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Best BBC dramas — all the must-see shows on iPlayer

Vigil, Time, The Serpent, Line of Duty, Normal People, Ridley Road, Strike, and A Suitable Boy are just some of the very best BBC dramas available to watch right now on BBC iPlayer.

Here's our guide to a string of great BBC dramas, how many episodes there are, and what the critics said.

What are the best BBC dramas to stream right now?

Ridley Road

Set in 1962, Ridley Road follows Vivien Epstein (Agnes O’Casey), a Jewish hairdresser from Manchester, who flees her overbearing parents and heads to London to search for her true love, Jack Morris (Tom Varey).

She visits Ridley Road, Jack’s last address, but is warned off by her uncle, the gruff Soly Malinovsky (Eddie Marsan) and Soly's wife Nancy (Tracy-Ann Oberman).

But Vivien stays in London and is horrified to discover Jack has gone missing while working undercover to infiltrate the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, led by Colin Jordan (Rory Kinnear).

With the backing of the anti-fascist 62 Group led by Soly and Nancy, Vivien decides to go undercover to find Jack…

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 4 (all episodes are available to watch)

Average episode length: 59 minutes

We say: "Inspired by real events, this stylish series set in 1960s London stars a wealth of British acting talent."

Vigil

Love Line of Duty? Couldn't get enough of Bodyguard? Well, great news the makers of both series have made a new submarine thriller, Vigil! Gentleman Jack actress Suranne Jones stars as DCI Amy Silva. 

Silva is called in when there appears to be a link between the mysterious disappearance of a fishing boat and a death on a nuclear submarine. 

The two incidents lead to a clash between the Navy and the British security services. Silva begins an investigation at sea, while back on land, Amy's old colleague and flame DS Kirsten Longacre (The Good Fight's Rose Leslie) hunts for more clues. And what she discovers is a conspiracy that threatens Britain’s nuclear deterrent. Is her life in danger?

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 6 (all now available to watch)

Average episode length: 59 minutes

We say: "It’s an outlandish setting, but a rollicking story nonetheless, and one overflowing with  intriguing subplots."

Silent Witness

Silent Witness Season 24 is finally here, with fans hoping this will be the series that at last sees Nikki (Emilia Fox) and Jack (David Caves) get together.

Jason Wong (The GentlemanChimericaStrangers) has also joined the team as pathologist Adam Yuen.

The opening episode of the new series sees Nikki and Jack visiting a high-security prison. As the pair look into the suspicious death of an inmate, Nikki finds herself dealing with disturbing memories. 

Meanwhile, if you've not seen Silent Witness before every series is amazingly currently available to watch on iPlayer! Get stuck in!!

Number of seasons: 24!

Episodes: 222

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say: We say about the opening episode: "Comedy star Kevin Eldon shows off his straight acting skills as DI Mason, and Harry Potter actor Evanna Lynch appears as Scott’s girlfriend."

Time 

Sean Bean plays Mark Cobden, a guilt-ridden teacher whose life is destroyed when he accidentally kills an innocent man, in BBC1’s thrilling new three-part prison drama Time by acclaimed British TV writer Jimmy McGovern. 

Separated from his family, Mark is sentenced to four years in jail where he befriends prison officer Eric McNally (Stephen Graham), who does his best to protect the inmates from the dangers of life behind bars.

But when one of the most dangerous prisoners identifies Eric’s softer side as a weakness, Eric faces an impossible choice between his principles and protecting the ones he loves. With both Eric and Mark trapped by their pasts and unsure of their futures, can they find survive and find the strength to move forward?

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 3

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say: We say: "We've loved watching Sean Bean and Stephen Graham in Time, despite the harrowing nature of some scenes. But let's face it a Jimmy McGovern drama about prison life wasn't going to be in any way gentle."

The Pursuit of Love

Set in Europe between the two World Wars, the romantic comedy-drama follows the adventures of fearless Linda Radlett (Cinderella and Downton star Lily James) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham).

Obsessed with love and marriage, the pair are on the hunt for their ideal husband. But their friendship is rocked as Fanny decides to go for a steady life while Linda opts to follow her heart. This leads Linda down an increasingly wild path.

Lily James says: “Linda has spark, passion, fire and curiosity, but doesn’t know what to do with it. Her father doesn’t let the girls have an education or leave the property. But she follows her heart and tries to find herself through the men she encounters — a communist, a conservative and a wild European.”

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 3 

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say:The Guardian says: "It is a treat for all. Mitfordians – please, do give it a chance."

Keeping Faith Season 3

Keeping Faith Season 3 sees Torchwood actress Eve Myles star for the final time as lawyer Faith Howells.

Teasing the series, Eve says: “We left Faith at the end of series two asking Evan to leave, and a divorce was imminent. She had come to learn of all his dark secrets and had become embroiled in the dark underworld that Evan was running away from."

Faith not only has to navigate the breakup of her marriage, but she has also taken on an emotionally wrenching legal medical case involving a gravely ill teenage boy.

Number of seasons: 3 

Episodes: 20 [all episodes of season 3 are available to watch] 

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say: We said: "In the cracking opener, Celia Imrie joins the cast as the mysterious Rose, whose arrival is about to totally upend Faith’s already fragile life…"

Three Families

All names have been changed in this compelling drama based on the true stories of three women. The need for anonymity is because Theresa (Sinéad Keenan), Hannah (Amy James-Kelly) and Rosie (Genevieve O’Reilly) are trapped in tragedy by Northern Ireland’s strict, divisive abortion laws.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 2 

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say: We said: "As subjects go, you can’t get much more serious, poignant or brave than this but it’s a triumph thanks to a respectful, balanced approach, coupled with thoughtful, heartfelt performances."

The Serpent

This thriller tells the astonishing true story of Charles Sobhraj, a serial killer (nicknamed The Serpent) who targeted Western travellers during the 70s and became one of Interpol’s most wanted men.

Psychopath, con man, thief and master of disguise, Charles Sobhraj was the chief suspect in the unsolved murders of up to 20 young Western travellers on the "hippie trail" across India, Thailand and Nepal between 1975 and 1976.

One of the most elusive criminals of the 20th century, Charles Sobhraj repeatedly slipped from the grasp of authorities worldwide and by 1976 he had arrest warrants on three different continents.

Stars Victoria's Jenna Coleman and renowned French actor Tahar Rahim.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 8  

Average episode length: 59 minutes

What the critics say: We said: "Tahar is wonderful as the charismatic killer, while Jenna Coleman couldn’t be further from Victoria in her most sinister role to date as Sobhraj’s besotted partner."

Line of Duty

Nearly 10 million tuned in for the first episode of Line of Duty Season 6, so if you’ve missed it, now’s the time to catch up! Penned again by Jed Mercurio, fan favourites Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) all return. This time Hastings has his eye on DCI Joanne Davidson, played by Trainspotting and Harry Potter star Kelly Macdonald. But is Joanne corrupt? And will we finally find out who H is? If H means nothing to you, the good news is that the previous 5 seasons are available to watch on iPlayer!

Number of seasons: 6 

Episodes: 6 per season [all episodes of series 6 are now available] 

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say: We say: "Line of Duty is cooking on gas once again with a belter of a first episode."

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife fans have just seen the tenth series of the show air on BBC1, and now all episodes from series 1 - 10 are available to watch on iPlayer. 

The most recent series was set in 1966 which of course is when England won the World Cup! Series 10 opens with Sister Julienne and Dr Turner clashing over a private clinic venture which sees Trixie seconded to the Lady Emily Clinic in Chelsea. Trixie soon learns that not everything is as it seems at the clinic.

Number of seasons: 10

Episodes: 8 per season, except series one which is six and series 10 which is 7 episodes long.

Average episode length: 58 minutes 

What the critics say: We say: "While the Christmas 2020 special of Call the Midwife might have whetted our appetites, there is nothing better than a whole series to get our teeth into. Season 10 is slightly shorter with just seven hour-long episodes rather than the usual eight, but if the first episode is anything to go by then we are in for a real treat. ”

How to watch great dramas anywhere in the world

There is a handy way to watch your favourite TV shows from wherever you are in the world, and it is called VPN.

This lets you get around the usual digital barriers by changing your IP address, meaning you can watch your favourite TV shows even if you’re away from home.

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Our favourite is ExpressVPN, which lets you change your IP address on whichever device you want to watch your new favourite TV show on.

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ExpressVPN is one of the best out there. Not only because it is straightforward and easy to use, but it also has great security and, best of all, it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.

This is the number one rated VPN in the world right now and as well as trying it out for free for a month, you can sign up for an annual plan and get 3 months absolutely free.

Danny Boy

Danny Boy is an emotional, feature-length drama written by BAFTA-winner Robert Jones that tells the true story of Brian Wood. Brian (played by Anthony Boyle) returns from Iraq a war hero for his bravery at The Battle of Danny Boy, but is accused of war crimes upon his return, and is then pursued by unshakeable human rights lawyer, Phil Shiner (Toby Jones). 

Over the course of the Al-Sweady Inquiry, the investigation and the pressure from the inquiry, from his own family and what happened in Iraq begin to weigh heavily on him. Toby Jones said: “a story like this retrieves a moment in our history and - like all the best drama - asks some unanswerable questions about what we ask of our soldier and the armed forces, and where victory ultimately lies.”

Number of seasons: 1

Episodes: 1

Length: 84 minutes

What the critics say: The Guardian wrote: “The excellent script by Robert Jones keeps circling back to the moment of enemy engagement, adding more detail and different emphases each time, like a soldier sorting through his traumatised memories.”

Bloodlands

James Nesbitt stars in this big new thriller. Set in Belfast, the six-part drama centres on DCI Tom Brannick (Nesbitt), a devoted dad to daughter Izzy and a detective of over 20 years.

As the series begins, Brannick and his trusty colleague DS Naimh McGovern (Ripper Street’s Charlene McKenna) are called to investigate when a car is pulled from the river at Strangford Lough.

The vehicle belongs to Pat Keenan — a man with links to the IRA — who’s nowhere to be found but Brannick is clearly rattled when a postcard boasting an image of Belfast’s iconic Samson and Goliath cranes is found hidden in the wing-mirror.

Brannick tells senior officer Jackie Twomey (Fortitude’s Lorcan Cranitch) that he fears legendary serial killer — codenamed Goliath — who evaded capture during The Troubles, has returned. It’s then revealed that one of Goliath’s victims was Brannick’s own wife, Emma…

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say: We say: “James Nesbitt brings strength and sincerity to Brannick, and with twists and an almighty cliffhanger at the end of episode one, this looks like another Sunday-night hit!”

The Syndicate

Each season of The Syndicate follows a new story, and so far we’ve seen characters based in a Leeds supermarket, a public hospital in Bradford, and even a crumbly stately home near Scarborough.

In The Syndicate Season 4 we follow a group of kennel workers who discover their jobs are at risk before learning they’ve won the lottery.

But there is something shifty going on when a newsagent called Frank (Neil Morrissey) tells them they've won £500… only for the group to later suspect they have actually won the £27million jackpot.

However, there is just one problem… Frank is nowhere to be found and neither is their cash. Can they track him down?

“An opportunity arises and Frank takes it — and it changes his life and the lives of everyone around him,” teases Neil Morrissey.

Number of seasons: 4 [only series 4 is currently on iPlayer] 

Episodes: 6  

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say: "While it is never too demanding, it is regularly satisfying," comments The Guardian.

The Terror

From Ridley Scott, this icy thriller is inspired by Captain Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition. It follows the desperate Royal Navy crew as they are pushed to the brink as they attempt to discover the Northwest Passage.

The Terror boasts an all-star cast including Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), Tobias Menzies (Outlander, Game Of Thrones), Ciarán Hinds (Game Of Thrones, Rome), Paul Ready (Cuffs, Utopia), Adam Nagaitis (Houdini And Doyle, Suffragette), Nive Nielsen (The New World) and Ian Hart (Neverland).

Number of Seasons: 1 

Episodes: 10

Average episode length: 53 minutes

What the critics say: We say: “While it looks great and sails along with purpose, there’s no escaping this is a bleak and chilling tale.”

Black Narcissus

Set in the 1930s the series follows the novel’s iconic tale of forbidden love and repressed desires.

