Searching for your next telly fix? We’ve got a few suggestions
It’s only the beginning of October, and already Killing Eve has set a standard for our autumn viewing schedules that’ll be difficult to top. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have ravenously consumed all eight episodes in the space of a week, and are now feeling bereft of anything really gripping to watch. However, now’s not the time to despair and return to repeat-watching old episodes of Top Gear (or Friends – whichever’s your jam). There’s lots of other great telly around at the moment, and here’s five series that prove it.
(c) Netflix. Photographer: Michael K. Short
Newly arrived on Netflix, Maniac brings two Hollywood heavyweights to our TV screens in this much-anticipated 10-part series. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill play two strangers who sign up to a mysterious pharmaceutical trial that promises to repair their damaged minds. Obviously, things don’t quite go to plan. Set in a recognisable near-future, and featuring multiple parallel universes (along the lines of Westworld), Maniac promises to be an chilling, close-to-the-bone addition to your autumn viewing schedule.
(c) Drama Republic. Photographer: Matt Squire
Starring Toni Collette – with arguably the most watchable face in the business – Wanderlust caused a bit of a stir when it hit BBC screens a couple of weeks ago. The series follows Joy (Collette) and Alan, Steven Mackintosh, who decide to spice up their marriage by sleeping with other people. A comedy that examines the limits of marriage, intimacy and sex, Wanderlust has already caused quite a stir in sleepy middle England– but it’s definitely one to check out.
(c) Bunya Productions/all3media international
Mystery Road, BBC
It’s not often that we get to see Australia on the small screen – unless 5pm viewings of Neighbours is your thing. A small-screen spin-off of Ivan Sen’s 2013 film of the same name, and also starring heavyweight Australian actor Aaron Pedersen, Mystery Road is a six-part series that will keep you hooked from the very beginning. Pedersen plays Detective Jay Swan, who arrives in the small town of Patterson in the remote Australian outback to solve the disappearance of two farm hands from a cattle ranch – which also happens to be owned by the senior police sergeant’s (Judy Davis) family. Brooding and staunch in the lead role, Pedersen is well matched by a gripping plot, spectacular scenery and a talented cast of supporting characters.
Jack Ryan, Amazon Prime
No stranger to the silver screen, Tom Clancy’s CIA analyst Jack Ryan has appeared not once but four times in our cinemas since 1990. Now, he’s been brought back to life for the small screen by John Krasinski, who has returned to TV land a lot beefier than in his Jim from The Office days. It’s far from subtle but, like the original books, Amazon’s new Jack Ryan is a gloriously macho, guns ‘n’ explosions guilty pleasure that’s made for diving into on a chilly autumn evening. In the updated-for-2018 plot, Jack is wrenched from the security of his desk job into the field after discovering shady bank transfers carried out by a terrorist.
(c) Forgiving Earth Ltd. Photographer: Des Willie
Black Earth Rising, BBC
A drama about the prosecution of international war crimes feels like heavy going after the dark humour of Killing Eve. But stay with me – Black Earth Rising transforms a weighty subject matter into an enthralling eight-part series. The plot centres on Kate (Michaela Coel), a refugee of the Rwandan genocide who was adopted as a child by Eve Ashby (Harriet Walter), a prominent barrister. When Eve takes on a case prosecuting an African militia leader, Kate is irrevocably drawn back into her past. Cole’s magnetic performance in particular drives this series’ compelling energy.