013)

After witnessing a girl’s suicide, a streetwise hustler becomes entangled in a compelling conspiracy. SPOILER: Sarah is an outsider, an orphan, and a streetwise chameleon in Orphan Black. Sarah takes on the identity of a stranger who happens to have the same appearance as her after witnessing a woman commit suicide.

Sarah Manning is a single mum with a drug dealing and off-boyfriend. One night, she is at a train station and sees herself jump in front of an oncoming train. She runs off with her belongings, later finding out the woman is a cop called Beth Childs. Sarah takes her identity and, at first, assumes that she must be a long-lost sister. But there is A LOT MORE going on, which she discovers. Her discovery opens an unprecedented conspiracy that is truly mind-blowing. If you especially loved performances in series like Altered Carbon then you will appreciate Tatiana in Orphan Black as well. 

4. Black Mirror (2011)

Black Mirror is a very popular Netflix anthology series known for its near-future dystopian speculative stories driven by the advancement of science technologies. Every episode is a new story, a new cast, and directed by a new person. While you may not like every single one of the episodes, some of the episodes will leave a strong effect on you.

Black Mirror features many talented artists like Anthony Mackie, Andrew Scott, and Jodie Foster Be Right Back, USS Callister and Playtest are some of my personal favourite episodes since they highlight the themes of grief, obsession/mental captivity, and losing memory or holding on to reality. Such kinds of episodes are surely worth a watch if you liked shows similar to Altered Carbon

5. The Handmaid’s Tail (2017)

In the near future, in response to the fertility crisis, a Christian fundamentalist theocratic regime rises where fertile women, including the protagonist, June, are forced to agree with strict rules of living as a concubine for an Officer and his Wife. June hopes to be free and reunite with her young daughter. 

The Handmaid’s Tale is an incredible series with outstanding performance. It can be hard to watch sometimes, but the eye-opening story is worth it. Based on Margaret Atwood’s futuristic story, there is a sense of truth in what is being shown. This series is perhaps a timely warning that the world isn’t immune to the horrors that have already affected many people. The Handmaid’s Tale is one of the best series like Altered Carbon that you can watch.

6. Lost (2004)

The sci-fi/supernatural show Lost was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J. Abrams, and Damon Lindelof. In the premise, A commercial passenger jet en route from Sydney to Los Angeles crashes on a remote island somewhere in the south of the Pacific ocean. Lost features a large ensemble of about 70 actors, 14 with recurring roles. If you have already seen this groundbreaking series, then check out more shows like Lost.

One of the most expensive pilots ever made, Lost was influenced by the movie Castaway. Lost is appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. The story is incredibly thought-provoking. If you’re looking for TV shows similar to Altered Carbon, the sci-fi survival shows Lost is a great choice.

7. Dollhouse (2009)

Created by Joss Wheaton, Dollhouse follows Echo, a Doll or as called her, ‘Active’ from a facility called ‘Dollhouse’ where wealthy clients are higher human beings for any reason, may it be romance or criminal enterprise. 

A well-acted, thought-provoking, and frequently devastating story, this one is not without its twists and turns, Dollhouse is a peculiar oddity, an extremely brave piece of fiction that fearlessly tackles uncomfortable concepts and themes and asks challenging questions. For a weekend binge-watch, Dollhouse will be an entertaining series like Altered Carbon.

8. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

A Reboot of the original 1978 show of the same name, the 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a miniseries. But don’t be mistaken by the title. The show is not related to Star Trek.   Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense, and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever, and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Altered Carbon.

9. Colony (2016)

The Sci-fi show Colony explores a family’s survival in midst of a mysterious alien invasion. Humanity faces unprecedented challenges as the aliens take over the habitats and humans are forced to live in the shadows.

I truly loved this series. It has an excellently written storyline with a really good cast, including Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Peter Jacobson. Every episode keeps you so hooked that you won’t be able to wait for what comes next. Very binge-able, Colony brilliantly showcases human vulnerability, so if you want to see sci-fi series similar to Altered Carbon, go ahead and watch Colony.

10. Dark Matter (2015)

Six people wake up on a spaceship orbiting a planet far out in deep space at the edge of civilization with no memory of who they are or how they got there. After pairing up and searching the ship, they discover it’s full of weapons. With the help of an android they find on board, the crew discovers they are orbiting a disputed planet, and the weapons are likely for the colonists below.

Even though the show got cancelled after 3 seasons, it’s worth a watch. For anyone that enjoys sci-fi channel-type movies or shows, this is a good one. From the strong female characters to space combat scenes, this is one of the best series like Altered Carbon worth losing sleep over.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few sci-fi shows like Altered Carbonthat didn’t make the list, but you can have a look at them: 

  1. The 100
  2. Lost in Space
  3. Stranger Things

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward