Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

12 Shows Like The Expanse For Those Who Want To Get Lost In The Stars

Shows like The Expanse

As audience we have gotten the chance to see some of the most well-realized space TV shows due to the ever rising budgets available for the small screen. As the years go by viewers’ appetite for galaxy-spanning adventures has only continued to grow rapidly, and that’s why we’ve curated a list of 12 shows like The Expanse just for you.

The Expanse is based on novels series of the same name by James S. A. Corey. Set in a future where humanity has colonized the Solar System, the series follows a disparate band of protagonists as they unwittingly unravel and place themselves at the center of a conspiracy that threatens the system’s fragile state of cold war, while dealing with existential crises brought forth by newly discovered alien technology. The Expanse has received positive critical response, with particular praise for its visuals, character development and political narrative. Look no further for a list of 12 must watch TV Shows if you are a fan of this space-spanning adventure.

List of TV Shows like The Expanse

1. The Killjoys (2015)

Killjoys follows a trio of hard-living bounty hunters – Dutch, John, and D’avin. Similar to shows like The Expanse, they all work for governmental agencies in the near future. In this case, for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC), they work in a moon system known as the Quad. They are tasked with apprehending criminals or defaulters.

They swear to remain neutral in conflicts and owe no allegiance to any system, government, or other organizations. The series is praised for its fun characters and adventurous story full of flights, spaceships and trips to alien planets. Killjoys is an exciting thrill ride for viewers, and you will be no exception should you decide to give this a try.

Also Read: Movies like Contact

2. Dark Matter (2015)

Dark Matter follows a group of people in stasis pods awakened with amnesia aboard the starship Raza. They have no memories of who they are or their lives before awakening, so they assume the names One through Six in the order in which they left stasis and set about trying to uncover their identities and what happened to them.

The series takes place in space similar to shows like The Expanse and explores themes such as resilience, togetherness and the idea of time and space. It has been praised for its dazzling storyline, likable characters and unpredictable twists.

3. Lost In Space (2018)

Lost In Space is set in 2046, two years after an impact event that threatens the survival of humanity, the Robinson family is selected for the 24th mission of the Resolute (24th Colonist Group), an interstellar spacecraft carrying selected families and civilians to colonize the Alpha Centauri planetary system.

Similar to shows like The Expanse, humans are forced to try to colonize other systems, but things however go a little wrong in this show before that is achieved. As those sent to this new system are sabotaged before they reach their destination, when an alien robot breaches the Resolute’s hull. I recommend this show for all those who can’t seem to get enough of the survival space drama genre.

4. Altered Carbon (2018)

Altered Carbon is an American cyberpunk television series created by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the 2002 novel of the same title by English author Richard K. Morgan. It is set in a dystopian world where consciousness can be transferred to different bodies. It follows the story of Takeshi Kovacs, a former soldier turned investigator, who is released from prison in order to solve a murder. If you have already seen this show, read: Shows like Altered Carbon.

This futuristic series similar to shows like The Expanse is a cyberpunk fan’s dream.  The show has been praised for its vivid visuals and the complexity of the plot, as well as the acting, such as Chris Conner’s performance as the AI hotel manager Poe. This critical success is highly recommended for you to take a look at.

5. For All Mankind (2019)

For All Mankind gives us a glimpse at an alternate history, which depicts “what would have happened if the global space race had never ended”. It takes place just after the Soviet Union succeeds in the bid to land a man on the moon, winning the battle against the United States for this historic achievement. The title is inspired by the lunar plaque left on the moon by the crew of Apollo 11, which reads in part “We Came In Peace For All Mankind”.

The show is a great recommendation for lovers of all things space similar to series like The Expanse, and is praised for its impressive realistic depiction of an alternate history, a kind of story which is rarely told in modern media considering its political connotations.

6. Halo (2022)

Halo is a military sci-fi series similar to that of shows like The Expanse. The show is based on the classic video game of the same name, and is set in an alternate universe, where an epic 26th-century conflict is brewing between humanity and an alien threat known as the Covenant. Halo manages to weave deeply drawn personal stories with high stakes action and adventure.

