Autumn TV: our experts pick the best of the new season

Angela negro
ITV, date tbc
ITV has a reputation for delivering taut, female-led psychological thrillers, y Angela negro fits right in. In six parts, written by Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing; Liar), it stars Joanne Froggatt in the title role, as a woman in a seemingly idyllic marriage, but whose husband (Michiel Huisman) is secretly abusive. When she’s approached by a private investigator (Samuel Adewunmi), will she finally break free? With themes echoing Sky Atlantic’s Big Little Lies, this could be compelling viewing. Barbara Ellen

Sky Atlantic, octubre
This off-kilter, true crime drama is a family affair, since it stars the mighty Olivia Colman and is written by her husband, Ed Sinclair. Landscapers tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of a seemingly innocuous Mansfield couple with two dead bodies buried in their back garden. Colman and David Thewlis play the unlikely killers, while the genre-bending four-parter is directed by the multi-talented Will Sharpe (Flowers, Giri/Haji). Expect flights of fancy and magical atmospherics. Michael Hogan

The North Water
BBC dos, starts 10 septiembre
Ian McGuire’s Booker-prize longlisted novel on the 19th-century whaling industry gets a stark and star-studded treatment in this five-part adaptation. Referring to the violent brutality of Cormac McCarthy’s westerns as much as to whaling epic Moby-Dick, it follows opium-addicted surgeon Patrick Sumner (Jack O’Connell) on an apparent journey of redemption aboard the Greenland-bound Volunteer. With monstrous harpoonist Henry Drax (Colin Farrell) and duplicitous Captain Arthur Brownlee (Stephen Graham) for company, the crew find their humanity falling apart the further they journey into the Arctic. Ammar Kalia

Ridley Road
BBC One, octubre
Jo Bloom’s popular 2014 novel was an obvious candidate for four-part series treatment, blending swinging 60s period romance with darker, more socially conscious intrigue in the story of a young Jewish hairdresser who arrives wide-eyed in London and becomes caught up in the anti-fascist movement of the city’s East End. Actor Sarah Solemani wrote the script; newcomer Agnes O’Casey heads a cast heavy on seasoned pros such as Rita Tushingham, Rory Kinnear and Eddie Marsan. Guy Lodge

Scenes from a Marriage
Sky Atlantic, date tbc
Remaking one of Ingmar Bergman’s most monumental works as a five-part series might be hubris on the part of Israeli TV creator Hagai Levi, the man behind the original version of In Treatment, who transitioned to US TV with The Affair. But perhaps Bergman’s bruising marital drama, which itself was a Swedish miniseries before being cut into a feature film, has 21st-century possibilities. We expect stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac to deliver fireworks, while a Venice film festival premiere this week adds cinephile credibility. GL

El proceso de destitución: American Crime Story
BBC dos (probablemente), date tbc
US mega-showrunner Ryan Murphy told Monica Lewinsky at a party: “No one should tell your story but you, and it’s kind of gross if they do.” Now Lewinsky has co-produced this FX series about her affair with Bill Clinton and his subsequent impeachment, starring Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky and Clive Owen as Clinton. Going by past offerings from the American Crime Story-stable (The Trial of OJ Simpson, The Assassination of Gianni Versace), expect darkly hued twists on a well-known tale. BE

Disney +, October date tbc
Based on journalist Beth Macy’s bestselling book, this panoramic drama examines how one company triggered America’s opioid epidemic. Oscar-winner Barry Levinson directs, while a classy cast is led by Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kaitlyn Dever, Will Poulter, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rosario Dawson. The action shifts from big pharma boardrooms to addiction-ravaged mining towns to Drug Enforcement Agency corridors of power. Weightier than your average Disney show. All the more intriguing for it. MH

Netflix, date tbc
American stripper troupe the Chippendales might not seem the most obvious backdrop to a true crime saga, but the riveting 2020 podcast series Welcome to Your Fantasy proved otherwise, narrating the criminal exploits of its Indian-American founder, Somen Banerjee, and his journey from entrepreneur to arrest for racketeering and murder for hire in 1994. The Big Sick’s Kumail Nanjiani stars in this dramatised version of events, written by Robert Siegel, author of the forthcoming Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee series, Pam and Tommy. SI

Sky Atlantic, octubre
Finalmente! It’s the third series of Jesse Armstrong’s cutthroat psychodrama about the Roys, the media conglomerate alpha-plus clan for whom loyalty is the dirtiest word. As series two ended, Kendall (Jeremy Strong) swerved from corporate fall guy to familial Judas in defiance of ruthless silverback patriarch Logan (Brian Cox), so now what? Adrian Brody (The Pianist) is expected to join the cast of familiar faces, including Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook). Let the games begin. BE