Black Narcissus is a haunting love story that follows Sister Clodagh and the other nuns at St Faiths.

The series, set in the Himalayas, sees the nuns travel to Nepal to set up a branch of their order in the remote palace of Mopu.

However, the abandoned palace holds dark secrets, and soon Sister Clodagh finds herself attracted to a handsome land agent called Mr Dean...

Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man, The Escape) leads the cast in the role of Sister Clodagh.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 3 

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say: We said it boasts "a stellar cast including the late Dame Diana Rigg and Jim Broadbent, and jaw-dropping scenery".

Death in Paradise

Death in Paradise season 10 has now reached iPlayer, with Ralf Little starring as lead cop DI Neville Parker. To mark the 10th anniversary of the show, there’s some old favourites returning including Ben Miller back as DI Richard Poole.

If you’ve never seen the show, then give it a whirl! All 10 seasons are now on iPlayer, which means you can enjoy lots of sunshine and, erm, murders! The series has now concluded, so all episodes are available to watch. Death in Paradise Season 11 is also on its way!

Number of seasons: 10 

Episodes: 8 per series 

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say:The Guardian wrote: “Death in Paradise (BBC1) has become the comfy jumper of British television. It is familiar, warm and dependable, and it continues to make a programme that revolves around murder seem cosy and comforting.”

Baptiste Season 2

Baptiste is back! Tchéky Karyo returns as retired French police investigator Julien Baptiste is at the heart of a brand new case. This time, he is helping British Ambassador Emma Chambers (played by Fiona Shaw) to track down her missing family, whilst also grappling with his own family tragedy.

Teasing what happens in the second series, Karyo said: “We have different time periods – the present day, then 14 months before. In the present day, we see Julien down and yelling at the world with his pain. His family’s a wreck. People love this character because you can rely on him but now he’s losing his temper and drinking. It’s a special journey for him this time. There are a lot of amazing surprises…”

Number of seasons: 2

Episodes: 6 per series [all episodes of Season 2 are available on iPlayer now]

Average episode length: 56 minutes

What the critics say: The Guardian wrote: “The mystery of what happened between the Chambers family kidnapping more than a year ago and the present day slowly builds, with the show’s writers, brothers Harry and Jack Williams, cleverly skipping between past and present.” 

Pose Season 3 

Pose is a powerful drama that celebrates New York city's drag and ballroom culture of the 80s and 90s and follows the lives of members of gay and trans people who, facing discrimination, moved into shared accommodation called "Houses" under a dominant Mother figure.

The final season of the much-loved LGBT drama finished airing in the US earlier this year. The series only just began airing in the UK on BBC2 in early August, but all 8 episodes of the final season are available to watch on BBC iPlayer right now! 

Season 3 takes place four years on from Season 2. As the AIDS epidemic continues, Blanca marshals forces within the LGBT community to demand better support for those living with AIDS, all while juggling motherhood and working as a nurse in an AIDS hospital ward.

Number of seasons: 3

Episodes: 26 (8 episodes in series 1 and 3, 10 in series 2)

Average episode length: 50 minutes

What the critics say: IndieWire wrote: " “Pose” has made its indelible mark on Hollywood, one that will not soon be forgotten. It earned the right to fantasize, dream big, and paint with broad and colorful brushstrokes."

What were the best new BBC dramas in 2020?

Roadkill

Roadkill stars Hugh Laurie as Peter Laurence, a charming politician who has his eye on the job of the Prime Minister (played by Peaky Blinders actress Helen McCrory). But in the thriller penned by Collateral writer David Hare, Laurence has a pile of enemies and his life is rapidly going out of control...

Hugh says: “Roadkill is a political drama about the price of success in the political realm and what it demands of the people who do it, and those around the person who does it. It’s pretty unforgiving.”

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 4 

Average episode length: 58 minutes

What the critics say:The Daily Mail’s Christopher Stevens wrote: “With any actor less likeable than Hugh, this story would be unbearably cynical.”

Us

Adapted from the hit novel of the same name by Starter for Ten writer David Nicholls, Us stars Tom Hollander. Hollander plays Douglas Petersen, a man who’s stunned when his wife Connie (Saskia Reeves) tells him she’s not sure she wants to be married to him anymore.

As they go on their grand tour of Europe, Douglas makes it his mission to win back his wife’s love. And to repair his difficult relationship with their son Albie. The series takes in some beautiful locations including Paris, Amsterdam, and Venice.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 4 

Average episode length: 58 minutes 

What the critics say: “Occasionally the middle-class, massive-kitchen-ness of Us can teeter just on the edge of smug, but in the end I was charmed” The Guardian

Life

This is a spin-off from the incredibly successful drama Doctor Foster. It’s by the same writer, Mike Bartlett, although neither Suranne Jones or Jodie Comer reprise their roles. However, Victoria Hamilton does return as Gemma’s neighbour from Doctor Foster.

But in a twist, her character, Anna Baker, is now going under the name of Belle and seeking to rebuild her life after her divorce. Life tells the story of the residents of a large house divided into four flats. Belle’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her chaotic 15-year-old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman). There are further complications when her ex-husband Neil (Adam James) turns up in the series.

Other key cast include Alison Steadman, Peter Davison and Adrian Lester.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 58 minutes 

What the critics say: “The new BBC1 series is truly a mixed bag: poignant one moment, damningly cliched the next, before upending expectations again with an emotional gut-punch.” The Independent.

Talking Heads

This series of dramatic monologues, written by author Alan Bennett, went into production during lockdown earlier this year. If some of the character’s homes seem familiar, that’s because Talking Heads was filmed on the set of EastEnders which had shutdown production at the time!

The all-star cast includes Imelda Staunton, Jodie Comer, Martin Freeman, Lesley Manville, Tamsin Grieg, Kristin Scott Thomas and Maxine Peake.

Each episode features a different character sharing their story directly to the camera/viewers at home.

The original run of Talking Heads was shown on the BBC during the 80s and 90s and won two BAFTAs. This new version includes remakes of some of the original episodes. Plus two new monologues starring Sarah Lancashire (as a mum who finds herself attracted to her son) and Monica Dolan, who won a BAFTA for her role as Rosemary West in ITV’s crime drama, Appropriate Adult.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 12 

Average episode length: 30-40 minutes 

What the critics say: Talking Heads is a powerful lockdown watch” - GQ

I May Destroy You

This drama, which is an uncomfortable watch at times, led to much wider discussions about issues around sexual assualt, consent and racial identity when it was shown on BBC1.

It is written, co-directed and executive produced by Michaela Coel, who previously wrote and starred in E4’s comedy, Chewing Gum.

Michaela plays novelist, Arabella who, through flashbacks, realises she was raped during a night out in London.

I May Destroy You follows Arabella and her friends, Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu), as she struggles to come to terms with what has happened and seeks justice for her and other victims of sexual assault.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 12 

Average episode length: 28-35 minutes 

What the critics say: “Could this be the best drama of the year?” - The Guardian

The Salisbury Poisonings

Rafe Spall, Anne-Marie Duff and MyAnna Buring (BBC1’s Ripper Street) star in this torn-from-the-newspaper-headlines drama.

It’s based on real-life events in which a former Russian military officer, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yula were poisoned in the city of Salisbury in 2018. Two Russian nationals were suspected of the attack, using a chemical nerve agent.

In this TV dramatisation, DS Nick Bailey (Rafe Spall) is caught up in the chemical chaos, which also involves a local couple, Dawn Sturgess (MyAnna Buring) and Charlie Rowley (Johnny Harris).

Tracy Daskiewicz (Anne-Marie Duff), Director of Public Health, races against time to stop the spread of the deadly nerve agent, Novichok.

Watch The Salisbury Poisonings on iPlayer now!

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 3 

Average episode length: 56-59 minutes 

What the critics say:“Like watching a Crimewatch reconstruction” - The Independent

Anthony

British teenager, Anthony Walker was murdered by two white men in an unprovoked racist attack in a Liverpool Park in July 2005.

Anthony’s tragic story became national news during the trial of the accused, and his funeral was broadcast on a big screen in Liverpool city centre.

This feature-length drama, written by Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, The Street), was made with the support of Anthony’s mum, Gee.

It re-imagines how Anthony’s (played by Toheeb Jimoh) life might have otherwise turned out and the story is told in reverse order leading up to that fateful day.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 1 

Average episode length: 86 minutes 

What the critics say:“A heartbreaking portrait of a life never lived” - i news

A Suitable Boy

This adaptation of the bestselling book by Vikram Seth is reportedly one of the most expensive BBC series ever made.

Filmed on location in Indian cities including Lucknow, Maheshwar and Kanpur, it’s a coming-of-age story about university student, Lata (Tanya Maniktala) who is expected to be the next in her family to marry.

But Lata’s traditional Hindu family may not approve when she meets and falls for Kabir, who comes from a Muslim family.

A Suitable Boy was adapted for TV by Andrew Davies, the writer behind such TV hits as Mr Selfridge and Bleak House.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 58-59 minutes 

What the critics say: “Settle down for an Indian summer of love with this ambitious adaptation” - The Evening Standard

Strike

After her worldwide success with the Harry Potter books, author J.K. Rowling wrote a series of novels featuring detective Cormoran Strike, under the pen name, Robert Galbraith.

It didn’t take long for the mystery to be solved who really wrote the books!

Tom Burke (from The Musketeers) plays the detective in the BBC adaptation series, alongside Holliday Grainger as Strike’s partner-in-crime, Robin Ellacott.

The first series includes adaptations of the books, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career Of Evil.

The guest cast includes Martin Shaw, Tara Fitzgerald, Sian Phillips and Kierston Wareing (who played Kirsty Branning on EastEnders).

A fourth adaptation, Strike: Lethal White is also now available to watch on iPlayer.

Number of seasons: 4 

Episodes: 11 

Average episode length: 60 minutes 

What the critics say: “It’s impossible to not wonder if the TV adaptation of the book series would have been greenlighted were it not for Rowling’s name” - The Hollywood Reporter

Trigonometry

Three’s a crowd? Or three’s company?

In this BBC Two drama, London chef, Gemma (Thalissa Teixeira, BBC’s The Musketeers) and her paramedic boyfriend, Kieran (Gary Carr,Death In Paradise) are struggling to make ends meet.

So the pair decide to take in a lodger in the shape of the mysterious Ray (Ariane Labed), a former world-class synchronised swimmer.

But things begin to get complicated when both Gemma and Kieran find themselves attracted to Ray.

Could this be the start of an unexpected three-way relationship?

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 8 

Average episode length: 42-44 minutes 

What the critics say:“Trigonometry is certainly different and that can only be welcomed at the moment” - The Irish News

The Luminaries

Ex-EastEnders star Himesh Patel (who played Tamwar Masood) has a role in this period drama, which is based on the Man Booker Prize winning novel by Eleanor Catton.

Set in 1865, it follows a young woman, Anna Wetherell (played by Eve Hewson) who leaves the UK to start a new life in New Zealand and seek her fortune in a gold-rush town on the coast.

However, things don’t quite go as planned when Anna finds herself caught up in a murder mystery.

The cast ofThe Luminaries also includes Penny Dreadful’s Eva Green and The Cry’s Ewen Leslie.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 56-59 minutes 

What the critics say: “One of the most visually arresting dramas of the year” - The Arts Desk

The Secrets She Keeps

This six-part Aussie psychological thriller is based on the novel of the same name by Michael Robotham.

Set in Sydney, it’s the story of yummy mummy Meghan (Jessica de Gouw) who appears to have it all.

Meghan, a successful online blogger, is pregnant with her third child and is married to a TV presenter, Jack (Michael Dorman, from classic Aussie drama The Secret Life Of Us).

Meanwhile, there’s pregnant supermarket employee, Agatha (Laura Carmichael, who played Lady Edith Crawley in Downton Abbey) whose life couldn’t be more different. She appears to be estranged from her family. Plus the military man who got her pregnant isn't ready to be a dad.

One day, the two women come face-to-face and then… Well, NO SPOILERS! Except to say both characters are hiding some shady secrets that could turn lives upside down.

