Speculative Fiction TV Shows - Our Survival, Zombie Picks
In a time when binge-watching isn’t just a hobby but a crucial survival skill, we proudly present our own compilation of what we believe are some of the best post-apocalyptic, survival, and zombies TV shows.
We promise you loads of entertainment!
So, grab your popcorn, check your exits, and make sure your remote batteries are fully charged.
This is going to be one wild, brain-munching ride through the desolate wastelands of speculative fiction TV shows.
COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/speculative-fiction-tv-shows/ by Kelvin Farr on 2023-06-27T13:53:07.463Z
The Features of Speculative Fiction
Before we jump right into presenting our well-kept list of speculative fiction TV shows, this good question needs to be answered first.
TV shows about survival, zombies, and post-apocalyptic scenarios typically belong to the genres of:
- science fiction
Collectively, though, they fall under the genre known as speculative fiction.
Now those three genres mentioned above often intersect and blend together in these types of shows, creating a unique subgenre sometimes referred to as:
- apocalyptic fiction
- post-apocalyptic fiction
The term “apocalyptic” refers to something that is related to or characteristic of an apocalypse.
The term “post-apocalyptic” refers to a fictional or speculative setting that occurs after a major catastrophic event or apocalypse.
This subgenre (apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic fiction) focuses on the struggles of characters surviving in a world devastated by a catastrophe, whether it’s:
- a zombie outbreak
- an environmental disaster
- a viral epidemic
- any other apocalyptic event (e.g., the rise of artificial intelligence)
In a post-apocalyptic scenario, the world is typically characterized by:
|a zombie outbreak||a viral epidemic|
|an environmental disaster||any other apocalyptic event (e.g., the rise of artificial intelligence)|
The remnants of humanity are forced to adapt to a harsh and hostile environment, often facing challenges, such as:
- hostile characters/creatures
- limited access to food, water, and shelter
The examples you’ll find in this article are those of TV shows, not novels or short stories, OK?
That said, this month, Reddit user TewPaqs posted this at the subreddit r/Netflix:
I’m looking for a TV show I can watch that depicts survivors trying to live in a post-apocalyptic world or simply people trying to survive under trying conditions after a certain calamity occurs.- Reddit user TewPaqs
In short, this user, who describes him/herself as “a big fan of zombie shows,” wants recommendations for “gripping” speculative fiction TV shows.
Also, this “TewPaqs” said that he/she already saw the blockbuster Korean horror-action film Train to Busan (2016) as well as The Walking Dead (2010-2022), the hit American TV series about, well, a zombie apocalypse.
Several Reddit users were more than willing to oblige. In fact, at the time of this writing, the post already collected 308 comments.
Some of the speculative fiction TV shows mentioned in the comments include the following:
|TV Show||Genre and Number of Seasons|
|Colony (2016)||sci-fi; 3 seasons|
|Daybreak (2019)||comedy, drama; 1 season|
|Falling Skies (2011)||sci-fi; 5 seasons|
|Into the Badland (2015)||drama; 3 seasons|
|Silo (2023)||sci-fi drama; 1 season|
|Station Eleven (2021)||drama; 1 season|
|Sweet Tooth (2021)||fantasy-drama; 2 seasons|
|The 100 (2014)||sci-fi; 7 seasons|
|The Last of Us (2023)||drama; 1 season|
|The Strain (2014)||drama; 4 seasons|
By the way, the recommendation for the drama Black Summer (2019) received 54 “upvotes” (the second highest), with one comment calling it a “very underrated series.”
For something about zombies but a funny show at that one, Reddit user SQLDave wrote:
Look, this is not what you asked for, but when I see [that you wrote] ‘I’m a big fan of zombie shows. . .’ I have to recommend Santa Clarita Diet.- Reddit user SQLDave
Another funny zombie-themed TV series was Z Nation (2014), which lasted for five seasons.
Some of the non-U.S. speculative fiction TV shows suggested by other Reddit users:
|TV Show and Country of Origin||Genre and Number of Seasons|
|Alice in Borderland (2020) - Japan||thriller; 2 seasons|
|Anna (2021) - Italy||drama; 1 season|
|Hot Skull (2022) - Turkey||adventure, mystery; 1 season|
|Katla (2021) - Iceland||mystery; 1 season|
|Reality Z (2020) - Brazil||horror; 1 season|
|The Boat (2011) - Spain||sci-fi; 3 seasons|
|The Pact (2022) - Qatar||adventure, sci-fi; 2 seasons|
|The Rain (2018) - Denmark||drama; 3 seasons|
|To the Lake (2019) - Russia||thriller; 1 season|
|Tribes of Europa (2021) - Germany||sci-fi; 1 season|
It’s now time to know the speculative fiction TV shows we would like to endorse.
