I'm always up for a good "end of the world" story. A lot of us are partial to the post-apocalyptic theme in movies and TV shows, as these shows keep popping up and (lately) doing fairly well in the ratings. To qualify as Post-Apocalyptic, there needs to have been a collapse in society resulting from a near end-of-the-world scenario (usually a virus or a war), and a small group of survivors. These survivors are the focus of our story; they scavenge vacant malls for supplies, and sift through the rubble. In the past few years a lot of these TV series have been made or remade. At Top2040, here are the Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows of all time:
1 - The Walking Dead (2010 - current) The usual culprit, a virus, has spread like wildfire around the world. This virus doesn't just kill, it turns humans into zombies. That's not usually a good plot line, but it works in "The Walking Dead," and it works well. The writing is strong, and the story is compelling. Most of the characters are smart, and that's important. No one wants to watch idiots make stupid mistakes just to keep the plot moving forward. TWD is pretty good at keeping the smart characters alive, and keeping our attention fixed. We follow the group on its journey to find safety and a cure.
2 - Falling Skies (2011 - 2015) Aliens have landed and taken over the world. After destroying the major cities, the alien invaders begin mining the earth and hunting down the few humans still alive. They harness the human children to use them for their own ends. Our human protagonists form an army and fight back. Falling Skies is riveting, forward-moving, and adds fresh elements to each season.
3 - Ark II (1976) Pollution has led the Earth to ruin. A team of scientists and kids roam the ravaged country in a futuristic vehicle looking for survivors and trying to rebuild society. The Ark II is a storehouse of Earth's knowledge. The effects are dated, but the story is good.
4 - Revolution (2012 - 2014) After a worldwide blackout, the US has been split into small republics, one with a brutal militia in control. From the creator of Supernatural, Revolution is engaging and showing a lot of promise.
5 - Survivors (1975-1977) created by Terry Nation of "Blake's 7" fame. A virus has wiped out 90% of the population, and the remnants come together to stay alive. The 2008 remake was just as good. It came after "The Changes" which was also a post-apocalyptic BBC TV series.
6 - Planet of the Apes TV Series (1974) Not quite as nifty as the movies, but a good series nonetheless.
7 - Jeremiah (2002-2004) After a virus has decimated the world population, a few survivors roam the country looking for resources and staying alive.
8 - Jericho (2006-2008) Following a series nuclear bombs on every major US city, the residents of a small town in Kansas fight to rebuild and survive.
9 - Earth 2 (1994-1995) Technically this is on a new planet, but the same post-Apocalyptic principles apply.
10 - The Tribe (1999-2003) In Australia, after a virus has killed all the adults, the children must fight for survival. They set up camp in a shopping mall, and forage for food and supplies. A rogue anti-social, psychotic group has taken over the police station and poses a new threat. A tiny bit of teen mad max going on there.
Honorable Mention to: Dark Angel (2009)
Stephen King's The Stand was a 4-part TV event, but it appears on the list of Post-Apocalyptic Movies, as it was actually a 4-part movie.
For the Big Screen, check out more here at top2040.com :
This gruesome theme is compelling both in cinema and on the TV tube. We love our post-apocalyptic shows. No idea why, but we do.