Steampunk TV shows to binge watch this summer
If you’re anything like us, the summer is the time to binge watch shows that you haven’t caught up with yet – though to be honest it does happen at all times of the year, probably too much. Finding steampunk TV shows can be a bit challenging, but there are plenty out there that incorporate steampunk elements in one way or another. To make it easier for you, we, in no particular order, present you with some of the best ranked steampunk TV shows, or TV shows with steampunk elements, that you can try out this summer – maybe you’ll find something you really like.
The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (2000)
Inspired by Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, this TV show from the year 2000 has 22 episodes, which is just enough for a good binge watch. Taking the 1870 novel as a basis, the TV show offers a twist to the plot of the book and is based on the fact that the author Jules Verne himself had experienced the adventures described in the book. Steampunk technology, evil plots and a inspired by a steampunk novel – you might want to check it out.
Going Postal (2010)
This miniseries by Terry Pratchett needed to be on this list, as it features fantastical, Gothic and steampunk elements (and just because it’s a Terry Pratchett creation, of course). It only has two episodes, so it’s great for a cozy steampunk movienight. It’s one of the Discworld adaptations, and follows the adventures of the creatively named Moist von Lipwig who becomes a Postmaster to avoid being executed. The plot features twists and turns, and he soon realizes that being a Postmaster is not all it seems.
The Wild Wild West (1965-1969)
One of the first steampunk TV shows, this Wild West show is a good place to start if you want to see the beginning of steampunk television. It’s set in the 1870s and features a bunch of adventurous and cliché things – spies in the Wild West, horseback riding, dramatic shoot-outs, beautiful girls to be kissed – but it also offers weird proto-steampunk technology that didn’t exist in the 1870s, anachronisms and weird fantastical villains that the two main characters have to fight. Besides, with its 4 seasons and total of 104 episodes you totally will have some material to sink your teeth into and it’s quite a fun show all things considered.
The Infinite Worlds of H. G. Wells (2001)
Here’s another show that takes its inspiration from authors – in this case H. G. Wells. The series is inspired by and adapted from four of his short stories, which appear as flashbacks to the year 1893 and Victorian times when Wells and Jane Robbins investigate strange things and occurrences that are said to later have inspired those stories. This one’s only a miniseries of 4 hours, so if you want to refrain from binge watching for longer periods of time, it’s the perfect length. If this isn’t enough, there’s a newer miniseries – The Nightmare Worlds of H.G. Wells from 2016 which provides 4 more episodes and also focuses on some of Well’s lesser known stories.
Murdoch Mysteries (2008-)
Another series that features steampunk elements is Murdoch Mysteries. This show is actually ongoing, so if you haven’t seen it yet you have a big binge watch ahead of you to catch up before the new season starts – and you have 10 seasons to watch before that, so you’re welcome. If you’re a crime show kind of person, you should give this one a try, since it’s a detective series, but set in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You not only get to enjoy the era and see crime being solved, detective Murdoch is also an inventor and a scientist – pretty steampunk.
Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)
This Gothic horror show is set in Victorian times and features Victorian settings and clothing that we all appreciate. The main characters fight off monsters in London, so there’s a mix of historical and fantastical, and the various literary characters scattered throughout the three seasons, like Victor Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Dorian Gray and Dr. Jekyll, adds an interesting steampunk dimension to the show.
Avatar: The Legend of Korra (2012-2014)
This anime-like animated series follows after the first Avatar: The Last Airbender, but is set 70 years late and focuses on the next airbender Korra. We couldn’t leave it out form this list, for everyone who enjoys animations, which of course also is a very fitting medium to portray steampunk elements. The setting of Republic City is a highly industrialized city with many unique, intricate technologies and the machines, zeppelins, airships add to the steampunk feel of it all. This is a slightly longer series as well, with 4 seasons and 52 episodes altogether. So you better find the most comfortable of couches and some snacks before starting.