Listen out for the theme music, an alternate version of Kylie’s No.1 hit, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 43 minutes 

What the critics say:“Yummy mummy thriller is a guilty, predictable pleasure” - The Guardian

Make Me Famous

Ex-EastEnders star Tilly Keeper (who played Louise Mitchell) is among the cast of this one-off BBC Three drama, written by TV presenter/DJ/actor, Reggie Yates.

It explores the downside of fame found through reality TV shows, and the effect it has on TV participants and their friends and family.

Tom Brittney, who plays Will Davenport in ITV detective drama, Grantchester, stars as Billy, a former contestant on a reality show called Love or Lust.

Billy thought he’d become an instant star. But a year after the show has finished, Billy is discovering that fame and life in the spotlight isn’t all he thought it would be…

Amanda Abbington stars as Billy’s mum, Amanda. While ex-Hollyoaks star, Emma Rigby has a role as a former contestant on Love or Lust.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 1 

Average episode length: 54 minutes 

What the critics say: “A reality TV fable without much of a moral” - The Independent

Sitting In Limbo

This feature-length factual drama is based on the real-life story of Anthony Bryan (played by one-time Casualty star, Patrick Robinson), a Jamaican-born man who legally immigrated to the UK when he was a child.

He has been living in Britain for 50 years when he was suddenly accused of being an illegal immigrant by the Home Office and threatened with deportation.

Anthony was among the “windrush generation”, folks who had arrived in the UK before 1973 from Caribbean countries.

But the political scandal documented in this drama saw Anthony and over 80 other black Britons wrongly detained and denied legal rights.

Sitting In Limbo is written by Bryan’s half-brother, novelist Stephen S Thompson and shows what happened when Bryan fought for the right to stay and the effect all of this had on Bryan’s family.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 1 

Average episode length: 86 minutes 

What the critics say:“UK Windrush scandal drama is vital viewing” - Den Of Geek

Normal People

First released on BBC Three followed by weekly airings on BBC1, Normal People is one of those “event” TV series which everybody seemed to be talking about at the time (and still are!).

It’s an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Sally Rooney, about the complicated bond between school friends, Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) as they become adults and find themselves both studying at Trinity College in Dublin.

The cast have since filmed some spoof comedy scenes for Comic Relief in Ireland, revealing what happens to Marianne and Connell in Normal Older People. Plus the characters confess all confessions to a priest played by Andrew Scott.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 12 

Average episode length: 23-34 minutes 

What the critics say:Normal People is an honest, absorbing love story” - Vulture

The Trial Of Christine Keeler

This 60s-set drama tells the real-life story of British model, Christine Keeler (played by Sophie Cookson from the Kingsman action films) who unexpectedly hit the news headlines when she found herself in a love triangle with Conservative MP, John Profumo (Ben Miles) and a Russian spy, Eugene Ivanov (Visar Vishka).

It led to a political scandal known as the “Profumo affair”. The film Scandal (1989), starring Ian McKellen was an earlier dramatisation of the same events.

The main cast of The Trial Of Christine Keeler also includes Emilia Fox as Profumo’s actress wife, Valerie Hobson. Plus James Norton as the doctor who first introduces Christine and Profumo. And Ellie Bamber as model and showgirl, Mandy Rice-Davies.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 6 

Average episode length: 60 minutes 

What the critics say:“A furiously fast, fun ridel” - The Guardian

Small Axe

Small Axewas a series of films that was created and directed by award-winning filmmaker, Steve McQueen (Widows, 12 Years A Slave). The anthology was set within London’s West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early 80s, the BBC described Small Axe as “a celebration of Black joy, beauty, love, friendship, family, music and even food.”

The five films are Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Red, White and Blue, Alex Wheatle and Education, and featured some top-tier talent, including the likes of John Boyega, Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes and Michael Ward, to name but a few. 

Every single film was highly praised by critics (especially Lovers Rock) and received plenty of attention during awards season this year, including leading the 2021 BAFTA TV Awards.

Number of seasons: 1

Number of films: 5

Average Length: 60-80 minutes (Mangrove is 127 minutes long)

What the critics say: “Over the course of one irresistible night, McQueen gives his audience a dizzying, sensuous escape, and his characters a rare chance to truly be themselves.” - Empire, on Lovers Rock 

Mrs America

Cate Blanchett has been nominated for an Emmy Award for her role as real-life activist Phyllis Schlafly in this drama series about the rise of the women’s liberation movement during the 1970s.

Phyllis was actively against feminism and abortion and believed a woman’s place was in the home, dutifullly supporting her husband. She actively campaigned to overturn the Equal Rights Amendment during the 1970s.

Her controversial views see Phyllis clash with feminists of the time including Gloria Steinem (played by Rose Byrne) and Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman).

Mrs America was created by Dhavi Waller, a former writer for Mad Men.

Mad Men star Jon Slattery appears in the series as Phyllis’s wealthy lawyer husband, Fred.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 9 

Average episode length: 43-54 minutes 

What the critics say:“Cate Blanchett is formidable as a 1970s anti-feminist” - The Independent

Katy Keene

This spin-off series from popular teen drama, Riverdale (available on Netflix) stars Lucy Hale (from Pretty Little Liars) as Katy Keene, an aspiring fashion designer living in New York.

Crossover characters from Riverdale include Josie McCoy (played by Ashleigh Murray), former lead singer with girl group, Josie and The Pussycats. Plus Josie’s stepbrother, Kevin Keller (Casey Cott) and super baddie businessman, Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos).

Despite plenty of publicity and its connection to Archie Comics, Katy Keene was cancelled in the US after just one season.

But word is, the producers are looking for another channel to pick up the series.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 13 

Average episode length: 42 minutes 

What the critics say: “Escapist teen drama that doesn’t quite reach the heights of Riverdale.” - NME

Fort Salem

With everything that is going on in the world right now, we could do with some supernatural protection from three kick-ass witches!

This entertaining fantasy drama (also known as Motherland: Fort Salem in the US) follows the adventures of Raelle Collar (played by Taylor Hickson), Scylla Ramshorn (Amalia Holm) and Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton), three witches who join the US army!

The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where women now rule the world.

Raelle, Abigail and Tally must use their army training plus magical powers to protect the country from a terrorist group known as The Spree after a shock attack at a shopping mall.

Trivia: The ancient witch language heard spoken on the series was created by some of the folks who also worked on Game Of Thrones.

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 10 

Average episode length: 41-51 minutes 

What the critics say: “Imagines an America defended by witches and things look spooky” - E!

Good Trouble

This twentysome US drama is actually a spin-off from The Fosters, which was about a diverse foster family living in San Diego, California.

But it doesn’t really matter if you’ve never seen the original series since Good Trouble is pretty much its own thing.

It follows grown-up foster children, Callie Adams Foster (Maia Mitchell) and her adopted sister, Mariana Adams Foster (Cierra Ramirez) as they begin new lives and careers in Los Angeles.

The sisters move into a funky living space in downtown LA called The Coterie.

Their new neighbours include graphic designer and artist, Gael (Tommy Martinez) and bartender and political activist, Malika (Zuri Adele). Plus Alice (Sherry Cola) who manages the apartment complex.

Good Trouble has been renewed for Season 3.

Number of seasons: 2 

Episodes: 31 

Average episode length: 42-50 minutes 

What the critics say:“Good Trouble is TV’s first good Gen Z drama” - Vox

Classic BBC dramas everyone should watch!

Last Tango In Halifax

This Sally Wainwright written comedy-drama centres around Celia Dawson (Anne Reid) and Alan Buttershaw (Derek Jacobi), who discover a second chance for love 60 years since they last met.

The pair are reunited after their children convince them to join Facebook.

The rest of the main cast includes Sarah Lancashire as Celia’s daughter, Caroline, who begins an affair with a female work colleague after being cheated on by her husband, John (Tony Gardner).

Nicola Walker plays Alan’s daughter, Gillian, whose relationship with Paul (Sacha Dhawan) causes conflict with her son, Raff (Josh Bolt).

After a lengthy break due to writer Sally’s many other projects, Last Tango In Halifax returned for a fifth series earlier this year which was watched by over 7 million viewers on BBC 1.

Number of seasons: 5 

Episodes: 24 

Average episode length: 60 minutes 

What the critics say:“A brilliant, bittersweet Sunday comfort” - The Guardian

Killing Eve

Season 3 of this BAFTA winning spy-drama mostly got the thumbs down from telly critics when it was released earlier this year.

But the earlier episodes of Killing Eve are definitely still a wild watch. Phoebe Waller-Bridge of Fleabag fame was the head writer and executive producer for Season 1.

If you haven’t seen the series before, it follows the international cat-and-mouse chase between MI5 agent, Eve Polastri (played by Sandra Oh of Grey’s Anatomy fame) and assassin, Villanelle (Jody Comer, who won a BAFTA for the role).

Supporting characters include Carolyn Martens (Fiona Shaw, who also won a BAFTA for the role), head of the Russian Section at MI6 who sends Eve off on various secret missions. Plus, Konstantin Vasilev (Kim Bodnia), who is Villanelle’s handler and a sort of father figure.

The series started life as the novel, Codename Villanelle by British author Luke Jennings. He has since written two sequels. 

Number of seasons: 3 

Episodes: 24 

Average episode length: 41-55 minutes 

What the critics say:“This once-thrilling comedy drama has grown stale and predictable” - The Independent

The Killing

Sours: https://www.whattowatch.com/watching-guides/best-bbc-dramas

The Responder (tbc)

The Responder

Filming begain in May 2021 on this BBC Two five-part series from new screenwriter and former police officer Tony Schumacher, who’s been mentored by Jimmy McGovern as part of a BBC Writers Room initiative. The Responder will star The Hobbit and Sherlock‘s Martin Freeman as officer Chris, who works a series of night shifts in Liverpool, alongside his rookie new partner Rachel (Adelayo Adedayo). The series is described as funny, tragic, and showing the realities of policing in Britain.

The Rig (tbc)

The Rig Amazon Prime Video cast

In November 2020, Amazon Prime Video green-lit this six-episode supernatural thriller from Line of Duty and Bodyguard director John Strickland, written by David Macpherson. It’s due to film in Scotland and is set onboard the Kishorn Bravo oil rig in the North Sea. The crew finds itself marooned on the rig by a mysterious fog that cuts off communication with the outside world. Line of Duty‘s Martin Compston, Owen Teale and Rochenda Sandall will star, alongside Iain Glen, Mark Bonnar and more (see above.) Filming has concluded so the wait shouldn’t be too long for this one.

The Serpent (January)

Jenna Coleman in The Serpent

Ripper Street writer Richard Warlow scripted this eight-part BBC drama about serial killer Charles Sobhraj, Interpol’s most wanted man in the 1970s for the robbery and murder of multiple young Western travellers across South Asia. Tom Shankland (Les Miserables, The City & The City) directs, and A Prophet and The Looming Tower‘s Tahar Rahim played the lead role of Sobhraj, with Jenna Coleman as his girlfriend/accomplice Marie-Andree Leclerc. Read more about the true story that inspired the series here.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (tbc)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Now this sounds like a bit of alright. Adapted from Stuart Turton’s novel of the same name, it’s a seven-part murder mystery coming to Netflix. The story’s a high-concept thriller about a woman trying to solve a murder who keeps waking up in somebody else’s body every time she gets close to the answer. Sophie Petzal (The Last Kingdom, Blood) is adapting it, and the announcement only arrived in late 2020, so don’t expect it for a little while yet. Casting is tba.

The Three (tbc)

The Three book cover cropped

Another BBC drama commission based on a book series, The Three, “an international thriller with a supernatural twist”, was announced in late 2017 but there’s been no news since then. The premise of Sarah Lotz’ trilogy sees four planes crash on the same day in four different countries, leaving three children as the miraculous survivors… Wolf Hall’s Peter Straughan was attached as adapting this eight-part drama but as yet, it’s still to appear on his IMDb credits. We’ll keep you posted if more arrives.

The Tourist (tbc)

Jamie Dornan in The Tourist

Producer-writers Harry and Jack Williams (Fleabag, Baptiste, The Missing, Liar) are back with a six-part BBC-HBO Max drama set and filmed in South Australia. The Tourist is an outback noir about a British man pursued through the Australian outback by a tank truck. When the man awakens in a hospital with no memory of who he is or how he got there, his search for answers takes him to some unsettling places. Chris Sweeney (Back to Life) directs, with The Fall‘s Jamie Dornan leading the cast.

The Tower (tbc)

Three-part detective drama The Tower is coming to ITV, starring Game of ThronesGemma Whelan, Peaky Blinders‘ Emmett Scanlan and Kate & Koji‘s Jimmy Akingbola and The Haunting of Bly Manor‘s Tahirah Sharif. It’s adapted by Homeland‘s Patrick Harbinson from former Met Police officer Kate London’s novel Post-Mortem, and follows the investigation into two deaths and two disappearances from a London tower block.

The Undeclared War (2022)

The Undeclared War

Channel 4 has teamed up with Peacock to commission this six-part cyber thriller written by Wolf Hall’s Peter Kosminsky. It’s set in 2024, as a team of GCHQ cyber specialists secretly work to fend off a cyber attack on the UK electoral system. There’s an impressive cast, from Mark Rylance (pictured above in Bridge of Spies), to Adrian Lester, Alex Jennings, Simon Pegg, Maisie Richardson-Sellers and newcomer Hannah Khalique-Brown. The commission was only announced in April 2021, so we can expect to see this one next year.

Three Families (May)

Three Families

This drama based on real-life abortion stories set in Northern Ireland – the only part of the UK where pregnancy termination remains illegal – aired on BBC One in May 2021. Written by Vanity Fair‘s Gwyneth Hughes, who travelled to Northern Ireland to meet the families who inspired the drama, Three Familieswas produced by the makers of hard-hitting Three Girls and explores the experience of families and loved ones whose lives have been affected by the law in Northern Ireland. It’s currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Time (June)

Sean Bean and Stephen Graham in Jimmy McGovern's Time

Three-part prison drama Time is the latest from legendary British screenwriter Jimmy McGovern (Cracker, Accused, Broken), and stars Sean Bean and Stephen Graham. The four-part drama aired in June 2021 and followed the story of Bean’s character Mark, a former teacher in his 50s who finds himself in prison for the first time, and Graham’s character Eric, a prison officer targeted by a dangerously connected inmate. It’s currently available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Tom Jones (tbc)

Vanity Fair ITV

Praise for 2018’s Vanity Fair adaptation, scheduled opposite Bodyguard in 2018, was drowned out somewhat by the hit political thriller, but there was plenty of it, and deservingly so. Good news then, that ITV has brought screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes back to tackle another classic novel – Henry Fielding’s 1749 book Tom Jones. Following in the footsteps of the acclaimed Albert Finney-starring 1963 film, and the raucous 1997 version with Max Beasley, expect rollicking fun. The last update we had in November 2019 confirmed that Hughes was mid-writing, but news has been thin on the ground since then.

Too Close (April)

Emily Watson in Too Close

Emily Watson (ChernobylApple Tree Yard, Breaking the Waves) stars in this meaty psychological three-part ITV thriller. Based on the novel of the same name written by Natalie Daniels (the pseudonym of actor-writer Clara Salaman, who’s also behind the screenplay), it’s about a forensic psychiatrist treating a patient who’s committed a heinous crime that she says she doesn’t remember. The two women become locked in a dark struggle of influence and manipulation. Watson stars opposite Denise Gough (pictured above).

Trigger Point (tbc)

Trigger Point

Line of Duty‘s Vicky McClure plays bomb disposal expert Lana Washington in this new ITV thriller from the Jed Mercurio stable. Written by Daniel Brierley and executive produced by Mercurio, it’s the story of a front-line bomb disposal pro whose squad is pushed to the limits tackling a terrorist threat to London. Six episodes are on their way, and likely to arrive in early 2022.

Vigil (August)

Suranne Jones in Vigil

With a working title of Vigil, a new six-part thriller filmed in Scotland is on its way from the makers of Bodyguard and Line of Duty. Created by Strike‘s Tom Edge, it’s the story of the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on board a Trident nuclear submarine that brings the police into conflict with the Navy and British security services. It stars Suranne Jones, Rose Leslie, Shaun Evans, Anjli Mohindra, Martin Compston, Paterson Joseph and more. 

Viewpoint (April)

Viewpoint

This five-part ITV thriller from Rillington Place and Manhunt writer Ed Whitmore and Fleabag director Harry Bradbeer aired in April 2021 (well, most of it did. The final episode was pulled from the schedules and made available as streaming-only following a series of sexual harassment complaints made about its star, Noel Clarke). It was the story of a police surveillance investigation in Manchester following the disappearance of a primary school teacher in the vein of Rear Window and The Lives of Others.

Wahala (2022)

Wahala

This BBC series, described as “Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham” is adapted from Nikki May’s as-yet-unpublished novel of the same name. It’s about Simi, Ronke and Boo, three 30-something Anglo-Nigerian women living in London whose friendship is shaken by the arrival of the beautiful, charismatic Isobel, with tragic consequences.

White Stork (2022)

Tom Hiddleston The Night Manager

Formerly known as Spadehead, White Stork is a 10-episode political drama coming to Netflix courtesy of Eleven, the British production compnay behind Sex Education. Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, The Night Manager – pictured above) stars as James Cooper, whose secret past is unearthed when he’s vetted in preparation for a parliamentary election. It was creted by Jericho and MeadowlandsChristopher Dunlop, with Taboo‘sKristoffer Nyholm directing.

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (tbc)

Roadkill Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie (pictured above in BBC political drama Roadkill) has adapted Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel as a Britbox original. It’s the story of a vicar’s son and socialite duo played by Will Poulter and Lucy Boynton, who become amateur detectives and set out to solve a crime when they discover a dying man asking the titular question. Production began in June 2021, with a very fine British comedy cast.

Wolfe (September)

Wolfe

From the creators of Shameless comes six-part crime drama Wolfe, which stars Guerilla‘s Babou Ceesay (pictured above) as an expert forensic pathologist and university professor described as “half genius, half liability”. With a complicated home life and a varied work team including a child prodigy, Wolfe uses his unusual expertise to solve a case of the week. Amanda Abbington, Natalia Tena, Naomi Yang, Adam Long and Shaniqua Okwok co-star.

You (tbc)

Holliday Grainger The Capture BBC One

We might expect the working title of this one to change to avoid confusion with the Netflix stalker story of the same name, but as it stands, You will be an eight-part thriller coming to Sky. Filming started in June 2021 in the UK and Morocco on this adaptation of the Zoran Drvenkar novel, which tells the story of Tara O’Rourke, a woman on the run across Europe after committing a deadly crime. She’s pursued by a dangerous gangster and a serial killer known only as ‘The Traveller’. The Capture (pictured above) writer-director Ben Chanan has written the adaptation.

Sours: https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/new-british-tv-series-for-2021-bbc-itv-channel-4-sky-dramas-and-more/
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Succession is back, Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay have teamed up, and Insecure comes to a close – Amy Charles lists this month's unmissable TV.

(Credit: David Russell/ HBO)

Succession

Money, sex and power struggles return to the small screen this October with season three of Succession. Waystar Royco, the conglomerate owned by the Roy family, is in disarray after Kendall (Jeremy Strong) went against his family's wishes in a blistering press conference on the cruise ship scandal. In the trailer, Kendall is heard saying "I dropped a bomb. The whole world is watching for my next move". Where will one of TV's best recent dramas take the family next, with its aging patriarch, adult offspring vying for the throne while fighting amongst themselves, and cousins, board members and competitors all putting spanners in the work? In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine, Matthew Macfadyen, who plays the oleaginous Tom Wambsgans, husband of Roy daughter Shiv, said "The axe is hanging over a lot of their heads". Whatever's next, it's bound to be juicy.

Succession season three premieres on 17 October on HBO Max in the US, and on 18 October on Sky Atlantic/Now in the UK.

(Credit: Ricardo Hubbs/ Netflix)

Maid

When Alex (Margaret Qualley) leaves her abusive partner to start a new life with her young daughter, she turns to housecleaning to make ends meet. Inspired by Stephanie Land's bestselling memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive, this drama chronicles Alex's quest to provide for her child while facing homelessness, battling for custody and working long, hard hours for very little money. It's created by Molly Smith Metzler, who wrote for Orange is the New Black, Casual and the US adaptation of Shameless, while, alongside a star turn from rising star Qualley, the supporting cast includes Qualley's mum Andie MacDowell, Billy Burke and Anika Noni Rose. Watch the trailer here.

Maid is released on 1 October 2021 on Netflix.

(Credit: Ser Baffo/ Netflix)

Colin in Black and White

NFL quarterback turned activist Colin Kaepernick tells his own story in this new limited series dramatising his early life. Co-created with Ava DuVernay (When They See Us, Selma), it sees Kaepernick narrate his life as a youngster, before he became a celebrated American football player, who was later recognised internationally for his civil rights activism, when he protested police brutality by taking the knee during the US national anthem before games while playing for the San Francisco 49ers. In the teaser trailer, Kaepernick says: "When we're young, we're told that the world is ours. That we should figure out our path and take our shot. Then one day, we realise that the game we're playing is someone else's". Jaden Michael is young Colin, and Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation, Fargo) and Mary-Louise Parker (The West Wing, Weeds) play his adoptive parents, in this intimate exploration of an icon's beginnings.

Colin in Black and White is released on 29 October 2021 on Netflix.

(Credit: BBC/ Red Productions/ Ben Blackall)

Ridley Road

Based on the novel of the same name by Jo Bloom, this new British period drama from the BBC and PBS Masterpiece shines a light on how in 1960s London, against a backdrop of rising fascism and anti-Semitism, a collection of Jewish men and women known as the 62 group began fighting back. The protagonist of Bloom's story, adapted by actress-writer Sarah Solemani, is Vivien (Aggi O'Casey), a young Jewish hairdresser who leaves behind her comfortable life in Manchester for the capital after she falls in love with a member of the group; when he is badly injured, she then infiltrates a prominent Neo-Nazi organisation and herself must face very real threats. Watch the trailer here.

Ridley Road premieres on 3 October on BBC One in the UK.

(Credit: Antony Platt/ Hulu)

Dopesick

This new drama series explores the opioid epidemic still raging in the US, with overdose deaths reaching record highs in 2020. Based on the investigative book of the same name by journalist Beth Macy, Dopesick focuses on how one pharmaceutical company changed the course of millions of lives in the US, tracing a line from the decisions made in boardrooms to doctor's offices and street corners. The Guardian wrote that the stories in the book "attest to the unprecedented scale and devastating effect of America's ongoing opioid epidemic on middle-class as well as poor rural communities… [and] is an in-depth exposure of corporate greed and regulatory failure". Danny Strong (Empire, Proven Innocent) adapted the book for the screen, Barry Levinson (Rain Man) is director, and Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, Kaitlyn Denver, Rosario Dawson and Phillipa Soo are among the all-star cast. Watch the trailer here.

Dopesick premieres on 13 October on Hulu in the US and 12 November on Disney+ in the UK and Ireland.

Invasion

This large-scale sci-fi series tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth from different perspectives across multiple continents. In the trailer, we see children suffering nosebleeds, power going out and multi-car pile-ups as the aliens coordinate their attack. Written and executive produced by Simon Kinberg (The Twilight Zone, X-Men: Days of Future Past) and David Weil (Hunters), its multi-national stars include Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Anderson said he spent "some time sleeping in the deserts of Morocco to really get into the mind [of his character]" to prepare, and with a reported $200 million budget, Apple TV+ will be betting on this show to help cement their status in the streaming universe.

The first three episodes of Invasion are released on 22 October on Apple TV+, with the rest of the series released weekly thereafter.

(Credit: John P Johnson/HBO)

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Larry David's seminal semi-autobiographical comedy returns for its eleventh season this October. Very little information about this series has been released, other than its return, but guest actor Richard Lewis will be back for one episode, after previously ruling himself out due to ongoing health problems. In 2020, showrunner Jeff Schaffer told Indiewire that season 11 will include pandemic storylines, "but not exactly the way you’d expect?". But, given the fictional David's predilection for hand sanitiser, and attempts to social-distance from people, he could adjust well to pandemic life.

