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12 Thrilling Shows like Dark That Every Sci-Fi Fan Must Watch

shows like dark

The German science-fiction thriller Dark quickly gained popularity worldwide due to its intriguing and complex storyline, well-developed characters, and stunning visuals. If you’re a huge fan and looking for shows like Dark to watch, then here’s a list of 12 shows you will enjoy. Have a look! One of the key elements that make Dark such a great show is its intricate plot.

The features of time-traveling themes, and the way it weaves together various storylines from different time periods, creates a mind-bending and suspenseful experience. The show has hauntingly beautiful cinematography and a soundtrack. Moreover, the characters in Dark add depth and authenticity to the story, featuring a large ensemble cast, every character has their own complex and flawed traits. Each with their own motivations and secrets that are gradually revealed throughout the series.

List of TV Shows Like Dark

1. Stranger Things (2016)

Stranger Things is often compared to Dark for just how exceptionally similar they are. From time travel, parallel universes, and mysterious disappearances, all that revolves around kids and their families. However, the 2 shows differ in tone and style. The show has garnered critical acclaim for its nostalgic 80s aesthetic, its compelling storyline, and its talented cast of actors, including Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, David Harbour, and Winona Ryder.

Stranger Things is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. It revolves around the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers and the investigation that ensues. The investigation leads to discovery of a mysterious supernatural world that threatens to destroy the town and its residents. Both shows also explore the themes of family, friendship, and sacrifice in the face of overwhelming odds making it the perfect pick for shows like Dark.

2. Black Summer (2019)

Black Summer is a Netflix original series that takes place during the early days of a zombie apocalypse. The show follows a group of strangers who band together to survive and make their way to a military evacuation site. The story is intense and fast-paced, with characters facing constant danger and uncertainty as they navigate a world overrun by the undead. 

The characters are often forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive, and the show doesn’t shy away from showing the harsh realities of a post-apocalyptic world. Similar to a series like Dark, Black Summer is a thrilling and gripping series that is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

3. Archive 81 (2022)

Archive 81 is a horror anthology series that follows Dan Turner, an archivist tasked with digitising a collection of videotapes from the 1990s. Dan uncovers a series of bizarre and terrifying events that occurred at a New York City apartment complex. Every episode is a different story –  With themes of possession, cults, time travel or parallel universes. 

As Dan delves deeper into the archive, he becomes increasingly entangled in the supernatural events that occurred years ago, and must confront his own past in order to solve the mysteries of the archive. Archive 81 is great series similar to Dark due to the way it uses time travel, alternate dimension travel and its consequences. 

Also Read: Shows like The Expanse

4. Black Spot (2017)

Black Spot, also known as Zone Blanche, is a French-Belgian mystery thriller set in the remote town of Villefranche. The town is located in a dense forest where technology doesn’t work, and strange things keep happening. Plagued with a high number of mysterious disappearances, murders, and supernatural occurrences, it is upon the local police chief of the town, Laurène Weiss, and her team to solve the mystery.

As the show progresses, the past of the town and its inhabitants begin to unravel, revealing dark secrets that connect them to the strange occurrences. Black Spot is a show similar to Dark where the nonlinear narrative induce deep secrets that are just as gripping and addictive to watch.

5. Homecoming (2018)

The psychological thriller series Homecoming featuring Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at a secret government facility called the Homecoming Transitional Support Center. The facility helps soldiers transition back into civilian life. However, as the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that not everything at Homecoming is as it seems. 

The show runs in 2 timelines, one set in the past when Heidi worked at the facility, and one set in the present when she is no longer works there. As the mystery deepens, the truth behind what really happened at Homecoming is slowly revealed. Similar to a series like Dark, Homecoming speaks about the effects of trauma on individuals and brings out the dark secrets of the society.

6. Snowpiercer (2013)

Snowpiercer is set in a dystopian future where a catastrophic climate event has left the Earth uninhabitable. The surviving members of humanity are living aboard a perpetually moving train that travels across a frozen, desolate world. The train is divided into classes, with the wealthy and powerful living in luxury at the front of the train, while the poor and oppressed live in squalor at the back.

The story follows a revolution led by the lower-class passengers as they fight their way through the train, determined to reach the front and overthrow their oppressors. Along the way, they confront a host of challenges and dangers, including rival factions, harsh environmental conditions, and the ever-present threat of derailment. Exploring the consequences of humanity’s actions, Snowpiercer is a terrific series similar to Dark.

7. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

The Crain family moves into the eerie Hill House to renovate it, but find themselves haunted by its past and present ghosts. The Haunting of Hill House is a supernatural horror series that jumps back and forth between the past and present. We witness the traumatic events that drove the family apart and their attempts to confront their demons and unravel the secrets of the house. 

With its gripping storyline, atmospheric setting, and compelling characters, The Haunting of Hill House is a chilling and emotionally resonant exploration of grief, trauma, and the supernatural. Haunting of Hill House is packed with suspense, unsettling atmosphere and you should definitely watch it after shows like Dark.

8. Counterpart (2017)

Counterpart is a sci-fi espionage set in a parallel universe. The parallel universe occurs when in the height of the Cold War, a mysterious experiment split the world in two. The story follows Howard Silk, a low-level UN employee who discovers that his organization hides a gateway to the alternate world. 

Howard discovers a web of conspiracies, betrayal, and personal tragedies that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. With an impressive cast, including J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, and Harry Lloyd, Counterpart’s political intrigue is too good to miss for a fan of a series like Dark.

9. The OA (2016)

One of our personal favourites of this list is the show The OA. The show tells a story of Prairie Johnson, a blind woman who goes missing for 7 years and mysteriously returns with her sight restored. Prairie, who now calls herself The OA, recruits a group of local high school students to help her with a mission that involves supernatural elements and alternate dimensions. 

The show explores sense of identity, trauma, faith, and human connection in ways beyond imagination. Similar to shows like Dark, The OA’s complex narratives, themes alternate realities, and spirituality are truly memorable, I highly recommend this series to you. If you’ve already seen this one, check out our list of shows like The OA.

10. The Expanse (2015)

The Expanse is a sci-fi tv series set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system. A police detective, a ship’s captain, and a UN executive navigate political tensions and a mysterious alien threat. The show well known for it’s realistic depiction of space travel.

The characters explore the vast expanse of space, they uncover conspiracies and secrets that threaten to destroy their fragile peace. The Expanse is an action-oriented show and while it’s not as similar to a series like Dark, the neverending feel of the world and intrigue are enough to keep you hooked. 

11. Glitch (2015)

When a group of people rise from the dead in the small town of Yoorana (seemingly unaffected by their deaths) A police officer James Hayes is tasked with investigating their mysterious resurrection while keeping it hidden from the rest of the world. Quite the ‘Glitch’ in the world, the officer discover dark secrets buried in Yoorana. 

These ressurections spiral the moralities of the characters. Shown in a cynical nature, Glitch much like a Dark is series with a sense of impending doom that looms. The show may not have anything to do with time-travel but that does not mean that you won;t enjoy watch it after a series like Dark

12. Doctor Who (2005)

Doctor Who is a long-running british sci-fi TV show that originally aired in 1963. ‘Doctor’, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through time and space in the TARDIS, a time machine disguised as a blue British police box. The series renews and recasts the main characters after every few years.

The Doctor is usually accompanied by various companions, and together they face a range of foes, from aliens and robots to ghosts and demons, while also exploring different planets and timelines. The show has become a cultural phenomenon and is another amazng series similar to Dark

Honourable Mentions

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

  1. 12 Monkeys
  2. Curon
  3. Continuum

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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