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8 Shows Like The Expanse to Watch Now That The Expanse Is Over

From classics like Fringe to hidden gems like Counterpart

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Sadie Gennis
Nadine Nicole, The Expanse

Nadine Nicole, The Expanse

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video's sci-fi epic The Expanse recently came to a close after six ambitious seasons. The show adapted pseudonymous author duo James S.A. Corey's novel series, and intelligently imagined a future where humans colonized the Solar System, culminating in a war between the Inner Planets (Earth and Mars) and the Outer Planets. The final season adapted the sixth book of the novel series, but there are nine books so far, so there's plenty more story to tell if The Expanse ever returns — and the show ended in a way that leaves the possibility open, not that Amazon has any plans for more... yet. But hey, you never know. No one thought The Expanse would return after it was canceled the first time, but it came back because Jeff Bezos wanted to see how the story ended. 

Now that The Expanse Season 6 is over, it's time to start something new. There are plenty of other shows like The Expanse that can help fill the void. We've curated a list of other TV shows that feature great sci-fi storytelling, complex political maneuvering, and bleak moral quandaries. If you like The Expanse, these are the shows you should watch next.  

 Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love, as well as suggestions for what to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime VideoHulu, Disney+, HBO MaxApple TV+, and Peacock.


Foundation

Jared Harris, Foundation

Jared Harris, Foundation

Apple TV+

The Expanse is about as hard as hard sci-fi gets: a world full of complicated politics, strange foreign objects with unknown powers, heroes rising to the occasion, and vast expanses of space. Check all those boxes and then some with Apple TV+'s Foundation, based on Isaac Asimov's famous novels. The series has many themes which resonate with today, including a debate over science versus faith as a mathematician who created a model that predicts the fall of the ruling class is banished to the outer reaches of the universe, even as his predictions begin to come true. Like The Expanse, you might want to take notes about who is who early on as the world is splendidly crafted with a deep history, but it's a rewarding show for those who pay attention, and it boasts some of the best effects on TV. -Allison Picurro


Dark

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Louis Hofmann, Dark

Julia Terjung / Netflix

If you love The Expanse's willingness to trust its audience to follow complex stories across different worlds, then this German drama is going to be perfect for you. Set in the small town of Winden, Dark follows four interconnected families caught up in a tangled web of secrets, mysteries, and time travel. This Netflix Original is famous for being one of the most confusing shows to follow, but the meticulously plotted series is well worth the effort it takes to untangle the timelines and family trees.


Fringe

Fringe

Fringe

FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

This J.J. Abrams-produced series is a great pick for when you want something with a deep sci-fi mythology, but isn't so dense that you have to strain your brain keeping up with all the intricate storytelling. Fringe follows a team of experts — including FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv), kooky scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), and Walter's estranged son Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) — as they investigate fringe cases that can't be explained through normal means (very much like in The X-Files). But this isn't a straightforward procedural; the Fox drama becomes more serialized as it goes on, exploring the layered mysteries surrounding a parallel universe and the impact these revelations have on the show's core cast of characters. 


Vikings

Alexander Ludwig, Vikings

Alexander Ludwig, Vikings

Amazon Studios

Though Vikings is the only show on this list without any sci-fi elements, it has a lot in common with The Expanse. It's just that instead of exploring the tribalism between dueling factions of people across space in the future, it's focused on those between dueling factions of people across Europe in medieval times. The History Channel drama is all about exploring new worlds, battles to determine sovereignty, political machinations, and examining how societies need to adapt if they hope to survive through changing times. Sound familiar enough?


Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

Justin Stephens/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Considered one of the greatest sci-fi series of all time, Battlestar Galactica is often the space drama all other space dramas get measured against. Set at a time when the last remnants of humanity are on the run from alien robots, known as Cylons, Battlestar Galactica raises questions about who deserves to survive while also exploring the difficulties of bridging prejudices to secure a better future. And like in The Expanse, the Ronald D. Moore show loves to present its characters with difficult decisions where there's no easy answer. So if your favorite part of The Expanse is the way it explores issues from all sides and forces our heroes into morally tough spots again and again, let Battlestar Galactica present a whole new set of moral conundrums for you to ponder over. 


Raised by Wolves

Amanda Collin, Raised by Wolves

Amanda Collin, Raised by Wolves

Coco Van Oppens

For those looking for another sci-fi series with a lot of things to say and a willingness to take big narrative risks, Raised by Wolves is here to entertain and befuddle you. The Ridley Scott drama tells the story of a pair of androids tasked with saving humanity by raising children on a virgin world, but when some religious fanatics seek refuge on the planet violent tensions between the two camps takes root. Questions about parenting, religion, and humanity fuel the show's out-there storytelling that, while not always executed perfectly, is impressive for its ambition alone. It's also a lot weirder than The Expanse, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. 


Counterpart

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J.K. Simmons, Counterpart

Starz

When it comes to delivering shocking twists, Counterpart gives The Expanse a run for its money. This Starz espionage thriller, which was unfortunately canceled after two seasons, follows a low-level government employee (J.K. Simmons) who discovers that a past event split the world into two parallel universes, and that the two worlds are now approaching war against each other. While The Expanse explores war and politics across the galaxy, Counterpart has a tighter focus but delivers just as powerful results. It's a twisty, smartly plotted series that weaves together the best aspects of sci-fi and spy dramas to create something wholly unique. 


Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Like The Expanse, Orphan Black is propelled by various conspiracies and competing clandestine parties with pointed agendas. But in this show, instead of an ice hauler crew who gets caught in the crosshairs, it's a group of clones (all played by Tatiana Maslany). This sci-fi thriller is action-packed and features great character work, all while raising important questions about the moral and ethical implications of human cloning and threats to reproductive rights. For anyone who is morbidly fascinated by the way profit and progress for few is prioritized over the common good in The Expanse, they'll find similar bleakly relatable themes in this BBC America drama.