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10 Shows Like 'Outlander' to Watch Next

From the Regency era romance of 'Bridgerton' to 19th-century ranch life on '1883,' Metacritic highlights 10 shows to watch if you like 'Outlander.'
by Lauren Piester — 
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Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in 'Outlander'

Starz

It's been a long two years, but Outlander has finally returned for its sixth season on Starz. 

As their settlement in 1770s America continues to shape up, time traveler Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her Scottish warrior husband Jamie (Sam Heughan) are preparing for the Revolutionary War while Claire recovers from the attack she suffered at the end of Season 5 with help from her own medicinal ingenuity. At the same time, questionable newcomers are arriving at Fraser's Ridge while there are babies to be born and scientific discoveries to be made. Somehow, through it all, Claire and Jamie still find time to keep their love alive, even as there's always danger lurking around every corner, along with the potential for their daughter and her husband to leave them for the 20th century. It's not always easy to be an Outlander fan, but it's certainly never boring! 

Many critics would agree: The time-traveling, period romance has a Metascore of 76 across its seasons. 

The sprawling series, based on the book series of the same title from author Diana Gabaldon, only drops one episode per week, though. So, if you're all caught up so far and are looking for something to fill your time during those long weeks between new episodes, there are quite a few options available on streaming that tap into similar time periods, themes, and romantic relationships as Outlander.

From the Regency era romance of Bridgerton to 19th-century ranch life on 1883, here Metacritic highlights 10 shows to watch if you like Outlander.


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Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor in 'Bridgerton'

Netflix

Bridgerton

Metascore: 75
Best for: Witty hopeless romantics, Taylor Swift fans, gossip hounds
Where to watch: Netflix
Seasons: 1 (so far)

If you want the romantic drama without the trauma, Bridgerton is the show for you. It follows eight siblings in Regency era London as they each grow up and fall in love in various entertaining and complicated ways. It's like floating on sunshine compared to the darkness of Outlander, but it also has incredible period costumes, a hint of fantasy, a fair amount of sex, and a whole lot of romance. Like Outlander, it's also based on a series of books. The first season stars Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor. The second season, starring Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, premieres March 25 on Netflix.

"A wonderfully anachronistic mashup with gorgeous visuals, high-end production values and suitably larger-than-life performances by the talented cast." — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times


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Josh Hartnett in 'Penny Dreadful'

Showtime

Penny Dreadful

Metascore: 74
Best for: The goth inside us all
Where to watch:

, Google Play, iTunesVudu
Seasons: 3

Josh Hartnett and Eva Green star as a gunman and a psychic, respectively, who hunt down, do battle, and/or share a romance with Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney), Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway), Count Dracula (Christian Camargo), and other classic characters and monsters in this horror-drama that ran for three seasons and then spawned a spin-off titled Penny Dreadful: City of Angels. It's dark, it's sexy, it's spooky, and it makes excellent use of literary characters in the public domain. 

"Fresh blood and sharp ideas make for delicious, smart-pulp fangoria." — Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly


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'Vikings'

Netflix

Vikings

Metascore: 74
Best for: Adventure lovers and history buffs who also enjoy a hot shirtless man
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, ,
Seasons: 6

The original History Channel series Vikings followed the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) as he rose from farmer to Scandinavian king and raised sons who followed in their father's footsteps all over the globe. It ran for six seasons in its original form and then brought forth a spin-off titled Vikings: Valhalla that follows Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) 100 years later, which you can watch on Netflix. (Yes, this is a little bit of a cheat, with a two-for-one title, but once you start the journey with the original drama, you have to see it through all the way! Especially because the spin-off is a critical success as well, with a Metascore of 70.) Like many of the shows on this list, Vikings takes real, pivotal history and has a little fun with it, offering an exciting adventure with every episode, plus a lot of eye candy. 

"Vikings remains a genuine pleasure rater than a guilty one." — Alan Sepinwall, HitFix


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Aidan Turner in 'Poldark'

BBC

Poldark

Metascore: 72
Best for: Anyone with a bookshelf full of soapy romance novels 
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes 
Seasons: 5

While Outlander is gearing up for the Revolutionary War, Poldark is recovering from it. Aidan Turner stars as Captain Ross Poldark, who returns to Cornwall after three years of army service to find that his father has died, his estate is a disaster, his childhood sweetheart has moved on and married his cousin, and he has to essentially rebuild his life. The show is based on a series of novels by Winston Graham

"Even at its hokiest, Poldark is the sort of great escape you would be foolish to resist." — Matt Roush, TV Guide Magazine 


