A dystopian sci-fi thriller, ‘Snowpiercer’ is a television series based on Bong Joon-ho‘s eponymous film. The show’s and the film’s concept are derived from a French graphic novel, ‘Le Transperceneige.’ The show follows Snowpiercer, a constantly moving train that circumnavigates the globe after the events of an ice-age that has befallen over the world. The train carries the last remnants of humankind segregated in compartments based on class.
The rich and the under-privileged share different positions in the train where passengers are caught in a struggle against the social and class hierarchy inherent in the structure. The dystopic narrative also raises issues of politics of survival and delves deeper into humankind’s ingrained fallacies. We decided to look for other such television series that deal with the same themes as ‘Snowpiercer,’ unraveled in a sci-fi world of dread. You can watch most of these shows like ‘Snowpiercer’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. Electric Dreams (2017-2018)
Based on acclaimed sci-fi author Philip K. Dick’s short stories, ‘Electric Dreams’ is an anthology series that deals with humanity’s association with technology and its adverse impacts. Some of the episodes also revolve around authoritarian regimes that come straight out of a dystopia. ‘Electric Dreams’ gives us a feeling of paranoia and dread that is foreseeable in the future.
Some episodes’ running themes resemble the delectable combination of sci-fi and social commentary of ‘Snowpiercer.’ Bryan Cranston serves as an executive producer on the show. The series boasts of an ensemble cast with the likes of Vera Farmiga, Anna Paquin, Steve Buscemi, and Benedict Wong. If the thematic turns of ‘Snowpiercer’ engage you, ‘Electric Dreams’ will definitely be an enthralling watch.
6. Into the Night (2020-)
Created by Jason George, ‘Into the Night’ is a Belgian apocalyptic sci-fi drama based on the novel ‘The Old Axolotl’ by Jacek Dukaj. In the future, sunlight has turned deadly and kills anyone who is exposed to it. The series follows Terenzio, an ex-Italian NATO soldier, who hijacks a flight carrying the survivors from the deadly global event. The survivors must work together to escape from this catastrophe while dealing with fuel and food shortages. A gripping drama that deals with humankind’s survival instincts in the face of life-threatening dangers, ‘Into the Night’s situation is similar to the train’s confined settings in ‘Snowpiercer.’ The show packs within itself ample thrills to keep the viewers hooked.
5. The 100 (2014-2020)
There is a gripping paranoia that stems from the eventuality of an all-out nuclear catastrophe. ‘The 100’ takes this concept and turns it into an engaging sci-fi narrative following a group of people who return to Earth devastated by nuclear annihilation from a space facility called Ark. The group comprising of juvenile delinquents has to navigate across the barren wastelands to look for resources that can perhaps help repopulate the Earth. In their quest, they encounter the remnants of humanity who have survived the nuclear apocalypse. Dealing with the dilapidated world’s philosophical murkiness, ‘The 100’ delves deeper into the socio-political complications of a broken society as depicted in ‘Snowpiercer.’ The show is a must-watch if dystopic narratives layered with political commentary is your go-to genre.
4. The Last Ship (2014-2018)
Created by Hank Steinberg and Steven L Kane, ‘The Last Ship’ is based on William Brinkley’s eponymous novel. The show is set in a world where a virus outbreak has wiped out 80 percent of the population. An unaffected US Navy Destroyer named USS Nathan James houses a crew of 218 people and embarks on a journey to find a cure for humanity. The ravages of the pandemic and its entailing dread are effectively captured in this show, accentuated by its claustrophobic settings. Much like ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘The Last Ship’ groups remnants of humanity ravaged by nature and awards them the daunting task of survival. The reality of a new existence makes this show a perfect blend of action, mystery, drama, and ample thrills.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale (2017-)
Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is a dystopian tragedy series created by Bruce Miller. The series features a totalitarian society following a Second American Civil war, where women are brutally subjugated. Fertile women are called handmaids and relegated to slavery with the only function of bearing children. The society is dominated by class hierarchies perpetrated by the government of Gilead, a novel militarized regime. Religious fanaticism and autocratic laws rule the roost.
The women are segregated into different classes demarcated by strict dress-codes. The plot follows June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) in her quest to escape from her life of suffering and reunite with her family. The stark political commentary of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is in a similar vein to ‘Snowpiercer,’ as both of its protagonists try to fight through the inherent discriminations. The show is meticulously paced with some brilliant visual storytelling that will keep the viewers engaged.
2. The Expanse (2015-)
Developed by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, ‘The Expanse’ is adapted from James S.A. Corey’s eponymous novels. Set in a future where humans have colonized the entire solar system, the series tells the story of intergalactic federations trying to maintain peace in the vast expanses of the universe. The planets are on the brink of war, and it is up to the federations to engage in diplomacy to prevent a large-scale conflict.
The solar system’s outer edges are inhabited by people living in poverty oppressed by their powerful neighbors. Even though the plot is radically different from ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘The Expanse’ uses some clever symbolism to depict our society’s class struggles and socio-political dilemmas. Perhaps one of the most politically relevant sci-fi show, ‘The Expanse’ is a must-watch.
1. 3% (2016-2020)
A Brazilian dystopian thriller created by Pedro Aguilera, ‘3%’ is a series that is set in an unspecified future where young people have to fight to reach an affluent position in society. Inland is an impoverished place from where 20-year old individuals have to partake in “The Process,” such that they can reach Offshore, a distant and affluent society. Most of the candidates who fail in this process are eliminated, whereas only 3% of the candidates are able to succeed.
The compelling backstories of the characters and depiction of a fascistic society make this series an addictive watch. The characters’ struggles are similar to that of ‘Snowpiercer,’ where people from the lower strata have to fight their way into the upper class’ luxuries. ‘3%’ has all the requisites to churn out a dystopia filled with socio-political commentary.
Read More: Best Dystopian Future Movie