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7 Shows Like Netflix's 3 Body Problem

Finding a new sci-fi series to enjoy won't be a problem

Liam Mathews
Eiza González, Jess Hong, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo, and Alex Sharp, 3 Body Problem

Eiza González, Jess Hong, Saamer Usmani, Jovan Adepo, and Alex Sharp, 3 Body Problem

Ed Miller/Netflix

The epic new sci-fi thriller 3 Body Problem is one of Netflix's biggest shows of the year. It hails from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and The Terror: Infamy creator Alexander Woo and is based on a bestselling book series by novelist Liu Cixin. It's a heady mix of physics, politics, and spirituality featuring stellar special effects and gripping plot. It's the kind of show you blow through quickly because you want to find out what happens next and are still thinking about days later for its ideas and imagery. 

If you're looking for more shows that will give you a similar feeling, we've rounded up seven shows like 3 Body Problem. Our list features hard sci-fi (or at least sci-fi as hard as TV will allow), mind-expanding sci-fi mysteries, alien invasions, and more. Put on your immersive VR headset with technology so advanced that it shouldn't exist and get to streaming! 

More recommendations:


Nick Offerman and Sonoya Mizuno, Devs

Nick Offerman and Sonoya Mizuno, Devs

Raymond Liu/FX

Auteur filmmaker Alex Garland (Ex Machina, the upcoming Civil War) tried his hand at television with this underrated FX limited series. It stars Sonoya Mizuno as a software engineer at an Apple-like tech company called Amaya whose boyfriend dies shortly after he starts working for a top-secret project called Devs. As she searches for answers, she discovers shocking secrets about the company and reality itself. 3 Body Problem fans will love this show, as it's another thought-provoking sci-fi mystery thriller with striking visuals and thematic complexity.      


Louis Hofmann, Dark

Louis Hofmann, Dark

Julia Terjung/Netflix

If you're looking for another sci-fi show with an elaborate, time-hopping plot and heavy, philosophical themes, check out Dark, Netflix's first German series and one of its best shows ever. The three-season series follows four families who are all connected to a mysterious wormhole in their town that allows people to travel through time. Getting into more detail than that would be both spoiling and confusing, so we'll leave it at that. But if you want a trippy sci-fi show that feels emotionally and somehow scientifically plausible, Dark will do it for you. It even has a countdown to an apocalyptic event, just like 3 Body Problem

The Expanse

Amos Burton, Nadine Nicole, Frankie Adams, Steven Strait, and Dominique Tipper, The Expanse

Amos Burton, Nadine Nicole, Frankie Adams, Steven Strait, and Dominique Tipper, The Expanse

Amazon Studios

It's hard to watch 3 Body Problem and not wonder if The Expanse was an influence. Like 3 Body Problem, The Expanse is a dense, complex sci-fi thriller with a large ensemble cast and a potent visual identity based on a well-regarded novel series (The Expanse, by pseudonymous authors James S.A. Corey). Set in a future where humanity has colonized the solar system and brought its political conflicts with it, the series follows individuals vying for power and/or trying to maintain peace among various groups while simultaneously facing an alien threat. It ran for six seasons on Syfy and Prime Video and ended in 2022. 


Nedra Marie Taylor and Shamier Anderson, Invasion

Nedra Marie Taylor and Shamier Anderson, Invasion

Apple TV+

3 Body Problem is Netflix's epic-budgeted alien invasion series. Invasion is Apple TV+'s. The globetrotting, special effects-heavy series from creators Simon Kinberg and David Weil follows different people all over the world as they react to an alien invasion as it's happening. The sprawling international cast is led by Golshifteh Farahani, Shamier Anderson, and Shioli Kutsuna. Be forewarned that the first season feels like setup and the story doesn't really kick into gear until Season 2, but both seasons offer plenty of spectacle. A third season is in the works.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters  

Anna Sawai, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Anna Sawai, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Apple TV+

It's not exactly an alien invasion, as Godzilla comes from the deep, not from beyond the stars, but this well-crafted TV extension of the MonsterVerse film franchise otherwise has a lot in common with 3 Body Problem. It features thrilling action, a large ensemble cast, and events unfolding over multiple timelines. It lacks some of 3 Body Problem's intensity and hard sci-fi rigor, but fans may still find plenty to enjoy in Monarch. Shōgun's Anna Sawai stars as the daughter of a presumed-dead Japanese American scientist; she goes looking for answers about who he really was and discovers a vast conspiracy spanning across decades. Her journey leads her to Lee Shaw, an army colonel who goes way, way back with her family. Shaw is played by Kurt Russell in the present and by Russell's son Wyatt Russell in the past, which should be enough to make genre fans want to watch this. 

The Terror: Infamy 

The Terror: Infamy

The Terror: Infamy

Ed Araquel/AMC

Alexander Woo is the least famous member of 3 Body Problem's showrunner troika. His biggest project before 3BP was Infamy, the second season of AMC's acclaimed horror anthology The Terror. Infamy is set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II that's haunted by a ghost that followed the Nakayama family across the ocean from the old country. If you watch it, you may suspect that a good portion of 3 Body Problem's emotion comes from Woo. 

Scavengers Reign 

Scavengers Reign

Scavengers Reign


This pick is the most different from 3 Body Problem — and everything else on this list — but if you're looking for super-smart, off-the-beaten-path sci-fi, check out this pretty incredible adult animated series. The series, from creators Joseph Bennett and Charles Huettner, follows the crew of a cargo spaceship who have been scattered across different parts of a planet after their ship crashed. They face dangers and surprises as they try to get back to the ship. There's something about the character dynamics of the crew, who are separated for most of the season, that feels a little bit similar to the Oxford Five, and something else about how thoughtful and scientifically considered it feels. And the animation is cool and the performances are great, so it's a hidden gem we'd recommend to any sci-fi fan. 

3 Body Problem Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.