• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Editors’ Picks: Our Favourite Dystopian Dramas


Set in the year 2517, Firefly follows the crew of ‘Serenity’, a group of humans exploring a new solar system. Joss Whedon, the writer and director, described it as “nine people looking into the blackness of space and seeing nine different things”. Only picked up for one season, Firefly still has a dedicated audience of fans who were disappointed at how much was left unresolved. Each character has enough screen time to be well developed, and the story is gripping. Firefly has a low-key level of commitment; do not doubt that you will get highly invested, but you can tell yourself it is not really procrastination because there are a mere 14 episodes.

The Walking Dead

With season seven returning soon, The Walking Dead is a perfect example of how a dystopian world – mixed with horror and drama – can make the perfect television show. During the zombie apocalypse, a police officer tries to find and then protect his family and friends. Based on the comic book of the same name and developed by Frank Darabont, The Walking Dead explores the human psyche and how extreme stress can lead to atypical behaviour in normal people. As a viewer, you are quickly drawn into a dangerous world where hope brings people together, yet desperation and greed drive them apart, leaving you feeling torn yet ultimately hooked.


Although it concluded with its fifth series in 2013, Misfits is still one of the best dystopian shows out there. When lightning strikes a group of teenagers doing community service, this Channel 4 dystopia brings out the most unlikely of super heroes – or, at least, people with superpowers. Mixing the grit of teen dramas like Skins with humour dark enough to make Charlie Brooker proud, Misfits is unique. Where else would you find a criminal turning back time to rescue his fellow offenders from their crazy axe-wielding probation officer utterly hilarious? Nowhere. Probably.


Utopia is possibly the ultimate dystopian thriller. A group of ordinary strangers accidentally find themselves in the possession of the forgotten part of a graphic novel. The strangers attempt to find the meaning behind the manuscript while evading capture by a shady organisation who will literally kill to find it. Complete with conspiracy, terrifying hitmen, and a sinister yet ridiculously named double agent, Utopia is wacky yet intelligent, and definitely not for the faint hearted.

Image: Rafido @ Pixabay

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