Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, Westworld aired in October 2016; the creators of the SciFi series built on the film of the same name but took it to a whole new level with simulated perceptions. A world where the guests can experience eras we’ve only read about in the pages of history works. But it gets better than that; this is a realm where humans can live out their deepest desires or darkest fantasies without any repercussions – a playground for adults.
Starring Thandiwe Newton (as Maeve Millay), Jeffrey Wright (as Bernard Lowe), Ed Harris (as Man in Black), and Evan Rachel Wood (as Dolores Abernathy).
The Westworld film was written and directed by Michael Crichton in 1973. The 70s production starred Yul Brynner (as Gunslinger), Richard Benjamin (as Peter Martin), and James Brolin (as John Blane). Benjamin and Brolin pay for the experience of a lifetime in a fictitious world full of humanoids free of consequences.
The Westworld series has won 9 Emmy awards out of 54 nominations including, Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series (2017 and 2018), Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program (2018), Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) (2017 and 2018), Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series (2018), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (2017), Outstanding Special Visual Effects (2017), and Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media within a Scripted Program (2017).
Season four of the show will premiere in 2022; the date has not yet been confirmed, but filming began in June 2020. So, if you want to kill some time waiting for the new season, here are 30 shows similar to Westworld to keep you busy and entertained.
30 TV Shows Like Westworld
From creators Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley, Humans aired in 2015 and ended in 2018. The three seasons starred Katherine Parkinson (as Laura Hawkins), Gemma Chan (as Mia/Anita), Lucy Carless (as Mattie Hawkins), and Tom Goodman-Hill (as Joe Hawkins).
In combination with the Westworld film and series (robots vs. artificial feeling), Humans give its viewers a chance to experience androids in a domestic setup where the robot servants can think and feel like humans. The AMC’s Humans is based on Äkta människor (Real Humans), a Swedish drama series.
2. Almost Human
Created by J.H. Wyman, Almost Human aired in 2013 and starred Karl Urban (as Detective John Kennex), Michael Ealy (as Dorian), and Minka Kelly (as Detective Valerie Stahl). Much to our disappointment, the series was canceled after just one season and aired the last episode in 2014.
Keeping with the AI theme, Almost Human follows the lives of a human cop and an android partner as they fight crime. The science fiction series was nominated for an Emmy award in 2014.
3. Altered Carbon
Created by Laeta Kalogridis, the first episode of Altered Carbon was released in February 2018 and the last in February 2020. The series starred Joel Kinnaman (as Takeshi Kovacs), Chris Conner (as Poe), Renée Elise Goldsberry (as Quellcrist Falconer), and Dichen Lachman (as Reileen Kawahara).
The seduction of immortality and technological advances gives humans the ability to live forever. When a prisoner’s essence is installed into a new body, he is tasked with solving a complicated murder. Altered Carbon was nominated for two Emmy awards in 2018.
Created by Brad Wright, Travelers aired in 2016 and starred Eric McCormack (as Grant MacLaren), MacKenzie Porter (as Marcy Warton), Nesta Cooper (as Carly Shannon), and Jared Abrahamson (as Trevor Holden). The series ended in 2018 after three seasons.
In another plot involving the transfer of consciousness, travelers are sent back to the present to save humanity. Taking over the lives and bodies of people, follow the travelers on their mission to fix the mistakes that could one day end the world.
5. Raised By Wolves
Created by Aaron Guzikowski, Raised By Wolves aired in 2020 starring Travis Fimmel (as Marcus), Amanda Collin (as Mother), Abubakar Salim (as Father), and Winta McGrath (as Campion).
A great war destroys Earth, and the only hope for the human race to survive lies on the only planet that can sustain human life. Androids were assigned to raise human children on Kepler 22B, but they face a human enemy who believes that the children need to live among their kind. The production for season two of the mind-bending sci-fi/fantasy started earlier in 2021.
6. Electric Dreams
An anthology series based on the works of Philip K. Dick, Electric Dreams produced ten standalone episodes that were aired in 2017. As each episode explored a different plot, cast members changed with each installment. The episodes that best fit in the Westworld theme are episodes 1 and 4.
Episode 1 (Real Live) is based on “Exhibit Piece” and starred Anna Paquin (as Sarah), Terrence Howard (as George), Rachelle Lefevre (as Katie), Lara Pulver (as Paula), Sam Witwer (as Chris), Guy Burnet (as Collins), and Jacob Vargas (as Mario). A complex plot of present vs. future and the quest for reality.
