20 TV Shows that Transport You to Post-Apocalyptic Worlds

Looking for a post-apocalyptic show to escape from reality but without the zombies? Someone in a popular online forum asked other TV fans for recommendations of post-apocalypse shows that don't involve zombies. Here are the top 20 responses.

1. To the Lake

Image Credit: Netflix.

To the Lake is a Russian post-apocalyptic thriller TV series that follows a group of people who try to survive a deadly virus outbreak in Moscow. As the city becomes a quarantine zone, the group embarks on a dangerous journey to a remote lake where they hope to find safety and a cure for the virus. Along the way, they face many challenges and dangers, both from the virus and other survivors.

The series explores themes of survival, human relationships, and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones in times of crisis.

2. Into the Night

Image Credit: Netflix.

This Belgian apocalyptic sci-fi thriller television series follows a group of passengers who board a hijacked airplane in Brussels to escape a catastrophic event that has plunged the world into darkness. The series explores their struggle to survive as they try to outrun the sun and stay ahead of the impending danger.

3. The 100

Image Credit: CBS Television Distribution/Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

The 100 is a science fiction TV series that follows a group of 100 teenage delinquents who are sent back to Earth from a space station to determine if the planet is habitable after a nuclear apocalypse wiped out most of humanity. As they struggle to survive and navigate the dangerous new world, they encounter various challenges and conflicts with other groups of survivors.

The series explores themes of survival, leadership, morality, and the consequences of human actions.

4. See

Image Credit: Apple TV+.

See is a science-fiction drama television series available on Apple TV+. The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus has wiped out most of humanity and left the survivors blind. The story follows the struggles and triumphs of a tribe of people with extraordinary senses of hearing and touch as they navigate the harsh realities of their world and encounter various challenges and threats. The show stars Jason Momoa and Alfre Woodard.

5. Into the Badlands

Image Credit: AMC Networks.

This post-apocalyptic martial arts television series premiered on AMC in 2015 and ran for three seasons. Set in a feudal society, Into the Badlands follows a skilled warrior named Sunny as he embarks on a quest with a young boy named M.K. to find enlightenment and freedom from their oppressive leaders. The series features intense fight scenes and political intrigue and explores themes of loyalty, morality, and power.

6. The Stand

Image Credit: CBS All Access.

Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, The Stand follows a group of survivors as they navigate a new world, with the righteous Mother Abagail guiding them towards Boulder, Colorado, while the villainous Randall Flagg leads a group of followers towards Las Vegas. The series explores themes of faith, morality, and humanity's capacity for good and evil.

7. 12 Monkeys

Image Credit: NBCUniversal Television Distribution.

The series follows James Cole, a time traveler from a post-apocalyptic future who is sent back in time to stop a deadly virus from wiping out most of humanity. With the help of virologist Dr. Cassandra Railly and a group of resistance fighters, Cole navigates multiple time periods in a desperate race against time to uncover the truth behind the virus and stop its release before it's too late. The series explores themes of fate, free will, and the consequences of our actions.

8. Tribes of Europa

Image Credit: Netflix.

Tribes of Europa is a thrilling sci-fi series set in post-apocalyptic Europe in the year 2074. The show follows three siblings who are separated from their tribe and must navigate a dangerous world filled with warring factions and advanced technology. As they struggle to survive and find each other, they uncover a conspiracy that threatens to destroy what little remains of humanity.

With stunning visuals, intense action, and compelling characters, Tribes of Europa is a must-see for fans of dystopian fiction.

9. Brave New World

Image Credit: NBCUniversal Television Distribution/Peacock.

Brave New World is a dystopian novel written by Aldous Huxley in 1932. The TV adaptation follows the story of a society in which citizens are genetically engineered, conditioned, and brainwashed to maintain social stability and conformity. The series focuses on the lives of two characters, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne, who begin to question the morality of their world and seek a way out.

As they navigate their way through this unfamiliar territory, they uncover dark secrets about the society they live in and the people in power. The show explores themes such as individuality, freedom, and the consequences of a utopian society.

10. Altered Carbon

altered carbon
Image credit: Netflix.

Altered Carbon was originally a science fiction novel by Richard K. Morgan, which was adapted into a TV series. The story is set in a future where human consciousness can be transferred between bodies, known as “sleeves,” making death a temporary inconvenience. The TV adaptation follows Takeshi Kovacs, a former soldier turned private investigator, who is hired by a wealthy man to solve his own murder. As Kovacs delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a conspiracy that could change the course of human history.