Season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on 24 October on HBO.

(Credit: Merie Wallace/ HBO)

Insecure

In the trailer for the upcoming fifth and final season of Issa Rae's Insecure, she declares she "just wants to be drama-free and happy" – but what does that mean for her long-term relationships? In season four, Issa and long-term best friend Molly's relationship was seriously rocky, and just when things were finally looking up for her and Lawrence, a major twist put a spanner in the works. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Rae confirmed that Covid won't feature in the last season of Insecure, and instead she is keeping it in her so-called "fantasy world". As this ground-breaking comedy-drama wraps up, it's certainly made a star of its creator, who will surely go on to even bigger things.

Season five of Insecure premieres on 24 October on HBO Max.

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Sours: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210930-eight-tv-shows-to-watch-this-october
Lilies 2007 (BBC Drama) episode 1

From The White Lotus to Mare of Easttown, Ted Lasso, Loki and The Underground Railroad, Hugh Montgomery and Eddie Mullan pick the year’s greatest programmes to binge right now.

The Underground Railroad

After a year in which many of us have gravitated towards "comfort TV" as a salve for the tumult around us, The Underground Railroad was perhaps the necessary counterbalance: a profound piece of art, as beautiful as it is uncompromising, that urges the very deepest engagement. Based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel of the same name, its alt-history narrative follows Cora, a young woman in antebellum America who escapes from the plantation where she is enslaved via the titular underground railroad, a literal manifestation of something which in reality was a metaphor for the social networks that helped enslaved people to their freedom. What follows, as she ventures Gulliver's Travel-like from region to region, is a stunning survey of the spectrum of racism, inequity, forced compromises and false dawns that black people in America faced, and continue to face, as intellectually detailed as it is viscerally brutal. Every element is perfectly judged, from the coiled intensity of Thuso Mbedu's lead performance to the jarringly beautiful, gliding camerawork that somehow reflects the callous indifference of a society to the violence it sanctions – it is, quite simply, essential viewing, though we would advise taking it slowly, so as to let each of the 10 episodes really sink in. Available on Amazon Prime internationally. 

The White Lotus

There is a select group of people (including this writer) who have been banging on for years about the underappreciation and premature cancellation of Enlightened, the HBO comedy-drama from 2011-2013, starring Laura Dern as a middle-ranking executive for a conglomerate, driven to upset the applecart after a breakdown and a trip to a Hawaiian retreat. Well, clearly creator Mike White was simply a decade ahead of the curve, as his new show has comparable themes, elements and tonality, but has ended up being one of the summer's great talking points. Where previously White focused on the after-effects of a tropical getaway, here the drama is firmly centred on the getaway itself: a luxury resort, again in Hawaii, where a group of mostly white, wealthy tourists are trying, and failing, to relax. As they project their unprocessed neuroses onto each other, and the endlessly trying-to-be-patient staff, it is clear that this holiday is not going to end well for anyone involved – something, to be fair, already given away by an introductory flash-forward scene featuring someone in a body bag. It's a series that works on many different, interconnected planes at once – as a wincingly effective cringe comedy, a satire of American imperialism, and, complete with ​​Cristobal Tapia de Veer's eerie "Hawaiian Hitchcock" score, a nightmarish social horror. Perhaps its closest companion overall, in its trenchant study of unchecked privilege, is its HBO stablemate Succession – though White has made the distinction that "[with Succession] you can kind of otherize them. They’re billionaires. With White Lotus, I wanted it to be more, like, this is your next-door-neighbor rich person who is part of the system." Certainly, though, it provokes similarly queasy laughter. Available on HBO Max in the US and on Sky/Now TV in the UK from 16 August.

Feel Good 

It takes confidence to really shift the direction of a show from one series to the next, but that is what the brilliant comedian-writer Mae Martin has done with the second series of their semi-autobiographical comedy-drama. Where the first run set itself up as a romantic comedy centred on the contrasting lives, chemistry and combustions of nascent couple Mae and George (Charlotte Ritchie), the second is much more tightly-focused on a particular theme, as Mae faces up to the shadow cast by the harassment and abuse she has suffered – most centrally her grooming as a teenager by an older man who is now a friend. In exploring a reckoning with historic abuse, it feels timely, but in no way calculatedly so, and the fact it is rooted in autobiography is evident in the nuance with which it depicts Mae's conflicting emotions. Indeed, for all the disarming charm of both its writing and its star, it feels of a piece with Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You in its very singular study of trauma and its effects. Sadly – but probably rightly – there will be no more, but Martin, a gifted stand-up, surely has a big screen future ahead: indeed, they already have another Netflix show in the works. Available on Netflix internationally.

Ted Lasso

Sometimes a TV show benefits from landing at just the right moment. Such was the case when Ted Lasso launched on Apple TV+ at the tail end of last summer: an unassuming sitcom on a still-novice platform, initially this tale of a supernaturally chirpy American football coach (Jason Sudeikis) taking charge of a British soccer team didn't make much noise. But over a period of months, it grew to become a genuine word-of-mouth hit as audiences craved what it was offering amid the continuing real-world bleakness: not so much its humour as its sincerity, warmth and milk of human kindness. Now it has returned for a second series with a great deal more expectation in tow – but what's great, on the evidence of the episodes so far, is how unaffected by such pressure it seems. Instead, it continues in the same beguilingly easy groove, and if it's rarely laugh-out-loud funny, that doesn't really matter. This is a show that leaves you with that inimitable fuzzy feeling, for its enveloping spirit of camaraderie, its unfettered love for its characters and its satisfying (if not unpredictable) subversion of stereotypes, from seemingly-hyper-macho-but-secretly-softie retired captain Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) to sharp-as-a-tack glamour model-influencer Keeley (Juno Temple). And it also knows how to stage a crowd-pleasing moment, such as in this series' third episode, with the team's eminently admirable stand against an unethical sponsor. The only question is whether it can survive its inevitable haul of Emmys, and concurrent loss of plucky underdog status, come September. Series two is being released in weekly episodes internationally on Apple TV+.

I Think You Should Leave

By contrast, if you’re looking for a comedy that takes a rather dimmer view of humankind, then US comic Tim Robinson's surreally electric sketch show I Think You Should Leave, now on its second series, is just the ticket: like much sketch comedy, it's scattershot enough that it is difficult to quite distil the essence of its genius, but if it nails one thing repeatedly, it's the fragility of the social contract: from using needlessly crude language on a haunted house tour to stealing someone's dinner across the restaurant table, characters repeatedly drive scenes of spiralling awkwardness with a breathtaking lack of self-awareness that is both excruciating and exhilarating in equal measure. Overall, there's something perversely refreshing about its misanthropy: not only that of its characters, with their inability to behave graciously when interacting with their fellow humans, but that of the show itself, with its transgressive belief that, if truth be told, we are a species mired in our pettinesses and our pomposities. And as for the already infamous "Coffin Flop" sketch? Assuredly, once you've seen it, you will not even be able to read those two words together without a Pavlovian attack of the hysterics. Available on Netflix internationally.

Mare of Easttown (Credit: Sky Atlantic)

Mare of Easttown

Both mesmerising and believable as a small-town Pennsylvania detective, Kate Winslet has made an unglamorous return to TV, a decade on from her only other small-screen appearance in Mildred Pierce, and it marks a career-best for the star. Set in the hometown region where screenwriter Brad Ingelsby grew up, the HBO crime series is essentially an old-fashioned whodunnit located within a close-knit working-class community that is weighed down by traumatic events. The story follows detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) as she investigates the murder of a local girl while trying to cope with her own bereavement and divorce. Disappearing into the hard-boiled role, complete with an unbroken Delaware county "Delco" accent, Winslet shows us a woman who will do anything to protect her family and doesn't suffer fools. Sure, there are red herrings aplenty, and jaw-dropping moments that lesser shows would simply end the series on, but aside from the Twin Peaks-style murder mystery element (hidden double lives, strange goings-on in the woods), the success of Mare is testament to Ingelsby's writing allowing time for us to get to know the characters, as Mare and her tough-as-nails mother (Jean Smart) flit in and out of their neighbours' lives, chatting with a beer around a dinner table, or chasing down every detail to find justice and help a  town in turmoil heal. Available on Now TV/Sky Atlantic in the UK and HBO in the US.

Loki

Following the success of the wonderful, oddball WandaVision earlier in the year, this latest much-anticipated Marvel series on Disney+ once again delivers, with a chaotic, time-hopping misadventure focused on Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief. Following on from the events of Avengers: Endgame, prince of Asgard, Loki, escapes imprisonment through a time portal using the powerful Tesseract, only to find himself in the clutches of the Minutemen, an elite team of soldiers working for the mysterious Time Variance Authority to track down any pesky variants disrupting the flow of time. Occupying a drab 1950s retro-futuristic style office, the TVA's bureaucrats govern what they call "the sacred timeline" and eradicate or "prune" anyone who messes with reality. Loki comes to the attention of senior TVA agent Mobius (Owen Wilson), who arranges a reprieve from the court of Judge Renslayer (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), persuading her instead to allow him to recruit the not-entirely-trustworthy Loki to help repair the issues he has created in the timeline. Available internationally on Disney+.

Katla

A supernatural mystery from Icelandic co-creators Sigurjón Kjartansson and Baltasar Kormákur who worked together on 2015 hit Trapped, Katla tells the story of a small community struggling to survive in the shadow of an active subglacial volcano. Rescue worker Gríma (Guðrún Eyfjörð), searches for her sister who disappeared the day Katla's eruption started, over a year ago. Just as hope of ever finding her body fades, the remaining residents within the restricted area of Vík start to receive visits from unexpected guests from their past. An ash-caked woman appears on the glacier, but when taken to hospital it's revealed she's a Swedish woman named Gunhild (Aliette Opheim), who worked at a local hotel 20 years previous.Then another person materialises: Ása, Grima's sister, thought to have been dead. The intriguing premise behind this series could so easily have devolved into derivative horror storytelling, but Katla's blend of folklore, sci-fi and isolated, bleak setting allows for a series that is more than anything an exploration of loss, and whose deep mystery unravels slowly. Streaming globally on Netflix.

Unforgotten (Credit: ITV)

Unforgotten

Such is the glut of crime dramas, it's difficult for any new show in the genre to truly stand out, but this exceptional British effort makes it look easy – proving that what you really need to elevate your procedural is not high concepts or clever-clever twists, but just beautiful and humane writing. Through three series, creator Chris Lang has used the premise of coppers DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DS Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) investigating a years-old but newly-unearthed murder as a way to tell powerful stories of guilt, shame and regret – and this year's fourth run, focusing on the discovery of a body on that links four former friends, who were all once trainee police officers, was no less powerful. Meanwhile the real highlight of the show remained the incredible central performance by Walker, one of the very most natural and organic screen actors there is. Extraordinary for being so ordinary, Stuart is not a tortured detective type but an exceptional, sympathetic yet understandably harried professional trying to do her best – and without giving anything way, this series made us value her, and Walker, more than ever. Available on ITV Hub in the UK, and on Amazon Prime worldwide.

Framing Britney Spears (Credit: Sky Documentaries)

Framing Britney Spears

Rare is it that a piece of television comes along that feels quite as important as this New York Times-produced documentary about the pop icon, and her mistreatment over her two-decade long career from all sides: the press and paparazzi, the music industry, her own family and associates and everyone who has readily consumed her very public suffering as entertainment. When it premiered in February, it was the catalyst for a much wider discussion about the collective, abject sexism directed at young women in the public eye – a conversation that has continued with Spears' singing superstar peer Demi Lovato's Youtube series Dancing with the Devil. Framing Britney Spears is by no means perfect – notably, it is rather too lenient towards the so-called #FreeBritney movement, which professes to be helping her get out of her father's legal conservatorship but arguably is as unthinkingly rapacious towards her as all the other toxic parties in her life. But its impact is undeniable. Available on Sky Documentaries in the UK and Hulu in the US.