Episode 4 (Crazy Diamond) is based on “Sales Pitch” and starred Steve Buscemi (as Ed Morris), Sidse Babett Knudsen (as Jill), Julia Davis (as Sally Morris), Lucian Msamati (as The Director), Joanna Scanlan (as Su), and Michael Socha (as Noah). The episode follows a dying android’s quest to extend her life with the help of an employee of the production company.
Developed for TV by Bridget Carpenter, 11.22.63 aired in 2016 and starred James Franco (as Jake Epping), Daniel Webber (as Lee Harvey Oswald), Chris Cooper (as Al Templeton), and Sarah Gadon (as Sadie Dunhill).
The mini-series is based on the novel of the same name, written by Stephen King. On the past, present, and future theme, an English teacher travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination.
Created by Pedro Aguilera, 3% was released in 2016 and run for 4 seasons until it ended in 2020. The sci-fi series starred Bianca Comparato (as Michele Santana), Vaneza Oliveira (as Joana Coelho), Rodolfo Valente (as Rafael Moreira), and Zezé Motta (as Nair).
The show takes virtual reality a step further by creating a cybernetic island where only the elite are welcome. The rest of the inland residents are left in destitution. Young adults are allowed a chance to gain access to “nirvana” through the Process – a series of tests that only accepts the leading 3%. (Note: if you happen to understand Portuguese, that would be helpful, or you’ll have to settle for reading the subtitles.)
From creators Eric Kripke and Shawn Ryan, Timeless was released in 2016 and run for only two seasons. Unfortunately, a third season was not in the books for this series; however, a two-part finale tied up loose ends. Timeless starred Abigail Spencer (as Lucy Preston), Matt Lanter (as Wyatt Logan), Malcolm Barrett (as Rufus Carlin), Paterson Joseph (as Connor Mason), and Goran Visnjic (as Garcia Flynn).
After a time-hopping terrorist travels back in time to change the outcome of major historical events, a history professor (Preston), army sergeant (Logan), and the time machine pilot (Carlin) is tasked with making sure that history remains unchanged.
Created by Justin Marks, Counterpart was released in 2017 and ended after two seasons. The show starred J.K. Simmons (as Howard Silk), Olivia Williams (as Emily Burton Silk), Harry Lloyd (as Peter Quayle), and Nazanin Boniadi (as Clare Quayle).
During a secret cold war with a parallel universe, Silk meets his counterpart, a spy for the “other side” tasked with preventing active conflict between the two Earths. The series won the 2018 Emmy award for Outstanding Main Title Design.
Created by J. Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, and Lilly Wachowski, Sense8 aired in 2015. It starred Bae Doona (as Sun Bak), Jamie Clayton (as Nomi Marks), Tina Desai (as Kala Dandekar), Max Riemelt (as Wolfgang Bogdanow), Tuppence Middleton (as Riley Blue), Miguel Ángel Silvestre (as Lito Rodriguez), Brian J. Smith (as Will Gorski), and Toby Onwumere (as Capheus Onyango).
Eight strangers across the world are suddenly connected through extrasensory perception (telepathy). The show follows the individuals as they form a group and fight to survive attacks from the forces who want to destroy them.
From creators J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci, Fringe was released in 2008 and run for five seasons. The sci-fi show starred Anna Torv (as Olivia Dunham), Joshua Jackson (as Peter Bishop), Jasika Nicole (as Astrid Farnsworth), and John Noble (as Dr. Walter Bishop).
Dunham, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, works with Dr. Bishop and his estranged son in the agencies’ fringe division. While investigating unconventional cases of science mishaps, they discover various personal connections and a parallel universe.
13. The 100
Created by Jason Rothenberg, The 100 aired in 2014 and starred Eliza Taylor (as Clarke Griffin), Marie Avgeropoulos (as Octavia Blake), Bob Morley (as Bellamy Blake), Lindsey Morgan (as Raven Reyes), and Richard Harmon (as John Murphy).
After a nuclear war destroyed the Earth more than ninety years ago, a hundred young prisoners were sent back to Earth from space to determine if the only home to humanity is habitable once more.
