TV List

7 TV Shows You Must Watch if You Love The Expanse

August 24, 2019
7 min read

Colonizing other planets has been a dream of humans for many years now. With the constantly deteriorating climate and the earth becoming more and more uninhabitable as a result, it seems that moving to another planet remains the only viable solution at hand. Though scientists are far away from coming up with the technology that sustains life on other planets, artists have let their imaginations flow freely in this regard, talking about what it would be like to spread the human civilization to other planets in the solar system. The Syfy series, ‘The Expanse‘ does a tremendous job in portraying such a scenario. Set far into the future, the world of ‘The Expanse’ is a place where each planet of the Solar System has a thriving population, but the only problem is that these planets do not gel well with each other. Earth and Mars are at a constant Cold War-like state, while others have sided with either planet in this fight. In this hostile situation, we follow a UN officer who tries to maintain peace and locate a missing girl.

‘The Expanse’ stands out with its style and unique premise. In this sci-fi extravaganza, there is a strong undeniable emotional quotient which makes us fall in love with the characters and cheer them on in their quests. If you have enjoyed watching this show and are looking for more series that are thematically and stylistically similar, then you have arrived at the right place. Here’s the list of best shows similar to ‘The Expanse’ that are our recommendations. You can watch several of these series like ‘The Expanse’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

7. Nightflyers (2018)

We have all imagined what it would be like to meet aliens. Will they behave in a friendly manner or will they be as violent as portrayed in most forms of media? What do they eat? Do they breathe in oxygen just like us? These are some of the questions we tend to ponder over while discussing extraterrestrial beings. To give shape to our fantasies, many films and TV shows have dealt with aliens in various fashions over the years. The Syfy seriesNightflyers‘ is another step in that direction. The story of ‘Nightflyers’ centers around a group of astronauts trying to locate aliens. Their mission is heavily jeopardized when it is noticed that a sinister presence is lurking inside their spacecraft. ‘Nightflyers’ is heavily inspired by the Ridley Scott masterpiece, ‘Alien’ (1979). The most impressive part about the series is the way it introduces psychological tension and manages to hold on to it within the small space of the spacecraft.

6. Into The Badlands (2015-2019)

Into The Badlands‘ is not a sci-fi series, but still is a very important addition to this list because just like ‘The Expanse’, it also talks about a world where society as we know it has been modified to a great extent. In ‘The Expanse’, we see that humanity now lives in multiple planets, with constant tension between them and some even being at war with each other. In a similar fashion, society has collapsed in the world of ‘Into The Badlands’, and the remaining humans now live segregated from each other like tribes, having gone back to ancient ways of living without technology. The two shows are just the opposite in terms of their depiction of technology, but when it comes to the divisions in society, they are quite similar.

5. Colony (2016-2018)

When we compare ‘The Expanse’ with ‘Colony‘, we come across a rather interesting observation. While the former is about man colonizing other planets and settling down on them, the latter centers around extraterrestrial beings colonizing men and making them live under a strong authoritarian regime. In ‘Colony’, aliens have taken over Los Angeles, creating a dystopic universe for its inhabitants who have been blocked out by massive structures from the rest of the world. They live under heavy repression and constantly face death threat at the slightest sign of dissent. ‘Colony’ is an absolutely fascinating series which uses dystopia and science fiction tropes very effectively, creating a world we have hardly witnessed anywhere else. The attention to detail and the engaging storyline will make you fall in love with this show in no time at all.

4. Childhood’s End (2015)

In a similar vein to ‘Colony’, ‘Childhood’s End’ is also a sci-fi series which imagines human civilization being taken over by aliens. But the main difference here is that the aliens seem benevolent and seem to be truly working for the betterment of human society. They promise humans unbound prosperity, more than they can even dream of. While some humans do enjoy being under their supervision, some believe that their proposition is too good to be true. The series is an adaptation of a novel by one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, Arthur C. Clarke. The series might not be very popular among TV show freaks, but it definitely deserves to be seen for its unique storyline and interesting concepts.

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3. Defiance (2013-2016)

The story of ‘Defiance’ is set in a time in future when humans and aliens have begun co-existing on the earth, albeit with differences in policies and beliefs. The story takes an interesting look at this problem, where the political settlements between the two species are explored in great detail. What the makers of ‘Defiance’ have done with the series is really groundbreaking, as the story does not depend on the writers alone, but take turns according to the progress made in the online game released as a component piece of the series. Great attention has been paid to the detailing in ‘Defiance’, a factor which increases the viewers’ genuine interest in the show and its characters. The sets are spellbinding in the truest sets of the term. We hardly come across TV shows which pay such great attention to the art direction as it does here to the narrative.

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2. The 100 (2014-)

The concept of the Earth being an unsuitable place for existence in the near future is explored in ‘The 100‘, as it does in ‘The Expanse’. In the former series, humans have not managed to conquer other planets, but instead, have shifted base to space stations. As it happens on the earth, overpopulation soon becomes a huge challenge for humans, and to find another place to shift some of the people, these space stations send a group of 100 youngsters to check whether the earth is habitable. Hardly do they know of the unspeakable horrors waiting for them on earth, as the beloved Blue Planet has now become a land of savages who survive by distrust and violence. I urge you to watch this show if you haven’t already, for it enters into a land of philosophical murkiness which will really test your mental fortitude. After you’re done with the series, you’ll be left asking yourself questions which you never had earlier. ‘The 100’ is rather bold, stepping into territories hardly explored by any mainstream show.

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1. Killjoys (2015)

Killjoys‘, in a similar vein with ‘The Expanse’, is set in a world where humans live in multiple planets. With only one central government, it becomes quite a challenge to rule over such a vast territory, and to find a solution to this issue, the government has come up with an organization called the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC). The job of the RAC is to apprehend criminals who might disturb the peace in this four-planet civilization and bring them to justice. The story of ‘Killjoys’ centers around Dutch, John, and D’avin – three bounty hunters working for the RAC. The show depicts the several challenges they face in their job. ‘Killjoys’ is one of the most well-balanced sci-fi shows you will ever come across. Here you get enough doses of action, gunfights, drama, sci-fi gizmo, and emotional content which will keep you engaged throughout.

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