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10 Shows Like Fringe To Watch If You Enjoy Well-Written Sci-Fi

Shows like fringe

The Sci-fi tv series Fringe ran for 5 seasons and became an absolute favourite for its brilliant production and highly entertaining episodes. The adventures, mysteries and drama of this show mixed with humour make it an absolute sci-fi classic. If you want to watch similar shows, we have made this list of awesome shows like Fringe that you must check out. 

Fringe is a Sci-fi crime drama television series created by  J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. This is more than just a standard procedural drama, the show explores the concept of a parallel universe, alternate versions of people, and creative science experiments. Inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone, the show excels in the mysteries of speculative fiction. The 5 seasons of Fringe begin with the casework of the Fringe division, a Joint Federal Task Force mainly supported by the FBI.

At the centre of the story are Agent Olivia Dunham, Scientist Dr Walter Bishop and his estranged son Peter Bishop who is known to be ‘Jack-of-all-trades’. Peter discovers that he is from a parallel universe and it is through such personal experiences that we see the scientific advancements of this incredibly created world. Exceptional story writing, the concept of the multiverse and great performances by the cast make Fringe truly worth all its praise. Check out the following list if you want to see shows similar to Fringe.

List of TV Shows Like Fringe

  1. The X Files (1993)
  2. Dark (2017)
  3. Person of Interest (2011)
  4. Once Upon a Time (2011) 
  5. Counterpart (2017)
  6. Haven (2010)
  7. Lost (2004)
  8. Westworld (2016)
  9. The Leftovers (2014)
  10. Forever (2014)

1. The X Files (1993)

IMDB ratings: 8.6/10

Cast: Gillian Anderson, David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi

Creator: Chris Carter

The X-Files was created by Chris Carter and first aired in 2002. This Sci-fi crime story revolves around two FBI Agents Fox Mulder(David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), who investigate unsolved cases that often involve paranormal phenomena. At the beginning of the show, Mulder believes the paranormal activity is real while Scully, a medical doctor, is sceptical and hence is assigned to work with Mulder to review the reality of the cases.

The X-Files is a supremely-crafted show with phenomenal acting performances. The show was a great success and ran for 10 seasons. Known for its supernatural elements of mythology and mysterious ‘unknown circumstances’, The X-Files was filmed in a multi-genre style. Decades after it aired, The X-Files continues to be engaging and relevant today. If you’re looking for TV shows similar to Fringe, The X-Files will be a perfect fit for you.

2. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

Dark is a German sci-fi thriller drama, created by Baran bo Odar, and Jantje Friese and aired in 2017. At the beginning of the story, many children have suspiciously been disappearing in the German town of Winden. Such incidents bring to light the dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town. Families namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann. These central families of the show discover a wormhole in a cave beneath a nuclear power plant. Dark is set in 2019, but with the element of time travel, it spans from 1986 to 1953.

The connections of the 4 families are exposed after the missing cases of children which compromises their lives. Dark’s cinematography is thrilling and the show writers have done a brilliant job writing an intensely gripping story. The performance by the cast is exceptional as well. If you want to see sci-fi time-travel investigation shows like Fringe, Dark is worth a watch.

3. Person of Interest (2011)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Micheal Emerson, Jim Caviezel and Kevin Chapman

Creator: Jonathan Nolan

Person of Interest is a Sci-fi crime drama created by Jonathan Nolan that first aired in 2011. The show follows John Reese, a former special forces soldier and CIA operative. A bygone soldier, John is thought to be dead by everyone. He in fact is alive and now a homeless man in New York. Harold Finch, a billionaire software genius builds a computer called ‘the Machine’ that monitors all electronic media and communications to predict future terrorist activities. Harold approaches Reese to intercept the possible threats. 

On the surface, Person of Interest seems like a standard procedural crime drama series but it is in fact a well-crafted action sci-fi that explores the concepts of AI vs human nature. The main characters of the show are phenomenal. If you want to explore more tv series like Fringe, Person of Interest is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

4. Once Upon a Time (2011)

IMDB ratings: 7.7/10

Cast: Lana Parrilla, Jennifer Morrison and Ginnifer Goodwin

Creator: Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz

Once Upon a Time is a fantasy adventure drama TV series that aired in 2011 and was created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. Set in a fictional town called Storybrooke in Maine, we see that the residents are actual Disney fairytale characters but Regina, the Evil Queen, robs the memories of the residents and they are transported to the real-world town. 