“Warning,” though: our recommendations are shows aired many years ago BUT are totally worth your time (in case you missed them), OK?
You want entertainment? Then time to “revisit” the past!
The post-apocalyptic genre offers a backdrop for examining themes, such as survival, morality, human resilience, and the potential for societal rebirth.
These speculative fiction TV shows provide a thrilling exploration of a bleak future and the indomitable spirit of humanity.
Here are our top three picks:
|Genre||drama; science fiction|
|Number of Seasons||2|
|Premiere Date||September 2012 (U.S.)|
|Last Episode Date||May 2014|
|Main Cast||Billy Burke; Tracy Spiridakos; Giancarlo Esposito|
Created by Eric Kripke (who also created the hit show Supernatural), Revolution is set in a world where all forms of electricity suddenly cease to exist, plunging the entire planet into darkness and chaos.
The series begins 15 years after the mysterious event known as the “Blackout,” which caused the global power outage.
In this world:
- governments have collapsed
- technology is obsolete
- society has regressed into a pre-industrial state
The story primarily follows the Matheson family, particularly Charlotte “Charlie” Matheson, a young woman determined to find her missing brother, Danny.
Throughout the series, the characters must navigate a dangerous landscape filled with militias, warlords, and rival factions, all vying for control in this new world.
Exciting part: they discover the existence of a pendant capable of restoring electricity, leading to a race against time as they try to protect it from those who would abuse its power.
|Number of Seasons||3|
|Premiere Date||June 2014 (U.S.)|
|Last Episode Date||June 2017|
|Main Cast||Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston|
One of the best speculative fiction TV shows during its time, The Leftovers is set in a world where a global event known as the “Sudden Departure” has occurred.
The series explores the lives of those who remain on Earth after the inexplicable disappearance of two percent of the world’s population, without any explanation or discernible pattern.
Its story primarily revolves around the Garvey family, headed by Kevin Garvey, the police chief of the fictional town of Mapleton, New York.
As the series progresses, it explores the lives of other residents of Mapleton and beyond, each coping with the loss in their own ways.
The Leftovers is known for its dark and mysterious tone, with elements of supernatural and surreal storytelling.
|Genre||drama; science fiction|
|Number of Seasons||3|
|Premiere Date||October 2016|
|Last Episode Date||December 2018|
|Original Network||Showcase (Canada)|
|Main Cast||Eric McCormack, MacKenzie Porter, Patrick Gilmore|
The show follows a group of time-traveling operatives known as “Travelers,” who are sent from the future to the 21st century in order to prevent the downfall of humanity.
In the future, the Earth is facing a grim scenario due to a series of catastrophic events.
To change the course of history, a super intelligent AI (artificial intelligence) known as “The Director” sends the consciousness of these Travelers back in time to inhabit the bodies of present-day individuals who are about to die.
By taking over their lives, the Travelers aim to alter events and steer humanity away from its impending demise.
One of the defining features of post-apocalyptic survival TV shows is the exploration of human resilience and the struggle for survival against overwhelming odds.
These speculative fiction TV shows often depict the:
- breakdown of societal norms
- emergence of new power dynamics
- constant threat of danger from both external forces and other survivors
Our top three choices for survival TV shows:
|Number of Seasons||4 seasons|
|Premiere Date||January 2015 (U.S.)|
|Last Episode Date||July 2018|
|Main Cast||Aaron Stanford, Amanda Schull, Barbara Sukowa|
Based on the 1995 film of the same name (and stars Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt), the series expands on the movie’s concept and delves into a complex and intricate narrative.
The story revolves around James Cole, a time traveler sent back in time from the year 2043 to prevent the release of a deadly virus that decimated humanity.
In the future, a group known as the “Army of the Twelve Monkeys” is believed to be responsible for the virus outbreak.
Cole’s mission involves unraveling the mystery behind the virus and identifying the individuals connected to its creation. He teams up with a brilliant virologist.
