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Image source: Fond D'ecran Gratuit

5 Shows like Battlestar Galactica: Surviving the Future

Thanasis Karavasilis itcherThe war against the Cylons is finally over and Galactica’s journey has come to an end. Your journey for similar shows, though, begins right here as we take a trip to the past, the what-if present and the distant future. ~ Thanasis Karavasilis

A Journey Home

There’s a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

This was a difficult list to make. Not because there aren’t any TV shows like ‘Battlestar Galactica’ – there are plenty. The problem is finding shows with such exquisite acting, brilliant screenplay, outstanding story arc, and lack of techno-babble talk. I am telling you, if you liked this show, you have to learn to live with the fact that it will be quite difficult, if not impossible, to find a similar experience.

Yet, here I am with some recommendations that might not be comparable in quality, but are close in themes and share the same space or survival storyline.

Before anything else, you should check out the spin-off ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Blood and Chrome’:


Shows Similar to ‘Battlestar Galactica’…

‘Caprica’ (Remi Aubuchon, Ronald D. Moore, 2010-2011)

The end of humanity has a beginning…

Set fifty years before the events in ‘Battlestar Galactica’, ‘Caprica’ is about two families, the Graystones and the Adamas, living on one of the 12 colonies, Caprica. A startling breakthrough in artificial intelligence will bring their world upside down as they’ll fight with the moral implications behind such technology.

You’ll be surprised to know that many people have no idea this prequel exists. It doesn’t have the quality of ‘BSG’, but its story is relevant and well-presented; the characters are believable and the themes, similar.

Similarity Match: 90%
If you want to know more about the ‘BSG’ universe, this is a must-see show. Not a spacefaring series, but you will learn about the Cylons and the moral implications behind their creation.

‘Firefly’ (Joss Whedon, 2002-2003)

If you take sexual advantage of her, you’re going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters. And people who talk at the theatre.

Well said, Shepherd Book. I hate people who talk at the theatre.

And people who haven’t seen ‘Firefly’. You don’t want me to hate you. I turn into a big flame-spitting dragon with the Blue Sun ideogram tattooed on his arms. Just kidding. But this is my must-see recommendation and you have to take my word for it.

‘Firefly’ is set five hundred years in the future, and it follows the story of a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft called Serenity as they try to avoid persecution and survive as outlaws.

Similarity Match: 85%
Well-written characters, spot-on space atmosphere and an enthralling storyline – ‘Firefly’ shares a lot with ‘BSG’, but its theme is more western than military.

‘Jericho’ (Stephen Chbosky, Josh Schaer, Jonathan E. Steinberg, 2006-2008)

Attention, attention. There is radioactive fallout coming from the nuclear blast. You have less than 90 minutes to get indoors.

Imagine being in a small town in Kansas, left in the dark without any means of outside communication after seeing a giant nuclear mushroom cloud over Denver, the biggest city in the region.

Imagine the panic, and the things you might have to do to survive. And now, watch this series.

Similarity Match: 78%
Unlike ‘BSG’, you won’t find any spaceships and interstellar fights, but like ‘BSG’, this is a survival story that focuses on the human aspect in times of despair.

‘Space Pirate Captain Harlock’ (Makio Inoue, Akira Kamiya, Ken’ichi Ogata, 1978-1979)

It’s a great responsibility. Piracy is a difficult and shameful job.

Harlock is a space pirate on a mission: he believes that the government ruling Earth and its colonies is a totalitarian regime that oppresses people and needs to be stopped. When the totalitarian regime is also the legal ruler, the only way to revolution is the pirate way.

If you can find it (old-school anime are extremely hard to get your hands on), you’ll see that this is not your regular cartoon, especially if you’re not well-versed in the anime culture. The music is superb and really enhances the emotional weight of the story. You will have to forgive the sometimes sloppy animation and overall design flaws – it was the late 70s after all.

Similarity Match: 72%
The animation might feel a little dated compared to the CG of ‘BSG’, but both series touch on the themes of survival and humanity.


If You Like ‘Battlestar Galactica’, You Will Like…

There are many series similar to ‘Battlestar Galactica’. Spaceships, lasers, and robots. It’s a favorite subject and will never go out of fashion. But ‘BSG’ is more than that; it’s revered as one of the most well-written shows ever produced for television. Here’s a show that surpasses it.

‘The Wire’ (David Simon, 2002-2008)

Game’s the same, just got more fierce.

While every city has its own underground drug scene, the show focuses on Baltimore and the whole drug chain, from the corrupt politicians and the bribed cops to the self-pitied junkies and the money-making dealers.

In a world where everyone is trying to keep their head and fatten their wallets, Det. James McNulty is going to discover that there is more black than white in the Ying-Yang of justice and morality.

Bonus awesomeness: In every episode, after the opening credits, a quote appears on the screen that will be spoken by a character in that episode.

Incredible acting and superb storyline. ‘The Wire’ might not have spaceships and evil robots, but the human drama is similar to ‘BSG’ and it will astonish you.


Fighting for Survival

TV series like ‘Battlestar Galactica’ redefine the boundaries between a good television show and a cinematic experience. The acting and the story are parallel to some of the best Sci-Fi Hollywood flicks and the only thing that might set the tone down are the downgraded special effects. There is a budget to consider after all.

Do you want to add more shows to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

Keep watching, listening, reading, and playing!

Hey there! I′m Thanasis, a writer and lover of stories who was educated to be a teacher of English. I spend my time between worlds and inside pages; written or otherwise. I roam the endless void called The Internet in a constant quest to discover pieces of great storytelling in every artistic medium imaginable.
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