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12 Shows Like The Queen’s Gambit For Fans Of Intelligent Dramas

shows like the queen's gambit

Chess has been the focus, or sub-focus, of several other movies and shows but none have connected with the audience quite like Queen’s Gambit. So if you’re also a huge fan of the show and looking for shows like Queen’s Gambit then our list should be perfect for you. We see that Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) is a child prodigy who loses her parents at a very early age.

Harmon survives a child orphanage by finding a love for chess and fantasizing about chess moves. Set in the substantive parts of this story in the late 60s we witness the times changing and that talent and willpower can enable female success. Chess was so wonderfully represented on screen that the game received a big upsurge of interest after the airing of this show.

List of TV Shows Like The Queen’s Gambit

1. Peaky Blinders (2013)

In case you ever thought of watching Peaky Blinders then you should. The show follows crime leader Thomas Shelby and his gang the Peaky Blinders. As the show progresses, Thomas becomes more and more powerful and rich, all while losing more and more of his family and his own sanity. If you’ve already seen this historical fiction classic, you should check out our list of shows like Peaky Blinders.

Aside from the incredible plot and fascinating characters, the show features a great representation of 1930s English culture and governmental issues, handling drugs, liquor, science, religion, spirits, gangs, corrupt police authorities and a few other disputable and intriguing subjects. Needless to say, this is a superb series with one of the best writings similar to shows like The Queen’s Gambit you’ll ever see!

2. The Magicians (2015)

The Syfy network fantasy show The Magicians follows a guy called Quentin as he enrols at Brakebills, a secret school for magicians. Here he learns that the fantasy world that he read about as a child is real please and has now become a threat to humanity.

The magic and fantasy in this show are quite unique and exciting and not like other magic stories that you’ve seen. The characters’ stories evolve in their own ways and link together well. This show’s dynamic contrast of love and passion between friends and lovers reminds me of tv shows like The Queen’s Gambit.

3. The Crown (2016)

The royal family struggles with political upheaval, societal change, and the weight of public perception across the decades as Queen Elizabeth II’s life and reign are depicted in The Crown (starring Claire Foy as the Queen in the first 2 seasons).

The season of The Crown digs into the lives of the British royal family from over 70 years ago, with the first season beginning in the late 1940s. The elaborate, historically accurate costumes from both The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown have received accolades, and they even share a virtual costume exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. For great costumes and visuals, this is the perfect show for you.

4. Call the Midwife (2012)

The best-selling memoir Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, who passed just six months before the first episode of the show aired, served as the inspiration for this television series. Her work as a district nurse & midwife in the East end of London throughout the 1950s and 1960s is partially depicted in the series and has since been expanded upon.

Even the guest performers do a fantastic job acting, and the characters are incredibly likeable. However, the major reason I adore and enthusiastically recommend Call the Midwife for a series like Queen’s Gambit is that it is so masterfully crafted, fusing hope and amazing human connection with the hard facts of life without dodging them.

5. The Great (2020)

The Great depicts an interesting time in history with the rise in power of Catherine The Great, the reigning Empress of Russia from the 1760s to the 1790s. Portraying the squalor and common inhuman treatment of serfs, staff and members of the court while showcasing a strong young woman amidst power and political intrigue.

The show’s writers have blended humour with witty dialogue to showcase the absurdity of Peter and showcase Catherine’s growing love of Russia and rise to power. It is a unique show on tv right now and very binge-worthy. Wild, creative, funny, and historically not very accurate but it doesn’t matter! You should try watching The Great if you are in search of shows like The Queen’s Gambit.

6. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (2017)

Similar to the series Queen’s Gambit, Marvelous Mrs Maisel depicts a familiar struggle of women in a male-dominated world through Midge Maisel’s dream of becoming a stand-up comedian in 1950s Manhattan, New York. She breaks away from the typical rich man’s wife.

You should definitely watch Amazon’s Emmy Award-winning The Marvelous Mrs Maisel if you want to enjoy some enjoyable retro-aesthetic setting sharp wit given by Rachel Brosnahan and Alex Borstein, as well as fantastic writing from the professionals behind the scenes.