BBC dos, octubre
Writer Neil Forsyth’s blackly comic crime caper was one of 2019’s hidden gems, so I’m thrilled it’s been renewed for a well-deserved second run. The brilliant Mark Bonnar stars as crooked Edinburgh lawyer Max, fresh out of prison for manslaughter, desperate to rebuild his formerly flashy life and hellbent on vengeance. The pacy four-parter kicks off with a double murder, a holdall of dirty money, a gangster’s estranged daughter and many, many owls. Tartan noir with a devilish twist. MH

The Morning Show
Apple TV +, 17 septiembre

The first prestige drama from Apple’s streaming service, the #MeToo newsroom tale of The Morning Show won critical acclaim for Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carrell’s portrayal of abusive workplace dynamics in the media. Its first season ended with a panic-fuelled, boardroom-driven denouement; expect the second outing to further explore the complicated relationship between seasoned anchor Alex Levy (Aniston) and rookie Bradley Jackson (Witherspoon), as well as the fallout from abuse allegations at their TV network, UBA. SI

A Very British Scandal
BBC One, December tbc
En 2018 we got caught up in Stephen Frears and Russell T Davies’s raucous interpretation of the Jeremy Thorpe affair, A Very English Scandal. This follow-up (by Sarah Phelps, co-writer of the first series) isn’t a sequel but a separate story told under the same banner, also plucked from the UK tabloid archives. The sex scandal this time is the notoriously lurid, acrimonious divorce of socialite Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, from her husband. It offers juicy roles to Claire Foy and Paul Bettany. GL

The Shrink Next Door
Apple TV +, 12 noviembre
This looks intriguing. Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd star in an eight-part black comedy from Apple TV+, directed by Michael Showalter of The Big Sick fame. Written by Georgia Pritchett (Succession), based on Joe Nocera’s 2019 pódcast of the same name, it’s inspired by surreal true events involving a charismatic, manipulative psychiatrist (Rudd) violating all clinical/ethical boundaries to take over the life and finances of a patient (Ferrell). BE

Stath Lets Flats
Canal 4, octubre
As sweet as it is silly, Bafta-winner Jamie Demetriou’s cartoonish creation about an endearingly useless estate agent is arguably the flat-out funniest sitcom on air. It’s been two years since we last met man-child Stath and the staff of Michael & Eagle Lettings. As we return, our hero is heading the family business, becoming a father and dealing with the revelation that his best friend is in love with his sister. What could possibly go wrong? MH

Emily in Paris
Netflix, diciembre
In its first series last year, the glib depictions of wealthy Parisian society and the insouciant attitude of its American interloper Emily were greeted with confusion by viewers. Was it a satire of social media-obsessed society? Or was it so earnestly tone deaf that it was offensive? The jury is still out as the saccharine series returns, and I am all for the ambiguity. SI

Reservation Dogs
Disney +, date tbc
Already enthusiastically received in the US, this half-hour comedy series is a landmark of minority representation on and off screen, with its largely Native American cast and creative team, headed by the pairing of the ubiquitous New Zealande Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Jojo Rabbit) with Native American film-maker and documentarian Sterlin Harjo. Centred on the daily lives of four indigenous teenagers on an Oklahoma reservation, it’s droll and unhurried, given heart by the characters’ yearning for escape. GL

The Beatles: Get Back
Disney +, 25-27 noviembre
A Beatles documentary from Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings), repurposing Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s footage for his 1970 documentary Let It Be, which bleakly depicted the Beatles on the brink of splitting up. Get Back’s more positive approach has been approved by surviving Beatles, and let’s hope that turns out to be good thing. With three two-hour episodes shown over consecutive days, it promises painstakingly restored footage and that famous rooftop performance in full. BE

Sex Odyssey
Canal 4, septiembre
No less than Louis Theroux executive produces this potentially eye-popping three-part docuseries, going under Britain’s bedsheets to find out what turns us on. My Dad Wrote a Porno’s Alice Levine will be asking whether there’s any such thing as “normal” when it comes to sex in 2021. She’ll travel the UK to meet “sexual adventurers and boundary pushers”, see how the pandemic has reinvented our sex lives, and challenge her own preconceptions of sexual conformity. Social media will go mad for it. MH

Hip Hop Uncovered
Disney +, date tbc
Several top-notch documentaries have analysed the rich history of hip-hop in recent years, most notably the Questlove-produced TV series Songs That Shook America and NPR’s Louder Than a Riot pódcast. This offering from FX and Disney+ looks at the underground figures who have perpetuated the scene over the past 40 años. There is plenty to get into, especially a welcome appraisal of the late Nipsey Hussle and a profile of erstwhile Tupac nemesis Haitian Jack. SI

