5 sci-fi TV shows to watch if you liked Apple TV+’s Foundation

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One character pilots a ship as two characters stand behind in Foundation.
Apple / Apple

The second season of the Apple TV+ series Foundation is a refreshing change for fans who are looking for more thoughtful science fiction tales on TV. This is a series that unfolds on a large scale ,and it doesn’t pretend to be the second coming of Star Wars. Between this series and Silo, Apple TV+ is doing a lot for fans of more cerebral sci-fi, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

New episodes of Foundation season 2 will premiere on Apple TV+ on a weekly basis through September 15. But if you want to expand your horizons beyond this series, these are the 5 sci-fi TV shows that you need to watch if you liked Foundation.

The Man in the High Castle (2015-2019)

The Man in the High Castle on Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Studios

In the alternate universe of The Man in the High Castle, America lost World War II and it was carved up by the rival Japanese and German empires, both of which are now setting their sights on each other. The parallel between this show and Foundation is the way that it partially focuses on John Smith (Rufus Sewell) and his family. Much like Foundation‘s Brother Day (Lee Pace), Smith oversees a morally bankrupt empire that may be on the brink of collapse.

However, the lead character, Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos), wants to burn it all down once she discovers there are alternate worlds where the U.S. emerged victorious and free. And she wants to bring that freedom to her world.

Stream The Man in the High Castle on Prime Video.

Babylon 5 (1994-1998)

The cast of Babylon 5.
Warner Bros. TV

Series creator J. Michael Straczynski has acknowledged that he was inspired by the Foundation novels, Lensman, The Lord of the Rings, and other works when he developed and created Babylon 5. Straczynski envisioned it as “a novel for television,” and Babylon 5 has proven to be very influential on the shows that came after it due to its heavily serialized storylines.

The show takes place hundreds of years in the future, and 10 years after humanity was nearly wiped out in a senseless war with an alien race called the Minbari. Earth and the various alien races have come together at Babylon 5 to make one last stab at peace. But there’s an unknown alien faction that’s slowly plunging the galaxy into a devastating war beyond imagination.

Stream Babylon 5 on Tubi.

Battlestar Galactica (2003-2009)

The cast of Battlestar Galactica.
Universal Cable Productions

Battlestar Galactica was inspired by the original BSG from the late 1970s, but it was also the first post-911 sci-fi series that truly felt modern. Like Foundation, Battlestar Galactica embraced literate storytelling and complex characters. For this reboot, the Cylons were depicted as human-like androids who were almost undetectable by real humans. And these new Cylons successfully engineered the nearly complete eradication of the human race.

Much like in the original series, the last Battlestar, Galactica, was led by Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos), and one of his best pilots was his son, Lee “Apolo” Adama (Jamie Bamber). But the big changes included a gender flip for Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (The Mandalorian‘s Katee Sackhoff), and the introduction of President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell), the leader of the civilian ships under the protection of the Galactica.

Rent or buy Battlestar Galactica on Prime Video.

12 Monkeys (2015-2018)

Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford in 12 Monkeys.
Universal Cable Productions

Star Trek: Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas developed 12 Monkeys with Travis Fickett, and it was based on Terry Gilliam’s 1995 film of the same name and Chris Marker’s original short film La Jetée. Foundation fans should check this one out because it has a strong storyline that plays out over four seasons. Aaron Stanford stars in the series as James Cole, a scavenger from the future who is recruited to go back in time and prevent a viral outbreak that devastated humanity.

In the present, Cole encounters a virologist, Cassandra “Cassie” Railly (Amanda Schull), who may hold the key to helping him save the world. He also meets Jennifer Goines (Emily Hampshire), a mad genius who may have a link to the enigmatic Army of the 12 Monkeys.

Stream 12 Monkeys on Hulu.

Invasion (2021-Present)

Sam Neill in Invasion.
Apple TV+

There’s nothing secret about this Invasion, and the aliens aren’t necessarily in a hurry to move along with their plans. However, the deliberate pace of this series helps build a lingering sense of dread as ordinary people around the world come to the horrific realization that the invasion isn’t just coming, it’s already here. In the first season, Sam Neill has a supporting role as a small town sheriff, Jim Bell Tyson, who is one of the first to catch on to the looming threat.

A second season of Invasion is coming on August 23, but there’s still plenty of time to catch up on season 1 ahead of time.

Stream Invasion on AppleTV+.

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