7. Mad Men (2007)

Mad Men is one of the most iconic shows of the late 2000s. Following the journey of Don Draper, a creative director of a fictional magazine that occupies the 1960s in American culture when the world changes in warp speed. Mad Men does a great job of bringing out the full spectrum of human relationships emotions, and personality types.

In a similar fashion to Queen’s Gambit, Mad Men portrays its protagonist Don Draper as terrible at the same time a remarkable person. Don, like Beth, is driven and talented, but he also tends to be cruel, condescending, and selfish. Mad Men is an awesome series similar to Queen’s Gambit.

8. Dickinson (2019)

Hailee Steinfeld, who has been nominated for an Oscar, portrays the trailblazing young lady in Dickinson, a loosely based coming-of-age story of the renowned American poet Emily Dickinson. Audiences will like how the 19th-century series incorporates familiar patterns from our modern era. Dickinson offers a really clever modern spin on everything mid-1800s.

Dickinson’s talented cast also includes notable artists like Jane Krakowski, Nick Kroll and Whiz Khalifa, to name a few. You must be wondering ‘Hold on, Whiz Khalifa, the musician and rapper in a television show about a Victorian-era poet?’ Well, yes! Dickinson is perfect for people who watch tv shows like Queen’s Gambit, and you might like it too.

9. Godless (2017)

Before making The Queen’s Gambit, showrunner Scott Frank created the empowering drama Godless. Godless is a gritty saga encompassing an unusual situation where most of the men are killed in a mining accident leaving the strong women to survive by their skill and guile. A very entertaining story, with plenty of action and superb cinematography.

Godless is one riveting drama series with well-developed characters and such a great plot! From Michelle Dockery to Queen’s Gambit’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster, this is a show with a fantastic cast. You will get attached to every character, good or bad. The show unfolds slowly giving you the disturbingly gritty rawness of settlers’ lives out in the west. Do watch this after if you want to see more shows like The Queen’s Gambit.

10. Anne with an E (2017)

Anne With an E is a coming-of-age story. Anne is an Orphan who gets mistakenly sent to live with Matthew and Marilla, after enduring a traumatic childhood, she finds a safe haven and home on Prince Edward Island. Her spirit and bravery are one-of-a-kind, and like Beth Harmon, she is an intelligent girl who rises above her circumstances.

Whilst maintaining all the quintessential charm of the original books, this version challenges topics that are relevant to today’s society: bullying, racism, equality and more, with such respect. All without the honesty of ruining the characters. One of my personal favourites, Anne With an E is worth watching for a series similar to Queen’s Gambit.

11. 11.22.63 (2016)

Adapted from a novel written by the great fiction writer Stephen King, 11.22.63 is a sci-fi series following James Franco in the lead role of an ordinary high school teacher called Lee Harvey Oswald, who is given a mission to time-travel and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But the task is not as straightforward as it sounds.

While the genres of both shows feel poles apart, the similarities lie in the setting of the story. 11.22.63 explores the early 1960s, the fun, the glamour and the politics. And so if you were a fan of the time period in shows like The Queen’s Gambit, then 11.22.63 is sure to be in your interest.

12. Sherlock BBC (2010)

A popular mystery Tv series produced for BBC called Sherlock is a contemporary retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes tales. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, a genius-level thinker and self-described “high-functioning psychopath.” The series includes many of well-known characters, incidents, and investigations from classic stories, all with a contemporary twist.

May it be Officer Lestrade or the murderers, Sherlock Holmes logical reasoning and high-functioning mystery-solving capabilities are extraordinary. The more you look the more you’ll realise that both the shows, Sherlock and Queen’s Gambit share a dark academic competitive vibe. Similar to shows like The Queen’s Gambit or not, you don’t need a reason to watch this one!

Honourable Mentions

Here’s a short list of brilliant shows like The Queen’s Gambit that did not make our main list but you can have a look at them as well:

  1. Mrs. America
  2. Limitless
  3. Big Little Lies

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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