Thirty five titles are on the to-watch list this month, including 15 national premieres, two local debuts, and 18 more shows airing or streaming for your (binge-watching) delight.
For updates about shows from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada added to US channels and streaming services throughout the month, see the British TV Viewing Guide.
Poldark: Season 3 (UK)
Aidan Turner (The Hobbit trilogy) returns as Ross Poldark in the hit drama series’ third season, based on The Black Moon and The Four Swans — Books 5 and 6 in Winston Graham‘s “Poldark Saga” series of historical novels. Following the events in the Season 2 finale, the reunited Ross and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson, The White Queen) take in her two brothers before he leaves for France on a rescue mission and she gives birth. Meanwhile, George Warleggan (Jack Farthing, Blandings) uses his increasing power against his nemesis and anyone Ross supports. Poldark: Season 3 premieres in the US on Sunday, October 1st, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.) A fourth season has been commissioned.
Doctor Who: The Wheel in Space (UK)
The Classic Doctor Who panel at this year’s San Diego Comic Con gave attendees a huge treat: a sneak peak of this newly-reconstructed lost episode of the fifth season’s six-part finale. The story — told through the pairing of telesnaps, stills, and publicity photos with the original audio recording — follows the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton, Knights of God) and companion Jamie (Frazer Hines, Emmerdale) while they’re on a marooned space station, where they meet future companion Zoe (Wendy Padbury, Freewheelers) for the first time and the Doctor faces off against Cybermen for the fourth. Doctor Who: The Wheel in Space premieres in the US on Monday, October 2nd, exclusively on BritBox.
Rillington Place (UK)
Academy Award® nominee and BAFTA Film Award winner Tim Roth (Rob Roy) stars as John “Reg” Christie in this miniseries about the serial killer. Reg and his wife Ethel (double Oscar® nominee Samantha Morton, In America) move to 10 Rillington Place in Notting Hill, London, where he murders and buries his victims, including neighbor Beryl Evans (BAFTA TV nominee Jodie Comer, Thirteen). Featuring BAFTA TV nominee Nico Mirallegro (The Village), Rillington Place premieres in the US on Thursday, October 5th, exclusively on Sundance Now.
The Fashion Hero (Canada)
This new competition series has a “focus on real people and atypical beauty” and a goal to change both the fashion industry’s beauty standards and society’s attitudes about body image. Contestants of different shapes and sizes are judged by a panel of four fashion designers — Anna Scholz, Christopher Bates, Johana Hernandez, and Ximena Valero — and compete to be the face of a marketing campaign for their fashion brands. Hosted by Brooke Hogan (Hulk Hogan’s daughter), The Fashion Hero: Season 1 premieres in the US on Friday, October 6th, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Red Dwarf XII (UK)
This classic, multiple award-winning sci-fi comedy returns for its twelfth series with original cast members Chris Barrie as Rimmer, Craig Charles as Lister, Danny John-Jules as Cat, and Robert Llewellyn as Kryten. The six new episodes were recorded in front of a live studio audience, and each one will be made available within 24 hours of its UK debut. Red Dwarf XII premieres in the US on Thursday, October 12th, exclusively on BritBox.
Kingdom of Us (UK)
Through home movies and raw and honest interviews with members of the Shanks family in the West Midlands, this documentary reveals the aftermath of the patriarch’s death from suicide on his widow and their seven children — from their collective trauma and financial ruin, to coming together and finding hope. Kingdom of Us, a Netflix Original documentary, premieres in the US on Friday, October 13th, exclusively on Netflix.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Season 2 (US/UK)
One of the best new program premieres of 2016, this sci-fi fantasy dramedy series returns for its second outing with Samuel Barnett (Penny Dreadful) and Elijah Wood (Wilfred) reprising their roles as the eponymous holistic detective and his sidekick Todd Brotzman, respectively. As with the time travel and body-swapping in Season 1, everything and everyone is connected in the new season, and Dirk had better figure out how if he’s to crack his current case and “find the Boy.” Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: Season 2 premieres in the US on Saturday, October 14th, at 9 PM ET, on BBC America.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act, which partially decriminalized homosexual acts between men in the UK, this eight-part short film series features monologues that explore some of the most poignant, funny, tragic, and riotous moments of British gay history and the very personal rites of passage of British gay men over the last 100 years. Curated and directed by Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), and starring Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Ben Whishaw (London Spy), Rebecca Front (Doctor Thorne), Russell Tovey (Banished), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Ian Gelder (Snatch), Kadiff Kirwan (Chewing Gum), and Fionn Whitehead (HIM), Queers premieres in the US on Saturday, October 14th, at 10 PM ET, on BBC America.
The Durrells in Corfu: Season 2 (UK)
Based on the autobiographical books in The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell, the second season of this delightful period dramedy is set in 1936, a year after the events in Season 1. Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes, The Missing) is still practically penniless and her four children are still in the throes of their dramas, be they ongoing or new ones. Speaking of new, the family has a nasty new landlady and Louisa has a new admirer. With a third season already in production, The Durrells in Corfu: Season 2 premieres in the US on Sunday, October 15th, at 8 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
Acceptable Risk (Ireland/Canada)
Set in the high-stakes world of Big Pharma, this new thriller stars Elaine Cassidy (The Paradise) as Sarah Manning, a twice-widowed woman following the murder of her second husband. In realizing that she knows nothing about his past, Sarah’s growing suspicions that the deaths of both of her husbands are connected leads her to confront a global company and a conspiracy of corporate, police, and political interests that extend from Dublin to Montreal. Acceptable Risk, an Acorn TV Original Series, premieres in the US with its first two episodes on Monday, October 16th, exclusively on Acorn TV.
