One of the most anticipated tv series recently is The Sandman, a fantasy drama based on Neil Gaiman’s 1989-1996 comic book, scheduled on August 5th of this year. The show tells the story of Dream, the titular Sandman and it stars an array of excellent British actors, such as Tom Sturridge as Dream, Gwendolyn Christie, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Jena Coleman, David Thewlis, and Joely Richardson. A Dream is a personification of dreams who has managed to escape after decades of imprisonment and is now determined to reclaim his lost equipment. There are many tv series similar to this one and this is the list of 17 best tv shows like The Sandman you need to watch.
17. Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016-2019)
Claire is a regular teenager who lives in Brooklyn and one day her life takes a big turn when she discovers that she is a descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, humans born with angelic blood who protect our world from demons.
She is about to embark on an adventure after her mothers get kidnapped. She will have to team up with three Shadowhunters, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, and her best friend Simon, and recover her past, all to find and save her mother.
16. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
One of the most famous, quoted, and followed fantasy tv series of all time is this horror drama about a quirky teenage girl Buffy who is just trying to lead a normal, “invisible” life, going through high school pains as easily as possible.
But there is so much more to her, being the world’s most powerful vampire slayer whose destiny is to save the world by slaying demons, vampires, and all other creatures, surviving one apocalypse after another at the same time surviving her adolescence, high school, and other typical teenage problems. Accompanied by a group of her closest friends, she will have to face dangers no 16-year-old should.
15. The Witcher (2019 – )
Even though it is not very similar in genre or topic to The Sandman, it is still a tv show you might want to watch before or after The Sandman, due to its supernatural elements and adventure. It is the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter who is struggling to find his place in a world where people seem to be more vicious than beasts and monsters.
He will soon be partnered with a powerful sorceress and a young princess with a special gift and he will have to get used to sharing his private space and sometimes thoughts while exploring the increasingly variable continent.
14. Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999)
One of the most famous Japanese cartoons of all time is this action adventure about the world in 2071 where the stars have been colonized by men but humans have remained the same greedy and desperate species as always.
Spike Spiegel and Jet Black are a duo of bounty hunters who are not having it easy living among the stars and everything starts going for worse when they adopt a super-dog Ein and form a crew with two more individuals, femme-fatale Faye Valentine and the teenage-hacker Edward.
13. Midnight Mass (2021)
This brilliant and nerve-wracking fantasy horror mini tv-series starring Zack Gilford tell the story of a young priest who comes to a secluded island whose community experiences miraculous events and terrifying events upon his arrival.
But Father Paul is not the only one who arrived since a disgraced young man has returned there, too and it there is a new religious enthusiasm among the residents of the island but is there a price to pay behind it all?
12. Neverwhere (1996)
This original and intriguing Tv mini-series brings the story of Richard Mayhew, an ordinary Londoner whose life begins to change when he encounters a girl named Door. He is soon pulled into the fantastical world of London Below, with his old life completely gone.
Door and Richard find out they are being followed and pursued by the dangerous Messrs. Croup and Vandemar and with help of Hunter and the Marquis de Carabas, it is in their greatest interest to find the Angel Islington who might know what happened to Door’s family and tell Richard how to get back home.
11. Supernatural (2005-2020)
This beloved fantasy horror drama about Dean and Sam Winchester is one of the most influential tv series in the past two decades, especially in the fantasy genre. Sam and Dean decide to follow in their father’s footsteps as hunters and find themselves in numerous unforgettable situations.
They will have to fight all kinds of evil supernatural beings, such as monsters, demons, and gods that can be found all around the world. There is a much more serious reason for Sam and Dean to go on their mission and soon they will learn things about themselves they could never have imagined.
10. The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
A story about a group of siblings who grew up in a house that resulted to be one of the most haunted houses in the country. Now, as adults, they are faced with a tragedy and forced back to be together, having to deal with the ghosts from their past.
But these ghosts don’t live only in their minds, but some of them are still lurking in the most hidden parts of the Hill House and will start causing them more problems than they could have ever imagined. This is one of the most shocking and intriguing tv mini-series in the last few years.
9. Doctor Who (2005 – )
One of the most long-lasting and beloved British tv shows ever, this excellent fantasy tells the story of an alien adventurer who goes by the name of The Doctor. He comes to Earth with many missions to solve and always finds different companions to help him.
The Doctor is a Time Lord coming from the planet of Gallifrey and he travels through time and space in his spaceship called Tardis. No one knows who he is, what his secret is, and why he needs to regenerate into a new form every now and then.
Many excellent British actors have excelled in their roles as the witty, eccentric and absolutely adorable Doctor, such as Cristopher Ecclestone, David Tennant and Matt Smith and one of his forms has also been a woman, played by Jodie Whittaker.
8. American Gods (2017 – 2021)
This is a fantasy crime drama about Shadow, a man with a past who has decided to forget his old ways and now wants to live a quiet life with his wife, without any trouble. But his wife’s death in a terrible accident brings him back to what he used to do before.
Flying home for the funeral, during a big storm, a strange man suddenly appears on his seat, calling himself Mr. Wednesday. He knows everything about Shadow and warns him about an even more dangerous storm. From this moment on nothing is the same anymore.
This show introduces us to various talented and brilliant young actors, led by veterans, such as Ian McShane and Crispin Glover.
7. Good Omens (2019 – 2022)
Another Neil Gaiman screening, this is a hilarious fantasy comedy about Armageddon and an angel, a demon, an 11-year-old Antichrist, and a doom-saying witch. David Tennant and Martin Sheen are unforgettable as two completely opposite individuals who need to team up in order to save the world.
Sheen is Aziraphale, an angel who got used to Earth’s greatest pleasures and enjoys the fine things in life, living as an antiquarian bookshop owner in London. Tennant has also lived on Earth since the dawn of creation and is Aziraphale’s total opposite, being explosive, temperamental, and loud. It is obvious that their differences are the story’s central point, together with the interesting and intriguing topic.
6. Lucifer (2016 – 2021)
This is an excellent fantasy comedy about Lucifer Morningstar who gets bored of his routine life in hell and decides to spend some time on Earth. He moves to Los Angeles and finds his purpose in helping people get rid of their deepest thoughts and desires through his experience and telepathic abilities.
Trying to better understand humanity, he meets various individuals and finds himself in different situations, more or less challenging, and ends up working as an LAPD consultant who tries to punish people for their crimes through law and justice.
5. Preacher (2016 – 2019)
This story is an answer to the question of what would happen if an angel and a demon had a baby. Would it be more similar to his good or evil parent or a combination of both? Their offspring has no body, just a soul and it found a body in Jesse, an alcoholic preacher from Texas with a loss of faith.
Jesse is soon very powerful and finds himself on a mission to better understand this new gift of his and literally find God. He starts a quest together with the help of his happy-go-lucky ex-girlfriend Tulip and a new vampire friend called Cassidy.
4. Constantine (2014 – 2015)
This is a fantasy drama about John Constantine, a man haunted by his past and his old sins. He is a demon hunter and the master of the occult and his job and task is to protect humanity from the constant supernatural threats that appear in our world.
He is always somewhere between the good and the evil, trying to use his skills and a supernatural map to travel across the nation and send all those monsters back to their own world. He has a much bigger reason than only kindness of heart and this is to redeem his soul from eternal torment.
3. Penny Dreadful (2014 – 2016)
This brilliant horror drama is set in 19th century England and focuses on numerous many public domain characters from Victorian gothic fiction, such as Dorian Gray, Van Helsing, Victor Frankenstein Mina Harker, Count Dracula, and many more.
The story revolves around the adventurer Malcolm Murray and the mysterious and breathtaking Vanessa Ives who hire Ethan Chandler, an American gunman to help them rescue Murray’s daughter from an unknown creature. They start receiving help from many various characters and soon the audience is drawn into something even more serious and dangerous than a kidnapping case.
The show is full of excellent actors, led by Timothy Dalton, Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, and many other brilliant British actors, such as Helen McCrory, Billie Piper, and Rory Kinnear.
2. Carnival Row (2019 – )
This Gothic fantasy drama starring Orlando Bloom and Cara Delavigne tells the story of different mythological creatures whose homeland has been invaded by humans. They are immigrants who just want to painlessly coexist with humans but are forced to live in the most dangerous and gloomiest part of the city.
But when a human detective Rycroft Philostrate and a faerie Vignette Stonemoss start a forbidden and dangerous relationship despite all the obstacles, everything will begin to change and both societies will have to face major decisions and risks.
1. The Fades (2011)
This is a fantasy horror mystery about Paul, a teenage boy haunted by apocalyptic dreams no one can decipher or explain. But along with all that, he begins to see spirits of the dead, known as The Fades, everywhere around him.
The Fades can’t be seen, smelt, touched, or heard by anyone else and when a bitter Fade Polus finds a way to be human again, it is Paul’s task to stop him and all the dead from coming back to our world and destroy the human race.
And now, even though we have finished with our list of the best show like the Sandman, we still have a list of other lovers of the show and experts on the subject. So check their suggestions below as well.
Brittany Mendez, CMO of FloridaPanhandle.com
Shadow and Bone
Shadow and Bone includes the same darkness, fantasy, and magic like The Sandman does. There’s only one season out so far, but the second season should be coming out soon — meaning if you start it now, you won’t be too far behind.
Shadow and Bone is based on a book series, much like The Sandman is based off of a comic. There are magical creatures, royalty, wars, and plenty of seat-gripping action to keep you on your toes. There’s also an element of romance to go along with all of its darkness, making it a perfect match for those who are big fans of The Sandman.
Timmothy from ParamountQuote
The Umbrella Academy
If you like The Sandman you will like the Umbrella Academy. It is also a show about super-powered individuals and has a fairly dark tone to it and its story. It is also a high-budget show with really good special effects and a compelling story that makes it very interesting.
These are superheroes in training to save the world they are also adopted by their leader who is preparing them for becoming heroes. Overall the setting of the show reminds me a lot of The Sandman and that is why I think anyone who can enjoy The Sandman will definitely enjoy The Umbrella Academy. The heroes also have really cool superpowers the character known as Number Five can manipulate space and time.
Another character named Sloane can manipulate gravity which is very cool to watch in the show. 2 characters Viktor and Harlan can manipulate sound and you can definitely tell the kind of budget they put into this show when those 2 use their powers. Their very first villain Leonard Peabody is a formidable and interesting villain as well.
The character became insane after abuse from his father which also makes you feel kind of sorry for the villain while at the same time hating him for being so cruel. Overall the dark story of both The Sandman and The Umbrella Academy make them both shows anyone should binge back to back.
Chel from Castnoble
I would like to recommend Stranger Things. This 80s throwback series has a lot of 80s nostalgia and 80s references, but it’s also got a unique sci-fi twist. It’s about a young boy who discovers he has supernatural powers. He uses those powers to save his town from an evil force. It’s very well-written, with great acting and amazing production values.
Stranger Things and The Sandman both tell stories of children who go on adventures in their own worlds. They are similar because they both have child protagonists who are largely disconnected from the adults in their lives, who are either villains or neglectful. Both series also use a mix of magic and science to create their universe, as well as supernatural monsters. In addition, they are set in small towns with a lot of supernatural elements.
Both series have kids as the main characters, who must face monsters, demons and ghosts. Both series have episodes that focus on psychics, who are trying to solve the problems in their town. Both series have a strong female lead character who takes charge in the situation.
Stranger Things has a more science fiction feel than TheSandman, but both shows deal with issues of coming-of-age and dealing with trauma from traumatic events.
Hammad from Politigory
This fantasy filled show is a good starter to where the tale of sandman comes from. Follow the story of two brothers as they navigate the hidden world, of biblical creatures, hell and heaven etc. It will give you the creeps so proceed with caution!
Continuing the story of biblical creatures Lucifer will leave you satisfied!
Apart from being a great line between reality and fantasy, lucifer also shares its story line with the sandman! So, its basically the best show to watch when you’re still reeling from the sandman! Amazing I know! Based directly on the DC character of Lucifer Morningstar from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book, this dark fantasy has it all.
Penny dreadful will give you some Victorian era fantasy you didn’t know you needed.
The show follows a woman’s story trying to save her daughter from supernatural creatures. It features some childhood literary classics like Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Gray. Interesting I know! As this show sets its views upon foggy London it will surely keep the mind palace that sandman created occupied.
Leslie from GreatPeopleSearch
It is the best show that you can watch on Netflix. In this show you will see that man and God live side by side. Significantly, in this story you will see a fight between the old Gods and New Media and Technology Gods. The storyline of this show generally revolves around a person who just came out of jail. And he started the new journey of life sadly after the death of his wife.
It is another best TV show just like The Sandman. You will see a combination of mythological tales that revolve around Gods. Its cast is also very stacked. Good omens is a good show and enough to seek the attention of the viewers. As it has a pleasant quantity of religious humour and also creates dramatic ends. So it is the best show to watch on Netflix.
Oberon from VeryInformed
If you’re looking for more dark fantasy TV shows like The Sandman, you’re in luck. There are plenty of great options out there for fans of this genre. Here are just a few of the best:
• American Gods: This show tells the story of a battle between the old gods of mythology and the new gods of modern life. It’s a fascinating and dark exploration of faith, power, and humanity.
• Buffy the Vampire Slayer: This classic show follows a group of vampire hunters as they battle the forces of evil. There’s plenty of action, humor, and heart in this beloved series.
• Penny Dreadful: This gothic horror show is set in Victorian England and tells the tales of monsters, demons, and witches. If you’re looking for chills and thrills, Penny Dreadful is sure to deliver.
These are just a few of the great dark fantasy TV shows out there. So if you’re looking for more after finishing The Sandman, be sure to check out some of these other great options.
Kevin from NANBF
The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is to emo as The Sandman is to goth, so it is a brilliant option if you have just binged the series and are looking for a surrogate with the same kind of feel. Like The Sandman, the show is based off of a comic book, so has a similar story structure, whilst retaining a huge amount of complexity and nuance.
Filled with incredibly loveable and chronically flawed characters, the show oozes style and a strong aesthetic, and humorous patter galore. As a viewer, you get a window into a highly dysfunctional and delightfully hilarious family. The father, an eccentric and cruel billionaire, has adopted seven children with supernatural, superhuman powers, and thrust them into the spotlight of media and public attention.
Now grown up, the siblings have to deal with their own demons – both metaphorically and literally! It’s a fab show for the whole family, and truly epitomizes the stylistic fantasy genre that The Sandman also belongs to.
Alex from HomeGrounds
I think for any fan of The Sandman, there are three shows I could easily recommend.
The first is Good Omens. It is another show that is not only based on Neil Gaiman’s work, but he actually played a part in its production as the writer. It differs in tone to The Sandman quite a lot, but the clever writing and worldbuilding is standout and worth watching.
The next two shows are also based on work by Neil Gaiman, though he was not as directly involved. Regardless, they are definitely worth trying out.
One of these is American Gods. This show is phenomenal, and it is no wonder that it was nominated for multiple awards. The acting is stellar, definitely on par with The Sandman. The tone of the story and world are just as gritty yet fantastical, but it stands apart visually. The colours are incredibly vibrant and high in saturation, which is quite unique for a show that tackles the dark themes that it does.
Another show is Lucifer. Like Good Omens, it is relatively light hearted, especially when considering that the show is about the devil and murder, but it does not make it any less fun to watch. There are quite a lot of seasons, so it’s definitely worthy of a binge watch. It might also be interesting to those who enjoyed The Sandman as they would get to see Lucifer in a much different way.
Though Lucifer’s portrayal in The Sandman is much more believable and authentic to Gaiman’s previous work, it’s very interesting to see the character in a very different type of show and to see how they react to a different assortment of characters.