Together, they attempt to change the past and alter the course of history.
|Number of Seasons||2 seasons|
|Premiere Date||November 2008 (U.K.)|
|Last Episode Date||February 2010|
|Original Network||BBC One|
|Main Cast||Julie Graham, Maxton Beesley, Nikki Amuka-Bird|
A remake of the original 1970s series of the same name created by Terry Nation, the series follows a group of survivors who must navigate a world devastated by a global pandemic.
The central characters include:
- a mother searching for her missing son
- a resourceful engineer
- a cunning and opportunistic former criminal
- a doctor with a tragic past
- a self-reliant young man with a mysterious background
This speculative fiction TV show begins with a deadly virus that sweeps across the world, wiping out over 90 percent of the population.
Good thing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) didn’t do that to us! Whew!
|Number of Seasons||2 seasons|
|Premiere Date||January 2013 (U.K.)|
|Last Episode Date||August 2014|
|Original Network||Channel 4 (U.K.)|
|Main Cast||Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Alexandra Roach, Adeel Akhtar|
This British conspiracy thriller TV series revolves around a group of comic book fans who come across a mysterious graphic novel called “The Utopia Experiments.”
It is rumored to have predicted several global disasters.
They eventually discover that the events depicted in that comic book are more than just fiction. In fact, they hold the key to a much larger conspiracy that could affect the fate of humanity.
Utopia garnered critical acclaim for its:
- intense storytelling
- thought-provoking themes
- distinctive visual style
It explores themes of paranoia, conspiracy, and the impact of technology on society.
Over the years, zombies have captured our imaginations and terrified audiences with their relentless pursuit of human flesh.
These undead creatures have become a staple in popular culture, with several captivating speculative fiction TV shows made about them.
We will, however, recommend only one show because this one - though not the “gripping” kind that Reddit user TewPaqs requests - is one unconventional zombie TV show you shouldn’t miss!
|Number of Seasons||5 seasons|
|Premiere Date||March 2015 (U.S.)|
|Last Episode Date||August 2019|
|Original Network||The CW|
|Main Cast||Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli|
If you’re looking for a funny zombie TV series that reeks of pure quality entertainment (it lasted for five seasons!), then go for iZombie.
The show follows the life of Olivia “Liv” Moore, a medical resident who becomes a zombie after attending a boat party that turns into a massacre.
To satisfy her hunger and prevent herself from becoming a mindless zombie, Liv takes a job at the King County morgue, where she has access to fresh brains.
Surprisingly, consuming brains allows her to temporarily inherit the memories and skills of the deceased.
Utilizing her newfound abilities, Liv assists Detective Clive Babineaux in solving murder cases by posing as a psychic and using her visions from the brains she consumes.
IZombie - Trailer
It’s HBO’s The Last of Us, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed video game of the same name developed by Naughty Dog.
Starring Pedro Pascal (you probably saw this Chilean actor in Game of Thrones and Narcos) and Bella Ramsey, it premiered in the U.S. on January 15, 2023.
The Last of Us follows the story of Joel, a hardened survivor, and Ellie, a young girl with a mysterious immunity to a deadly infection that has ravaged humanity.
Together they embark on a perilous journey across the U.S., facing dangerous infected creatures and hostile human survivors along the way.
According to HBO, it was already renewed for another season.
South Korean company Kakao Entertainment and Netflix join forces for Zombieverse, a reality show to hit the screen in 2023, reported The Economic Times.
It’s about a zombie outbreak in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.
No exact release date has been given so far, though.
Per Spiel Times, most of the contestants are different Korean celebrities (actor, rapper, YouTuber, etc.). There’s also a Japanese singer who will join the show.
Tip: Speaking of Korean speculative fiction TV shows, according to Digital Spy, the Season 2 of “All of Us are Dead” will be shown in 2024.
Before we forgot: This is not a new zombie TV series (it premiered in 2015), but Season 8 of Fear the Walking Dead started airing in May 2023.
Yes, there will be and it’s coming in 2024.
According to Midgard Times, filming for this Amazon Prime Video post-apocalyptic TV series was already done. The last shooting days took place in Utah.
Other locations included New Jersey and New York, with cameras started to roll in July 2022.
In speculative fiction TV shows, zombies and survivalists reign supreme.
From blood-soaked battles to ingenious acts of survival, these shows have given us a peek into a world where the undead walk and duct tape becomes the ultimate weapon.
Remember, when the world ends, it’s the survivors who take the remote and become the true kings and queens of the post-apocalyptic couch kingdom.
Let the binging of speculative fiction TV shows begin!