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Top 10 Gritty Sci-Fi Series Like Doctor Who

Updated on June 25, 2020
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Rahul is a TV addict who can never get enough of good shows. His all-time favorites are 'The Wire', 'Breaking Bad', and 'The Sopranos.'

There are two ways to deal with the “Doctor Who” shaped hole in your heart. Either endure the cravings or look for other TV shows like Doctor Who to keep you going till the show comes back. If you ask me, the latter sounds much better. Doctor Who is the absolute best. We know that. Still, take a look at some other series are worth feasting your eyes upon -

Dead Set

Dead Set takes place on the fictional set of “Big Brother”. A zombie outbreak occurs, but those inside the house don’t have the slightest of idea about what’s going on. Things get interesting soon enough.

It’s impossible to produce a zombie flick that feels original. There have been tons of movies, comics and TV shows related to apocalypse. We have seen everything. “Dead Set” is no different. The tried and tested formula works here as well. But hear me out; this is an amazing TV show like Doctor Who. The idea of a zombie outbreak amidst a reality TV show is nothing new, but this flick brings a different angle to this whole thing. The dark humor here is priceless, making you chuckle at odd times. It’s a well-written TV show where you’d want everyone to come out unscathed.

Sherlock - A show similar to Doctor Who

Sherlock is the obvious answer to a TV show like Doctor Who. The show features a similar style and the same writer.

The only thing I can say about this modern remake is, give it a chance. Yes, a lot of modern remakes tend to go awry, but not this one. It’s entertaining, witty and most importantly, clever throughout.

The technique of deduction is just fascinating to watch. Only someone of Holmes’ caliber can do it. They couldn’t have picked up a better guy to portray as Dr. Holmes. Cumberbatch does justice to his character. Yes, he doesn’t match the original picture, but who cares.

The story is full of turns and twists that keep you on the edge all the time. Armed with cotemporary gadgets like smartphone and laptops, Holmes is a nightmare for criminals. I was kind of disappointed in the beginning. The show doesn’t start the way I thought it would, taking a different route. This is what, however, cements Sherlock’s place as one of the best TV shows like Doctor Who.

Misfits – One of the must-watch TV shows like Doctor Who

The plot revolves around a bunchy of juveniles doing community service for minor crimes. Things take a different turn when a strange lighting strikes them, giving them different superpowers.

Some people might overlook this TV show considering it a re-skin of another popular show “Heroes”. “Misfits”, however, doesn’t suffer from the same flaws “Heroes” did. We’re not talking about super-good looking teens here. They’re average, likeable and genuine – someone a majority of people can relate to. Yes, plotline is a bit predictable at times, but you can never guess how things are going to run out in net couple of episodes. There is always something unprecedented and unpredictable right on the corner. You never know what to expect.

Remember, it’s a British drama. There is a lot more rough sex, foul language and obscenity than you’re used to seeing from American dramas. I watched the first couple of episodes just out of boredom, and I was instantly hooked. Its dark, wicked sense of humor grows on you slowly. A must-watch TV!

Blake’s 7

The plot revolves around a couple of outcasts and convicts, who fight an evil federation in a bid to save the Earth.

Blake 7 is one of the most underrated British sci-fi dramas of all time. The plotline moves steadily, stage by stage, leading up to a brilliant finale. The first few episodes take some time to build up the plot, introduce us to the characters, and up the stakes. Once it gets going, though, it never lets up.

This show never got the audience it deserved. They never got a wide airing in US. Grab it if you can still find it somewhere.

The Fades

Paul is a normal teenager like every other person his age. It’s his gift of seeing dead, lingering souls that haunt him. When one the souls find a way to come back to life again, Paul sets out on a quest to prevent an impending apocalypse. He must stop them from becoming human beings again before it’s too late.

I believe that “The Fades” have raised the bar for British sci-fi shows. With just the right mixture of sci-fi, horror and drama, “The Fades” has cemented its place as a must-watch TV show like Doctor Who.

