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10 Shows Like 'For All Mankind' to Watch Next

If you've binged all three seasons of 'For All Mankind' and are looking for your next sci-fi or alternate history fix, here are 10 shows to watch next

Andrea Reiher
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'For All Mankind'

Apple TV+

For All Mankind is a sci-fi drama from Apple TV+ that imagines an alternate timeline in which the Soviet Union landed people on the moon ahead of the United States and the global space race between the two super powers never stopped.

Among its stars are Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sarah Jones as fictional astronauts, while Jeff Branson and Matt Battaglia portray real-life astronauts Neil Armstrong and John Glenn, respectively, while Colm Feore) plays scientist Wernher von Braun. Politicians Ted Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton all appear on the show via actual archival footage.

The first season takes place in the 1960s and 1970s, then Season 2 jumps ahead 10 years to the 1980s, and the third season jumps ahead another 10 years to the 1990s. Along the way, they explore rivalries, disasters, and private citizens entering the space race as sights are set on Mars.

The Metacritic score for For All Mankind stands at a robust 73, with USA Today critic Kelly Lawler calling Season 3 "exquisite" and Tom Long of the Detroit News calling the show "one of the best things on TV."

"For All Mankind is simply one of the best things on TV. Aside from being uncomfortably prescient — the Russia/U.S. tensions induce cold shivers of recognition — it balances what might be with what is, mixing the not-all-that-fantastic with well-grounded human drama. Prepare for blast off," writes Long.

With that in mind, if you've binged all three seasons of For All Mankind and are looking for your next sci-fi fix, here are 10 shows to watch next, ranked by Metascore.


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Edward James Olmos (center) in 'Battlestar Galactica'

USA

Battlestar Galactica 

Metascore: 89
Best for: TV afficianados looking for interpersonal dynamics to play out in space
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 4

Battlestar Galactica from the early aughts is the modern update on the 1970s series of the same name. It is set in a distant galaxy where the 12 Colonies of Kobol come under attack by robots called Cylons and flee into space in search of the fabled 13th colony called Earth. But amongst the humans are human-like Cylons pretending to be humans (some don't even know they are Cylons) and the show takes a deep look not only at surviving after an apocalypse, but also what it truly means to be human.

"This is a show about religion, politics, parent-child relationships, and the moral dilemmas of insurgency. Consider it a workplace drama where the business is armed resistance." — Joanna Weiss, the Boston Globe


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J.K. Simmons (right) in 'Counterpart'

Starz

Counterpart 

Metascore: 76
Best for: Hyper-intellectual sci-fi fans
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 2

J.K. Simmons anchors this sci-fi thriller where the world has been split in two: Alpha Earth and Prime Earth. The parallel worlds split at a moment in 1987 and each has grown separately from the other, with different versions of the same people residing in each. There is a tense cold war brewing between the two worlds ever since a global pandemic wiped out hundreds of millions of people in Prime and they suspected it was Alpha who released it. 

"The show is so good at grounding its drama that somehow the idea of second, parallel reality just seems like a very normal, possible thing." — Allison Keene, Collider


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Patrick Stewart (front right) in 'Star Trek: Picard'

Paramount+

Star Trek: Picard 

Metascore: 75
Best for: Trekkies and those looking for social commentary in their sci-fi
Where to watch: 

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Seasons: 2 (so far)

In this update on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has left Starfleet and leads a quiet life in the countryside. But he is sucked back into the action by Dahj (Isa Briones), the daughter of his good friend Data (Brent Spiner), and the existence of synthetic beings, whom some people don't think have a right to exist. Picard thinks otherwise. Later, Picard's old nemesis Q (John de Lancie) shows up and traps the main characters in an alternative reality, a fun nod to The Next Generation

"Just as the first round of Star Trek movies, the ones with William Shatner and the gang, made hay on the old idea of old dogs learning new tricks, Picard too has some of that in its synthetic DNA. And it works, because the actors are the right actors, and it's treated seriously but without a crushing sense of solemnity." — Michael Phillips, the Chicago Tribune


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Joel De La Fuente in 'The Man in the High Castle'

Prime Video

The Man in the High Castle

Metascore: 73
Best for: Fans of alternate timeline stories
Where to watch:


Seasons: 4

This alternate timeline show, based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, imagines what would have happened if the Axis powers — Germany, Italy and Japan — won World War II. In the alternate United States, Nazi Germany controls one half of the country and the Japanese control the other half. A mysterious figure living in the middle Neutral Zone somehow has newsreel footage of the Axis powers losing World War II, which is where the show begins — with characters finding this footage and wondering what it means, sparking a resistance to the only world they know.