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Isabel May in '1883'

Paramount+

1883

Metascore: 69
Best for: Country music fans, Yellowstone fans, teenage girls who hate rules 
Where to watch:


Seasons: 1 (so far)

Taylor Sheridan's Yellowstone prequel follows James (Tim McGraw), Margaret (Faith Hill), and their children — including the spirited and impulsive teen Elsa (Isabel May) — along the Oregon Trail in the titular year as they settle in Montana to eventually build a massive ranch. The first and currently only season is just 10 episodes, and it is a wild ride filled with gun fights, tornadoes, snake bites, and some truly whirlwind romances that will leave you absolutely devastated at the end. The journey's a tough one, but it's so worth it, whether you're also a Yellowstone fan or not. Sam Elliott and LaMonica Garrett also star.

"A blend of perseverance and optimism through backbreaking times gives 1883 the potential to be the prestige western fans of the genre have been waiting for." — Terry Terrones, The A.V. Club


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Teresa Palmer in 'A Discovery of Witches'

AMC

A Discovery of Witches

Metascore: 67
Best for: Anyone who's outgrown Twilight, and lovers of magic and libraries 
Where to watch: 

Google PlayiTunes
Seasons: 3

She's a witch, he's a vampire, they hang out in libraries, they make out, and sometimes they time travel. If that's not enough to entice you to watch this drama based on Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy, then it's not for you. If that premise is for you, then A Discovery of Witches has everything you could want and more. Teresa Palmer plays Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, and Matthew Goode plays scientist and vampire Matthew Clairmont, and after tracking down a long lost ancient manuscript, they're thrust into a world full of dangerous and mysterious magical creatures that sometimes requires a timewalk back to the 1500s. 

"While the longing looks and cravings for blood might make some roll their eyes, every second of A Discovery of Witches is pure catnip for fans of this genre." — Lindsay McDonald, TV Guide


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Abigail Spencer in 'Timeless'

NBC

Timeless

Metascore: 65
Best for: Anyone who loves both a procedural and time travel 
Where to watch: 

Google Play
Seasons: 2 and a holiday special

Unlike the other shows on this list, Timeless is based in present day, but follows a team of time travelers through the centuries as they try to prevent catastrophes and chase down a villain trying to change American history. So if you're looking for more of Outlander's twisty time travel aspects with a little romance on the side, Timeless is much deserving of your attention. Abigail SpencerMatt LanterMalcolm Barrett, and Goran Višnjić star. 

"[Timeless] successfully delivers the philosophical sugar rush that has made time travel one of the most persistent fiction narratives in history." — Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic 


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Toby Stephens in 'Black Sails'

Starz

Black Sails

Metascore: 59
Best for: Adventure lovers and anyone who's ever been turned on by an eye patch 
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes, ,
Seasons: 4

A prequel to Treasure Island, Black Sails is set in the early 1700s and follows a group of pirates, led by former navy officer Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), as they fend off British ships and seek treasure on the seven seas. The show provides a somewhat fantastical, gritty, and occasionally sexy look at a pirate's life during piracy's heyday. Hannah NewLuke ArnoldJessica Parker KennedyTom Hopper, and Zach McGowan also star. 

"Sails is awash in lush scenery, bloody expensive sets and brutal action." — Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald 


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George Blagden in 'Versailles'

Ovation

Versailles

Metascore: 55
Best for: Very casual fans of history and very serious fans of sex and scandal
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 3

If you enjoyed the season of Outlander that mostly took place in France but you wish it were way sexier, Versailles may be the next show you'll want to devour. It tells the story of King Louis XIV (George Blagden) during the construction of the Palace of Versailles and features so much sex that it earned headlines like, "BBC Period Drama Features Sex and Violence Every 15 MINS" and "Does Versailles Have the Most Sex on Television?" You may not want to watch it with your mother. 

"A fun romp through history, often trading accuracies for entertainment. Yet how could you be mad?" — Allison Keene, Collider 


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Adelaide Kane in 'Reign'

The CW

Reign

Metascore: 54
Best for: The core audience of The CW and lovers of royal scandal
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix,
Seasons: 4

Adelaide Kane plays Mary, Queen of Scots in this piece of delightful historical fiction — emphasis on the fiction. The CW drama tells the tale of her reign with a flourish and the occasional supernatural question mark, and features all the soapy romance and royal scandal you could need. It's a bit ridiculous, but in the best way.

"It's Pretty Little Liars meets Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, and it's good, frothy fun." — Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly