40 of the best action series to stream
Bored with blah drama shows? Tired of not-that-funny comedies? Not buying into scripted “reality” series? Stream any of these action shows and get your heart rate bouncing like a basketball in an NBA game! Adrenaline and entertainment, thy name art action shows, like…
Action series on Showmax
When the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated, the subsequent power vacuum threatens to tear the city apart as rival gangs vie for ultimate control. Starring Michelle Fairley (Game of Thrones).
New Orleans judge Michael Desiato (Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston) sparks a tragedy when he conceals evidence to protect his teenaged son, Adam (Hunter Doohan), from deadly retaliation after Hunter kills the son of Mafia kingpin Jimmy Baxter (Michael Stuhlbarg) in a hit-and-run accident.
A riveting crime drama derived from the hit film The Silence of the Lambs. Follow FBI agent, Clarice Starling, one year on, as she returns to the field in pursuit of serial murderers and sexual predators.
A hard-drinking woman’s journey to sobriety is overshadowed by an unfolding murder investigation. Her search for the truth entangles her with a dangerous organised crime syndicate.
In the year 2199, a young woman who has lost everything makes a fresh start at Earth’s Space Training Academy. As she learns how to defend the galaxy, she also has to protect her own secrets.
Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba star in this Bad Boys spinoff about drug enforcement agent Sydney Burnett, who moves from Miami to work for the LAPD, alongside working mom Nancy.
In this critically acclaimed British crime thriller, rookie detective Rachel Carey investigates ex-soldier Shaun Emery’s case. He swears he is innocent of the grievous crime he has been accused of, and Rachel soon finds herself up against a multilayered conspiracy.
Set a few months after the explosive finale of Power’s sixth season, we will go on a journey with Tariq St. Patrick as he learns to create his own path away from his family. All 10 episodes of the first season are now ready to binge-watch.
Teenaged spy Alex Rider joins forces with MI6 to uncover the link between two dead billionaires and a remote boarding school called Point Blanc. Based on the bestsellers by Anthony Horowitz.
Not long after she’s released from prison, world-class thief Daisy “Jett” Kowalski is back at doing what landed her there in the first place. And she has a cast of dangerous, eccentric criminals to thank for that.
Marcus is a homeless teenager recruited to join an elite private school where the world’s top crime families send their children. Set against the backdrop of late 1980s counterculture.
Ray Donovan is a professional fixer. Whenever a superstar, politician or high-profile businessman is faced with a problem, they turn to Ray to make it disappear, using whatever measures he deems necessary.
An all-star cast including Regina King, Don Johnson and Jeremy Irons leads this adaptation of the DC graphic novel. The series is set in an alternate history where superheroes and villains are outlawed.
In this spin-off of Sons of Anarchy, a once-promising young Mexican-American man is driven to become a member of the Mayans motorcycle gang by his desire for vengeance.
Deon Meyer’s thrilling novel comes to life in this tense series that follows several interwoven storylines. South Africa’s top spooks have to put everything on the line to stop a potential terrorist attack; a bodyguard for hire wonders if he’s got in too deep when he has to find out what’s really behind his latest job; a shady archeologist is mixed up with some serious criminals; and a mysterious master tracker with a dark past has some suspicious plans.
Set in San Francisco in the late 1800s, the action builds around the arrival of Chinese immigrants to the US. The cast includes Andrew Koji as martial arts prodigy Ah Sahm, Olivia Cheng as striking courtesan Ah Toy and South African Langley Kirkwood as the war-mongering deputy mayor. Cape Town played host to the cast, crew and set for nearly two years as Season 1 and 2 were filmed at the Cape Town Film Studios.
Soldiers of fortune, mount up! This is based on the bestselling novel of the same name written by real-life ex SAS special armed forces soldier Chris Ryan, and follows newly reactivated SAS warrior John Porter and his team of operatives who conduct top-secret missions for the secretive Section 20 organisation. Making things cooler is that just about every season is partially filmed in South Africa.
It’s brutal and bloody and filled with gratuitous violence and anger and sex. A convict (we never learn his real name) is released from prison after 15 years in the slammer and sets out for revenge by posing as the sheriff he murders on the way to a small town where he finds more than just the man who put him in prison. Blink and you’ll miss something actioney.
This one is also based on a movie (1975’s Three Days Of The Condor) but it’s super-fast and filled with action. CIA analyst Joe Turner (Jeremy Irons’ son Max) goes on the run after his team are gunned down in their top-secret research office. While Joe’s fleeing his deadly-but-gorgeous assassin Joubert (Leem Lubany), he doesn’t realise who actually wants him dead…
Based on King’s post-apocalyptic novel, this chilling limited series is about a band of survivors who struggle between good and evil after a plague has decimated most of humankind. Two factions emerge among the survivors: who will be victorious in the battle to lead those who remain? Starring Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgård, James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, and more.
How about some action movies?