Colin in Black and White
Netflix, 29 octubre
Colin Kaepernick, the American football quarterback who started a sporting revolution in 2016 by going down on one knee during the national anthem, gets the biopic treatment in this six-part Netflix series focused on his coming of age as a black teenager in a white adopted family and his journey towards activism. Kaepernick will narrate the series, which he has developed in collaboration with Ava DuVernnay, who previously brought 13th y When They See Us to Netflix. GL

My Name Is Leon
BBC One, date tbc
A film of Kit de Waal’s evocative 2016 debut novel about a spirited mixed race boy trying to reunite his family after being taken into care. Adapted by Shola Amoo and directed by Lynette Linton, it’s set in Birmingham against the backdrop of the 1980s race riots. Newcomer Cole Martin plays Leon, heading a cast that includes Lenny Henry (also co-executive producer), Malachi Kirby (Small Axe), Christopher Eccleston and Monica Dolan. BE

Canal 4, septiembre
Killing Eve
’s Jodie Comer thanked her mentor Stephen Graham in her 2019 Bafta acceptance speech for best actress. The friends now join forces for this powerful, politically driven drama about the care home scandal. Writer Jack Thorne movingly charts the relationship between a misfit Liverpool care worker and a patient with early onset Alzheimer’s. The pair form a poignant bond, before their lives are upended by the coronavirus pandemic. I predict award-worthy performances and plenty of tears. MH

The Harder They Fall
Netflix, 3 septiembre
Idris Elba is no stranger to a Stetson, having donned one for the intense 2020 drama Concrete Cowboy, but this feature from director Jeymes Samuel sees him in true 19th-century western territory, playing an ex-convict on the run from his nemesis, outlaw Nat Love (Jonathan Majors). Subverting genre conventions with a mostly black cast, the film also stars Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz and LaKeith Stanfield, as well as Delroy Lindo, Damon Wayans Jr and Regina King. SI

Netflix, 10 noviembre
Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut dazzled critics at Sundance, whereupon it was swiftly acquired by Netflix. On big screen or small, it’s one of the year’s best films: a subtle, piercing adaptation of Nella Larsen’s landmark 1929 novel about two black childhood friends reunited later in life after one of them has changed her identity to “pass” as a white woman. An extraordinary Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson negotiate the tricky provocations of this narrative under Hall’s sure directorial hand: it’s a revelation in many respects. GL

Le Bal des Folles
Amazon Prime, 17 septiembre
Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) co-writes, directs and stars in this boldly gothic-sounding, French Amazon Original film, the title of which translates as The Madwomen’s Ball. In 19th-century Paris, a young woman (Lou de Laâge) says she can hear the dead. She’s committed to a psychiatric hospital, where a sympathetic nurse (Laurent) plots her escape as the institution prepares for its annual ball. Based on Victoria Mas’s novel, myriad themes range from institutionalised abuse to otherworldly suspense. BE

Black to Front day
Canal 4, 10 septiembre
In a push for greater representation, Canal 4 next week devotes a whole day of its schedules to showcasing black talent, both on and off screen. Proceedings commence with a one-off revival of The Big Breakfast, fronted by Mo Gilligan and AJ Odudu. Por la tarde, Trevor McDonald steps in as Countdown host. Evening highlights include an all-black Gogglebox and author Bolu Babalola’s comedy pilot, Big Age. Not just a groundbreaking diversity project but a day of great TV. MH

Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Sky, septiembre
Simon Amstell’s stint hosting the early 2000s iteration of this music quiz show set a high bar for snarky skewering of celebrity that has yet to be topped. Towering comic and Taskmaster host Greg Davies takes over presenting duties for this Sky reboot, with Noel Fielding rejoining as a team captain opposite This Country's Daisy May Cooper and guest Jamali Maddix. Unpredictability was the lifeblood of the original, so let’s hope Davies and co have some surprises up their sleeves for their unsuspecting guests. SI

Earthshot: How to Save Our Planet
BBC One, octubre
The inaugural, Prince William-backed Earthshot prize ceremony, during which five £1m prizes will be presented to the best environmental solutions submitted by any individual or organisation, is to be broadcast live on BBC One on 17 octubre. It will be preceded by a five-part series (and accompanying book) focused on each of the project’s Earthshot goals: nature conservation, clean air, ocean revival, waste reduction and climate fixing. Expect strong messages and ravishing visuals. GL




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