10 Shows Like A Gentleman in Moscow You Must See

Created by Ben Vanstone, ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ introduces us to the cultured Count Alexander Rostov as he is placed under house arrest in the Metropol Hotel during the Russian Revolution. Having lived a luxurious and scholarly life, Rostov finds himself bemused by the attic room assigned to him and the brutish behavior of his overseeing officer.

However, his imprisonment opens the doors to a new page in Rostov’s life as he mingles with other guests and political prisoners, indulging in exuberant celebrations and self-discovery. The Paramount+ show is based on Amor Towles’s 2016 novel of the same name and explores themes of oppression, liberation, and identity. For those who were entertained by the historical drama series, here are some shows like ‘A Gentleman in Moscow.’

10. Sophia (2016)

‘Sophia,’ or ‘Sofiya’ is a historical drama set in 15th-century Russia and directed by Aleksei Andrianov. The series revolves around the life of Sofiya Palaiologina, a Byzantine princess who becomes the Grand Duchess of Moscow through her marriage to Czar Ivan III. While Moscow ascends as a dominant force in Russia, Sofiya finds herself entangled in the complex dynamics of court politics and rivalries. She navigates treacherous waters as she strives to uphold her family’s honor, safeguard her children’s future, and assert her influence in a male-dominated society.

Drawing several parallels with ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ ‘Sophia’ takes place in a tumultuous time in Russian history and follows a protagonist whose voice is attempted to be suppressed. The Russian-language series explores a lesser-known part of Russian history and witnesses the construction of the Kremlin, the very monument Alexander Rostov finds himself imprisoned across.

9. The Last Czars (2019)

Netflix’s ‘The Last Czars’ is a docudrama that focuses on the reign of Tsar Nicholas II and the events leading to the Russian Revolution. Through a blend of historical reenactments and expert commentary, the series paints a vivid portrait of the opulent yet troubled world of Imperial Russia. Under the direction of Adrian McDowall, the narrative chronicles the monarchy’s struggles with maintaining power and facing the challenge of modernization. For enthusiasts of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ and its setting, ‘The Last Czars’ dives deep into the historical events leading up to it, providing a deeper appreciation of the kind of aristocratic society Alexander Rostov hailed from before being thrust into confinement.

8. Okkupert (2015-2020)

From the creative minds of Jo Nesbø, Erik Skjoldbjærg, and Karianne Lund, ‘Okkupert’ is a gripping political thriller set in near-future Norway as the country is occupied by Russia for its oil supply. Amidst the political chaos, Norwegian Prime Minister Jesper Berg finds himself in a moral dilemma, torn between protecting his country’s sovereignty and appeasing the powerful occupiers. Meanwhile, a disparate group of individuals, including a journalist and a member of the resistance, seek to resist the foreign occupation.

While ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ follows the experience of the lenient imprisonment of one man, ‘Okkupert’ presents the case of an entire nation facing restrictions and oppression at the behest of a foreign power. For fans of the former, this Norwegian-language thriller will be an interesting watch to witness how a set of diverse personalities react to restrictions and interference in their way of life.

7. Versailles (2015-2018)

Brought to life by creators Simon Mirren and David Wolstencroft, ‘Versailles’ transports us to the lavish and scandalous court of King Louis XIV in 17th-century France. The series chronicles the ambitious endeavors of the Sun King as he builds the magnificent Palace of Versailles while struggling with a drained budget and consolidating his absolute power. Similar to ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ the show features an opulent setting with political turmoil in the backdrop. Both shows present stories of political intrigue, passionate romances, and ambition.

6. Indian Summers (2015-2016)

Crafted by Paul Rutman, ‘Indian Summers’ is set against the backdrop of 1930s British colonial India. The series revolves around a British summer retreat in the Indian hill station of Simla during the final years of British rule. As the British elite arrive at their summer palace, we are introduced to diverse personalities ranging from sympathetic patrons to snobbish aristocrats alongside their Indian servants.

With a backdrop of increasing social unrest and a surging freedom movement, both Indian and British individuals find themselves entangled in a web of secrets, scandals, and forbidden romances. The show is similar to ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ in having its characters largely confined to a single picturesque historic locale that creates a unique atmosphere of both revelry and injustice. Through their unique premise, both shows explore themes of oppression, identity, and freedom.

