Based on actual events documented in Gregory David Roberts’ bestselling novel of the same name, Shantaram is a drama-thriller series centered on the life of Lin Ford. Developed by Justin Kurzel, Bharat Nalluri and Iain B. MacDonald, the Apple TV+ series is set in 1980s India amidst crime, rebellion and an overall turbulent situation. Lin Ford is a prison escapee who has a hard time staying out of trouble. However, he falls in love with a beautiful woman and his subsequent experiences become increasingly difficult.
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Antonia Desplat and Elektra Kilbey, the series explores many facets, including life on the run, navigating a strange new place, confronting crime and even encountering some dangerous people. If you want to watch series revolving around related topics, then the following suggestions are perfect. You can watch most of these series similar to Shantaram on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
8. Blackbird (2022)
‘Black Bird’ is a crime series directed by Dennis Lehane that follows Jimmy Keene’s experiences in prison after his 10-year sentence. Things start to improve, however, when an FBI agent offers him a chance to get free if he extracts a confession from a suspected serial killer who killed about eighteen women. Killer Larry Hall is in a maximum security prison and Keene is sent there to befriend him. Shantaram and Black Bird investigate the psyche of prison inmates. They also reflect on law enforcement’s efforts to do justice.
Creator Jonas Akerlund’s crime series Clark dissects the bizarre story behind the person we first linked to Stockholm Syndrome. The series follows the notorious and criminal life of dangerous Swedish criminal Clark Olofsson, who is wanted for numerous murders, robberies and drug trafficking. Through his charm and personality, he managed to avoid arrest.
In fact, it has long been suspected that Olofsson’s seductive demeanor is the trigger for the Stockholm Syndrome phenomenon. Also, both Shantaram and Clark and their later protagonists are inspired by real events. Even though the series contains some outrageous depictions of events, it leaves the viewer confused as to what is real and what is fictional.
6. Sacred Games (2018-2019)
Photo credits: Ishika Mohan Motwane, Netflix
Created by Varun Grover, Sacred Games crime action series follows an intriguing story that connects a fugitive mobster and a good cop through their shared past. The mafiosi’s cryptic warning prompts the police officer to embark on a mission to prevent a catastrophe in the Indian city of Mumbai. He reveals the hidden corruption and crime in the city. Like Shantaram, the Sacred Games series is set in the urban jungle of Mumbai. In both series, the city of Mumbai plays a central role in driving the plot forward.
5. Escape At Dannemora (2018)
In Escape At Dannemora, prison staff are stunned when they witness a prison breakout. However, the situation worsens when it is learned that the two escapees are in love with a female prison employee. The latter helps the convict in his escape from prison. The makers Brett Johnson and Michael Tolkin have put a lot of effort into making the series feel real and authentic. Inspired a little by Escape At Dannemora, the ambitious story of Lin flees Australia and seeks new opportunities in India and Afghanistan in Shantaram.
4. Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014)
Photo credit: FX Network
Created by Kurt Sutter, the crime series Sons of Anarchy explores the life and crimes of an outlaw club of motorcyclists. The motorcycle enthusiasts protect each other while acting like vigilantes. The protagonist, a biker, has to reconcile his family and his role in the club. The troupe’s everyday misadventures and notorious indulgences form the overarching plot of the series. In both Shantaram and Sons of Anarchy, the acting skill and range of actor Charlie Hunnam, who plays the lead, is evident. Also, the protagonists in both series are deranged and conflicted criminals.
3. Alcatraz (2012)
Steven Lilien, Elizabeth Sarnoff and Bryan Wynbrandt are the creators of the crime action series ‘Alcatraz’. After all of Alcatraz’s guards and prisoners disappeared in 1963, those who disappeared reappear. However, this reappearance takes place in 2011 and all the criminals resort to their foul methods. An intelligent team of agents is assembled to get to the bottom of the incidents. Both Shantaram and Alcatraz are about escaped convicts. The authorities and law enforcement agencies are doing everything they can to recapture the dangerous criminals.
2. Banshee (2013-2016)
In Banshee, unsettling former con artist Lucas takes the form of a deceased sheriff to seek safety in the sleepy village of Banshee. Additionally, his morals and situation take an awkward turn when he encounters a person from the life he left behind. Developed by David Schickler and Jonathan Tropper, the crime drama series features fast-paced action sequences, deadly twists and turns and the thrill of a chase. Like Lin in Shantaram, Banshee’s Lucas is constantly on the run, both from the authorities and from his past.
1. The Fugitive (2020)
‘The Fugitive’ follows Mike, an ex-con who is paroled. Amid unreliable information and an unpredictable frenzy thanks to social media, he struggles to keep himself and his family safe. When a bomb goes off on a subway train, everything points to Mike’s involvement. He must find the person behind the crime in order to find justice and prove his innocence. Starring Boyd Holbrook, Natalie Martinez and Tiya Sircar, the series is similar to Shantaram in terms of protagonist characteristics. Both main characters have served time in prison, which makes them vulnerable to other criminal activities.