Apple TV Plus has another epic sci-fi series on the way and this one's got Murderbots

Murderbot: All Systems Red cover image
(Image credit:

If you like smart sci-fi and speculative fiction, Apple TV Plus has some seriously good shows in its catalog – and it's about to get what looks to be another one adapted from a book series about a cyborg. 

Based on the award-winning and deeply dystopian The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, the show will follow a self-aware, self-hacking robot bodyguard who's horrified by humans but drawn to them too. 

The show will feature Alexander Skarsgård in the lead. It's also Apple's second collaboration with executive producer David S Goyer – Goyer is the showrunner and executive producer of Foundation, which is currently streaming its second well-received season and has been renewed for a third season too. 

I've got high hopes for this one. As Apple showed with the glorious Silo, which was an adaptation of the Wool trilogy, the streamer is pretty good at turning beloved sci-fi series into equally beloved sci-fi shows – it's no wonder why we called it a sci-fi show utopia

What is Murderbot about?

In Wells' novels, the cyborg Murderbot is a Security Unit – SecUnit for short – whose job is to protect human scientists on a distant world. Murderbot doesn't like the humans very much, although it has a very human love of watching TV dramas and being grumpy and sarcastic about pretty much everything. And when it becomes apparent that there's a killer on the loose, Murderbot has to keep the survivors alive.

It's a great setup, and over the course of the novels it becomes more than just a sci-fi adventure. While each book's story is self-contained – making it ideal for future seasons – there's a wider arc that explores artificial intelligence and what it means to be human. 

I love this review of the All Systems Red book by NPR [very, very mild spoilers ahead]: "As much as you want to think this is just some lightweight little confection made of robot fights and space murder — and as much as All Systems Red wants to present itself as nothing but robot fights and space murder — Martha Wells did something really clever. She hid a delicate, nuanced and deeply, grumpily human story inside these pulp trappings, by making her murderous robot story primarily character-driven."

There will be ten episodes of Murderbot to begin with, and while Apple hasn't announced a streaming date, we'd expect this one to land in 2024. That gives you plenty of time to watch Silo if you haven't already, and to binge watch all four seasons so far of For All Mankind, one of the best shows on Apple TV Plus of any genre.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.