Scifi And Fantasy The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows  

Ranker TV
858 votes 197 voters 5.4k views 35 items

Across all types of sci-fi, the one type that seems to permeate the genre the most is dystopian fiction. The concept of a future that isn't as perfect or utopian as we might like is nothing new thanks to dystopian films like Metropolis, but finding good examples of dystopian TV shows is a relatively new concept. The idea itself revolves around an idealized future society that appears perfect on the outside, but once a layer or two are peeled back, things get bad—for most people, at least—really quickly. 

Think of TV shows like Altered Carbon where technology has brought humans to other planets and made death meaningless. It's not as perfect as you might imagine once you see just how screwed up everything truly is. Other series like the animated TV show Futurama show a future we could all enjoy... only, it's not perfect and many of the same problems we face in modern life are mirrored more than 1,000 years in the future. 

This list compiles the best of all the dystopian TV, whether they are animated or live-action. For more recommendations on the best dystopian TV shows, browse this list and feel free to add any similar series you think are missing!

list ordered by

1
51 12
Black Mirror is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Daniel Kaluuya, Toby Kebbell, Rory Kinnear Black Mirror is a British television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that features speculative fiction with dark and sometimes satirical themes that examine modern society, ...more

2
59 19
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more

3
60 22
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu, 2017) is an American web television series created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood. In a dystopian future where women are brutally ...more

4
39 11
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more

5
31 6
Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, James Purefoy Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis, based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan. In a future where human minds are digitized and downloaded ...more

6
28 8
Firefly is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon, under his Mutant Enemy Productions label. Whedon served as an executive ...more

7
35 16
The Man in the High Castle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Video, 2015) is an American dystopian alternative history television series created by Frank Spotnitz, based on the novel by Philip K. Dick. In an alternative ...more

8
29 14
3% is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Bianca Comparato, João Miguel, Michel Gomes 3% (Netflix, 2016) is a Brazilian dystopian thriller series created by Pedro Aguilera. The show is set in a future wherein people are given a chance to go to the "better side" of a ...more

9
17 4
Philip K. Dick's Electric Drea... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Timothy Spall, Anthony Boyle, Tuppence Middleton Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams (Amazon Video, 2018) is a British-American science fiction television anthology series developed by Ronald D. Moore and Michael Dinner. Based on the works of ...more

10
16 4
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more

11
16 7
Colony is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Peter Jacobson Colony (USA Network, 2016) is an American science-fiction drama television series created by Carlton Cuse and Ryan J. Condal. In the wake of a mysterious alien invasion, a family fights to stay ...more

12
13 6
Aeon Flux is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Denise Poirier, John Rafter Lee, Julia Fletcher Æon Flux is an avant-garde science fiction animated television series that aired on MTV in various forms throughout the 1990s, with film, comic book, and video game adaptations following ...more

13
14 7
Continuum is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lobo, Victor Webster Continuum is a Canadian science fiction series created by Simon Barry and produced by Reunion Pictures Inc., Boy Meets Girl Film Company, and GK-TV. The series centers on the conflict between a ...more

14
13 7
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber Battlestar Galactica is an American military science fiction television series, and part of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. The show was developed by Ronald D. Moore and executive produced ...more

15
18 12
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the ...more

16
14 9
Battlestar Galactica is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber Battlestar Galactica is an American science fiction television series, created by Glen A. Larson, that began the Battlestar Galactica franchise. Starring Lorne Greene, Richard Hatch and Dirk ...more

17
11 7
Into the Badlands is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Daniel Wu, Orla Brady, Sarah Bolger Into the Badlands (AMC, 2015) is an American TV series set in a post-apocalyptic world approximately 500 years after an event that left civilization in ruins. Regent Sunny (Daniel Wu), a ...more

18
7 6
Samurai Jack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Phil LaMarr, Mako, Kevin Michael Richardson Samurai Jack is an American animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network. The series follows Jack, a time-displaced samurai warrior prince, in his singular quest ...more

19
9 9
Humans is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Manpreet Bachu, Emily Berrington, Ruth Bradley Humans (AMC, 2015) is a science fiction television series created by Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. In a parallel present where the latest must-have gadget for any busy family is a 'Synth' - ...more

