Netflix’s latest time-travel mystery thriller, Bodies, has already become quite a rage. You’d have finished binge-watching it, most likely through one sleepless night. And now you are in the very familiar state of void again, which always hits after completing a series as engrossing as this one. You are now here, in need of something that can fill the void and make life meaningful again. Well, you have come to the right place after all. Although I have always maintained that no two shows are ever quite the similar, the ones that you are going to find in this list are going to work for you if you have loved Bodies. Some of the entries are going to be quite predictable, but there’s also going to be some surprises here. Here we go.
In 2016, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 arrived with a lot of buzz but then just went under the radar. The Hulu series had everything going in its favor, from having someone like J.J. Abrams as the executive producer to an actor as big as James Franco playing the lead. A divorced English teacher traveling back in time to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy on the titular date was the coolest source material one could possibly get. It is sheer bad luck that the show was not watched by many people and thus ended up being forgotten. I remember having a great time watching the episodes on a weekly basis. You can obviously binge-watch the entire thing now, and given the eerie similarity between the plot of this show and Bodies, you are going to enjoy it a lot, I believe.
What could be the reason behind your not having watched Loki yet? The only thing that comes to mind is that you are not a Marvel nerd, and you haven’t tried watching Loki because you are not at all familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, I am not going to say that you wouldn’t have any problem watching Loki without any knowledge regarding the Avengers as well as the Thor movies, but you can just read a little about the character’s role in those, and you will be all set for the series.
Currently in its second season, Loki tells the story of the comic book interpretation of the Norse God, played by an impeccably charming Tom Hiddleston, who is on a mission to fix a lot of trouble, all of which is related to time travel. Owen Wilson co-stars as Mobius, with whom Hiddleston’s Loki has a very interesting “buddy-cop” kind of chemistry, and the two are a treat to watch together. Just like Bodies, Loki keeps getting trippier with each passing episode, and the show is full of crazy twists and surprises.
Alright, another Marvel show on the list might surprise you, but Legion perfectly fits the bill here. There’s not exactly time travel in it per se, but the Noah Hawley-created show is as much of a head-scratcher as Paul Tomalin’s Bodies.
Legion follows Schizophrenic mutant David (played by Dan Stevens), who happens to be the son of none other than Professor Charles Xavier (if you know, you know), as he tries to wiggle through a sinister conspiracy that involves the government. The show thrives on the fact that David is an unreliable narrator, and you keep wondering what is real and what isn’t! Rachel Keller plays David’s girlfriend, Sydney “Syd” Barret, a character purposefully named after the Pink Floyd legend Roger “Syd” Barret as a token of gratitude by Noah Hawley, who is a huge fan of the band. Aubrey Plaza stars as multiple characters, including David’s friend as well as the show’s primary villain, and she is unsurprisingly fantastic in the show; that’s all you need to know about Legion.
7. Black Mirror
Charlie Brooker’s pop culture phenomenon deserves a place here for the same reason as Legion. This show, by all means, is a wildly entertaining science fiction extravaganza that brings many other genres into the fold in the later seasons. The beauty of an anthology series is that even if one episode fails to work for you, another one might just do the job. Most of the Black Mirror episodes are straight-up top-notch though, in terms of writing, editing, acting, and cinematography. The plots of the episodes range from a dystopian society to the mind of an AI to the infamous “piggate” scandal.
Black Mirror is bound to offer you the same thrill that you had while watching Bodies. With interactive episodes like Bandersnatch, you can even become part of the story and bend it according to your own wishes. Deep down, the show works as a testament to how far technology can go and what kind of effect it can possibly have on mankind. It is cerebral but also very fun and most definitely unmissable.
6. 12 Monkeys
First of all, the original inspiration for SyFy’s 12 Monkeys happens to be Chris Marker’s La Jetee (1962), which, in my humble opinion, is the greatest thing ever to happen to the time-travel genre. The show is a direct adaptation of the 1985 cult Terry Gillam movie of the same name, which was also inspired by Marker’s La Jetee.
The show focuses on James Cole, a scavenger from the year 2043 who finds a purpose in life when he is sent back in time, to the year 2015, where he has to stop an organization that goes by the name Army of the 12 Monkeys. Why does Cole have to do it? Because the organization is evil, they are about to cause a terrible plague by releasing a deadly virus. Cole’s path crosses with Cassandra, a scientist who plays a pivotal part in this story. Even though the show takes the central idea from the movie, it goes on to develop a more complex, much-layered narrative and keeps you hooked on it until the end. There are four seasons of it, so you’re going to have your plate full for quite a while. The first season is a bit wobbly and takes some time to find its footing, but if you hold on to it, you will eventually be rewarded.
