Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

15 Gripping Shows Like Chernobyl To Binge On This Weekend

Shows like Chernobyl

Absolutely gripping and nail-biting throughout its runtime, the series Chernobyl depicted one of the worst man-made disasters the planet has ever faced through the eyes of characters present there at that moment. If you are interested in more eye-opening shows like these, then for your consideration we have curated a list of shows like Chernobyl that are too good to miss! 

Countless individuals and generations of ex-Soviet population have been affected as a result of political and personal ambitions and gross mishandling of something as delicate and dangerous as a Nuclear Reactor. Chernobyl is a unique show and finding something similar to it is a challenge, but we have done our best to find shows that have a similar tonality, character dynamic or storyline to Chernobyl. Here’s our list of shows like Chernobyl, have a look!

List of Shows Like Chernobyl

1. The Society (2019)

The Society is a compelling drama series that explores the dark and complex relationships that develop among a group of teenagers who are mysteriously transported to a parallel version of their hometown. 

The show delves into issues of power, morality, and social order, as the teens struggle to survive and build a new society in a world without adults. The talented cast, well-crafted plot, and thought-provoking themes make The Society a must-watch for fans of thrilling, character-driven dramas. The show was cancelled after 1 season by Netflix due to Covid-19.

Also Read: Shows like Fringe

2. Sick Note (2017)

Sick Note is a dark comedy TV series that premiered in 2017. The show follows the misadventures of Daniel Glass, a down-on-his-luck salesman who pretends to have cancer to avoid getting fired from his job. The lie spirals out of control, leading to a series of hilarious and often ridiculous situations. 

What makes Sick Note such a good show to watch is its clever writing, excellent performances from the cast, and the perfect balance between comedy and drama. The show’s similarity to the Chernobyl series lies in the exploration of the consequences of dishonesty and the disastrous effects of covering up one’s mistakes. Both stories delve into the human tendency to prioritise self-interest over the greater good.

3. When They See Us (2019)

When They See Us is a Netflix miniseries that depicts the real-life case of five black and Latino teenagers who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in Central Park in 1989. The series explores themes of racism, police misconduct, and the impact of the criminal justice system on marginalized communities. 

Like Chernobyl, When They See Us is a powerful and emotionally charged portrayal of a historical event, featuring exceptional performances and a nuanced exploration of complex issues. Both series offer a sobering look at the consequences of systemic failures and societal injustices.

4. Westworld (2016)

Westworld is a science fiction television series that premiered in 2016. It is set in a futuristic Wild West-themed amusement park, where guests can indulge in their darkest desires without consequences, all thanks to highly advanced robotic “hosts”. 

The show explores themes of consciousness, free will, and morality, as the hosts gradually become aware of their reality and rebel against their human creators. What makes Westworld a great show is its complex storytelling, stunning visuals, and strong performances by the cast. Similarly to the Chernobyl series, Westworld also delves into the consequences of humanity’s hubris and the dangers of playing God.

Also Read: Shows like Westworld

5. Snowpiercer (2020)

Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic science fiction series set on a massive, perpetually moving train that traverses a frozen world. The series explores themes of class struggle, social injustice, and survival. Like Chernobyl, Snowpiercer is a bleak and intense examination of the human condition under extreme circumstances. 

Both series deal with the consequences of human error and how it can lead to catastrophic outcomes. They also share a sense of realism and attention to detail in their storytelling, which helps create a powerful and immersive viewing experience. 

6. The Terror (2018)

The Terror is a television series based on the novel by Dan Simmons. It tells the harrowing story of the real-life British Royal Navy expedition to the Arctic in the mid-19th century, and their encounters with supernatural forces and harsh natural conditions that threaten their survival.

The series shares similarities with the Chernobyl series in its focus on a real-life historical event and its emphasis on the human drama and psychological toll of the crisis. Both shows also feature strong performances, meticulous attention to detail, and a haunting, atmospheric soundtrack.

7. Russian Doll (2019)

Russian Doll follows Nadia, a woman who finds herself trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. As she tries to figure out how to break the cycle, she meets Alan, who is experiencing a similar predicament. 

The show explores themes of existentialism, trauma, and the human experience, all while delivering a unique and unpredictable plot. The superb acting, sharp writing, and stylish visuals make Russian Doll a must-watch for fans of thought-provoking and inventive storytelling.

