Building Foundations To More Shows
Adapted from the novels by American author Isaac Asimov, Foundation is an epic, lavishly produced sci-fi romp that spans multiple generations across various different worlds.
If you’ve finished watching this and are looking for alternate shows, fret not! We’ve combed through the archives and saved you the hassle of having to try and find something similar with our top 10 picks for alternate viewing.
To keep things simple for skim-readers we’ve added what similarities these have.
Of course for all the shows we’ve reviewed, we’ve also added a handy link so you can check out our full thoughts on that series and see if it’s something you want to invest your time with.
So without further ado, we present 10 TV shows that should whet the appetite when you’ve finished streaming Foundation.
Similarities – Epic sci-fi & Politics
When it comes to world-building, The Expanse is unrivaled. The show offers up a glimpse of a possible future where mankind has extended its reach beyond Earth to inhabit Mars and the surrounding asteroid belt.
With the story jumping between Earth, Mars and the Belt, some clever editing and a good attention to detail keeps the tension ticking away between the different characters. When that tension spills over into action, it brings with it one heck of a seismic shift.
To give much more away would be a disservice to this show but suffice to say The Expanse is one of the best sci-fi series out there and a must-watch.
Altered Carbon (Season 1)
From the opening scene through to its climactic finale, Altered Carbon’s world building and visual design is incredible.
The story follows Takeshi Kovacs, a man who awakens 250 years after his violent death to be hired by a company to investigate a man’s death. In exchange, he’s given the lucrative gift of freedom.
In this future, death for the rich results in switching consciousness to another “sleeve” (body) if you can afford it resulting in an interesting hierarchy between the rich and poor. Add clones and AI into the mix and Altered Carbon’s world is beautiful and incredibly engaging.
For All Mankind
Similarities – Space & Drama
One of AppleTV’s flagship series last year, For All Mankind is a show about a venture into space. The series builds off its character drama and impressive production design to deliver something that’s both wholly accessible and suitably melodramatic.
The story takes place in an alternative version of 1969, with the Soviet Union beating the United States to the Moon. The space race continues on for decades, with much grander challenges and goals.
Well written and lavishly produced, For All Mankind is arguably one of Apple’s best shows on the platform.
Similarities – Epic sci-fi
Planetes is a little-known anime that will absolutely scratch that Foundation-sized itch for epic sci-fi.
The year is 2075 and mankind as begun journeying between Earth, the moon and different space stations as part of daily life. However, this also has the knock-on effect of causing excess space debris which – if left unchecked – could cause massive damage to spacecrafts and equipment.
Naturally, a Debris Collecting section arises, fronted by Hachirota Hoshino, who welcomes a newcomer to the group called Ai Tannabe. What starts as a simple adventure soon becomes much more involving as the group uncover secrets that could change everything they once knew.
Beautifully presented and well-written, this one’s a must-watch.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Characters
Firefly is the quintessential cult hit. When it dropped in 2002, the show made big waves on FOX until its subsequent cancellation after the first season. That’s a shame because like Cowboy Bebop before it, Firefly manages to tap into that group dynamic to make for an enthralling watch.
Set 500 years in the future, Firefly follows the adventures of Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds, who is a former galactic war veteran. He’s also captain of the transport ship “Serenity”. Mal and his crew embark on various different jobs (legal or illegal) as they travel across the universe.
Well written and with some sharp dialogue, Firefly is great fun, despite its limited run.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Characters
Cowboy Bebop is one of the quintessential anime picks that sci-fi fans simply must check out. In its simplest form, the show revolves around a group of space-faring bounty hunters and the misadventures they find themselves wrapped up in.
The first episode ultimately sets the tone for the rest of the show, as two of our protagonists, Spike and Jet, pursue an outlaw who happens to be smuggling a reflex-enhancing drug. A gunfight breaks out, showing off the sci-fi and western influences that this show does so well to blend together.
Well-written and suitably epic, Cowboy Bebop is another must-watch.
Similarities – Sci-Fi & Mystery
Syfy’s 3 season mystery hit was abruptly cancelled back in 2017 – because of course it was! It’s a real shame too because this sci-fi series does a wonderful job with its mystery and characters.
There’s a constant sense of dread clinging to this one and plenty of twists and turns along the way. It’s best to go into this one blind but do be aware, the show does end without a clear resolution at the end of season 3. Despite that though, the ride there is undeniably entertaining.
For that alone, this is a show that’s worth checking out if you’re looking for a similar mystery box.
Game Of Thrones
Similarities – Fantasy & Different Timelines
Game Of Thrones will forever go down as the show that completely squandered its ending, falling flat on its face before the finish line. Despite its lacklustre final two seasons, the adaptations of books 2 and 3 in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic are must-watch seasons of TV.
For those unaware, Game Of Thrones takes place deep in the fictional realm of Westeros. Nine different noble families fight for control of the Iron Throne. While they do, a new threat in the East begins to stir in the form of the Targaryen princess, Daenerys.
While all this is going on, ancient enemies known as the White Walkers start to march south to The Wall, threatening certain doom unless the families can somehow learn to co-exist.
Featuring epic battles, incredible moments and one incredibly bad ending, Game Of Thrones is a must-watch for period drama and fantasy fans. If you can go in and expect a fan-fic ending, you should find enough to like with this one.
Similarities – Sci-fi & Story
Babylon 5 is arguably one of the closest shows to both Foundation and The Expanse’s lofty sci-fi adventures. Released back in 1993, it remains one of the best sci-fi offerings out there and a must-watch for anyone interested in sci-fi.
The story takes place in the mid 23rd century aboard the Earth Alliance space station, Babylon 5. This station happens to be a major focal point for political intrigue, racial tensions and various wars.
Babylon 5 is an amazing slice of sci-fi and despite its dated visual effects, stands the test of time thanks to strong writing.
Another sci-fi classic, Battlestar Galactica released just off the back of Star Wars becoming a cult phenomena in cinemas. As a result, the 1978 series has a lot in common with George Lucas’s spacefaring adventures. Ironically though, it’s the rebooted 2004 edition of Battlestar that feels more original than the 1978 version, with a lot more tonal consistency and leaning into the darker aspects of sci-fi.
The story pays homage to the original, as the story begins with an old enemy, the Cylons, appearing and obliterating the 12 colonies. The crew of the aged Galactica find themselves protecting a small civilian fleet, which happens to be the last of humanity’s hopes. They’re off on a journey toward the fabled 13th colony – Earth.
Of course, the story goes a lot deeper than that, with lots of subplots and political intrigue, but split across four seasons, there’s a lot to like with this one.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished watching Foundation on AppleTV.
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!