In Prime Video’s two-season Undone, a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Alma suddenly develops the ability to manipulate time and travel through it after surviving a car crash. With her newfound abilities, she tries to figure out the truth behind the mysterious death of her father, Jacob. The obvious twist here is that, thanks to Alma being able to go back in time, we also get to see Jacob. The very talented Rosa Salazar plays Alma, and Bob Odenkirk, who needs no introduction, plays Jacob, and both of them are fantastic in the show.
The adult animation show is primarily a mystery that has time travel in it, but the show is very dense in terms of the emotional and psychological impact as well. That is not at all surprising, considering Undone is the brainchild of Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, the same duo who was also behind Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, probably the greatest character study pop culture has done in the modern era.
If the Victorian London of the year 1890, where good Samaritan detective Arthur Hillinghead tries his hand at solving the mystery, and the 1941 London, where the mischievous Charles Whiteman tries the same, happen to be your two favorite timelines from Bodies, then Outlander is the perfect show for you.
Based on the book series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, this show centers on Scottish military nurse Claire in the year 1945, who finds herself transported to the year 1743. Things become tricky when Claire, who is married to Frank in 1945, falls in love with a Highland warrior named Jamie in 1743. What makes the show more interesting? Frank’s ancestor in 1743, Jonathan, happens to be the de facto villain of the show, who takes it upon himself to make Claire and Jamie’s lives a living hell. Tobias Menzies plays both Frank and Jonathan in a very distinguishable manner, and he is the star performer of the show.
Gorgeously shot across scenic Scotland, Outlander is filled with twists and turns, as well as a lot of blood and gore. Coming from the Starz network, the show is visceral and doesn’t hold anything back. If you are into period drama, fantasy, and time travel, then you should start watching this show right away.
3. American Horror Story: Apocalypse
Is this me overreaching? Yes, but also not quite. In the eighth season of Ryan Murphy’s popular anthology horror franchise, The Antichrist, going by the name Michael Langdon here (Australian actor Cody Fern in his first and most impressive AHS role), literally brings an apocalypse to the world thanks to nuclear warfare, plotted by him alone.
With the world in ruins, the coven of witches (characters from AHS Season 3, which you don’t need to watch for this one but can still try as it was really fun) decide to alter the course of events by stopping Michael by killing him as an infant, no matter how horrifying that sounds. This is the main plot of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which is obviously enough to make its way onto this list. The show is like a party if you are a horror aficionado, as it has everything that you look for in that genre. It is also stacked with a terrific cast featuring all the AHS regulars, from Jessica Lange to Sarah Paulson to Evan Peters. AHS: Apocalypse probably isn’t the first show to come to mind when you’re in need of a show to get your Bodies fix, but in hindsight, it will actually work out quite well if you keep an open mind.
Alright, I was skeptical about putting Dark on this list. The logic behind that was that most of you have already watched the show. But on the other hand, Bodies literally feels like a spiritual cousin of Netflix’s megahit German show, and when we are doing a “shows like Bodies” list, leaving out Dark just wouldn’t be right.
So here we are. What can I say about this show? If you haven’t watched it yet, then it would be best for you to go into this without any prior knowledge. But in case you feel like preparing yourself a bit before starting the show, here’s what you need to know: in a small German town, a boy named Mikkel, who also happens to be the son of a police officer, suddenly goes missing, and the show is basically about what happens after that. Yes, this might sound quite basic to you, but trust me when I say Dark is anything but basic. It is by far the most complex narrative that I have ever seen in a genre show or a movie, and the show mostly pulls it off in an astute fashion.
1899 came from the minds of Baran Bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the same duo who wowed the world with Dark. This show falls short in comparison to Dark, but to be fair, living up to the greatness of that show is quite an impossible thing to achieve, a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
With that said, 1899 is quite a show with heady mysteries, a lot of time traveling, and a bunch of fascinating characters led by neurologist Maura Franklin, played by an amazing Emily Beecham in her career-best performance. The show is about a group of European people who board a steamship from the UK and hope to travel to America in order to find a better life. Things obviously don’t go as planned, and nothing is what they seem like in a show like this. The plot does feel convoluted at times, but as a whole, the show works quite fine if you give it a shot without expecting it to be anything like Dark. As it didn’t have many takers, Netflix ended up canceling it, thus killing the possibility of a second, which could have been something, so you might feel frustrated after finishing it. But speaking from my own experience, it will still be worth your time.