Dream streams – autumn’s best new TV dramas

Dream streams – autumn’s best new TV dramas

Daniela Soave checks out the forthcoming blockbusters and box sets that will be keeping us entertained this autumn and winter.

Daniela Soave checks out the forthcoming blockbusters and box sets that will be keeping us entertained this autumn and winter.

There are still those who cling to the old-fashioned belief that watching TV is a waste of time and can’t possibly be a culturally enriching experience. They should switch on their sets.

In 2016 so far, what about War and Peace, Line of Duty, Happy Valley, Peaky BlindersThe Hollow Crown, Victoria, Poldark and The Night Manager? And that’s before we add in American and Nordic productions. When it comes to drama, how can they not agree we’re in the midst of a golden age of television?

Now we choose when to view…

I love how we can fit our viewing around our lives rather than being chained to the sofa at regimented times. When we’re busy, we can get on with things and catch up when we like. It helps that there are so many different ways nowadays to do it.

We can watch in real-time, subscribe to streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon, binge-view box sets, watch on the go on our tablets, laptops or phones and record programmes to watch later on a set top box.

This means we can no longer complain that there’s nothing on. A report last year from the Ericsson ConsumerLab found that viewers estimate they now spend six hours per week watching streamed television, which has more than doubled since 2011 when that figure was 2.9 hours per week.

The best autumn TV for 2016

If summer television is a celebration of music and sporting events, then autumn is about drawing the curtains and snuggling up on the sofa in preparation for a rich season of drama.

Here are my top picks coming your way this autumn and winter.

The Crown, Netflix

Cast: Clare Foy, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Jared Harris, Eileen Atkins

Created by Peter Morgan (who also wrote ‘The Queen’) and directed by Stephen Daldry, this is Netflix’s most expensive production to date (a rumoured £100 million budget). Clare Foy takes on the role of Elizabeth II in the first 10 episodes of a six-series commitment to dramatising the Queen’s life from her marriage in 1947 to the present day.

Rillington Place, BBC1

Cast: Tim Roth, Samantha Morton, Jodie Comer, Nico Mirallegro

In the 1940s and ’50s, John Christie murdered at least eight women at his slum home in Notting Hill, London, including his wife and a young neighbour. He was eventually brought to book but not before an innocent man was hanged for his crimes. This three-part mini-series charts how a notorious miscarriage of justice turned the tide against capital punishment.

Divorce, Sky Atlantic

Cast: Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Molly Shannon, Talia Balsam

“I want a divorce,” announces Frances (Parker) in this sharply observed comedy written by Sharon Horgan. “Are you drunk?” exclaims her husband Robert (Haden Church). And so becomes the conscious uncoupling, except it doesn’t go as smoothly as Chris and Gwynnie’s. If you loved Catastrophe, you’ll adore this.

Walter Presents, All4 Box Sets

Cast: various

If you have a penchant for European drama, you’ll love the latest additions to this ongoing series of foreign films. Belicher sees a Dutch computer expert framed for murder in an international conspiracy;  Mafiosa chronicles a family saga on Corsica where a woman takes over her family’s clan and The Passenger is a French crime thriller centred on ritualistic killings based on Greek mythology.

Dark Angel, ITV

Cast: Joanne Froggatt, Alun Armstrong, Emma Fielding, Sam Hoare

Made by the Line of Duty team, this two-part drama chronicles the true story of Victorian serial poisoner Mary Ann Cotton, played by Joanne Froggatt. Through adultery, bigamy and fraud, Cotton moves up the social and financial ladder with each chilling murder. Definitely not Downton Abbey.

The Young Pope, Sky Atlantic

Cast: Jude Law, Diane Keaton, James Cromwell

While many of this autumn’s dramas are period pieces based on real-life events, this lavish eight-part production is pure fantasy. Jude Law stars as Pius XVIII, the first American pope in history, and Diane Keaton as an American nun who raised the former Lenny Belardo. It’s the Vatican, Jim, but not as we know it...


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Thank you

carol810 30/10/2016

Thank you for letting me know about Rillington Place as I seem to have missed this coming on. I love to watch Tim Roth and Lie To Me on Sky is a great series that he is in. It is well worth looking up.

Missing The Missing

thomasinamcd 29/10/2016

In my view, The Missing starring Keeley Hawes, which began a couple of weeks ago on BBC1, is absolutely compulsive and, well, unmissable. No glamour, lots of stark and harrowing backstories which are unravelling, some very dark emotions simmering beneath the troubled surface - it's got me gripped!

Bring it on

tampet01 28/10/2016

I cannot wait to watch some of these drama's especially The Young Pope, Rillington Place, The Crown and Dark Angel. My husband and I spend a good deal of time watching something off the planner while two other programmes are being recorded. I find that the best thing about recording programmes is that when I play them back, if there are adverts, I can just fast forward through them!

I want a divorce

Hopegirl 28/10/2016

I love anything with Sarah Jessica Parker in and can't wait for this. It's great to have a series to snuggle down with on a cold night!

National Treasure

babyhk 27/10/2016

This 4 part drama series was a brilliant illustration as to why it is important to feature more mature actors..Julie Walters was so compelling as was Robbie Coultrane . I wish there wasn't so much coverage of young Americans . These 2 are exceptional .Their experience was noted and as the plot was so sensitive it couldn't have been played convincingly by a younger cast.

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