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12 Dark Shows Like The Outsider For Fans Of Murder Mysteries

Shows like The Outsider

The Outsider is a captivating series that has garnered immense popularity among viewers. The combination of a compelling storyline, brilliant performances, and an eerie atmosphere has captivated audiences worldwide. If you’re a fan of shows likeThe Outsider and are craving more shows that offer a similar blend of mystery, suspense, and supernatural elements, you’re in luck! We have curated a handpicked list of must-watch shows that will keep you on the edge of your seat. These series explore themes of crime, the supernatural, and the unexplained, delivering the same level of intrigue and suspense as The Outsider.

Prepare to be engrossed in a range of narratives that push the boundaries of reality and challenge your perceptions. From chilling investigations to dark secrets hidden within communities, our selection of shows will leave you craving for more. Immerse yourself in this carefully curated list and experience the same thrills and twists that made The Outsider a sensation. Get ready for a binge-watching journey that will keep you hooked from start to finish!

List of TV Shows Like The Outsider

  1. Mindhunter
  2. True Detective
  3. Stranger Things
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. Fargo
  6. Sharp Objects
  7. The Killing
  8. Hannibal
  9. The Night Of
  10. The X-Files
  11. Dark
  12. Broadchurch

1. Mindhunter (2017)

Mindhunter is a crime thriller series that premiered in 2017. Set in the late 1970s, the show follows two FBI agents as they delve into the psychology of serial killers to understand and catch them. Mindhunter shares similarities with The Outsider in terms of its dark and atmospheric tone, as well as its exploration of the human psyche in relation to crime.

Both shows delve deep into the psychological aspects of their characters and explore the complexities of the criminal mind. They both offer a gripping narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

2. True Detective (2014)

True Detective is an anthology crime series that premiered in 2014. Each season focuses on different characters and storylines, but they all revolve around complex investigations and the personal lives of the detectives involved.

Like The Outsider, True Detective combines elements of crime, mystery, and psychological thriller genres. Both shows captivate viewers with their intricate storytelling and layered characters. They also share a brooding atmosphere and a sense of unease that keeps the audience engaged throughout.

3. Stranger Things (2016)

Stranger Things is a science fiction horror series that debuted in 2016. While it differs from The Outsider in terms of genre, it shares similarities in terms of its gripping narrative and the presence of supernatural elements.

 Both shows create a nostalgic atmosphere, drawing inspiration from the 80s, and blend mystery, suspense, and horror to keep viewers hooked. They also feature a group of characters coming together to investigate and confront inexplicable phenomena, be it a shape-shifting creature or a mysterious outsider.

4. Twin Peaks (1990)

Twin Peaks is a cult classic television series that aired in 1990. It revolves around the murder investigation of a young girl in a small town, uncovering a web of secrets and strange occurrences. Like The Outsider, Twin Peaks combines crime, mystery, and supernatural elements to create an intriguing narrative.

Both shows explore the dark underbelly of seemingly ordinary communities and delve into the complexities of human nature. They also feature a mix of eccentric and compelling characters, making them engrossing and thought-provoking experiences for the viewers.

5. Fargo (2014)

Fargo is a dark comedy-crime drama anthology series that premiered in 2014. Each season presents a new story with different characters, but they all share a common thread of crime and its consequences. Similar to The Outsider, Fargo blends elements of crime, mystery, and thriller genres, offering a unique and compelling narrative.

Both shows explore the impact of violent crimes on individuals and communities, and they skillfully balance tension and dark humor. With their strong writing and memorable characters, they deliver an immersive and captivating viewing experience.

6. Sharp Objects (2018)

Sharp Objects is a miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Gillian Flynn. It follows the story of a troubled journalist who returns to her hometown to investigate a series of murders. Like The Outsider, Sharp Objects is a psychological thriller that delves into the dark secrets and hidden traumas of its characters.

Both shows explore the complexities of human behavior and the lasting effects of past events. With its haunting atmosphere and intricate storytelling, Sharp Objects keeps viewers guessing and engaged until the very end.

7. The Killing (2011)

The Killing is a crime drama series that premiered in 2011. It revolves around the investigation of a single murder case, exploring the personal and professional lives of the detectives involved. Similar to The Outsider, The Killing delves deep into the complexities of the case, unveiling layers of secrets and unveiling unexpected twists.

Both shows focus on the human side of the investigation, examining the toll it takes on the characters’ lives. With its slow-burn storytelling and compelling performances, The Killing delivers a gripping and emotionally charged viewing experience.

8. Hannibal (2013)

Hannibal is a psychological horror thriller series that debuted in 2013. It serves as a prequel to the events portrayed in the novels and films of the Hannibal Lecter franchise. The show follows the complex relationship between the renowned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and FBI profiler Will Graham.

Like The Outsider, Hannibal explores the psychological dynamics between its characters and delves into the darkest corners of the human mind. Both shows feature intense cat-and-mouse games and a blend of crime, mystery, and psychological elements that keep the audience enthralled.

9. The Night Of (2016)

The Night Of is a crime drama miniseries that premiered in 2016. It tells the story of a young man accused of murder and follows his journey through the criminal justice system. Like The Outsider, The Night Of examines the flaws and complexities of the legal system and its impact on individuals.

Both shows delve into the intricacies of the criminal investigation and the subsequent trial, highlighting the emotional toll it takes on the accused and those involved. With its nuanced storytelling and strong performances, The Night Of offers a compelling exploration of justice and morality.

10. The X-Files (1993)

The X-Files is a science fiction drama series that aired from 1993 to 2002, with a revival in 2016. It follows FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they investigate unsolved cases involving paranormal phenomena, extraterrestrial encounters, and government conspiracies.

While The X-Files differs from The Outsider in terms of its overarching mythology and genre, both shows share a common thread of investigations into the unknown. They explore the blurred lines between reality and the supernatural, keeping viewers intrigued with their mix of mystery, suspense, and character-driven storytelling.

11. Dark (2017)

Dark is a German science fiction thriller series that premiered in 2017. The show revolves around the disappearance of children in a small town and uncovers a complex web of time travel, secrets, and interconnected families. Like The Outsider, Dark blends elements of mystery, suspense, and supernatural phenomena to create an intricate and mind-bending narrative.

 Both shows tackle themes of fate, free will, and the consequences of actions. With its intricate plotting and atmospheric tone, Dark keeps viewers engaged as they unravel the interconnected mysteries across different timelines.

12. Broadchurch (2013)

Broadchurch is a British crime drama series that aired from 2013 to 2017. It centers around the investigation of a young boy’s murder in a close-knit coastal community, unraveling secrets and exposing the dark underbelly of the town. Similar to The Outsider, Broadchurch explores the impact of a heinous crime on the community and delves into the complexities of human relationships.

Both shows focus on the emotional toll the investigation takes on the characters, while also examining themes of guilt, grief, and the search for justice. With its compelling performances and atmospheric storytelling, Broadchurch delivers a suspenseful and character-driven viewing experience.

Honorable Mentions 

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

  1. Taboo
  2. The Sinner
  3. Wayward Pines

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
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