One of the only good things about the clocks going back, the nights drawing in and the coats coming out of the cupboard is that the TV drama coming our way finally gets better after a summer dedicated to sport, festivals and other unfathomable businesses.
All the traditional channels have saved their best efforts until this part of the year, while online providers have matched them for quality and sofa-denting viewing. ‘Poldark’, ‘Victoria’ and ‘Our Girl’ have already kicked off the season, but there are plenty more where they came from.
Here, then, is our pick of the crop of TV dramas coming our way in the next couple of months...
The third and final series finds Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson pitted against serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). With Spector captured and injured in the final scene of the second series, it’ll be interesting to see what writer Allan Cubitt does in this final run to round things off in a satisfying conclusion to a memorable trilogy.
The story of Damilola Taylor and the aftermath of his senseless death, as told through the eyes of his grieving family in this feature-length drama. Their quest for justice sits alongside their personal battles with a cast led by Babou Ceesay and Wunmi Mosaku, in a story told with the support of Damilola’s tireless father Richard Taylor OBE.
Writing brothers Harry and Jack Williams (who also wrote ‘One of Us’) are back on more familiar ground of the trauma surrounding a missing child. No James Nesbitt in this one, instead we have David Morrissey and Keeley Hawes as a couple whose lives are overturned when their missing daughter returns after 11 years. The thing we’re most looking forward to? The return of Tcheky Karyo reprising his role of the compassionate detective Julien Baptiste.
‘One Day’s Jim Sturgess leads the cast in this six-part series set in a bomb-damaged London hotel in the aftermath of World War II. Sturgess’s Captain Callum Ferguson is an intelligence officer whose job is to persuade a captured German scientist to lend his skills to the RAF’s task of developing the jet engine. All is not as it seems.
Max Irons and Sam Neill star in this four-part mini-series, re-telling the story of Howard after and his discovery of the tomb of the most fascinating of Egyptian pharaohs. With Irons as Carter, Sam Neill plays his supportive patron Lord Carnarvon, who defies all doubt to keep Carter’s dreams of discovery alive.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman return for the final series of this haunting series, joined once again by Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan as grieving parents Beth and Mark Latimer.
Following the mistakes of the second series, writer Chris Chibnall instead focuses on a brand new case, with detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller investigating a sexual assault, while the close Dorset community must once again deal with the unwelcome attention foisted on them.
The title refers to a five-star hotel in the centre of 1940 London society at a time of falling bombs and heightened emotions and fears. Steven Mackintosh and Olivia Williams lead a cast that also includes Kara Tointon and Alex Jennings.
Arguably the jewel in ITV’s winter schedule, this is an eight-part series exploring what happens when the murder of a mother in a school playground proves to be far less clear-cut than at first appeared. Neil Stuke, Indira Varma and Robert Glenister star.
The lady who can currently do no wrong, Michelle Keegan, stars as the wife of the revered England football captain, as they became the most recognisable couple of their generation. As the country got swept up in World Cup euphoria and by the Moores in particular, this most normal of couples must face some huge challenges. Alongside Michelle is Lorne MacFadyen as Bobby - Patsy Kensit and David Bamber also appear.
Robbie Coltrane gives an ironically compelling turn as a huge entertainment star caught up in an historic sex allegation. As the police work their way through his complex life, those closest to the ‘national treasure’ must deal with the effects of secrets uncovered and loyalties tested. Julie Walters, Andrea Riseborough co-star.
After the surprise phenomenon of Series 1, Gemma Chan and co return for a second series of compassionate sci-fi, exploring what happens when robots become loveable.
Following a rapturous reception to its debut episode at the Venice Film Festival, Jude Law brings his troubled Pope Pius XIII to screen. The first American pope in contemporary times, the pontiff is a man of a great power who nevertheless fears losing those closest to him, and even being abandoned by his God. Alongside Jude, Diane Keaton, Ludivine Sagnier and James Cromwell star.