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12 Shows Like Rome and Other Historical Dramas

Shows like Rome

Many viewers wish they could be a fly-on-the-wall for many of the historic battles and times we see in Ancient Roman stories and shows like Rome. With the amount of effort that goes into replicating the setting, costumes, language and the overall feel of the time, Rome and other historical dramas are some of the best pieces of TV around. This is why we have created a list of 12 shows just like the HBO show, Rome.

Rome, created by John Milius, William J. MacDonald and Bruno Heller is set in 1st century BC Ancient Rome, chronicling the transition from Republic into Empire. With a large ensemble of characters, most of which are based off of real historical figures, Rome, shines in the aspect of its characterization and relationships between those characters, a style that would see a show like Game of Thrones grow to be the cultural phenomenon that it did, later on. If you enjoyed Rome, I’m sure you’ll be looking for more shows that are built just like it. So here are 12 shows for you to watch after Rome. Enjoy!

List of Shows like Rome

  1. The Tudors
  2. Barbarians
  3. The Last Kingdom
  4. I Claudius
  5. Spartacus: Blood and Sand
  6. The Borgias 
  7. Marco Polo
  8. Wolf Hall
  9. Britannia
  10. Domina
  11. Plebs
  12. War & Peace

1. The Tudors (2007)

The Tudors is a historical drama series similar to Rome. The plot is centered on the reign of Henry VII in England in the middle ages. With the help of his trusted adviser, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Henry VII is able to navigate the murky waters of politics and international conflicts.

Although based on a true time in history, many of the overarching storylines and characters in The Tudors are fictional. This show however has some truly convincing performances by its actors, and we are even treated to Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer, giving off a masterclass in acting in another fictional period piece.

2. Barbarians (2020)

Barbarians is a German historical war drama TV series similar to Rome. The plot is a fictionalized portrayal of the Roman occupation of old Germany, known then as Germania, and the subsequent rebellion by those Germanic tribes, a rebellion fuelled by a Germanic leader known as Arminius. 

Barbarians is superbly put together, and while not the most accurate in terms of historical events and the characters within it, it is very accurate in terms of the language, production design, especially the props, buildings, and costumes. If you love shows that kill it in terms of production design then you’ll love Barbarians.

3. The Last Kingdom (2015)

The Last Kingdom, based on Bernard Cornwell’s novel series known as The Saxon Stories, is set in the year 872, after the invasion of the Danes of England. There remains just one city that stands in the wake of the Danes, and that is the kingdom of Wessex, which remains under the command of King Alfred.

Airing on Netflix, and produced by the BBC, The Last Kingdom, similar to shows like Rome, was met with overwhelming positive critiques, and was widely praised for the performances of its ensemble cast, as well as its pulsating action sequences and beautiful cinematography. It really is a pleasure to watch.

4. I Claudius (1975)

A BBC Television adaptation of Robert Grave’s 1934 novel of the same name, I, Claudius, is written by Jack Pulman, and features Derek Jacobi, as the elderly Claudius, who shows us the history of the early Roman Empire through his eyes, and via his narrations that guides us throughout this series.

I, Claudius was a hugely celebrated show in its prime, and even till now, and is a show mostly about the politics of empires and the relationship between characters, themes that would later be prevalent in HBO shows like Rome and further down the line, Game of Thrones.

5. Spartacus: Blood and Sand (2009)

Airing on Lions Gate Entertainment’s cable television channel Starz, Spartacus: Blood and Sand was one of the channel’s most successful TV franchises. Spartacus: Blood and Sand is centered on the historical figure of Spartacus, played by Andy Whitfeld, a gladiator who leads an uprising against the Romans in 73 BC.

Full of sex and violence, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, still manages to keep things grounded by adding a bit of depth to the show’s characters. The show was also praised for improving as the season wore on, as it began to shed more melodrama, and focus in on the story and its characters.   

6. The Borgias (2011)

The Borgias is set in Italy in the Renaissance Era. Aired by Showtime Television in the US, the plot is centered on the Borgia family, an utterly corrupt and evil family that will do all it takes to get to the top of Italian society, and secure themselves a seat close to the pope himself, played by Jeremy Irons.

The Borgias has been routinely compared to shows like Rome and The Tudors, due to their similar styles. The show is elevated highly by the performances of veterans in the industry, like Jeremy Irons and BAFTA winner Gina McKee.

7. Marco Polo (2017)

Netflix broke the hearts of many fans when it canceled Marco Polo after just two seasons, despite great reviews from some of its fans, although it was trashed by critics. The story of Marco Polo, is unsurprisingly… about Marco Polo, a young merchant from Venice, who is taken into court by the Mongolian emperor, Kublai Khan.

Due to its high production value, and the fact that the show was bleeding money, reportedly losing Netflix $200 million dollars in total, Marco Polo was canceled in December of 2016. The show still remains on the platform though, and you can check it out if you’re a fan of series similar to Rome.  

8. Wolf Hall (2015)

Wolf Hall is set in the 1500s, from 1500 to 1535, and chronicles the rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII. Cromwell becomes one of Henry VIII’s most trusted advisors, and even helps the king escape his marriage to the treasonous Anne Boleyn.

Showered with critical acclaim by fans and professional critics alike, this show has been praised for the masterful direction by Peter Kominsky, as well as the great performances by its leading cast members. If you like shows like Rome, Wolf Hall is definitely up your alley.

10. Britannia (2018)

Britannia is another quality historical TV series similar to Rome. Set in Britain in 43 AD. The show chronicles the invasion of Britain by the Romans, led by General Aulus Plautius, and his trusted second, Lucius, who are bent on seeing Britain fall, after Julius Caesar had failed to conquer the territory almost a century ago.

Britannia definitely has something going for it, and that is its characters. Add in some great set design, writing, and gripping cinematography, and we have a show that I have no qualms recommending that you check out, as soon as possible.

11. Domina (2021)

Domina is a British-Italian historical drama series similar to Rome, which aired on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Italy. The show is set in Ancient Rome, and takes a rarely used perspective of a female character. This character is Livia Drusilla, the wife of the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar.

Starring Nadia Parkes as Livia, Domina has been dubbed as ‘Game of Romans’, a play on words to point out its similarity in terms of political intrigue, back stabbings and intricate characterizations to a show like Game of Thrones. You can find this show now, streaming on Roku.

12. Plebs (2013)

Plebs brings a comedic twist to the historical drama genre. This show, which was first broadcast on Britain’s ITV2, is premised on telling us rare stories of ordinary young citizens living in Rome, as opposed to the grand stories that we get usually, about uprisings, and empires and gladiators.

Shot in Sofia, Bulgaria, Plebs is a quick departure from the tone of shows like Rome, and is made even more hilarious by the use of modern language in these settings, and use of modern music as themes for its background music, opening and closing titles. If you want a bit of a laugh, then here’s the show for you.  

13. War & Peace (2016)

War & Peace is centered on Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Army, and its invasion of Austria, from where the army intends to move into Russia. This show is a six-part adaptation of the 1869 novel, War and Peace, written by Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

The show has been praised for its striking visuals, and the fact that it remains very faithful to its source material, despite being almost two centuries old. The Telegraph named it among the greatest TV adaptations of all time, placing it at #5. Safe among the likes of series like Rome.

Honorable Mentions

Here are other shows like Rome which didn’t make the list that you can also watch:

  1. 1.      Versailles (2015)
  2. 2.      Poldark (2015)
  3. 3.      Outlander (2014)

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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