"The score ably amps up the foreboding, and the action sequences are gritty, scary and especially well-staged." — Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald


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'The Expanse'

Prime Video

The Expanse 

Metascore: 72
Best for: Sci-fi fans who like mysteries and procedurals too
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 6

Based on James S.A. Corey's series of novels, The Expanse follows the crew of a space station after the citizens of Earth have colonized space. The three main powers are the United Nations of Earth and Luna, the Martian Congressional Republic on Mars and the Outer Planets Alliance. There is the on-going thread of potential war between the United Nations and Mars, but also a procedural aspect to it as the main character is a space cop (Thomas Jane) just trying to do his job.

"The Expanse is pure space opera with political and cultural undertones that aren't always communicated well, but there are compelling enough stories in the foreground that perhaps in time the detailed universe the series attempts to build will become clearer." — Rob Owen, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek in 'Night Sky'

Prime Video

Night Sky 

Metascore: 66
Best for: Sci-fi fans who also like quiet character studies
Where to watch:


Seasons:

In this quiet character drama, Oscar winners Sissy Spacek and Counterpart's Simmons star as a married couple that long ago found a portal to a deserted planet in their backyard. They have kept the portal a secret for years until a mysterious young man (played by Chai Hansen) enters their lives and their quiet existence is quickly turned upside down. 

"Spacek and Simmons are a true highlight, their relationship feeling lived-in and soulful, and the show is working with some interesting thematic elements, but rather than give those elements room to breathe the show offers up a scattered season of sci-fi drama." — Kyle Fowle, TV Guide


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'The Right Stuff'

Disney+

The Right Stuff

Metascore: 61
Best for: Fans of historical dramas
Where to watch: 

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Seasons: 1

This historical drama about the origin of NASA and the United States' space program is a expansion on the 1983 film of the same name, both of which are loosely based on Tom Wolfe's novel. It tells the story of the Mercury Seven astronauts as they race to land on the moon, basically doing a dramatization of that story. It would be an interesting comparison show to watch with For All Mankind because many of the same historical figures appear in both shows.

"While it would be next to impossible to duplicate the shining brilliance of Philip Kaufman's 1983 theatrical adaptation of the same material...show creator Mark Lafferty has delivered a visually striking, well-acted period piece that plays like Mad Men: The Flyboys Edition." — Richard Roeper, the Chicago Sun-Times


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'The Astronaut Wives Club'

ABC

The Astronaut Wives Club 

Metascore: 60
Best for: Viewers who find the women's stories just as compelling as the men's
Where to watch:

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Seasons: 1

Like several others entries here, this ABC period drama based on Lily Koppel's book of the same name also tells the story of the Mercury Seven, but it tells it from the perspective of the wives who are holding down the fort at home while their husbands race to land on the moon. It's an interesting perspective because it is one not often mentioned in books or media that chronicle the space race. 

"There's a lack of early hooks, even in moments that stood out in Lily Koppel's source biography.... That's too bad, since whenever The Astronaut Wives Club does manage to bring its veteran cast, summer-pastel aesthetics, and its historical context together, there are glimpses of a very interesting show." — Genevieve Valentine, the AV Club 


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Sammi Rotibi in 'Mars'

National Geographic

Mars 

Metascore: 59
Best for: Fans of drama/documentary hybrids
Where to watch: 

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Seasons: 2

This fictional drama is also part documentary as it chronicles the story of a fictional group of astronauts landing on Mars, alternating between the characters in 2016 and 2033. Edited into the show in and around the fictional parts are interviews with real-life public figures including NASA administrator Charles Bolden, SpaceX founder Elon Musk, author Susan Wise Bauer and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Ron Howard is an executive producer.

"Both the documentary footage and the staged footage set in 2033 smack of a generous budget; it's easy on the eyes. But though the alternating elements get equal time, they aren't equally interesting, and the series is engaging and frustrating by turns." — Robert Lloyd, the Los Angeles Times


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'Lost in Space'

Netflix

Lost in Space 

Metascore: 58
Best for: Sci-fi fans who want something family friendly
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 3

This series is a reimagining of the 1960s TV show of the same name, both of which are a sci-fi adaptation of the 1912 book The Swiss Family Robinson, which tells the story of a family shipwrecked on a deserted island. In Lost in Space, the family in question is on a space mission to colonize a new planetary system after a cataclysmic event on Earth, but on the way, they must abandon their ship and crash-land on a nearby planet. The son, Will Robinson (Maxwell Jenkins), befriends an alien robot there whose motivations (and the motivations of his robot army) are questionable. It is a sci-fi adventure that parents can enjoy with their children.

"There's nothing particularly challenging here narratively, and the series starts on some rocky terrain before it finds its footing, but this is high-caliber escapism, the kind of well-done show that develops a propulsive rhythm as you get to know the Robinson family." — Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com