Action series on Amazon Prime
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan S1-2
John Krasinski is the goofy guy next door in his comedy movies and films but in this series, phwoar! He’s out-and-out kick-ass as ex-Marine-turned-CIA analyst Jack Ryan who’s taken from his desk job and dropped into a Middle Eastern war zone after he discovers traces of a terror cell who’re preparing for war.
A group of teen girls from different backgrounds must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they’ve all endured. There’s just one twist to this thrilling drama… these girls did not end up on this island by accident.
From the creator of Us and Get Out comes this thrilling series on Prime Video, executive produced by Jordan Peele and starring Al Pacino. The show follows a band of Nazi hunters living in New York in 1977, dedicated to tracking down every last Nazi in the city.
The Widow S1
Has she lost everything or is she chasing a ghost? Kate Beckinsale stars as Georgia Wells, a woman on the hunt to uncover answers surrounding her husband’s mysterious disappearance.
Jean-Claude van Johnson S1
Global sensation Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself as a secret agent operating under the simple alias of “Johnson” as the world’s most dangerous undercover operative. Unhappily retired, a chance encounter lures him back into the game, forcing him to confront the greatest enemy he’s ever faced.
The Boys S1-2
“I’m a superhero, and I can do whatever the f**k I want,” says Homelander, leader of The Seven, and the most powerful superhero in existence. He may also be the most conceited. And that’s exactly why The Boys can’t let him and his super-power wielding compatriots continue unchecked. In this razor-sharp black comedy created by lifelong friends Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) and Seth Rogen (same, same and The Preacher – another equally dark and gory fantasy series), the “supes” get their comeuppance at the hands of the humans they’ve wronged in the course of their heroic deeds.
Action series on Netflix
Line of Duty S1-5
Following the team in Anti-Corruption Unit 12 (AC-12), this gripping British crime thriller focuses on the highly dangerous game of bringing down bent cops – especially when the most crooked of them all are in positions of power in the service and deeply embedded in organised crime groups. Line of Duty S6 is on Brtibox, as well as S1-5.
Created by Frank Miller and Thomas Wheeler, Cursed is a reimagining of the Arthurian legend told from the perspective of the young rebel Nimue (Katherine Langford), who joins Arthur the mercenary on a journey to save her people.
The Last Kingdom S1-3
Based on Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling books, this dark, violent series follows warrior and hero Uhtred as he seeks to reclaim his birthright – his ancestral lands of Bebbanburg. Fans of Vikings, this one’s for you.
Money Heist S1-4
In this Spanish-language miniseries (with English subtitles), a gang of thieves rob the Spanish Royal Mint of millions and the only way they and their hostages are getting out alive is if the police listen to their boss’s orders… whether they realise they’re doing it or not.
Pearl Thusi stars in Netflix’s first African original series as a bad-ass special agent who has to tackle the most dangerous case of her life. Expect lots of action and beautiful cinematography as Queen Sono travels through 37 beautiful locations including Zanzibar, Kenya and of course Johannesburg, where the fictitious government organisation South African Agency (SOG) is based. Director Kagiso Lediga (Matwetwe – now on Showmax) is behind the camera and you’ll see lots of familiar South African faces in the cast including Chiedze Mhende, Loyiso Madinga, and Rob van Vuuren.
The Medellin cartel – the most violent, ruthless and wealthy criminal organisation in the history of modern crime. And the one man who lorded over them all… Pablo Escobar. This gritty gangster series is based on the true story of Colombia’s most infamous and dangerous drug cartels.
Cobra Kai S1-3
This martial arts series is a spin-off from the original Karate Kid movie, set decades after Johnny and Daniel faced off in the tournament that changed their lives.
Based on the 2007 movie starring Mark Wahlberg, this series follows the journey of Bob Lee Swagger (Ryan Phillippe), a highly decorated veteran who must confront the enemies from his past if he ever wants to return to a normal life.
Shadow and Bone S1
An orphan with an extraordinary power. A world divided by darkness and terror. Will she become a saviour, or a pawn? Based on the trilogy of novels by Leigh Bardugo, the eight-part series will thrill both newcomers to the Grishaverse and its die-hard fans.
Action series on DStv
Rob Lowe drives this fast-paced spin-off to the hit first-responder drama series. A New York cop relocates to Texas with his son, where he works to save people’s lives.
In the season premiere, the team investigate the shooting of a five-year-old girl, all while under increased pressure with the renewed focus on police reform. The entire season of this popular crime series will be available to stream on DStv online until 19 October 2021.
Elliot Stabler returns to the NYPD to take on the city’s most powerful crime syndicates in this spin-off series. The full boxset will be available on DStv online until 29 September 2021.
Firehouse 51 welcomes a new member in Season 9 who could cause some major complications, but Brett’s leadership could save them all. The boxset will be on DStv online until 19 October 2021.
Kim Engelbrecht (The Flash) and Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) star in the South African thriller set in KZN about a criminal profiler who is haunted by her past as she investigates shocking crimes.