Once Upon a Time is a special kind of fantasy show where the live-action series follows Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison)  taking an adventure along with her son Henry to save the fairy tale characters. Emma enters a community where all the Disney characters are cursed, forget their past and never truly know their origin. The mysterious journey of uncovering secrets of life is very akin to TV shows like Fringe and which is exactly why you should watch Once Upon a Time. You can also check out its spin-off series Once upon a time in Wonderland.

5. Counterpart (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8/10

Cast: J. K. Simmons, Harry Llyod and Nazanin Boniadi

Creator: Justin Marks

Counterpart is a Sci-fi thriller TV series created by Justin Marks and it follows the Academy award-winning actor J. K. Simmons as the central character Howard Silk. In a universe where there are parallel Earths, Harold is an office worker who has been working for the United Nations agency, Office of Interchange (OI) for over 30 years. Harold engages in mindless tasks in this company which sees over the checkpoints of the Parallel Earths: Alpha and Prime.

The parallel worlds came about in 1987 in an experiment in East Germany, the scientist present during the occurrence begins to interact with his parallel self to understand the divergence. As time goes by, certain events like a pandemic in the Prime world completely change the advancements of the two worlds, and differences create a cold war between the two. This thrilling and deeply complex story of Counterpart is compelling to watch. Counterpart is one of the best new TV shows similar to Fringe that you can watch. 

Also Read: Shows like Twin Peaks

6. Haven (2010)

IMDB ratings: 7.5/10

Cast: Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour

Creator: Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn

Haven is a mysterious supernatural drama show. Loosely based on Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid, the show was created by Sam Ernst and Jim Dunn. The show deals with strange and unprecedented events in the fictional town of Haven in Maine. An FBI Agent Audrey Parker is dispatched to haven for a routine case when she gets entangled in a plague with supernatural afflictions.

The seemingly paranormal activity of the town leads Audrey to shocking secrets related to her mother. Haven builds a world where the protagonist discovers her life and memories might not have been her own and her actions a part of a pre-arranged circumstance. Haven’s story will remind you of Peter’s experience and so, if you’re looking for tv series like Fringe, Haven is the right choice for you.

7. Lost (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Jorge Garcia, Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway

Creator: Jeff Lieber, J. J. Adams and Damond Lindelof

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. The show explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on the mysterious island. Lost is like a spiritual precursor of Fringe.

Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time. 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 like Fringe, the sci-fi survival show Lost is a great choice.

8. Westworld (2016)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins

Creator: Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy

The TV show Westworld was created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Airing in 2016, this Sci-fi show revolves around the dawn of Artificial intelligence consciousness. A dark odyssey that witnesses an intersection of such kind in the 2050s, the show re-imagines the past before the intersection.

Westworld focuses on the evolution of sin. Emotionless AI robots are used by humans for advantageous activities.  Dr Robert Ford (played by Anthony Hopkins) while updating a robot causes a few robots like Dolores to gain consciousness of previously removed memories and become sentient. Themes of dehumanisation, suffering and hyperreality make Westworld worth a watch if you are searching for similar shows like Fringe

9. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

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

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

Also known for creating shows like Lost, Damon Lindelof created The Leftovers along with the novelist Tom Perotta whose book this is adapted from. The Leftovers is a supernatural drama tv series, the story begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear.

This sudden event causes many changes, giving rise to cult groups like the white-clothed nihilists’ Guilty Remnant and the decline in mainstream religions. The show is dystopic in nature and quite surreal to watch. With a brilliant cast and genius writing, The Leftovers should definitely be on your list if you’re searching for shows like Fringe.

10. Forever (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.2/10

Cast: Ioan Gruffudd, Alana de la Garza and Judd Hirsch 

Creator: Matt Miller

The show Forever aired in 2014 and was created by Matt Miller. Forever is a critically well-acclaimed show, however, due to lack of viewership, it was cancelled after its first season. The show follows a man Dr Henry Morgan who works in the NYC morgue, he is a man of deep knowledge which is astounding for people who work with him.

Henry solves criminal cases along with his own mystery of being a 200-year-old immortal man. The entire premise of Forever was so engaging to watch, I especially thought Henry’s origin was fabulously written. The show is quite philosophical in nature and the quest of understanding immortality has a dark sense of aura. Forever unfortunately does not have more seasons but is great to watch if you are bored and want to see shows like Fringe.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few thrilling shows like Fringe that didn’t make the list, but you should still check them out.

  1. Alias
  2. Manifest
  3. Supernatural
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Twilight Zone

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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