With Doctor Who not set to return until 2020, fans are going to have to find something else to watch to scratch the itch of our favorite traveler of space and time. Thankfully with streaming services like Netflix at our fingertips, we can binge full seasons of pretty much any show we want. So instead of just re-watching old episodes of Doctor Who, here are 10 other shows you should watch if you like Doctor Who.
When an experimental time machine is stolen, a history professor, a soldier, and an engineer are tasked with capturing the culprit. The soon learn, however, that the thief plans to rewrite American history. Each of them has a connection to his plan, of course, as well as the mysterious organization that funded the machine's development. With its second, and final, season sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, Timeless is a short and sweet series that’s perfect for bingeing.
Set in a fictional town of Eureka, Oregon, most of the Eureka cast are scientific geniuses who work for Global Dynamics – an advanced research facility responsible for the development of nearly all major technological breakthroughs since its inception. Each episode featured a mysterious accidental or intentional misuse of technology, which the town sheriff, Jack Carter, solved with the help of town scientists. Poor Jack fills the “Average Joe” trope and surrounded by people much smarter than himself, but this doesn’t stop him from being a valued resident.
Primeval follows a team of scientists tasked with investigating the appearance of temporal anomalies across the United Kingdom. The prehistoric and futuristic creatures, however, enter the present and try to stop the end of the world. Unlike some of the other entries on this list, this show is very family friendly and could prove a sneaky way to warm a friend up to the idea of an alien bombing around all of space and time in a Police box.
In Fringe, we meet Dr. Walter Bishop, a literal mad scientist and expert in “fringe science” who has spent years institutionalized after a lab accident killed one of his assistants. He’s genial, absent-minded, easily distracted — he’s like your favorite grandpa; a once brilliant man brought low by dementia. The show gradually reveals, however, just how many terrible things Walter did along the road that led him into that institution. He's made choices that put the entire universe at risk. He meant well, but the consequences of that road to Hell will take a terrible toll on those Walter cares for the most.
Kiera Cameron, a cop from a dystopian, corporate-controlled 2077 Vancouver. Through a series of unfortunate events, she winds up thrown back to the year 2012 in pursuit of several escaped prisoners who are either terrorists or freedom fighters, depending on your point of view. Trapped in our own present recent past, Kiera poses as a modern cop, trying to track down the fugitives and find a way back to her home era. She does this all thanks to the help of a young computer genius destined for mighty things. The first season is rudimentary, but further seasons delved into the nature and implications of time travel in all sorts of fascinating ways. From alternate timelines to causality loops and chicken-egg paradoxes, you may need a flowchart to keep up, but that’s half the fun.
A married World War II nurse who, in 1945, finds herself transported back to 1743 Scotland, where she encounters the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings. The rebellions had the aim of returning James II of England and VII of Scotland (and later his descendants of the House of Stuart) to the throne of Great Britain after they had been deposed by Parliament. More historical romance than action adventure, Outlander is the odd one out on this list; but it still maintains the feel of when the Third Doctor was exiled to Earth for an entire season, minus the gadgetry.
3. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Another short-lived series, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency gives a new definition to quirky. With a main protagonist that is as wild and weird as they come, this show is a loose adaptation of the Douglas Adams novel of the same name. Time is as wibbly-wobbly as it comes in this series that follows Dirk Gently, an eccentric and self-described "holistic" detective, who understands everything in the universe to be interconnected. He does not solve cases by conventional means, but rather by following fate. It is revealed that he was part of a government organization studying people with 'special' abilities, as he is mildly psychic. He carries himself as excitable and optimistic, as a mask over his own loneliness and insecurity.
2. Rick & Morty
We haven’t seen John Barrowman’s portrayal of Captain Jack Harkness since "The End of Time" at the end of series four of the modern Doctor Who. That is unless you’ve seen Torchwood. Introduced as an entity in “Tooth and Claw” early in series two, the Torchwood Institute was established in 1879 by Queen Victoria. Its prime directive is to defend Earth against supernatural and extraterrestrial threats. It is later revealed in "Army of Ghosts" that the Torchwood Institute had begun to use their findings to restore the British Empire to its former glory. To those ends, the organization started to acquire and reverse engineer alien technology. With four seasons of Doctor Who, without The Doctor, this is the closest you’ll get the real thing.