Great TV Drama To Watch This Autumn
With the weather turning we all know it’s the start of some great TV drama to watch this Autumn – thrillers, period costume and the return of some old favourites.
Keeley Hawes wow’ed as home secretary in The Bodyguard, Jenna-Louise Coleman in The Cry, and Michael Palin, Frances de la Tour and Martin Clunes in ITV period drama Vanity Fair.
So what great TV drama can we look forward to this Autumn? Suranne Jones stars as the ‘first modern lesbian’, and Les Misérables returned to its storybook roots, H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi title War of The Worlds… just some of the highlights of the new season.
Great TV Drama To Watch This Autumn
Already a huge hit on Netflix… Eleven years ago, Emma Stone and Jonah Hill starred in Superbad, a story of two co-dependent high school seniors who are forced to deal with separation anxiety after their plan to stage a booze-soaked party goes awry. Now reunited for a Netflix’s mind-altering new black comedy. Maniac is based on a Norwegian series (2014) of the same name and directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, the 10-part series sees the powerhouse pair as strangers meeting in a mental-health facility (We know, you’re gripped already!), where a psychotropic pharmaceutical trial goes awry. The cast also stars Sally Field, Jemima Kirke and Justin Theroux.
Started: Netflix, 21 September (Catch Up quick!)
International Emmy award winning actress Anna Friel (Marcella, Broken), is joined by Emmett J. Scanlan (Harlan Coben’s Safe, The Fall), Alison Steadman (Orphan Black, Gavin and Stacey), Sean McGinley (Paula, On a Clear Day) and child actor Callum Booth-Ford in the new ITV mini-series Butterfly, produced by RED Production Company.
Created and penned by BAFTA award-winning screenwriter Tony Marchant, Butterfly is a heartfelt and sensitive drama about the complex relationship between separated parents, Vicky (Anna Friel) and Stephen (Emmett J. Scanlan), and their division in opinion over how to support their youngest child, Max (Callum Booth-Ford). From a young age, Max has identified as a girl but has tried to suppress these feelings in an attempt to earn Stephen’s approval.
When Max’s feelings become increasingly distressing, Stephen seizes the opportunity to return to live at the family home, hoping to encourage male bonding and prove himself to Vicky. What unfolds is the greatest challenge and test of love and understanding imaginable. The social transitioning of Max to Maxine is initially thwarted because of the clear division of opinion between Vicky and Stephen.
Airs: ITV October
Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster, Save Me, Scott & Bailey) will lead the cast of, in the forthcoming BBC One/HBO drama Gentleman Jack series created, written and directed by Sally Wainwright (To Walk Invisible, Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley).
Gentleman Jack is a Lookout Point production for the BBC, co-produced with HBO.
The Bafta award-winning Suranne Jones will star as Anne Lister, the remarkable landowner who – after years of exotic travel and social climbing – returns to Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1832, determined to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall. The series will be the latest collaboration between Suranne and Sally, following their previous work together on Dead Clever, Unforgiven, and Scott & Bailey.
Suranne Jones says: “I first worked with Sally 10 years ago and I remember the feeling of reading her scripts like it was yesterday. They were scripts for women; fresh, daring and bizarre in a wonderful, modern, fun, complex and challenging way. Now I once again get to speak the words of an almighty talent on a show I know she holds close to her heart.
“To have Sally direct me on this feels like I’ll finally get to work on a project with her where the connection will be immediate, exciting and new each day, and we can enjoy that amazing ride together! I’m thrilled to be back at the BBC with this role and to be joining the Lookout Point and HBO family.”
Airs: BBC One, early 2019
War of The Worlds
Filming has begun in Liverpool on The War of the Worlds, a major adaptation by Peter Harness (Wallander, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) of H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi title. This major new three-part drama is produced by Mammoth Screen for BBC One.
Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Loving Vincent) and Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Big Short) lead the cast alongside Robert Carlyle (T2:Trainspotting, Once Upon A Time) and Rupert Graves (Swimming with Men, Sherlock) in the first British television adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel. The War of the Worlds will be directed by award-winning director Craig Viveiros (And Then There Were None, Rillington Place) and produced by Betsan Morris Evans, (NW, The City in The City).
Set in Edwardian England, this new adaptation of H.G. Wells’ seminal tale – the first alien invasion story in literature – follows George (played by Rafe Spall) and his partner Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson) as they attempt to defy society and start a life together. Rupert Graves is Frederick, George’s elder brother, and Robert Carlyle plays Ogilvy, an astronomer and scientist. The War of the Worlds tells their story as they face the escalating terror of an alien invasion, fighting for their lives against an enemy beyond their comprehension.
Airs: BBC One, October
The cast of Andrew Davies’ six-part drama adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic will be led by Dominic West and David Oyelowo. A Lookout Point and BBC Studios co-production for BBC One and Masterpiece, it is directed by Tom Shankland.
Dominic West (The Affair, Tomb Raider, Appropriate Adult) will star as Jean Valjean, and David Oyelowo (Selma, Gringo, Spooks) as Javert, in BBC One’s landmark drama adaptation of Les Misérables. Both additionally take up roles as Executive Producers.
Dominic West says: “Jean Valjean is one of the great characters in world literature. His epic journey of redemption is one of the extraordinary roles an actor can take on, and I can’t wait to get stuck in to bringing Andrew’s brilliant adaptation to the screen.”
David Oyelowo says: “To play an iconic role like Javert is any actor’s dream, but to play it as written by Andrew Davies goes beyond my wildest dreams.”
They are joined in the epic new event drama by Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply, Tolkien, Love, Rosie), in the role of Fantine.
Lily Collins says: “I’m so thrilled to be playing Fantine. She is a legendary character whose tragic story feels as relevant to tell today as when Les Misérables was first published. Andrew’s wonderful dramatisation opens up the character in fresh ways that I’ve never seen before in previous adaptations. And with this amazing cast coming together it really feels like it could be something very special indeed.”
The distinguished British cast also includes Adeel Akhtar (The Night Manager, Murdered By My Father, Utopia) and Olivia Colman (Murder On The Orient Express,The Night Manager, Broadchurch) as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier, Ellie Bamber (Nocturnal Animals, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies, The Nutcracker And The Four Realms) as Cosette, Josh O’Connor (The Durrells, God’s Own Country, Ripper Street) as Marius and Erin Kellyman (Raised By Wolves, Uncle, The Coopers Vs The Rest) as Éponine.
Airs: BBC One, November
DON’T MISS RSC’S ROMEO AND JULIET IN 2019
If you love the TV dramas don.t forget to check out what’s on at your local theatre Blackpool’s Grand. From thrillers, comedy and period dramas they have it all.
Main Image © War Of The Worlds BBC/Mammoth Screen