14. Under the Dome
Based on the novel written by Stephen King and created by Brian K. Vaughan, Under the Dome aired from 2013 to 2015 (3 seasons). It starred Mike Vogel (as Dale ‘Barbie’ Barbara), Dean Norris (as James ‘Big Jim’ Rennie), Colin Ford (as Joe McAlister), Rachelle Lefevre (as Julia Shumway), and Alexander Koch (as James ‘Junior’ Rennie).
The series follows the town of Chester’s Mill that has been cut off from the rest of the world by a mysterious dome. After the military fails to free the town’s people, they are left to find a way out of the invincible shield as the rest of the world left them to their own dwindling devices.
From the creators Graeme Manson and Josh Friedman, Snowpiercer was released in 2020. The series will return for a fourth season. Starring Daveed Diggs (as Andre Layton), Jennifer Connelly (as Melanie Cavill), Iddo Goldberg (as Bennett Knox), Mickey Sumner (as Bess Till), and Alison Wright (as Ruth Wardell).
In fear of global warming destroying the planet, humanity constructed a plan that did not exactly go as planned and triggered an ice age. A train made up of 1001 cars that circles the Earth holds the last survivors of humanity.
16. Black Mirror
Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror aired in 2011 and has released five seasons to date (at this point, there is no certainty if the show will return for another season). The anthology sci-fi series features new characters in each episode that closely follows the style of the Twilight Zone, but with a modern twist of the various ways that technology can destroy our lives.
The film following the Black Mirror series, Bandersnatch (2018), had won two Emmy awards in 2019 for Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program and Outstanding Television Movie.
From the creators J.J. Abrams, Jeffrey Lieber, and Damon Lindelof, Lost aired in 2004 and run for six seasons. It starred Jorge Garcia (as Hugo ‘Hurley’ Reyes), Josh Holloway (as James ‘Sawyer’ Ford), Yunjin Kim (as Sun-Hwa Kwon), Evangeline Lilly (as Kate Austen), and Terry O’Quinn (as John Locke).
When Flight 815 crashed onto an uninhabited island, the survivors hope to be rescued but soon realize that no one is coming for them and they will have to depend on each other for the sake of survival. However, the island might not be as deserted as they first believed.
Lost has won ten Emmy awards, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series (2005 and 2010), Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series (2007 and 2009), Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (2008), Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series (2005), Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (2005), Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series (2005) Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series (2005), and Outstanding Drama Series (2005).
Created by Ryan J. Condal and Carlton Cuse, Colony aired in 2016 and ran for three seasons. The series starred Josh Holloway (as Will Bowman), Sarah Wayne Callies (as Katie Bowman), Peter Jacobson (as Alan Snyder), and Tory Kittles (as Broussard).
After mysterious alien forces occupy Los Angeles, families are broken up during the invasion, with some stuck in LA and some outside the city bounds. One family, in particular, is not ready to pick a side and attempts to reunite with their son at all costs.
Created by Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Dollhouse was released in 2009 and ended in 2010 after only two seasons. It starred Eliza Dushku (as Echo), Harry Lennix (as Boyd Langton), Fran Kranz (as Topher Brink), Dichen Lachman (as Sierra), and Enver Gjokaj (as Victor).
A secret organization that caters to the wealthy’s various needs develops the perfect contractors by wiping the memories from their assets and installing new personas for each job. Echo, one of the assets, gradually regains her memories and heads on a quest to piece together her real identity.
Created by Greg Daniels, Upload aired in 2020, the series has been renewed for a second season, and fans are patiently waiting for the announcement on the release date. Starring Robbie Amell (as Nathan Brown), Andy Allo (as Nora Antony), Zainab Johnson (as Aleesha), and Kevin Bigley (as Luke).
The show gives the sci-fi world a comedic twist as it follows a man who uploads his consciousness into a digital afterlife before he died.
21. The Expanse
Based on the novels of James S. A. Corey, The Expanse aired in 2015, with five seasons to date, with the final season waiting on a release date. The sci-fi show stars Wes Chatham (as Amos Burton), Dominique Tipper (as Naomi Nagata), Steven Strait (as Jim Holden), and Shohreh Aghdashloo (as Chrisjen Avasarala).
Earth and Mars are headed towards war after humans have occupied the solar system. If that doesn’t seem compelling enough, the investigation into the disappearance of a young woman might reveal the juiciest in scheme history.
22. Stranger Things
From creators Matt and Ross Duffer, Stranger Things aired in 2016 with three seasons to date – fans are hopeful of setting eyes on season four in 2022. The series stars Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), David Harbour (as Jim Hopper), Finn Wolfhard (as Mike Wheeler), Millie Bobby Brown (as Eleven), and Gaten Matarazzo (as Dustin Henderson).
