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List: Other Worlds – 10 Portal Hopping, Adventure-Filled Series

10th Kingdom portal

List: Other Worlds – 10 Portal Hopping Adventure-Filled Series

If you’re familiar with Science Fiction or Fantasy, then you will likely have come across some variation of this portal trope. A long-time staple of both genres; it’s the kind of story that involves someone from our world, often ordinary, travelling to another world. Whether similar or drastically different our hero will likely spend much of their time trying to find a way home, usually befriending various locals and having numerous adventures along the way. Here’s a quick list of television recommendations that make good use of the other world portal trope.

10 Portal Hopping Adventure-Filled Series

#1 The 10th Kingdom

10th Kingdom virgina wolf portal

Virginia Lewis lives on the edge of central park, works as a waitress and lives with her father.  She’s completely given up on anything exciting ever happening to her.  That is until a mysterious dog knocks her off her bike one night.  A dog who is soon followed by a trio of stupid trolls and a man who claims to be half-wolf. Virginia’s ordinary life is about to get a lot more magical.

A glorious and hammy fairy-tale mash up of epic proportions.

Photo Credit: Hallmark Entertainment

Content Note: Not Rated but there is no explicit content.

Where To Watch: Amazon Video, DVD and Youtube.

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#2 Alice

Alice portal

Martial arts instructor Alice leads an unremarkable life (barring the disappearance of her father many years beforehand) with a promising new boyfriend, Jack.  However, after a family dinner goes wrong she finds herself chasing after Jack to apologise only to witness him being forced into a white van by a pair of mysterious men.  She follows them to an empty warehouse and ends up falling through a giant mirror/portal into a bizarre world that is nothing like home.

An unusual Sci-fi take on Alice in Wonderland.

RELATED POST –TV Mini-Series Review: Alice – An Imaginative Update to Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece

Photo Credit: SyFy

Content Note: 12 in the UK. No explicit content.

Where To Watch: DVD

#3 Sliders

sliders portal

Quinn Mallory is a brilliant physics student who spends his free time working on a personal science project.  In the pilot, Quinn manages to invent a device which allows him to travel to parallel universes for a short amount of time.  However, through a series of mishaps Quinn gets himself and three others lost in another world with a broken timer.  He manages to get it to work but no longer has any control over the jumps.  The four travelers must keep sliding between infinite worlds hoping to someday get back home.

Sliders presents some truly thought-provoking alternate societies. However, the quality of this series rapidly declined after season two so I’d advise only watching up until that point.

Photo Credit: FOX

Content Note: Seasons 1 and 2 are rated 12 in the UK. No explicit content.

Where To Watch: Hulu, Amazon Video, and DVD.

#4 Spellbinder

Spellbinders 1 portal

On a school trip to view an eclipse, Paul happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets sucked through a tear in reality.  He finds himself in the land of the Spellbinders where technology is illegal and people believe in magic.

Spellbinders is a Polish-Australian television series aimed at children and young teens.  An original and interesting sci-fi show.  It’s sequel Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord is also worth checking out.

Photo Credit: Nine Network

Content Note: No rating but there is no explicit content.

Where To Watch: Youtube and DVD.

#5 Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time portal

Emma Swan is a cynical bounty hunter who is surprised on her birthday by a visit from the son she gave up at birth ten years previously.  He needs her help, claiming to be from a town filled with fairy-tale characters who are under a curse. She doesn’t believe him but agrees to take him back to his adoptive mother, the Mayor of Storybrooke.  Once there, Emma decides to stay for a while and soon realizes that there is definitely something not quite right about this town.

While the portal jumping does not happen very often at first, the plot spans multiple story worlds aside our own. This show also spawned a spin off, Once Upon A Time In Wonderland which takes place in the show’s version of Alice in Wonderland.

Photo Credit: ABC Family

Content Note: TV-PG. No explicit content.

Where To Watch: Amazon Video, UK Netflix, Hulu, and DVD.

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#6 Fringe

fringe portal

FBI Agent Olivia Dunham is called in on an assumed terrorist attack which soon appears to be something much more mysterious. The only man who has experienced something similar is confined to a mental institution. Her only way to access him is to find his estranged son, Peter. Together this mismatched trio forms the FBI’s Fringe Division and begin investigating unexplained happenings in across the US.

