Popverse's top stories of the day
- Game of Thrones: AT&T once asked showrunners if HBO series could be shot vertically for cell phones
- Nickelodeon’s Double Dare off-Broadway show reunites original members alongside Marc Summers
- Star Trek: Discovery finale appears to going for a Fifth Element vibe
Despite first debuting 60 years ago, there aren't as many Doctor Who episodes as you’d think. The show has had frequent – sometimes lengthy – hiatuses and typically only has a handful of episodes per season, so you could presumably get caught up on the NuWho episodes surprisingly quickly, leaving you needing something else to watch while you wait for the much-hyped 2024 season.
Not sure what to watch if you do run out of Doctor Who? Here are our top recommendations.
Most Star Trek shows boldly go where no one has gone before, but few are as faithful to the original series as Strange New Worlds. Set a decade before the journey of Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Sulu, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows Christopher Pike during his time as the captain of the USS Enterprise. There is a great mix of retro designs and modern storytelling here, similar to the NuWho era of Doctor Who.
If you ever watched Doctor Who and wished it had a slightly more political edge to its storytelling, The Expanse is probably the show for you. Starring Thomas Jane, Steven Strait, and Cas Anvar, this was one of those popular shows that ended up getting canceled and then resurrected by Amazon Prime for three more seasons. Set in a universe where humanity has colonized the Solar System but is still struggling to come to terms with the implications of a newly discovered alien technology.
When he isn’t voicing every other character on Family Guy, Seth MacFarland spent three years playing Captain Ed Mercer on The Orville. This is a great parody of classic science fiction shows like Star Trek – you get moments where the writers are poking fun at the source material yet always from a place of love. Doctor Who fans will love the light-hearted nature of the show as well as the deft mixture of drama and comedy that makes it stand out among other shows.
When Neil Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett put their literary heads together, they created something ineffable in Good Omens. The book came out in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2019 that it got its TV adaptation on Amazon Prime. David Tennant and Michael Sheen star as a demon and angel who are unlikely best friends trying to prevent the end of the world. The trouble is that both Heaven and Hell are really looking forward to a good apocalypse after all this time, so the pair have their work cut out for them.
We don’t need to sell you on Our Flag Means Death. You already know that we love this period comedy set in the Golden Age of Pirates. Rhys Darby stars as Stede Bonnet, a wealthy landowner who leaves his comfortable life for a career in piracy. His crew on the Revenge is an outlandish, odd group but their interactions – and Bonnet’s relationship with Taika Waititi’s Blackbeard – are the beating heart of this hilarious yet heartfelt show.
Despite being made in the US, this show is full of the quirky British humor you might expect from Doctor Who. It follows a household of vampires adapting to life in Staten Island with the help of their long-suffering human familiar. Each character is hilariously portrayed throughout the show’s five seasons, but the writing is the real standout here. Jokes are often set up at the beginning of a season before paying off in the finale. This is easily one of the funniest – and very grown-up – shows you’ll find on Disney+ right now. Plus, no one delivers ridiculous dialogue quite as well as Matt Berry.
If you love chaotic British sci-fi comedies, there aren’t many better examples than Red Dwarf. It stars Craig Charles as Lister, a lazy, slovenly engineer on the titular deep space mining vessel who is the last human in the universe after being in suspended animation for three million years. He makes the long voyage back to Earth with the neurotic hologram of Lister’s former bunkmate, a neat-freak robot, and a creature that evolved from the ship’s cat. The low budget and the surprisingly convincing performances from the cat make this show a classic of British humor.
Arguably the best show Joss Whedon ever produced, Firefly is the show that sent a million fans to the mat to save it after it was canceled after its first season. Though the plot doesn’t really pay off before the show went off the air, the stellar cast makes up for it. There is all the snappy dialogue that you’d expect from Whedon along with some brilliantly heart-felt exchanges between the characters. Space-Westerns don’t get much better than Firefly, even if we have to read some of the comics to get the closure we deserve.
If you’re looking for a show a bit closer to the Doctor Who experience, Torchwood is your best option. Not only is it a spin-off of the NuWho era of the show, but it was also created by the original showrunner of Doctor Who’s revival, Russell T. Davies. Set in Wales, Torchwood follows the exploits of a team of alien hunters as they defend the Earth from various threats. It stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, a character who first appeared in the 2005 series of Doctor Who. Though it takes place in the same universe as the NuWho shows, it has a decidedly more adult tone that might not be suitable for younger fans of Doctor Who.
On the same day in 1983, 43 infants were born to random women across the globe who shared one thing in common – they weren’t pregnant the day before. Seven are adopted by billionaire Reginald Hargreeves who turns them into a superhero team. Fast-forward a few decades and those kids are now superpowered grown-ups with a whole host of issues stemming from their unusual upbringing. The show follows them as they try to avert one apocalypse only to cause another – and another. Time travel is a recurring theme, along with tense and unusual familial relationships.
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