Netflix’s ‘Trial By Fire’ is the tale of two parents grieving the loss of their children after a catastrophe. The series is inspired by the real-life parent duo Shekhar and Neelam Krishnamoorthy’s novel ‘Trial: by Fire: A Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy.’ It encapsulates real-life occurrences and the aftermath of the Uphaar Theatre fire tragedy that took 59 lives and left over 100 injured on June 13, 1997. The show is led by Abhay Deol and Rajshri Deshpande who essay the character of Shekhar and Neelam, respectively.
The creators, Kevin Luperchio and Prashant Nair do complete justice to the source material without heavily dramatizing the tragedy for entertainment. The strong portrayal of the Krishnamoorthy family, the 25 years of struggle, and their resilience to go through it all with blood, sweat, and tears, are some of the impressive feats in the series. If you binged this show within a day, we have a list of more series with similar themes and distinctive stories that you will enjoy. You can watch most of these shows, similar to ‘Trial By Fire’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. Wormwood (2017)
‘Wormwood‘ is a psychological docudrama about Frank Olson, a scientist, and his mysterious death. This show ties up non-fiction storytelling with conspiracy theories by having Frank’s son explain the events from his perspective. The CIA claims that his father’s death was a suicide, but he believes that Frank was murdered due to being a potential risk to their security. The series is helmed by Errol Morris, who left no tables unturned and enriched the show with multiple theories of the scientist’s death, archival footage, and reenactments of a few pivotal moments. Contrasting to the parents in ‘Trial By Fire,’ Frank’s son is the one who musters up the courage to speak about this issue in the public eye while grieving his loss.
7. Under The Banner Of Heaven (2022)
‘Under The Banner Of Heaven‘ is a true crime drama based on a non-fiction eponymous book by Jon Krakauer. The series revolves around Jeb Pure (Andrew Garfield), who is taken aback by brutal murders that can be traced back to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It received backlash from the Mormon faith but undoubtedly impacted the critiques in a positive way. ‘Trial By Fire’ and ‘Under The Banner Of Heaven’ depict the need for a thorough and deep investigation to unmask the true accused behind the crimes.
6. Dr. Death (2021)
‘Dr. Death’ is inspired by the eponymous true crime podcast about a surgeon and his gruesome malpractices. The show centers on Christopher Dunstch (Alec Baldwin) and two doctors who learn his secrets and prevent him from doing further harm. The creator. Patrick Macmanus doesn’t glorify or explain the sociopathic behavior of Dunstch and creates the perfect amount of tension. Congruent to ‘Trial By Fire,’ the series has two determined characters who’d go to any extent to bring justice to innocent lives.
5. We Own This City (2022)
‘We Own The City’ is based on a non-fiction book with the same title, written by Justin Fenton. The story details the unsteadiness of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. It uncovers a story of corruption and the current state of the world. Moreover, the creators George Pelecanos and David Simon have opted for a non-linear style of storytelling which can be quite confusing at times. ‘We Own This City’ also questions the moral character of humans and what lies they are capable of telling once caught, which is a recurring theme in ‘Trial By Fire.’
4. The Spy (2019)
‘The Spy‘ is espionage and follows the life of Eli Cohen (Sacha Baron Cohen), a spy from Massad. The story is set in 1967 when the tensions between Israel and Syria were rising. It is mind-boggling to see how one man infiltrates the enemy nation to such an extent that he ends up becoming a confidant to the future prime president and is titled as the Deputy Defense Minister of the whole country. The creator Gideon Raff engages your attention and successfully unravels a compelling drama. The protagonists of ‘The Spy’ and ‘Trial By Fire’ are fierce people who would go to any leaps and bounds to fulfilling their agenda, which makes you admire their grit and perseverance, motivating you to do better.
3. Unbelievable (2019)
‘Unbelievable‘ is based on a news article by T. Christian Miller, titled, An Unbelievable Story Of Rape. The series starts with Marie being charged with lying about her sexual assault. Although, two female detectives are hot on this case’s trail and find a pattern that is indeed “unbelievable.” The creators Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon have mastered the art of poignant narrative and amalgamate the perfect dramatization of the serial sexual assault cases in Washington and Colorado. ‘Unbelievable’ and ‘Trial By Fire’ demonstrate how difficult it is to navigate through legal proceedings, where your voice is barely heard, and you keep second guessing whether justice will be served or not.
2. Delhi Crime (2019-)
Delhi Crime is an Indian crime drama that covers the heinous crimes that occur in the capital city, Delhi. Season 1 is based on the real story of a gruesome case of sexual assault that led to the death of a young woman. In contrast, the second season is only inspired by a real gang but focuses on a fictional story. It showcases how Deputy Commissioner of Police Vartika Chaturvedi (Shefali Shah) finds her way around these cases along with her team. ‘Delhi Crime’ comes closest to ‘Trial By Fire’ because both are Indian series that expose the loopholes in their system, the struggles of living in the country, and a raw portrayal of what it’s like to pursue justice in a corrupt society.
1. Generation Kill (2008)
‘Generational Kill’ is based on a non-fictional book written by Evan Wright, an author and journalist. The series covered his reporting on the grounds of Iraq when the U.S. invaded the country for searching WMD (Weapons Of Mass Destruction) in 2003. However, Evan was an embedded reporter with the US Marine Corps and witnessed their 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. The show plays out like a war drama documentary through the eyes of the Rolling Stone reporter.
The show was directed by Susanna White and Simon Cellan Jones, and they capture the entire chaos and absurdity of the war, making it both educational and entertaining for the masses. ‘Trial By Fire’ also has a similar style of narrative, where real-life events are presented in a way that appeals to the audience while showcasing the tragedy of the incident, which is precisely why this show tops our list.