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10 Genius Detective Thriller Shows Like Sherlock

shows like sherlock

There have been innumerable adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories ever since they were written by Arthur Conan Doyle, but none have quite gained the popularity of the 2010 modern-day re-imagining of Sherlock. If you are in search of shows like Sherlock, we have made a list of shows that you should surely check out. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes has been a detective fiction classic for decades. These private detective stories have inspired every genius character in some way or another, but BBC’s Sherlock is easily one of the best series ever made.

The BBC Sherlock has had an extremely dedicated fan following, and, rightly so. Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson and Andrew Scott as Professor Moriarty were absolutely PERFECT. In my opinion, what makes the show better than many other series out there is how they use innovative and extraordinary ways to express Sherlock Holmes’ keen sense of observation, intellect and undeniable charm. Sherlock is directed as a modern-day re-telling with a perfect mix of nostalgia to classic lines like ‘The Game is on!’ which makes the show go beyond excellence. Sherlock uses his brilliant skills of deduction, observation and logical reasoning with modern technology and forensic science.

List of TV Shows Like Sherlock

  1. The Mentalist
  2. Agatha Christie’s Poirot
  3. House  MD
  4. White Collar
  5. True Detective
  6. Peaky Blinders
  7. Elementary
  8. Luther
  9. Monk
  10. The Fall

1. The Mentalist (2008-2015)

The crime drama series The Mentalist follows a ‘psychic’ turned detective Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), who has extraordinary skills of observation and works with the Bureau of Investigation in California to solve crimes. The show spanned 7 seasons and was created by Bruno Heller. This murder mystery show puts the psychology of human behaviour at the front of the investigation instead of the usual search for evidence. Simon Baker has great chemistry with Robin Tunney, who plays Patrick’s boss and Senior agent Teresa Lisbon.

Bruno Heller wanted to make something different, and I think he really proved himself with The Mentalist; he described the idea of the show’s main character Patrick as a part Sherlock, part justice-seeking and part con artist man. The casting of Simon Baker was the right decision for the role. He brought out the honest spiritual and physical struggles of the character. The Mentalist is funny, charming, thought-provoking and absolutely entertaining to watch. If you want to watch shows like Sherlock, then you should probably watch this one.

Watch it on MAX

Also Read: Shows like The Mentalist

2. Agatha Christie’s Poirot (1989-2013)

If BBC’s Sherlock is the best Sherlock Holmes adaptation, then Agatha Christie’s Poirot or just Poirot is the best Hercule Poirot adaptation. Unlike Sherlock, Poirot is not set in the contemporary day, and it takes place in the old-world charm of 1930s England. The sets of Poirot are impeccably produced, and the characters truly seem like they leap out of Agatha Christie’s pages. For anyone who is a fan of Christie’s novels and, like me, has marvelled at how great the novels were, this series is all you will need. The series looks at David Suchet as Poirot, Philip Jackson as Inspector Japp, and Hugh Fraser as Arthur Hastings.

One thing I appreciated about Poirot is that it sways away from swearing and graphic violence, which is not only refreshing for murder mystery shows but is exactly why the show is so watchable. Just like Sherlock, Poirot also has his own gallic charm and eccentricities, but what separates him (and probably makes him better) is his high empathy for people. Sure, the episodes are not always believable; they may seem too good to be true, but who cares? Poirot is a top-notch show that you should give a chance to if you enjoy watching a brilliant detective. 

Watch it on AppleTV+

3. House MD (2004-2012)

Also known as HouseM.D., this American medical drama TV series is probably one of the best shows I have ever watched. Hugh Laurie plays the titular protagonist Gregory House, an antisocial and unconventional medical genius. He leads a team of diagnosticians as the Head of Diagnostic Medicine and believes every question has a logical answer.

House is a narcissistic, vicodin-addicted, pain in the ass, and yet viewers find him to be likable. If you ask me, it’s because of Hugh’s own talent and charm; the role was made for him! Hugh’s charisma and excellent comedic timing make House irresistible. The series also features some incredible performances by Robert Sean Leonard, Lisa Edelstein, Omar Epps and Jesse Spencer. House’s characteristics and relationship dynamic with Dr Wilson were inspired directly by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. If you want to watch shows like Sherlock, then House is one of the best shows you can watch.

Watch it on Amazon Prime

4. White Collar (2009-2014)

White Collar is a Police Procedural Drama that centres on a former con artist and criminal, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). Neal works as a criminal consultant with the Law Enforcement agency FBI under Special Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay). At the beginning of the show, Peter Burke catches Neal Caffery for the second time and cuts him a deal to work with them till the end of his sentence and avoid being in prison. Neal, in the meantime, is finding answers to why the love of his life, Kate, leaves him and disappears.

Talented and undeniably gorgeous Matt Bomer’s performance as the sophisticated and highly skilled artist Neal Caffery is too good to miss. Just as well, the performances by the rest of the cast are absolutely on point. I really adore Willie Garson as Mozzie. The white collar criminal genre show decided to end on a high note with its 6th and final season. A 100% binge-worthy show has the protagonist you might be looking for. White Collar’s mysteries, paired with Neal and Peter’s dynamic, should be more than enough reasons for you to give this one a chance after Sherlock.