It's a Sin (Cred: Channel 4)

It’s a Sin

From The Normal Heart to Angels in America, there have been a number of landmark works about the US Aids crisis of the 1980s, but not enough depicting the scourge of the pandemic elsewhere – which is what makes Russell T Davies' six-part exploration of what was happening in the UK at the time so welcome. A co-production with HBO, it is a masterful blend of comedy, tragedy, and pop hits, which perhaps showcases Davies' unique brilliance as a writer better than any show he's done before: that is, his particular ability to combine the immense warmth and homeliness of a classic British soap with a righteous anger that gradually, then suddenly unfurls itself. A fine young ensemble includes Olly Alexander, Callum Scott Howells, and Omari Douglas as the central trio of young gay men, moving to the big city and with no idea what's in store, while they're supported by a fine selection of more experienced names, the best of all being Neil Patrick Harris as an impish Savile Row tailor. And if it's depiction of how the victims of a pandemic were turned into pariahs would have cut deeply at any time, right now its resonance is even more gut-wrenching.

Available on All4 in the UK and HBO Max in the US.

WandaVision (Credit: Disney+)

WandaVision

With Disney extending its Marvel Cinematic Universe to the small screen, it couldn't really have created a better advert for the added creative possibilities therein. This marvellously surreal nine-episode limited series centres on Avenger Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), as she finds herself living in an ever-evolving alternate universe, modelled on various sitcoms through the eras, alongside her hitherto thought-to-be-destroyed robot husband Vision (Paul Bettany). Early episodes were such joyfully pinpoint pastiches of sitcom form, that it was almost a shame when the show devolved into more typical Marvel fare in its latter stages. Nevertheless, it still counts as the MCU's most daring move yet, a piece that both offered sharp meta-commentary on the medium of TV and a poignant exploration of grief. Olsen and Bettany navigate the tonal shifts masterfully as the titular couple, though it is long-time indie favourite Kathryn Hahn who steals the show – and furnished the memes – as jarringly enthusiastic neighbour Agnes. Available on Disney+ internationally.

Call My Agent (Credit: Netflix)

Call My Agent

French TV is having a bit of a moment, with a number of series becoming international talking points – and chief among them is this stiletto-sharp comedy-drama about a Paris talent agency, whose fourth series premiered internationally on Netflix in January after broadcasting in France late last year. Its central conceit is that each episode features a particular client, who is in fact a real-life star playing themselves - and for the first time, this new run looked beyond France for its cameos, with a special appearance by Hollywood’s finest, Sigourney Weaver. Other than that, however, it was deliciously acerbic business as usual; as the BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz noted it “maintains the same rarefied heights of excellence of the previous three, as our bold and increasingly beleaguered agents do battle with the corporate ogre that is StarMédia, an array of recalcitrant actors, and - mostly - each other.” But though it was also purported to be the final series, fans will be glad to know that there has been a stay of execution: a fifth series and a standalone film have just been confirmed. Available on Netflix internationally.

The Investigation (Credit: BBC Four)

The Investigation

Over six detailed and sober episodes we never meet the killer – and we don't hear his name. In this retelling of the real-life investigation into the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, Borgen actor Søren Malling leads the cast as Jens Møller, the stern Head of Homicide for Copenhagen police. Alongside chief prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen (fellow Borgen star Pilou Asbæk), Møller works non-stop to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Wall, last seen going to interview an inventor for a story on a homemade submarine in Copenhagen harbour, was indeed murdered. In telling the story of how people worked together to solve a crime, without reproducing the gruesome crime itself, director Tobias Lindholm's understated dramatisation of the ‘submarine case’ became a radical reinvention of the true-crime genre. In a behind-the-scenes podcast, Lindholm explained that in focusing on the professionals – the divers, forensics, investigators – making sacrifices and missing important time with family to tirelessly do get the job done, it was a way to “humanise the dehumanised… and offer a confrontation with our behaviours as media consumers”. Available on BBC iPlayer in the UK and HBO Max in the US.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

Cant Get You Out of My Head

In a sprawling six-part series for BBC iPlayer, British journalist Adam Curtis reflects on how in the age of the individual, fundamental power structures governing us all haven't gone away. Tracing the different forces that have led to now, over eight hours the wide-ranging films chronicle the growing anger and anxieties in China, Russia and the Western world, and how this came about. Featuring off-beat archival footage of figures in politics and culture – soundtracked with Curtis's signature choice selection of pop music – the montage of film essays focuses on the loosely interconnected stories of historical revolutionaries. Telling the individual tales of Jiang Qing, Afeni Shakur, Edward Limonov, and Michael X, filmmaker Curtis sets out the argument that it was all of us – self-expressing individuals, politicians and technocrats – who together made these strange times we're living through. It doesn't provide any answers, but through his typical dazzling, yet untraditional collage documentary format, Curtis does at least offer us an explanation of the dynamics of our time. Available on BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Resident Alien (Credit: Sky Atlantic)

Resident Alien

Far funnier than its farcical premise should allow, this comedy-drama based on the Dark Horse comic series provided much-needed escapism and so became Syfy's highest-rated new drama in recent years. Alan Tudyk (Firefly) stars as Harry Vanderspeegle – real name unpronounceable – an alien who, after crash-landing in the mountains outside the small town of Patience, Colorado, has killed and taken the physical form of the first man he encounters. After a stint alone in a fishing cabin learning English by watching Law & Order reruns, we learn that Harry's secret mission on Earth is to destroy humanity – but he's lost his detonation device in the mountains, so he needs to assimilate into his new home to buy some time to uncover it. Tudyk brilliantly reveals the alien's flawed personality, flicking between comedy and menace with ease, as we follow Harry posing unconvincingly as a human doctor. Things, however, are going to plan, until Harry gets embroiled in solving a local murder ("Chung chung!"), bringing him closer to the townsfolk and especially workmate Asta (Sara Tomko), while he also discovers a love of pizza. As time goes on, Harry begins to wrestle with the moral dilemma of his mission. Available on Sky/Now TV in the UK and SyFy in the US.

Lupin

One of the year's first hit shows was the delightful high-energy French heist comedy, inspired by classic stories of gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, written in the early 1900s. Many binged the slick and fast-moving series of five episodes (the remaining five are set to follow later in 2021), and it's not difficult to see why: Actor Omar Sy oozes charm as Assane Diop, a towering con artist with the smooth style of Bond and the wits of Sherlock, who sets out to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. As the only son of an immigrant from Senegal who had come to France to seek a better life, his father is framed over the theft of a diamond necklace by his powerful employer, Hubert Pellegrini. After his father dies in prison, teenager Assane is left an orphan. When we meet Assane 25 years on, inspired by a book about a certain gentleman thief his father had given him on his birthday, our hero sets out to right a wrong, using his mastery of disguise and subterfuge. Available  on Netflix internationally.

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Tv series bbc

The Bodyguard,Bloodlands, Doctor Foster, Normal People – it's fair to say we're a nation who love a good TV drama, especially when the BBC are behind the camera.But what about new 2021 BBC dramas coming out this year and beyond?

Well it looks like it's going to be another stellar year for BBC drama. Not only has filming for the book adaption of Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends and the final series of Killing Eve officially begun (Jodie Comer reveals 'bonkers' Villanelle plot for season 4), but one of our other favourite books:Everything I Know About Love, is also getting the small screen treatment — with the cast line-up recently released by the BBC.

We've just been given a first look at the BBC's upcoming adaptation of the bestselling thriller, The Girl Before, and been told about a brand new drama, Marriage, starring The Split's Nicola Walker and Sean Bean. And period drama fans will be delighted to hear that an opulent new French series about the life of Marie Antoinette will also be shown on the BBC.

As we get closer to the festive period, BBC Two guarantees a chill in the air for viewers this Christmas with M.R. James and Mark Gatiss's ghost story The Mezzotint, starring Rory Kinnear. See more below.

From Swedish crime thrillers to Irish noirs and the return of old favourites, we've rounded up the best TV drama from the BBC in 2021 and 2022. Find out more about each show now below and prepare to never leave your sofa again...

1The Mezzotint

Release date: December 2021 on BBC Two

BBC Two has released first look image of their Christmas ghost story, The Mezzotint. The picture reveals No Time to Die star Rory Kinnear as Edward Williams in the period drama set in 1922 and in the heart of an old English college.

BBC says: 'Williams receives an engraving of an unknown country house. An imposing facade. A sweeping lawn. And, just perhaps, something else. Laced with M. R. James' trademark terror, The Mezzotint will guarantee a chill in the air for viewers this Christmas.'

Downton Abbey's Robert Bathurst stars as Garwood, Frances Barber as Mrs Ambrigail and Nikesh Patel as Nisbet. The Mezzotint also features Poldark's John Hopkins, Roadkill's Emma Cunniffe and Dracula's Tommaso Di Vincenzo.

2Marie Atoinette

Release date: TBC 2022

BBC Two will air French historical drama Marie Antoinette, a feminist depiction of the life of the ill-fated iconic queen from the writer of The Favourite.

The eight-part series will tells the story of the modern and avant-garde young queen (Emilia Schüle ) who was only 14 when she left Austria to marry the Dauphin of France. Fighting against rumours that undermined her reputation, she navigated the rules of the French court under pressure to continue the Bourbon line.

'The all-female writing team, led by Deborah Davis, brings a unique portrayal to her character, drawing out modern feminist comparisons,' Banijay Rights CEO Cathy Payne said.

3Marriage

Release date: TBC

BAFTA winners Nicola Walker and Sean Bean are teaming up to star in BBC drama Marriage, from the multi-award winning writer and director of Him and Her and Mum, Stefan Golaszewski.

Marriage sees married couple Ian (Bean) and Emma (Walker) negotiate the ups and downs of their 30-year marriage. BBC's synopsis reads: 'We see them dealing with the insecurities, the ambiguities, the hopes and the fears that are part of all marriages as the drama explores the risks and the gifts of a long-term intimate relationship.'

Bean said: 'I'm thrilled to be playing opposite the talented Nicola Walker and I’m looking forward to bringing Stefan’s intimate scripts to the screen.'

Walker added: 'This is a unique project. Stefan has created such a beautiful, funny and complicated world and I’m excited to be stepping into Ian and Emma’s marriage with Sean.'

4Waterloo Road

Release date: TBC

BBC's award-winning drama Waterloo Road is returning after six years. The new series will be set in a comprehensive school in Manchester, and focus on the challenges that teachers, parents and pupils face amidst the ongoing pandemic.

The original show aired on the BBC from 2006 - 2015, and was set in both Rochdale and Greenock. It launched the careers of Jenna Coleman and Bridgerton stars Rege-Jean Page and Phoebe Dyvenor.

The revival of Waterloo Road will boost drama production skills in the North of England and help to reshape the BBC's drama slate to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, said: 'Waterloo Road is the perfect lens through which to explore post-Covid Britain, from the perspective of those who have arguably been affected most: young people in education. We are thrilled to be returning to this brilliant format – its thrills and spills, unmissable characters and high drama – at a time when audiences across Britain need it most. And to be collaborating with the brilliant Cameron Roach and Wall To Wall on its return.'

5The Girl Before

Release date: TBC

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo star in BBC One and HBO's adaptation of JP Delaney's best-selling novel of the same title.

The drama tells the story of Jane (Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (Oyelowo).

'There's just one catch: the occupants must abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways, but when she makes the shocking discovery about her predecessor, Emma (Jessica Plummer), she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before… ' the BBC's synopsis reads.

Former EastEnders stars Jessica Plummer and Ben Hardy join the cast.

6Ridley Road

Release date: Available to stream now on BBC iPlayer

A brand new gripping — and very timely — thriller is headed to the BBC soon, adapted from Jo Bloom's bestselling novel of the same name, by Him & Her actress and writer Sarah Solemani.

The four-part thriller tells the story of young Jewish Woman Vivien Epstein (played by newcomer Agnes O’Casey), who leaves her comfortable life in Manchester to stand up to the growing neo-Nazi movement in post-war Britain.

'When Vivien discovers her missing boyfriend Jack (Tom Varley) has been badly injured, she infiltrates a neo-Nazi movement that's becoming increasingly prominent in East London, risking everything for her beliefs and for the man she loves,' according to the BBC.

Writer Sarah Solemani adds that: 'Britain’s relationship with fascism is closer and more alive than we like to think. Luckily, so is our rich heritage of fighting it. Jo Bloom’s gripping book revealed a darker side of sixties London and the staggering contribution the Jewish community made in the battle against racism.'