Critics have praised the show for remaining faithful to the source material, despite it separating itself as a whole new story which doesn’t even take place in the same timeline, and has been touted to have the potential to become an even more epic story. Why don’t you join the fans of this show now? This surely a great series like The Expanse.

Also Read: Movies about Parallel Universes

7. Mars (2016)

Mars is a hard sci-fi series created by National Geographic. In the year 2033, a crew of six astronauts launched from Florida on a journey to be the first people to set foot on Mars. During the descent into the Martian atmosphere, there is a malfunction with their spacecraft, the Daedalus.

The series directed by Ron Howard is a space adventure reminiscent of series like The Expanse, and has been praised for its attractive depiction of the solitude and barrenness of Mars, expertly moving between its documentary and fictional elements.

8. Foundation (2021)

Foundation is an Apple TV+ exclusive sci-fi mystery series centered on the thousand-year saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it. It features huge space battles and political tussles that can also be found in TV shows like The Expanse.

Foundation has been praised for its evidently big-budget production value and high octane action. It has also been praised for its impressive performances from its cast and a great use of its source material are a sight to behold, but it struggles to wrangle the behemoth that is its source material to create a fully satisfying show, that is grandiose in scale yet practical. A show worthy of being placed on the big screen.

9. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

Battlestar Galactica is set in a distant star system, as in shows like The Expanse. In this show we have a civilization of humans who live on a clutter of planets called the Twelve Colonies of Kobol. In the past, the Colonies had been at war with an android race of their own creation, known as the Cylons. With the unwitting help of a human scientist named Gaius Baltar, the Cylons launch a sudden sneak attack on the Colonies, laying waste to the planets and devastating their populations.

Galactica has been hailed as the quintessential American space opera, with its complex characters, all fighting various internal and external conflicts and desires. The show is praised for its accomplished ensemble of great actors who act out their roles to a tee.

Also Read: Shows like Sense8

10. Tales From The Loop (2020)

Tales From The Loop is an American science fiction drama similar to shows like The Expanse developed and written by Nathaniel Halpern based on the art book of the same name by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag.

Tales from the Loop follows the interconnected lives of a group of individual residents in the fictional town of Mercer, Ohio. Mercer is home to the Mercer Center for Experimental Physics, an underground facility known as the Loop. It is here that researchers attempt to “make the impossible possible”.

11. Travelers (2016)

Travelers is set in a post-apocalyptic future, thousands of special operatives are tasked with preventing the collapse of society. These operatives, known as ‘travelers’, have their consciousness sent back in time and transferred into the ‘host’ body of present-day individuals who are about to die, minimizing unexpected impact on the future.

Travelers, similar to series like The Expanse, explores the moral dilemmas offered by the series premise and the awkwardness it causes in the characters’ interactions with their hosts’ friends, family and colleagues. According to Van Narcisse, “This is a superhero show in double disguise, offering up clever explorations of the secret identity concept that touch on the guilt and contortions that come with living a double life.”

12. The Orville (2017)

The Orville, created by Seth Macfarlane brings a comedic twist to the sci-fi genre. The Orville is set on the titular spacecraft: USS Orville (ECV-197), a mid-level exploratory vessel in the Planetary Union, a 25th-century interstellar alliance of Earth and many other planets. The show consists of adventures encountered by the ship’s crew, usually involving planet exploration and visits to various parts of the galaxy.

The show consists of adventures encountered by the ship’s crew, usually involving planet exploration and visits to various parts of the galaxy, similar to shows like The Expanse. The series is viewed as a satirical look at the run of the mill sci-fi drama and is a must watch for fans of the Family Guy and American Dad creator, Seth Macfarlane.

Also Read: Shows like The OA

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few amazing shows like The Expanse that didn’t make the list but you can check them out nonetheless:

  1. The 100
  2. Colony
  3. Mars

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.


The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island.

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

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

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake

The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66.

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created.

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan

The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world.

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

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

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward
Similar Lists