8. Ripper Street (2012)

Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Victorian-era London, following the investigations of the H Division police force in the aftermath of the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. The show is known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the era, as well as its complex characters and storylines. 

Similar to shows like Chernobyl, Ripper Street explores themes of corruption, morality, and the consequences of societal upheaval. Both shows also feature outstanding performances and high production values, making them compelling and thought-provoking viewing experiences.

9. Boardwalk Empire (2010)

Boardwalk Empire is a critically acclaimed period drama set during the Prohibition era in Atlantic City. The show depicts the political and criminal underbelly of the city through the eyes of Nucky Thompson, a corrupt politician and gangster. With intricate plot lines, compelling characters, and stunning production design, Boardwalk Empire offers a rich and immersive experience that transports viewers back in time. 

The show’s talented cast, including Steve Buscemi, Michael Shannon, and Kelly Macdonald, deliver outstanding performances that bring the characters to life. Boardwalk Empire is a must-watch for fans of historical drama and crime fiction.

10. Mindhunter (2017)

Mindhunter is a crime thriller series based on the book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Set in the late 1970s, the series follows two FBI agents who interview convicted serial killers to gain insight into their psyche and help solve ongoing cases. 

The show’s meticulous attention to detail, gripping performances by the cast, and exploration of the disturbing nature of serial killers make it one of the best shows of its genre. Its unique approach to storytelling and character development keep viewers hooked till the end.

Also Read: Shows like Mindhunter

11. Band of Brothers (2001)

Band of Brothers is a 10-part miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, based on the non-fiction book by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. The show follows the journey of Easy Company, a group of American paratroopers who fought during World War II. The series, similar to series like Chernobyl, delves deep into the harsh realities of people, the challenges they faced and the bonds they formed with each other.

One of the reasons what makes Band of Brothers a worthy-watch is its attention to detail. The show uses authentic World War II weapons, costumes, and locations, which creates a highly realistic and immersive experience. The show is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought in World War II, making it an emotional and powerful experience for viewers.

12. The Americans (2013)

The Americans follows two KGB spies posing as a married couple in suburban Washington D.C. during the Cold War era. The show explores themes of espionage, love, loyalty, and deception.

Similar to shows like Chernobyl, The Americans focuses on the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The Americans explores the Cold War era and the intricacies of espionage, through the narrative of a relationship between 2 spies as a married couple. If you’re interested in series based around the struggles of international tensions, this one’s for you.

13. Narcos (2015)

Narcos is a popular television series that chronicles the real-life story of the drug trade in Colombia, focusing primarily on the infamous Medellin cartel led by the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The series is known for its gritty and realistic portrayal of the drug trade in Colombia during the 1980s and 1990s. It uses a blend of historical footage and dramatizations to bring the story to life. With a complex web of corruption, violence, and political maneuvering that defined the drug trade during this time period, you are sure to enjoy it!

14. Maid (2012)

Maid is originally a memoir by Stephanie Land and this show, like the book chronicles her real-life experiences as a single mother living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet while working as a house cleaner. 

The story takes the reader through the daily grind of her life, including the hardships she faces as a domestic worker and the difficult choices she must make in order to provide for her daughter. Land’s story sheds light on the often-overlooked struggles faced by millions of working-class Americans, highlighting the need for greater social and economic equality in the United States. After shows like Chernobyl, Maid is a must-watch.

15. The Last of Us (2023)

Recently, HBO released a post-apocalyptic series calledThe Last of Us and it took the viewers by storm. Based on the popular action-adventure game of the same name, the story of Ellie, a survivor of a fungal pandemic that has wiped out most of humanity. Joel is appointed to move her from their current camp in a world filled with danger and death. Similar to a series like Chernobyl series, you will be reminded of the human struggle to survive in the face of catastrophic events.

In The Last of Us, the pandemic has transformed much of humanity into zombie-like creatures called infected. As Ellie and Joel fight to stay alive, Ellie also grapples with the morality of killing other survivors and the toll it takes on her psyche. In a list of numerous post-apocalyptic shows, the incredibly well-made world of The Last of Us, stands out. I highly recommend you to watch this after Chernobyl, you will not regret it.

Also Read: Shows like The Last Of Us

Honourable Mentions 

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

  1. Normal People 
  2. Sharp Objects
  3. I Know This Much Is True

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
Similar Lists