Watch the brand new BBC trailer to get a taste of what's to come.

7Vigil

Available to stream now on BBC iPlayer

Just when you thought your days of gripping crime drama were behind you, another brilliant BBC thriller arrives on screens.

In fact, the brains behind LOD and Bodyguard produced Vigil, so you know it's going to be good. Add in the fact that it's got a stellar cast — in the form of Doctor Foster's Suranne Jones and Game of Thrones' Rose Leslie — and it's no surprise episode one broke the BBC's record for most-watched new drama of 2021 last week.

The six-part thriller sees Jones take the lead as DCI Amy Silva, who, along with DS Kirsten Longacre (Leslie), is tasked with getting to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on-board Trident nuclear submarine HMS Vigil.

When it's clear a conspiracy is at play, this leads the police into conflict with the Navy and the British security services.

8The Gallows Pole

Release date: TBC

Shane Meadows (This Is England) is turning his hand to his first ever BBC period drama, adapting Benjamin Myers classic novel based on the true story of the Yorkshire Cragg Vale Coiners — with filming for the fictional series officially underway as of September 2021.

The BBC say: 'Set against the backdrop of the coming industrial revolution in eighteenth century Yorkshire, the compelling drama follows the enigmatic David Hartley, as he assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a revolutionary criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history.'

Starring Michael Socha, Downton Abbey’s Sophie McShera, Cara Theobold, 1917’s George MacKay and Peaky Blinders star Samuel Edward-Cook.

The six-part series for the BBC is currently filming in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, so we imagine it will hit screens at some point in 2022.

9The Control Room

Release date: TBC 2022 on BBC One

Roadkill's Iain De Caestecker and Joanna Vanderham will lead BBC One's three-part thriller set in Glasgow.

The series will tell the story of Gabe (De Caestecker), an ordinary man who works as an emergency call handler for the Scottish Ambulance Service in Glasgow.

BBC's synopsis reads: 'His world is turned upside down when he receives a desperate life-and-death call from a woman who appears to know him. With Gabe under pressure to work out who she is, he makes a decision that threatens to have devastating consequences.'

The cast also includes Sharon Rooney, Line of Duty's Taj Atwal, Vigil's Daniel Portman and Bodyguard's Stuart Bowman.

10Everything I Know About Love

Release date: TBC 2022 on BBC One

Award-winning journalist and author Dolly Alderton is adapting her bestselling memoir to the small screen and, excitingly, the stellar cast line-up has just been announced.

Described as 'an unflinching account of surviving your 20s,' the semi-fictionalised screen adaption will follow best friends Maggie (The Witcher'sEmma Appleton) and Birdy (The Morning Show's Bel Powley), who move to London to live the high life. However, things don't exactly go as planned, when Birdy gets a steady boyfriend — leaving Maggie single and without her co-pilot.

Described by the BBC as 'a generous, funny, warm-hearted and uplifting Sex & The City for Millennials,' the same themes of the memoir will run throughout — 'bad dates and squalid flat-shares, heartaches and humiliations, and, most importantly, unbreakable female friendships.'

Dolly, who will serve as co-executive producer on the project, said: 'It’s a messy, boisterous, joyful, romantic comedy about two best female friends from childhood and what happens when they move in to their first London house share and the first phase of adulthood. I cannot stress enough how thrilled I am that it is being made by Working Title and the BBC.'

She also said she is 'beyond thrilled' with the actor choices and revealed she's 'so excited to see them inhabit the world of the show and bring its stories and relationships to life.'

That makes two of us!

SHOP THE BOOK NOW

11Killing Eve

Release date: 2022 on BBC One

Fans of Killing Eve rejoice! For season 4 filming is officially underway, meaning Villanelle and Eve Polastri (The Chair's Sandra Oh) will be back on screens as planned in 2022.

Sadly, BBC America recently confirmed that the upcoming season of Killing Eve will also be its last, something star Jodie Comer has had a hard time wrapping her head around.

'I had a little moment where I saw the clapperboard and I had a kind of lump in my throat,' she admitted to NBC (via MailOnline).

'I cannot let myself [mourn]. I have two months left [of filming] It is like a marathon. If you are at the start you cannot think of the finish. Not that I have ever run a marathon.'

Sex Education’s Laura Neal will be helming the script this time around — following in the footsteps of previous writers Suzanne Heathcote, Emerald Fennell and Phoebe Waller-Bridge — bringing some of the brilliant writing we’ve come to love on the hit Netflix show.

Teasing the plot, Comer also revealed further details of what the new season might entail for her character: 'We have definitely got off to an exciting start. I think now, because we know it's the final season they are definitely pushing boundaries, especially with Villanelle. Where we open with her [Villanelle] is totally bonkers and brilliant. I hope people finally enjoy it when it hits the screen.'

12Showtrial

Release date: TBC 2021 on BBC One

Hot off the trail of Line of Duty ending earlier this year, the BBC have developed a brand new twisty crime drama to fill the void, from the same team as the beloved bent copper series, Bodyguard, and The Pembrokeshire Murders.

The darkly-humoured legal thriller will tell the story of a high-profile court case that sees a privileged young woman called Talitha Campbell charged with conspiracy to commit murder, and stars Tracy Ifeachor, True Detective’s James Frain, and Doctor Who’s Sharon D Clarke.

The official BBC synopsis says: ‘When Talitha Campbell, the estranged daughter of a wealthy property developer, is charged with conspiring to murder fellow university student Hannah Ellis, the trial that follows places victim and accused – and their families – in the eye of a media storm.

‘Into that storm enters Cleo Roberts, the duty solicitor on the night of Talitha’s arrest. Refusing her father’s help, Talitha wants Cleo to lead her defence against a prosecution weaponising Talitha’s gender as well as her social privilege against her.'

The series has only just been announced, but according to the BBC we won’t have too long to wait, as it’s expected to air later this year in 2021.

13Sherwood

Release date: TBC 2022 on BBC One

Hot off the heels of The Serpent and Line of Duty, comes another brilliant-looking BBC crime drama, this time inspired by two real-life Nottinghamshire murders and the subsequent man hunt of Robert Boyer and Terry Rodgers in 2004.

The new series will star Liar's Joanne Froggatt, David Morrissey, Robert Glenister, Philip Jackson, and Lorraine Ashbourne and — despite being based on true events — will be a fictional dramatic portrayal.

The official BBC synopsis says, Sherwood sees 'two shocking and unexpected murders shatter an already fractured community leading to one of the largest manhunts in British history.

'Suspicion is rife and the murders threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the Miners’ Strike that tore families apart three decades before.

'To solve the murders, police inspectors Ian St Clair, from the local constabulary, and Kevin Salisbury from the Met, must reunite and bury a rivalry that stretches back to 1984, in an attempt to heal wounds, and catch a killer. But can a community repair itself as more is discovered about those who live there, and whether they really are who they say they are?'

Filming is likely due to complete at the end of this year so we can expect this to hit screens early 2022.

14Chloe

Release date: TBC on BBC One

A brand new six-part gripping psychological drama is headed to screens later this year, starring The Crown's Erin O'Doherty (Princess Anne), Roadkill's Pippa Bennett-Warner and is written and created by Sex Education directorAlice Seabright.

The story revolves around Becky, a young woman living with her mum and working as a temp, who spends her time comparing her life to those on Instagram — particularly a girl named Chloe.

The BBC synopsis says: 'Becky obsessively watches her seemingly flawless life through social media. But when Chloe dies suddenly, Becky’s need to find out how and why leads her to assume a new identity and engineer a ‘chance’ meeting with Chloe’s best friend, Livia, and infiltrate Chloe's group of close-knit friends.

'Through her alter-ego Sasha, Becky becomes a powerful, transgressive heroine; a popular, well-connected ‘someone’ with a life, and loves, that are far more exciting and addictive than the ‘no-one’ she is as Becky. However, the pretence soon obscures and conflates reality, and Becky risks losing herself completely in the game she is playing.'

Filming has officially started for the series, so we hope this means it'll be headed to screens later this year. When it does it'll premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and will be available on Prime Video internationally.

15This Is Going To Hurt

Release date: TBC on BBC Two

Adam Kay's bestselling diary documenting life as a junior doctor at an NHS hospital is coming to the BBC later this year, and we've just had a first glimpse of Ben Whishaw (Skyfall, Paddington) in the lead role.

Readers fell for Kay's honest, funny and unflinching description of what life is really like for the 1.4m people working on the frontline of the NHS every day.

And they'll be pleased to know Adam's behind the seven-episode BBC Two adaptation, saying: 'It’s been a huge privilege to have my diaries reach so many readers and it’s been absolutely humbling to see their reaction. I’m beyond delighted to now be able to share my story with a far wider audience and make the viewers of BBC Two laugh, cry and vomit.'

We can't wait!

16The Trick

Release date: TBC on BBC One

A brand new conspiracy thriller is headed to screens soon, based on the real-life events of the 2009 'Climategate' affair, starring Jason Watkins (The Crown) and Victoria Hamilton (Doctor Foster) as Professor Philip Jones and his devoted wife Ruth.

Jones — Director of Climate Research at the University of East Anglia — finds himself caught in the eye of an international media storm, after his emails and computer files get hacked by climate change deniers, who use the stolen data to argue that global warming is actually a scientific conspiracy and that data has been hidden and manipulated.

The official BBC synopsis reads: 'With time running out against an unseen enemy, The Trick looks at the potentially devastating consequences to humanity from climate change denial; how a media storm undermined public confidence in the science and how the concept of ‘truth’ took a back seat causing us to lose a decade of action.

'The film also charts the unjustified persecution of Phil Jones, his wife Ruth’s support of her husband and the fight for the ultimate exoneration of himself and the science.'

Although no exact details have been given on when the one-part drama will hit screens, filming is due to start soon, so we're hoping it won't be too long.

17The Responder

Release date: TBC on BBC Two

A six-part crime drama is coming to the BBC, starring Martin Freeman as urgent response officer Chris and Adelayo Adedayo (Some Girls) as his partner.

The show takes place over a series of night shifts in Liverpool, in which Chris battles crisis after crisis — both physical and moral. As he tries to train up his rookie partner, Adedayo, the pair must find a way to navigate the relentless nature of their shifts whilst trying to understand each other.

Written by first-time author Tony Schumacher, the series is based on the former policeman's real-life experiences as an officer on the beat in the city, whilst struggling with his own mental health.

The project is currently filming as we speak, so whilst we have no firm release date yet, we're hoping we'll get to see it before the end of the year!

18Michaela Coel's new project

Release date: TBC

Along with all the other BBC commissions mentioned below, the network also announced that another BBC production was in the works with the award-winning creator of I May Destroy You, Michael Coel.

While we don't have any specific details just yet, Piers Wenger, head of BBC drama commissioning, said earlier this week that another project is in the works with the 'unequalled' star and that 'more news about that to follow in due course.'

Since then, Wenger has gone on to reveal more details in an interview with Deadline, about what Coel's upcoming BBC series might entail and links it might have to her previous projects:

'It’s truly in Michaela’s head and it’s not for me to second guess that too much at this point. It’s at relatively early stages, but I wanted to let the fans of I May Destroy You know that there is a new show coming along.'

Adding: 'What relationship that show will have with the original series, [is for Michaela to decide]. There’s a relationship between Chewing Gum and I May Destroy You. There’s a through line to her thinking. I suspect there may be elements [of I May Destroy You] but it’s really too early to say anything specific.'

We could not be more excited to see what the star has in store for us next...

19Champion

Release date: TBC

From the mind of Candice Carty-Williams (pictured here), author of bestselling novel Queenie, comes this story of what happens when fame collides with family.

The official synopsis reads: 'Bosco Champion. The golden boy of the Champion family and a UK rap sensation before he was jailed is home from prison, and he’s ready to dominate the music industry once more.

'Since she can remember, his younger sister Vita has been his personal assistant, running around after him, getting him out of trouble and hiding his various misdemeanours. But when Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Belly, she steps out of her brother's shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another in their quest to both reach the top spot in the charts, and to be the star of the family.