Some people compare it to BBC’s other successful TV show – Being Human. The comparison, however, is unfair. Just because the same network produced both these shows, it doesn’t give us any ground to compare them with each other. Both shows packed a lot of great lore into them, hooking audiences up till the end.

Game of Thrones – One of the most popular TV shows like Doctor Who

Where to start with this show? The mysterious, marvelous world of Westeros is one of the most dangerous places on earth to live. Dragons, White Walkers, and most dangerous of them all, over-ambitious human beings – The world of Game of Thrones is sure as hell pretty, but not the place you’d wanna live.

With eyes on the iron throne, everyone is playing games with each other in a bid to be the ultimate ruler. It’s all about the power and money. And with deadly winter just around the corner, which always brings undead creatures with it, things are only going to get worse for them.

Based on the novel series of the same name, “Game of Thrones” is a brutal, and at times, suffocating, mythical tale of seven kingdoms that suck you in into its beautiful world. There is a lot of back stabbing, brutalism, and nudity. Being on HBO allows the producers to flex their creative muscles. And you can see in the production values. It’s top notch.

Some of the battle scenes are jaw-dropping. With every single episode costing millions to make, this show is easily one of the most expensive to produce. But the popularity and craze amongst the audience keeps it going. Not to mention, “Game of Thrones” has taken the throne of being the most pirated TV show for 4 straight years now. The numbers alone are testimony to the fact that “Game of Thrones” is one of the best fantasy TV shows like “Doctor Who”.

You have 5 seasons of 10 episodes each to catch up on before the 6th season begins airing. Once you get going, it’s almost impossible not to devour one episode after another in tandem.

Battlestar Galactica (2004)

BSG is probably one of the best sci-fi shows ever made. It makes you question the human nature. How far is too far? What makes us human? These are some of the questions this show tackles heads on.

The plot revolves around humans and robots tangled in a war. The desire for the survival keeps them going, and the very facts that differentiates us from robots, begin to fade. The cast is huge, buy they have done an amazing job with their roles. Similarly, due credit must be given to some awesome cinematography and direction. There are tons of breath-halting plotlines, twists and turns you won’t be prepared for. This is going to be one hell of a ride. Tie up your seat belts and enjoy this gem of a sci-fi show like “Doctor Who”.

Black Mirror - One of the best shows like Doctor Who

Have you ever imagined how things would turn out if all the modern gadgets and technologies made to assist us, starting working the other way around? It already happens to some of us.

Black Mirror, a British sci-fi drama, mocks the modern society we live in. It shows how the very same technology we use every day, work against us. Most of the episodes are filled with dark humor that makes you chuckle at times you shouldn’t be.

Each episode tells a totally different story with different protagonist and theme. Of course, it only focuses on negative aspects of the technology, looking at everything cynically. Where is the fun in exploring beneficial trends anyway? Don’t we know that already? Unique and highly recommended. A show that makes you think about the way of living. One of the best British shows like Doctor Who to ever air on TV.

Life on Mars

The plot revolves around Sam Tayler, a 2006 policeman, who suddenly finds himself teleported back to 1973 after a car accident. He wakes up wearing 70s clothes, not remembering much. Coping with a new timeline, totally new people, and crimes of past, he tries to get back home.

If you’re sick of brain-dead show, and want something more substantive, this is the show you’re looking for.

Orphan Black - One of the best BBC TV shows like Doctor Who

Clones, mind-bending storylines, high level conspiracies, and some high-voltage drama – “Orphan Black” has every ingredient for a perfect “Doctor Who” replacement recipe.

If you’re tired of your usual soaps, you’re in for a treat. It’s innovative, intriguing and filled with twist at every. Well, we’re not talking The-Sixth-Sense twist here, but it’s better than save-the-humanity-from-aliens storyline.

Tatiana Maslany has a big job in hand to play as 12 different women, all of them having different personality and tastes. And she has done an amazing job with it. You can see the difference in the dressing styles and accents. Well done!

It’s one of the most original shows like “Doctor Who” on TV right now. Give it a shot.


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