5. War & Peace (2016)

‘War & Peace’ follows the intersecting lives of aristocrats and commoners in 19th-century Russia as the country is invaded by Napoleon. Pierre Bezukhov, an idealistic but aimless young man, grapples with his place in society and finds himself drawn to Natasha Rostova, a privileged woman looking for romance. Meanwhile, a gallant Andrei Bolkonsky endeavors to rise above petty politics and seeks redemption on the battlefield.

Written by Andrew Davies based on Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel of the same name, the series is hailed as a concise and gripping adaptation of the Russian classic. Enthusiasts of dramas like ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ will find plenty of food for thought in the show’s sweeping narrative and intricate character dynamics. The shows are interwoven with poignant explorations of love, ambition, and identity amidst the chaos of history.

4. Atlantic Crossing (2020)

Atlantic Crossing’ chronicles the true story of the Crown Princess of Norway and her bond with President Franklin D. Roosevelt as she attempts to galvanize the American public and leadership in support of her nation’s defense against Nazi Germany. Created by Alexander Eik, the show follows Princess Märtha of Norway as she flees Norway to find a safe haven in the United States under the wing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

While Roosevelt puts aside his personal beliefs about the war in favor of following public sentiments, Märtha works towards changing those sentiments by passionately arguing the case for justice, humanity, and liberty. Like Alexander Rostov in ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ Märtha finds herself stuck at a stately yet frustrating location while conflicts erupt beyond her safe haven. Both shows explore what their protagonists make of themselves in such a restrictive predicament, using whatever resources are at their disposal along with their own identities to create something out of nothing.

3. The Regime (2024)

Under the creative direction of Will Tracy, ‘The Regime’ introduces us to the increasingly paranoid Chancellor Elena Vernham, the ruler of a small Central European nation. Elena faces increasing social unrest in her nation-state, faces opposition from her bureaucracy, and even deals with foreign interference. Her response to all of these issues is the same: an iron fist.

The HBO show presents a hilarious political satire that is likely to intrigue fans of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ given that it presents the themes of oppression and censorship from the opposite side. Furthermore, both shows see their main characters largely confined to a grand building, albeit for very different reasons. While Alexander Rostov is forced to reside in the Metropol Hotel and uses the opportunity for self-exploration, Elena confines herself out of fear and ends up in a downward mental spiral.

2. A Very Secret Service (2015-2018)

‘A Very Secret Service,’ or ‘Au service de la France,’ is a spy comedy satire that follows the outlandish adventures of a rookie French intelligence officer and his three seniors. The story takes place at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s and introduces us to a young French intelligence officer, André Merlaux. Smart but unsure of himself, André is trained by three eccentric agents. They teach him the ways of interrogation, honey-trapping, assassination, and surveillance through extensive trial and mostly error.

The French-language show is created by Jean-François Halin, Claire Lemaréchal, and Jean-André Yerlès. For those who enjoyed the comedy and satirical themes in ‘A Gentleman in Moscow,’ ‘A Very Secret Service’ will be an absolute treat to watch. Both shows subtly and overtly present themes of censorship, and oppression, leaving us with questions about each issue as well as bellyaching laughter.

1. The Great (2020-2023)

With Tony McNamara at the helm, ‘The Great’ presents a satirical take on the rise of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. Set against the grand backdrop of the Russian court in the 18th century, the series follows Catherine’s journey from naive outsider to cunning ruler. Catherine is a determined young woman who is married off to the erratic Emperor Peter III. As Catherine enters the treacherous world of palace intrigue, she plots to overthrow her husband and seize power for herself.

Fans of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ will find themselves drawn by the show’s wit, charm, and political satire. They will further appreciate the historical narrative of Catherine challenging the status quo, striving to enact sweeping reforms, and establishing her legacy as a visionary leader amidst the chaos and decadence of the Russian court. Both Catherine and Alexander Rostov find themselves stuck in an unfamiliar palatial environment. Instead of submitting to their fate, they rebel and choose to live on their own terms.

Read More: A Gentleman in Moscow: Is Alexander Ilyich Rostov Based on a Real Russian Aristocrat?