Watch it on Hulu

Already seen it? Also read: Shows like White Collar

5. True Detective (2014-)

The show True Detective is a seasonal fantasy series following a pair of detectives, namely Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson). The detectives are in pursuit of a serial killer in Louisiana with links to occult crimes from over 17 years. True Detective is a fantastic TV series; the performances by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are exceptional.

The story unfolds in a way you won’t expect, True Detective is not just about a typical fashionable pair of detectives solving crimes through the streets of London but about two broken degenerating people struggling to resist the corrupting world around them. With 4 seasons so far, the show makes clever and witty use of vocabulary in the narrative to describe the feelings of the characters. Well, the second season of the show is quite weak, but, True Detective does manage to pick up where it started by its third season. Similar to shows like Sherlock, True Detective delves deep into complex mysteries, showcasing brilliant detective work, psychological depth, and intricate storytelling.

Watch it on MAX 

6. Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

The British drama show Peaky Blinders may be a fictional story of the Birmingham underworld, but it is based on a real story of the gangs known by the very same name, ‘Peaky Blinders’ from the late 19th century. The story follows a dangerous cut-throat man called Thomas Shelby ( Cillian Murphy). He leads a gang consisting of his brothers (Paul Anderson as Arthur, Joe Cole as John, Finn Cole as Micheal Gray and Harry Kirton as Finn Shelby) with the support of his Aunt Polly Grey (Late Helen McCrory). Together these criminals try everything in their power to move up in the world, and (mild spoilers!) Soon enough, Thomas becomes a powerful crime lord.

At face value, Thomas is not the kind of character someone would like, but Cillian provides such a charm to the character, that his incredible Brummie accent will make its way into your own vernacular. Every aspect, including the writing, plot, and acting in the 6 season series, is SO good; you will not regret a minute of it (maybe except from 5th season onwards). For charmingly grey characters and masterful performance, this is a show not to be missed by Sherlock fans.

Watch it on Netflix

7. Elementary (2012-2019)

Are you searching for more series on the stories of Sherlock? Then Elementary is another contemporary update on the classic tale of Sherlock Holmes. In this version, Sherlock (Jonny Lee Miller) ruins his reputation in London after his drug addiction. Trying to redeem himself, he decides to relocate after rehabilitation to New York City, where he meets his sober companion Dr Joan Watson (Lucy Liu), the female version of John Watson.

Getting into a different show about Sherlock Holmes is a challenge after watching the iconic BBC Sherlock, but Elementary does a really good job of turning the story into a well-spread arc. Elementary ran for 7 seasons, and I reckon it was quite an intelligent show. Elementary is a nice option if you are a fan and want to see more shows like Sherlock.

Watch it on Hulu

8. Luther (2010-2019)

Luther is a very well-received British crime thriller drama series. The talented and good-looking Idris Elba plays the intelligent DCI John Luther. Luther works in the Serious Crime Unit, and he is often obsessed with the investigations. All the questions possess his mind to an end, often bringing out the violence in his character.

Unlike Sherlock, Luther cares about bringing justice to the victims of brutal crimes, even if it challenges his morals. Luther is set in gloomy and harsh London to translate the nature of the twisted legal system. The 5 season show does not shy away from focusing on the dark side of reality to bring out a more honest representation. Luther brings the brilliant, complex detectives solving crimes, delving into dark psychology, and facing personal demons the way Sherlock does. Hence, Luther is surely worth considering.

Watch it on AppleTV+ 

9. Monk (2002-2009)

The popular series Monk is a police procedural show created by Andy Breckman. A former San Francisco police detective, Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), has a nervous breakdown when he loses his wife in a murder that goes unsolved. He develops an extreme case of OCD which makes it impossible for him to function in society normally and requires constant assistance.

Regardless of his problems, Monk possesses sharp skills of investigation and is often called by his former colleagues to help solve difficult cases. I’m sure his characteristics shall remind you of Sherlock. The 8 season-long Monk had a record-high viewership from 2009 to 2012. It’s truly a phenomenal show. If you want to watch shows similar to Sherlock, then you are sure to enjoy Monk.

Watch it on Amazon Prime

Also Read: Shows like Monk

10. The Fall (2013-2016)

The Fall is probably the least like Sherlock in this list, but what the show lacks in characters with unique features like extraordinary intellect and observational skills, the series makes up for with Gillian Anderson’s brilliant performance as Detective Stella Gibson. The story follows Stella fighting her own demons as she tries to catch a serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan).

The 3 season show’s storytelling is very gripping, and the characters are so perplexing that you might find yourself developing complicated feelings for the serial killer and maybe even half-rooting him. This is exactly what I felt when I saw Andrew Scott’s take on Moriarty. Looking for a highly engaging detective series after Sherlock? Give The Fall a try.

Watch in on Amazon Prime

Honourable Mentions 

Here’s a bonus list of shows that didn’t make the original list but you can check them out as well: 

  1. Breaking Bad
  2. Midsomer Murders
  3. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
  4. Castle 
  5. Dexter

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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