Similar in many ways to The X files, Fringe specialized in supernatural phenomena. However, much of seasons 2 – 4 dealt with a similar parallel universe to ours where the twin towers still exist, the statue of liberty is bronze and blimps are still used as a mode of transport. A fascinating series.

Photo Credit: FOX

Content Note: TV-14 for violence and unsettling imagery (think X- Files)

Where To Watch: Amazon Video and DVD

#7 The Snow Queen

Snow queen portal

Gerda lost her mother to winter at an early age, causing her father to lose all his joy. Years later, Gerda grows into a beautiful and serious young woman. Her father takes on a new bellboy, Kai, who immediately takes an interest in Gerda. She gradually warms to him and begins to let him into her heart. However, their lives are disrupted by a strange woman with a heart of ice. She casts a spell on Kai, turning him cold and emotionless then runs off with him into a snowstorm. Gerda must travel through four strange lands to find and rescue him.

RELATED POST – Fairy Tales – Who Rescues Who?

A fun and interesting take of the Hans Christian Anderson fairy-tale.

Photo Credit: Hallmark Entertainment

Content Note: PG. No explicit content.

Where To Watch: Amazon Video and DVD

#8 Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen portal

Amanda Price likes to escape into her favorite book every chance she gets, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Things take a turn for the strange when she investigates a noise in her bathroom and discovers Elizabeth Bennett standing in her bathtub, claiming to have stepped through a magical door. While entirely convinced that she has gone insane, Amanda can’t resist a peek and promptly finds herself trapped.

A funny and fascinating mini-series for anyone who’s ever dreamed of escaping into a fictional world.

Photo Credit: ITV

Content Note: 12 in the UK. No explicit content.

Where To Watch: Hulu, Amazon Video, UK Netflix and DVD

RELATED POSTTV Review: Lost in Austen: A Fun Take on Pride and Prejudice

#9 Emerald City

Emerald City portal

Dorothy locks herself in a police car during an altercation with a mysterious man, moments before a tornado hits. She is transported to an unfamiliar land and accidentally kills a witch in the process. She is told by the strange tribal people who find her to seek out the Wizard as he is the only one who can help her get back home.

A darker, modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz. For a lighter take on a similar premise try SyFy’s, Tin Man.

Photo Credit: NBC

Content Note: TV-14 for violence and some sexuality.

Where To Watch: Hulu and Amazon Video

#10 Primeval

Primeval portal

Inexplicable creature attacks are taking place all over Britain. Nick Cutter and his ragtag team of experts must work to contain the anomalies and the dangerous creatures that manage to make it through into our world.

Technically more of a time travel series but alternate timelines are used and the past versions of earth visited are so alien, they may as well be other worlds.  A tremendously endearing series with great characters.

Photo Credit: ITV

Content Note: TV-14 for violence (animal attacks) and some profanity.

Where To Watch: Hulu, Amazon Video, and DVD.

Have any favorite portal or other world adventures? Any recommendations?

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By on August 15th, 2017

About Elinor Cackett

Elinor is a writer and semi-recent graduate of English and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University. She has been writing ever since she could hold a pen but her love affair with fiction started when the entirety of David Eddings’ 'The Belgariad' was read to her at age four. She currently has a couple of books and half a dozen short stories on the go. She spends her free time writing, analysing media and knitting very colourful scarves.

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7 thoughts on “List: Other Worlds – 10 Portal Hopping, Adventure-Filled Series”

  1. Quantum Leap — missing Quantum Leap from this list (-: Sam (Scott Bakula) portal hopped in every episode, landing in different bodies and situations and time periods every time. I loved that show!

    • I’ve not seen quantum leap, though I hear good things. I tried to include alternate worlds rather than time travel on this list, though Primeval slipped through haha. : )

  2. Some of my favorites are on here. *LOVE* 10th Kingdom especially. 😀 I remember Sliders; it was great at first, till Sci-Fi Channel took over and it was all about fighting monsters and then killing off characters. sigh

    • Yes, 10th Kingdom is awesome! Ah yes the killing off characters. Such a shame when TV execs ruin a good show with unnecessary changes.

  3. Love this list! How have I not heard of “The 10th Kingdom” before?! It’s going straight on my to-watch list!


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