The show is a blend of action, mystery, and dystopian themes, with a visually stunning and immersive setting.

11. Station Eleven

Image Credit: Viacom CBS Global Distribution.

This series is based on the post-apocalyptic novel by Emily St. John Mandel that tells the story of a group of survivors after a deadly flu pandemic wipes out most of the world's population. The show explores the lives of several characters before, during, and after the pandemic, focusing on their struggles to survive in a new world, dealing with the loss of loved ones, and trying to find a sense of hope in a bleak future.

The show highlights the importance of community, art, and culture in times of crisis and explores how humanity can endure even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.

12. Sweet Tooth

Image Credit: Netflix.

Sweet Tooth is a television adaptation of the DC Comics series of the same name, created by Jim Mickle and Beth Schwartz. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus has killed most of humanity and human-animal hybrids called “hybrids” have emerged.

The story follows a young hybrid boy named Gus (Christian Convery) who teams up with a wandering loner named Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) to embark on a dangerous adventure across America. Along the way, they encounter other hybrids and humans, facing various challenges and threats in their search for answers about Gus' past and the origins of the virus.

Sweet Tooth is a compelling blend of fantasy, adventure, and drama that explores themes of family, survival, and hope in a world that has been forever changed.

13. Snowpiercer

Image Credit: Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A Warner Media Company.

The TV adaptation of the 2013 sci-fi film of the same name was originally based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige. The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a global freeze has killed almost all life on Earth. The last remaining humans live aboard a perpetually-moving train called Snowpiercer, which circles the globe and houses the last remnants of humanity.

The story follows a revolution that erupts on the train as the oppressed tail section inhabitants, led by former homicide detective Andre Layton, fight their way to the front of the train and challenge the privileged first-class passengers. Snowpiercer explores themes of social class, political power, and survival in a harsh and unforgiving environment.

14. The Leftovers

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

The Leftovers is a TV adaptation of the novel by Tom Perrotta that follows the aftermath of a global event called the “Sudden Departure,” where 2% of the world's population mysteriously disappears without explanation. The show takes place three years after the event in the small town of Mapleton, where the residents are still struggling to come to terms with their loss and grief.

The story focuses on the Garvey family and their journey through this new reality, as well as the various cults and factions that arise in the wake of the Sudden Departure.

Through a mix of mystery, drama, and supernatural elements, The Leftovers explores themes of grief, faith, and human connection in a world that has been irrevocably changed.

15. Raised by Wolves

Image Credit: Warner Bros./Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment.

Raised by Wolves is a science fiction TV series that follows two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet. As the burgeoning colony of humans threatens to be torn apart by religious differences, the androids learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task. As the androids struggle with their own individual beliefs and past traumas, they must navigate a dangerous and constantly evolving landscape in order to ensure the survival of the human race.

16. The Last of Us

The Last of Us
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television.

The Last of Us is based on the video game of the same name, showing what the world looks like 20 years after an apocalyptic pandemic caused by a fungal infection spread across the world. In the show, we follow Joel (Pedro Pascal) who is trying to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie (Bella Ramsey) because she's immune to the disease. 

The show was nominated for a number of Emmy awards, along with a slew of other accolades for its first season. 

17. The Strain

the strain
Image Credits: FX Networks.

The Strain comes from the minds of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, where the head of the CDC has to check out a mysterious plane crash where everyone onboard was killed. The team discovers that there's a virus that affected those onboard and it's very similar to vampirism. As the virus spreads, a war has to be waged to save humanity. 

18. Under the Dome

Under the Dome
Image Credit: Amblin Television.

Under the Dome is another Stephen King novel adaptation, where a small town is suddenly shut off from the rest of the world by a huge, indestructible dome. As the world outside tries to break down the barrier, the people inside are forced to deal with their new world under the dome. The show aired for three seasons and stopped airing in 2015.

19. Chernobyl

chernobyl 2019
Image Credit: Home Box Office (HBO).

While the world didn't end after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the entire town became an apocalyptic wasteland. In the series Chernobyl, the story is focused on the dramatization of the disaster and those who were around afterward to clean everything up. It tells the stories of the first responders, volunteers, and some of the other stories that may have been lost over time.

20. Jericho

Image Credit: CBS Television Distribution.

Jericho was an early 2000s series that showed the lives of a group of people who live in Kansas after a nuclear attack on the United States. The town is practically isolated from the rest of the county and the town has to find a way to survive.

Source: Reddit.