Following the disappearance of a young boy, the investigation into the case opens a world of paranormal forces that nobody knew existed.
Stranger Things has won seven Emmy awards, Outstanding Sound Editing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (2018 and 2020), Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music (2017), Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (2017), Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series (2017), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (2017), and Outstanding Main Title Design (2017).
Created by Daniel Knauf, Carnivàle aired in 2003 and ran for just two seasons. It starred Michael J. Anderson (as Samson), Adrienne Barbeau (as Ruthie), Clancy Brown (as Brother Justin Crowe), Debra Christofferson (as Lila), and Tim DeKay (as Clayton ‘Jonesy’ Jones).
The fantasy series forgoes the technological age and follows the lives of two men in 1934 Oklahoma, who discover that one is a creature of light and the other of darkness being used as proxies in a war between Heaven and Hell.
24. The Leftovers
Created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers is based on the novel of the same name written by Tom Perrotta. The fantasy/mystery series aired in 2014 and starred Justin Theroux (as Kevin Garvey), Amy Brenneman (as Laurie Garvey), Christopher Eccleston (as Matt Jamison), and Chris Zylka (as Tom Garvey).
Two percent of the world’s population seems insignificant until you run the numbers. After 150 million people vanish from the Earth, the people left behind have to deal with the aftermath and come to terms with the phenomenon.
Created by Rockne S. O’Bannon, Farscape aired in 1999 and ended in 2003; the classic series starred Ben Browder (as John Crichton), Claudia Black (as Officer Aeryn Sun), Anthony Simcoe (as Ka D’Argo), and Lani John Tupu (as Pilot).
During a test flight on Farscape One (an innovative space module), Crichton is pulled into a wormhole and thrown into an unknown and distant part of the galaxy, and right into a battle between spaceships.
26. Locke & Key
From creators Meredith Averill, Aron Eli Coleite, and Carlton Cuse, Lock & Key aired in 2020 and will return for a second season in October 2021. The show stars Darby Stanchfield (as Nina Locke), Connor Jessup (as Tyler Locke), Emilia Jones (as Kinsey Locke), and Jackson Robert Scott (as Bode Locke).
The show follows the Locke family after the death of their father. The family moves to Keyhouse, the ancestral home of the Locke generations, and discovers that the house is full of magical powers which unlock with keys.
27. The Nevers
Created by Joss Whedon, The Nevers was released in April 2021, with only six episodes airing in 2021; season one (episode 7) will continue in 2022. Starring Laura Donnelly (as Amalia True), Ann Skelly (as Penance Adair), Olivia Williams (as Lavinia Bidlow), Tom Riley (as Augustus ‘Augie’ Bidlow), and James Norton (as Hugo Swan).
Set in Victorian London, the show follows people with unusual abilities and the people looking to exploit or snuff the “Touched”. The Nevers was nominated in 2021 for Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Single Episode.
From creators Anne Bjørnstad and Eilif Skodvin, Beforeigners aired in 2019 and staring Nicolai Cleve Broch (as Lars Haaland), Krista Kosonen (as Alfhildr Enginsdottir), and Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir (as Urd).
After mysterious flashes of light, the past comes back to the present. People from various ages and stages in history appear in the present day. The Beforeingers have to adapt to the new era, but seven years after the incident, a woman from the Stone Age is murdered. (The Norwegian show is available with English subtitles.)
Created Pedro Aguilera (3%), Omniscient was released in 2020 and stars Carla Salle (Nina Peixoto), Sandra Corveloni (as Judite Almeida), Jonathan Haagensen (as Vinícius Moreira), and Guilherme Prates (as Daniel Peixoto).
In a society where citizens are monitored around the clock by drones, crime barely exists. When a young woman finds her father murdered, she will stop at nothing to find out who is responsible for his death and why the drone never reported the murder. (The Brazilian series is available with English subtitles.)
30. Love, Death & Robots
Created by Tim Miller, Love, Death & Robots is an animated anthology series that aired in 2019 with a third season on the horizon. Each installment covers a different plot; you will find a little bit of everything mixed throughout the episodes, sci-fi, fantasy, crime, romance, and robots.
The New York Times: The Screen: ‘Westworld’:Robots and Fantasies in Film by Crichton The Cast