Top 10 UK TV Shows This Autumn
With the Fall US TV season kicking off again this month and running into October, there are still a number of very interesting and exciting homegrown projects that will be airing right here. From an anniversary of one of our most famous exports, to numerous new projects that have a real chance of shining, it’s an exciting time to keep an eye on the TV schedules.
1. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day Of The Doctor (23 November – BBC 1)
Could we really put anything else in the top spot? Fifty years in the making, all eyes are on the BBC to see what they deliver for a huge celebration of Who – and this time it’s coming in 3D! Simultaneous broadcasts around the world and also in cinemas in the UK give just a small glimpse into the madness of the Who fandom and the excitement that surrounds this episode.
What do we know so far? Matt Smith will appear alongside regular companion Jenna Coleman in one of his final episodes before bowing out to be replaced by Peter Capaldi. David Tennant and Billie Piper make their return to the show as the Tenth Doctor and Rose after leaving in The End Of Time Part 2 on 1 January 2010. What else? Well there are various details out there but we try not to look too deep into spoilers, as where’s the fun in knowing everything? The main twist in the tale was given to us as a cliffhanger in The Name Of The Doctor where we saw John Hurt introduced as The Doctor. Gasps all across the world were heard and so many questions remain unanswered. Let’s hope this special delivers them!
UK fans are still disappointed that San Diego Comic Con got an exclusive trailer, but we are all really excited at the potential for this special. With 50 years of monsters, companions, and Doctors to draw from, there is so much that could happen. Will it only be Tennant and Smith or has Moff pulled another blinder and kept some amazing secrets for all of us? Only time will tell, but this is a big year for Doctor Who and this is THE one to watch.
Don’t forget the docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time expected to air in November on BBC 2, featuring David Bradley as William Hartnell in the tale of the creation of Doctor Who.
2. Atlantis (28 September – 8:25pm – BBC 1)
Touted as the show to replace Merlin on a Saturday night, Atlantis looks every bit the exciting and gripping series that Merlin was at its best. With a cast led by Mark Addy (The Full Monty and, more recently, Game Of Thrones), Atlantis is a who’s who of UK talent – Jack Donnelly (House of Anubis, Misfits), Jemima Rooper (As If, Hex), and star of stage and screen Juliet Stevenson. If you’re into reptile-haired goddesses and giants, or you simply want to go on an adventure, then Atlantis looks like a show worth tuning in for.
3. The IT Crowd Finale Special (27 September – 9pm – Channel 4)
The comical adventures of day-to-day life at Reynholm Industries’ IT department have been making audiences laugh since 2006, and fans of Jen (Katherine Parkinson), Roy (Chris O’Dowd) and Moss (Richard Ayoade) will finally get a chance to say a proper goodbye to their favourite on-screen workers. As one of Channel 4’s most beloved series, The IT Crowd has given us some of the most memorable comedy scenes of all time (Jen breaking the Internet for one!) and this special should be no different. Tune in to turn it off and on again one last time.
4. Dracula (October – Sky Living)
This is cheating a little bit, being a joint venture between Sky Living and NBC in America, but we’re allowed. It may be a tried and tested tale with numerous adaptations over the years on the small screen and in Hollywood, but there is always potential in Bram Stoker’s source material. This reimagining features Jonathan Rhys Meyers of The Tudors as the titular character, a man who’s no stranger to a role with strong sexual chemistry. Interestingly the showrunner/head writer is Carnivale creator Daniel Knauf so there is strong talent in front and behind the camera. Let’s hope this modern take on an all-time classic delivers enough, ahem, bite.
Another joint venture, this time between Sky Atlantic and French channel Canal+, The Tunnel is a remake of Danish hit The Bridge – a drama that examines a shocking crime on the border between two countries, and forces an uneasy working relationship between the two police forces. This time we have Game of Thrones’ Stannis Baratheon himself, Stephen Dillane teaming up with Birdsong star Clémence Poésy to solve a gruesome case involving a serial killer. Considering how good The Bridge is, it doesn’t seem like a completely necessary remake, but it has happened in TV and movies for many years, so let’s keep our fingers crossed this adaptation can be just as good.
And a few other highlights/things to catch up on..
6. Peaky Blinders (airing now – BBC 2)
The always exceptional Cillian Murphy appearing alongside Dr Alan Grant aka Sam Neill? Post-war Birmingham crime drama. Count us in.
7. Orphan Black (airing now – BBC 3)
Yes, it’s not a UK show but you need to watch it. Addictive sci-fi drama straight from BBC America.
8. Downton Abbey (airing now – ITV)
This show speaks for itself. A national treasure. (Check out our entertainment columnist Jenny Priestley’s humorous take on episode 1 of the new series.)
9. Misfits Series 5 (October – E4)
A show sadly a few years past its best, but Joseph Gilgun is always worth a watch, and we have to know how it ends, right? (Check out what happened when Flicks And The City caught up with the Misfits cast before last season in the video below!)
10. Escape Artist (TBC – BBC)
Need another David Tennant fix? After the addictive Broadchurch, Tennant teams up with Extras’ Ashley Jensen in an intriguing legal drama by Spooks creator David Wolstencroft.