'Even their parents, soundman turned radio DJ Beres and nineties R&B one hit wonder Aria, can’t stop Bosco and Vita from splitting the Champion family down the middle as they go head to head in a very public and messy battle. In fact, it might be in their best interests to keep Bosco and Vita apart…'

Described by Carty-Williams as a 'love letter to the Black British music scene', we can't wait to watch this new BBC drama.

20Time

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

When we heard that Jimmy McGovern (who wrote Accused and Cracker) was back with a three-part BBC prison drama starring Line of Duty's Stephen Graham and Game of Thrones' Sean Bean, we knew it would be compelling viewing. But, almost two days after the first episode aired, viewers were still talking about the premiere on social media.

The plot follows first-time offender and former school headmaster Mark Cobden (Bean) who is serving a four-year sentence for drink driving. He is consumed by guilt while inside the prison. On the other side of the story is prison officer Eric McNally (Graham) who struggles to cope when his son is sent to another correctional unit.

McGovern is known for his dark and unflinching storylines – and Time is no different. But, just like McGovern's other dramas and films, fans have praised the show (and the duo's acting) for being 'powerful' and 'true to life' if 'stressful' and 'difficult' to watch.

21Cash Carraway (title TBC)

Release date: TBC

Inspired by her 2019 book Skint Estate, author Cash Carraway is adapting the wild tale of trying to escape life trapped below the poverty line to the small screen — and it's been announced that the BBC drama will star none other than This Country's Daisy May Cooper, who the author describes as 'brilliant.'

Carraway says: 'The show is about a brash yet intelligent working-class single mum who not only lives in extreme inner-city poverty but a state of ridicule and humiliation as she attempts to improve her life.

'She’s immoral and shocking and purposefully vile, and swaggerous and quite amazing really – but obviously I would say that as it’s inspired by my life... It isn't a woeful tale of poverty porn, it's a love story in the detritus between a mother and her daughter.... A woman who refuses to hand over her spirit regardless of how hard it’s kicked in.'

She hopes Cooper will bring her signature 'warmth and humour' to the performance of a woman 'that says "f-you" to the expectations of how women perceived to be at the bottom of society are expected to behave.'

22Wahala

Release date: TBC

Soon-to-be a published novel, Wahala, by Nikki May, is being adapted to screen by BAFTA-nominated Rocks writer Theresa Ikoko (pictured here).

The story will follow three thirty-something Anglo-Nigerian friends living in London, trying to navigate a world that 'mixes roast dinners with jollof rice.'

The official BBC synopsis says: 'Simi, Ronke and Boo have been best friends for years, sharing every aspect of their careers, family lives and relationships with one another. But when the beautiful, charismatic and super wealthy Isobel infiltrates their friendship group, mounting tensions, unravelling bonds and unearthed secrets have shocking and tragic consequences.'

Ikoko has described the series as 'Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham!' She also adds that it will be a great celebration of Nigerian British culture, for which she proudly bears the flag.

23The Tourist

Release date: Late 2021 on BBC One

Fans of The Missing and Liar, listen up! The same production company has been commissioned by the BBC and HBO Max to start production on a brand new six-part thriller set in the Australian Outback starring none other than Jamie Dornan. With the first on-set pictures being released last week.

The official synopsis reads: ‘In the glowing red heart of the Australian outback, a British man is pursued by a vast tank truck trying to drive him off the road. An epic cat and mouse chase unfolds and The Man later wakes in hospital, hurt, but somehow alive. Except he has no idea who he is. With merciless figures from his past pursuing him, The Man’s search for answers propels him through the vast and unforgiving outback.’

Also starring Daniella Macdonald (of Dumplin’ and Ladybird fame) as probationary constable Helen Chambers, Line Of Duty’s Shalom Brune-Franklin as waitress Luci, and Hollywood heavyweight Hugo Weaving as the high profile detective inspector on the case. We can't wait to watch this!

24The English

Release date: Late 2021 TBC

Emily Blunt is set to star in an upcoming Western drama from the BBC — and from the sounds of things, it's going to be brilliant.

The six-part series has been described as a 'high-octane epic Western' by the broadcaster, with the official synopsis reading:

'Set in the mythic mid-American landscape in the year of 1890, The English follows Cornelia Locke (Emily Blunt), an Englishwoman who arrives into the new and wild landscape of the West to wreak revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son.

'Upon meeting Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer), an ex-cavalry scout and member of the Pawnee Nation by birth, they join together and discover a shared history which must be defeated at all costs, if either of them are to survive.'

Filming has just started in Spain so it looks like this might hit screens later this year if all goes to plan!

25Conversations with Friends

Release date: Coming soon in 2021 on BBC Three

The creative masterminds behind Normal People are developing Sally Rooney's first novel, Conversations with Friends, for the BBC.

The exciting cast line-up was announced earlier this year (more on that below). Now the BBC has confirmed that filming has officially begun, meaning we won't have too long to wait until we can get our fix.

Jemima Kirke (aka Jessa from Girls — pictured above) will take the role of Melissa in the adaption, while Joe Alwyn (The Favourite) will play Nick, following up with newcomer Alison Oliver as Frances and American Honey star Sasha Lane as Bobbi.

Just like Normal People, Conversations with Friends is also set in Dublin and explores the nuances and complexities of relationships, although the two books are not related at all. The plot follows the four main characters – Frances, Bobbi, Nick and Melissa – as their lives and loves become intertwined with devastating results.

Acclaimed Room director Lenny Abrahamson — who also co-directed Normal People — will be at the helm of the production again; whichwill consist of 12 half-hour episodes.

26Rules Of The Game

Release date: TBC on BBC One

A topical workplace drama — inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the subsequent #MeToo movement — is coming to BBC One.

The four-part series is described as a 'thriller about sexual politics in the modern workplace' and sees Shameless star Maxine Peake take the lead role as Sam — the head of a family-run company in the north west of England who is resistant to criticism and change. Meanwhile new HR boss Maya arrives and is intent on dismantling the 'old-fashioned lad culture' within the company.

The BBC is yet to reveal the show’s air date and further details about the supporting cast, but it's safe to say — we're already very excited...

27The North Water

Release date: TBC on BBC Two

Colin Farrell, Jack O'Connell and Stephen Graham star in this hard-hitting BBC drama, based on Ian McGuire's novel of the same name.

O'Connell plays disgraced ex-army surgeon Patrick Sumner, who signs up to be the ship doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic, and is joined on board by amoral killer and harpooner Henry Drax (played by Colin Farrell).

As Sumner struggles to escape the demons of his past, he grapples with survival amongst the harsh Arctic wasteland.

28My Name is Leon

Release date 2021 on BBC One

Filming officially began in Birmingham on BBC One’s adaptation of Kit de Waal’s award-winning debut novel My Name is Leon — with the full cast announced back in March.

Malachi Kirby (Small Axe, Devils & Black Mirror), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), Olivia Williams (The Father) and Sir Lenny Henry have joined the cast along with newcomer Cole Martin taking the lead in his first ever TV role.

Set in 1980s Britain, this one-off TV movie written by Shola Amoo, tells the uplifting – and incredibly moving – story of nine-year-old Leon; a mixed-race boy who fights to keep his family together as his single-parent mother suffers a devastating breakdown and he gets separated from his brother, as they're both forced into care.

Set against the backdrop of the race riots in the 1980s, the tale is told through Leon’s eyes as we follow his journey — full of energy and hopefulness despite the hardships he encounters — and witness the touching relationship between him and his foster carer Maureen.

29A Very English Scandal: Season 2

Release date: 2021 on BBC One

Following on from the success of Hugh Grant's turn as disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal, the anthology series now moves on to focus on the messy 1963 divorce of Margaret Campbell, the Duchess of Argyll, from her second husband.

The new script is being penned by Agatha Christie writer Sarah Phelps.

30Gentleman Jack: Season 2

Release date: Late 2021 on BBC One

With filming delayed due to Covid-19, the screening date for this new season of the BBC period drama has been pushed back.

Written by Sally Wainwright, the BBC drama is based on the extraordinary life of the 'first modern lesbian' Anne Lister, played by Suranne Jones.

The season finale saw Lister and her lover Ann Walker making their commitments to each other in an unofficial ceremony and fans are excited for season 2 to pick up where it left off.

31This is Going to Hurt

Release date: 2021 on BBC Two

Adam Kay's bestselling memoir is set to be turned into an 8-part TV series by the BBC, starring Ben Whishaw (Paddington and Skyfall), and produced by Kay himself, who, after giving up life as a doctor, aptly turned his hand to comedy and screenwriting.

Written as a diary-like insight to Kay’s life on the NHS frontline, we’re given a glimpse into the excruciatingly long and unrelenting hours put in by a junior doctor.

'Kay’s diaries, scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, tell the unvarnished truth of life as a doctor working in Obstetrics and Gynaecology,' say the BBC.

32Superhoe

Release date: TBC BBC Three

Nicôle Lecky’s first original six-part drama Superhoe is based on her one woman show of the same name. Following 24 year-old Sasha Clayton (Lecky) who dreams of being a singer and rapper, but spends most of her time in her bedroom smoking weed and stalking her ex-boyfriend on Instagram.

33Call The Midwife: Season 10

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

When Call the Midwife first launched in 2012, no-one could have predicted what a roaring success it would be, now nine years later and it's currently onto its tenth season.

Set in the East End of London, the show follows the trials and tribulations of a bunch of midwives working in in the 50s and 60s — welcoming new lives into the world, whilst trying to cope with the changing times around them.

This newest season — which is made up of 7 episodes — saw stars Helen George and Jenny Agutter return — and is set in 1966, during the World Cup.

The final episode of the latest series aired last Sunday. It was followed by a 10th anniversary special featuring past and present members of the cast and crew, as well as backstage footage and interviews.

34Pursuit of Love

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Lily James stars in this BBC adaption of Nancy Mitford's classic novel of the same name — and after airing its finale last Sunday, is now available to catch up in full on BBC iPlayer.

The three-part period comedy-drama was adapted to the small screen by Emily Mortimer (who also stars in the series) and follows headstrong cousins Linda (Lily James) and Fanny, who travel across Europe between the two world wars, in the pursuit of finding perfect husbands.

The Affair's Dominic West plays Linda's father and Fleabag's Andrew Scott delights in the role of aristocratic neighbour Lord Merlin.

35The Pact

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

A brand new shocking crime thriller landed on screens last week and everyone's been calling it 'the Welsh Big Little Lies' with itssimilar 'whodunnit' vibes — a body in the woods, a group of friends with dark secrets...

The official synopsis reads: 'When a young brewery boss is found dead, a chain of events is triggered that draws four of his employees – Anna, Nancy, Louie, and Cat – into a fragile pact of silence, bound by a secret that will change their lives forever.

36Line of Duty: Season 6

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

One of BBC's longest running and most successful police dramas — Line of Duty revolves around AC-12 (the anti-corruption unit) — intent on uncovering bent coppers within the force, dodgy dealings and all kinds of police corruption.

Notoriously not afraid of killing off main characters for the good of the storyline or showing bloody murders on screen, it's brought years of suspense, drama and plot twists to our living rooms — as well as providing a myriad of fan theories delving into the show's hidden meanings and code words.

It's also made huge stars out of its cast, like Martin Compton, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar.

37The Terror

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Hot off the heels of intense Irish noir Bloodlands, came another gripping BBC drama — this time set in the frozen depths of the Arctic, and executive produced by none other than Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, American Gangster).

Frozen and isolated at the end of the earth, this chilling, fictionalised account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition sees the Royal Navy crew battle the harsh elements, whilst being stalked by a murderous presence. It stars Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies and Ciarán Hinds.

38Bloodlands

Catch up now on BBC iPlayer

Bloodlands follows James Nesbitt as Northern Irish police detective Tom Brannick — who's on the hunt for an assassin after connecting a suicide note from a car pulled from the bottom of the loch with an infamous cold case he's been assigned to.

Nesbitt leads an all-star cast including Top Boy's Lisa Dwan, Cracker's Lorcan Cranitch, Being Human's Charlene McKenna and Derry Girls and Game of Thrones' Ian McElhinney.

The producer of Bodyguard and Line of Duty is behind this cat and mouse crime drama, and it had us hooked.

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