More Post-Apocalyptic Tales
Station Eleven is the latest post-apocalyptic fare on HBO Max. Adapted from the novel of the same name, this artistically crafted series spans across multiple timelines – and it’s certainly a bit of a love/hate affair!
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 Station Eleven.
Similarities – Virus Wipes Out The World
Stephen King’s epic novel remains one of his best pieces of work, a sprawling post-apocalyptic romp that surpasses the brilliance of IT.
For those unaware, the story revolves around a deadly plague outbreak that kills most of the world’s population. For those left over, they’re split into two distinct groups. One that’s led by the maniacal malevolent being known as Randall and the others guided by a wise elder called Mother Theresa. This essentially sets up a massive war to rage between the two sides.
This 1994 miniseries still holds up to this day and is miles better than the pale imitation of a remake released in 2020. This one’s another must-watch folks!
To The Lake
Similarities – Surviving
To The Lake feels like a mash-up between the latter half of 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead Season 1. The human drama is tense, the characters nicely developed and the dystopian world is bleak and unforgiving.
It’s refreshing in some ways to find a series like this with such a controlled dose of dread without going overboard. This plays out much closer to a character-driven commentary about the selfishness and paranoia hidden away in all of us.
All the while, this is back-dropped by an eerily similar viral outbreak not unlike what we’re facing right now (minus the crazy eyes).
War of the Worlds (2019)
Similarities – People banding together
War of the Worlds has been remade and revamped numerous times but this Anglo-French reimagining of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic is probably the closest to Invasion.
Set in France, the show takes inspiration from The Walking Dead, following pockets of survivors as they’re forced to band together and strike back against an extraterrestrial force.
While the second season doesn’t hold a candle to the first, there’s still enough to like here nonetheless.
The Walking Dead
Similarities – Outbreak
The behemoth that refuses to die; The Walking Dead franchise continues to churn out spin-offs, sequels and movie adaptations to Robert Kirkman’s original comic.
Through this myriad of noise is a show (at least early on) that perfectly captures the essence of surviving against the undead. While the later seasons do lose their way a bit, The Walking Dead is undoubtedly a decent apocalyptic choice with four great seasons followed by a declining quality to its final 11th season.
Similarities – Outbreak & Characters
An unknown virus pandemic kills more than 90% of the world’s population. Those immune must strive to survive and overcome the difficulties of this new world order. This intriguing premise forms the core instead the synopsis for this excellent BBC series that ran for 2 seasons.
The characters are well written, the pacing is nicely balanced and the relatively easy 12 episode run-time (6 episodes a season) makes this an easy show to get into and a difficult one to put down.
Similarities – Post-Apocalyptic Tale & Drama
Beautifully presented and dripping in Asian culture, zombie action-thriller Kingdom is quite the thrill ride. Split across two seasons, Kingdom effortlessly blends political drama with a thrilling action plot, full of beautifully shot set pieces.
The story begins slowly, using its first episode to show off the gorgeous setting of Hanyang in South Korea as we travel back through time to the Joseon Period. Crown King Lee Chang is our protagonist and while he begins engaging in a bitter feud with the Queen, physician Seo-Bi in Jiyulheon makes a horrific discovery.
With Lee Chang by her side, the pair realize the dead are coming back to life and mercilessly hunting the living. With no guns or modern weaponry, much of the tension comes from seeing these men and women make do with the scarce resources around them.
It’s one of the few shows that balances this action with tension perfectly. The second season only builds on this, leading to the very possible prospect of a third season.
Similarities – Viral outbreak
Adapted from the popular graphic novels back in 2009, Sweet Tooth is a DC Comic IP that’s surprisingly relevant for our current social climate.
For those unaware, our story takes place some time in the near-future. A viral outbreak has decimated the world. Dubbed the H5G9 strain, what begins with a simple cough soon mutates into something much, more worse. This is known colloquially as “The Great Crumble.”
Hiding out at Yellowstone National Park with his “Pubba”, Gus finds himself growing up and learning how to survive. However, he soon becomes curious about the outside world and decides to venture off to find his Mum, Birdie.
Along the way he’s joined by a bruiser called Tommy Jepp and the two form an unlikely bond that ultimately serves as the glue that ties everything together.
Well written and undeniably charming, Sweet Tooth is well worth your time.
Similarities – Characters
A small town in Kansas is left in the dark after seeing a mushroom cloud over nearby Denver, Colorado. With radio transmissions out and lots of unanswered questions, this small town tries to figure out what’s going on – and how to survive.
Suspenseful, well written and surprisingly gripping, Jericho became a cult hit until it was unceremoniously dumped by networks. The fans were so angry over this, 20 tons of peanuts were sent to the CBS offices in a bid to reinstate the show… and it worked too!
Partly the reason the show works as well as it does is the way it surpasses expectations to move beyond its simple premise. There’s some smartly written themes in here too and it’s backed up by some likable and well-rounded characters.
Similarities: Atmosphere & viral outbreak
Day 5 is another intriguing post-apocalyptic romp, one that adds a unique spin to the usual pandemic formula. Here though the attention turns to an unexplainable epidemic which sweeps across the globe and affects every human being. Quite simply, whenever someone falls asleep they die.
As people frantically search for answers, the show focuses on a junkie called Jake, who – joined by a small band of survivors – works to try and find a cure before it’s too late.
Although there are some loose ends and the show starts a little slow, if you can look past that, there’s certainly lots to like.
Similarities: Human drama & viral infection
Happiness is a brilliantly written hidden gem from Korea. Our story takes place post-COVID. Korea and the rest of the world are just starting to get back on their feet.
When experimental vaccine pills called Next drip-feed onto the market, it’s soon revealed that these are the catalyst for another outbreak – one far deadlier than Corona.
With an unquenchable thirst for water and a madness that descends over the infected, the virus spreads courtesy of bites and scratches – as well as taking the pills.
What’s particularly interesting here is the development for all the supporting players. While Sae-Bom and Yi-Hyun have their own angle, intent on finding a vaccine with the help off government official Tae-Seok, the real meat of the story lies in the reaction from the different owners and renters inhabiting this block.
Happiness is an absolute must-watch and one of the hidden gems from this year.
So there we have it, our 10 TV show alternatives to watch when you’re finished with Station Eleven on HBO Max!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!