As the nights draw in, no doubt you’re looking forward to spending the autumn evenings on your favourite hobbies. But when you tire of fly-tying, origami, and the driving range, you might find yourself wondering what’s on the box. Here to help as you bung on your loungewear and comfy new slippers for a night in front of the telly, is our guide to the best things to watch this season.
War of the Worlds
If you’re of a certain vintage, you’ll no doubt wonder if any TV adaptation of H.G Wells’ War of the Worlds could possibly match the wonder of Jeff Wayne’s 1978 prog rock concept album. But if the hype is to be believed, this series is set to be out of this world.
Unlike the 2005 film, starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, this particular alien invasion is set to strike at the heart of the UK. Quoted by the Radio Times, director Craig Viveiros says: “This is the first version to be set in London and [its environs] during the Edwardian period.”
As far as the plot goes, writer Peter Harness gives Wells’ work a contemporary twist, describing his script as “a collision of sci-fi, period drama and horror.” Whether you’ll be impressed remains to be seen, but with Rafe Spall and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza from Poldark) playing starring roles, this War of the Worlds is sure to be a battle worth watching.
Here’s a series guaranteed to blow you clean out of your slippers. Already garnering rave reviews, this Bodyguard has nothing to do with power ballads and dubious acting, and everything to do with war vet turned personal protection officer, David Budd, attempting to keep Home Secretary Julia Montague out of harm’s way.
Real life bodyguarding must surely be one of the dreariest occupations on the planet. But while standing around as your charge shops for undies at M&S is the bread and butter of close protection, out-foxing baddies and stopping bullets is the jam in the jam sandwich.
Watch enthralled as the volatile, PTSD ravaged Budd – Richard Madden – collides with ruthless, ambitious, Montague – Keeley Hawes. Is he the Home Secretary’s last line of defence, or her greatest weakness? Put the kettle on, and buckle up for some blockbuster TV.
What do you do when you’re a middle aged couple and your sex life has become the bedroom equivalent of a cup of cold horlicks? If you’re Joy and Alan – played by Toni Collette and Steven Mackintosh, a bit of consensual infidelity is the answer.
As a comedy, Wanderlust is, like its protagonists, a little slow to get going, but don’t let that put you off because one senses there are plenty of laughs to come. And there’s always the added frisson that comes with watching TV that offers the potential to cut close to the bone.
The Telegraph loves this series, saying the comedy offers “much more than mere titillation”, while the Mail on Sunday is outraged by the onslaught of nudity and drug taking. A bit Marmite – if you like your TV hot and steamy, this is for you – if you thought Mary Whitehouse had a point, perhaps Cash in the Attic is a better bet.
It’s a long time since the best of Britain’s journalistic talent headed straight for the crazy world of print news without passing TV. But the BBC series, Press looks set to challenge the stereotype of the newspaper business as a dying industry populated by broken down, booze addled old hacks.
Follow the ensemble cast as, headed up by Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin and David Suchet they “attempt to balance work and play, ambition and integrity, amid the never-ending pressure of the 24-hour global news cycle and an industry in turmoil.” As the BBC puts it.
Promising to offer more than a nostalgic wander through the long deserted streets of Wapping, this drama might be “fake news”, but given the challenges today’s fourth estate faces, Press is about as relevant as TV gets.
The Little Drummer GirlA TV gem courtesy of the same partnership between the BBC and US Network AMC that served up the excellent Night Manager, this three part adaptation of John le Carre’s The Little Drummer Girl looks like it will be a corker.Staying true to the original late 1970s setting, the series stars Alexander Skarsgård as sinister Israeli intelligence officer, Becker, and Florence Pugh as Charlie, the young actress he recruits to be his double agent. What follows is a spyfest that draws you in, keeps you guessing all the way through, and delivers a killer twist right when you least expect it.
At 86, cold war spy and novelist, John le Carre himself is still going strong, only last year publishing his 24th spy novel – A Legacy of Spies, in which he brought his most famous puppet master, George smiley back in from the cold. The Little Drummer Girl is one to watch out for.
What happens when you cross a stylish psychopath with a penchant for clever kills, with an MI5 desk driver? A thrilling game of cat and mouse is what. Check out Killing Eve, the Beeb’s awesome new spy adventure.
Starring Sandra Oh from Grey’s Anatomy as intelligence officer, Eve Polastri, and Doctor Foster’s Jodie Comer as psycho killer, Villanelle, the series overturns the spy genre’s tiresome cliches to produce a girl-on-girl hit that’s already snagged two Emmy nominations.
A girl who loves to live life to the full, follow Villanelle on her murderous adventures as she flits from the hills of Tuscany to gay Paris and beyond. This sexy smash will have you on the edge of your seat, and given some of the rather chichi European locations, possibly booking seats too.
What will you be settling in to watch this autumn? We’d love to hear about your top TV picks. Leave us a comment below.