20
3 3
Psycho-Pass is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Kana Hanazawa, Robert McCollum, Kate Oxley Psycho-Pass is a Japanese anime television series that was produced by Production I.G, directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani and written by Gen Urobuchi. The series was aired on Fuji TV's Noitamina ...more

21
6 7
Cleverman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Hunter Page-Lochard, Rob Collins, Deborah Mailman Cleverman (SundanceTV, 2016) is an Australian-New Zealand-American television drama series based on an original concept by Ryan Griffen. The six-part drama series reimagines several stories of ...more

22
4 6
Terra Nova is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Jason O'Mara, Shelley Conn, Christine Adams Terra Nova is an American science fiction drama television series. It premiered on September 26, 2011 with a two-hour premiere, and concluded on December 19, 2011 with a two-hour, two-episode ...more

23
10 13
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz Dollhouse is an American science fiction television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon under Mutant Enemy Productions. It premiered on February 13, 2009, on the Fox network and ...more

24
2 4
Max Headroom is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Matt Frewer, Amanda Pays, Chris Young Max Headroom is a British-produced American satirical science fiction television series by Chrysalis Visual Programming and Lakeside Productions for Lorimar-Telepictures that aired in the United ...more

25
3 6
The Purge is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Gabriel Chavarria, Lili Simmons, Lee Tergesen The Purge (Syfy, 2018) is an American horror television series based on the film franchise. Set in an altered United States, several unrelated people discover how far they will go to survive a ...more

26
8 12
Blood Drive is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Blood Drive Alan Ritchson, Christina Ochoa Blood Drive (2017, Syfy) an American television drama series created by James Roland. In the dystopian "distant future" of 1999, police officer Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson) is forced ...more

27
4 8
Charlie Jade is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Langley Kirkwood, Jeffrey Pierce, Tyrone Benskin Charlie Jade is a science fiction television program filmed mainly in Cape Town, South Africa. It stars Jeffrey Pierce in the title role, as a detective from a parallel universe who finds ...more

28
2 6
Incorporated is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Sean Teale, Allison Miller, Eddie Ramos Incorporated (Syfy, 2016) is an American television drama science fiction series with executive producers Ted Humphrey, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Jennifer Todd. The series takes place in a ...more

29
5 10
Amerika is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Kris Kristofferson, Sam Neill, Lara Flynn Boyle Amerika – suggesting a Russified name for the United States – is an American television miniseries that was broadcast in 1987 on ABC. The miniseries inspired a novelization entitled Amerika: The ...more

30
3 8
Kamen Rider is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Kamen Rider Kamen Rider is a Japanese tokusatsu television series. It is the sixth program in the Kamen Rider Series. It has the same name as the first series in the franchise, and fans usually refer to ...more

31
3 9
Spooks: Code 9 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Andrew Knott, Heshima Thompson, Liam Boyle Spooks: Code 9 is a counter-intelligence drama series broadcast on BBC Three in 2008. The series was commissioned by BBC Fiction's controller Jane Tranter as a spin-off of their long-running ...more

32
4 11
Sonic the Hedgehog is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Jaleel White, Bradley Pierce, Charles Adler Sonic the Hedgehog is an American animated television series. It was story edited by Len Janson and produced by DiC Animation City. Made with the partnership of Sega of America, Inc., the show ...more

33
3 11
Knights of God is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Patrick Troughton, Don Henderson, Nigel Stock Knights of God was a British science fiction children's television serial, produced by TVS and first broadcast on ITV in 1987. It was written by Richard Cooper, a writer who had previously ...more

34
1 8
Robotomy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Eliza Dushku, Patton Oswalt, Lewis Black Robotomy is an American animated television series created by Michael Buckley and Joe Deasy for Cartoon Network. The series revolves around Thrasher and Blastus, two teenage outcast robots who ...more

35
1 8
Luna is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Dystopian TV Shows
Patsy Kensit Luna was a children's science fiction TV comedy show produced by Central Television for the ITV Network in the United Kingdom and which ran for two series in 1983 and 1984. The first series was ...more