Created and written by International Emmy® and BAFTA TV Award winner Jimmy McGovern (The Street), this drama stars Sean Bean (Sean Bean!) (Game of Thrones) as Michael Kerrigan — a Roman Catholic priest who presides over a large parish in northern England. Although Michael himself is a troubled and suffering soul, he continues to comfort and guide his parishioners through their challenges, despite his questions about the impact he really has. Costarring Adrian Dunbar (Line of Duty), Anna Friel (Marcella), Muna Otaru (Whitechapel), Mark Stanley (Game of Thrones), Aisling Loftus (Mr. Selfridge), Paula Malcomson (Ray Donovan), Ned Dennehy (Glitch), and Danny Sapani (Penny Dreadful), Broken premieres in the US on Wednesday, October 18th, exclusively on BritBox.
Wanted: Series 1 & 2 (Australia)
Created by and starring Rebecca Gibney (Winter), this drama thriller series follows two women — Lola Buckley (Gibney) and Chelsea Babbage (Geraldine Hakewill, Soul Mates) — who, after being falsely accused of murder, go on the run across Australia with a suitcase full of money. Wanted: Series 1 & 2, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Tuesday, October 24th, exclusively on Netflix.
Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) stars as the nameless character in this miniseries written by International Emmy® and BAFTA Awards winner Paula Milne (The Politician’s Wife). The story centers on a 17-year-old boy (Whitehead), known only in the drama as HIM, who is struggling to deal with his fractured family, adolescent angst, and the supernatural power he inherited from his grandfather. Co-starring Katherine Kelly (Class), Lucy Liemann (Agatha Raisin), James Murray (Suspects), and Patrick Robinson (Casualty), HIM premieres in the US on Wednesday, October 25th, exclusively on BritBox.
Rosehaven: Season 2 (Australia)
Premiering a week after the conclusion of Season 1, the sophomore season of this acclaimed sitcom finds Daniel (Luke McGregor, Please Like Me) having to prove that he has what it takes to be a part of his mum’s real estate business, while Emma (Celia Pacquola, Offspring) must decide whether small-town life is really for her. Rosehaven: Season 2 premieres in the US on Wednesday, October 25th, at 11 PM ET, on SundanceTV.
ADDED: Fearless (UK)
BAFTA Award winner Helen McCrory (Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful) stars in this legal conspiracy thriller as human rights lawyer Emma Banville, who takes on the case of Kevin Russell (Sam Swainsbury, Mum), a man she believes was wrongly convicted for the murder of a schoolgirl 14 years earlier, and uncovers a web of secrets and collusion with major repercussions. For further details, read this article. Fearless, an Amazon Original Series, premieres in the US on Friday, October 27th, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Stateside fans of this hilarious trivia quiz series don’t have to wait much longer for the N and O series, the first ones with Sandi Toksvig (Great British Baking Show), a former regular guest on the show, taking over quiz master duties from Stephen Fry. Permanent guest Alan Davies is still that, and guests include Ronni Ancona (Last Tango in Halifax), David Mitchell (Upstart Crow), Deirdre O’Kane (Moone Boy), and Romesh Ranganathan (Asian Provocateur). The US premiere date is pegged to the as-yet unscheduled UK debut of the O series, so when it arrives, you’ll find the O episodes weekly under the “Now” section, with all of the N ones (probably) under “Premieres,” exclusively on BritBox. Stay tuned for updates.
The titles below begin airing this month on various public TV stations across the US. Check your local listings or contact the station that serves your area for broadcast dates and times.
800 Words: Series 2 (New Zealand/Australia)
With Aussie transplant George’s (Erik Thomson, Packed to the Rafters) daughter Shay (Melina Vidler, Rake) having left their new home in Weld, the (fictional) coastal seaside community in New Zealand, at the end of Season 1, the second season opens with her dad and brother, Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony, Cleverman), putting a plan in motion to bring her back. George also gets a new job and a new love interest — each of which becomes news amongst the quirky locals.
Raised by Wolves: Series 1 (UK)
There were more comedies than usual on my Best New Program Premieres of 2016 list, and Raised by Wolves was one of them. Hilarious from start to finish, it centers on the quirky Garry family, headed by the acerbic, 30-something, home-schooling Della (Rebekah Staton, Spy), and costars Philip Jackson (Agatha Christie’s Poirot) as Grampy.
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS ADDED TO BRAODCAST & CABLE CHANNELS
The Halcyon (UK)
This Mr. Selfridge-esque period drama set in 1940 revolves around the people and goings-on at the eponymous five-star London hotel. Steven Mackintosh (Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) stars as Richard Garland, general manager of The Halcyon and the man who must ensure that the posh guests are well taken care of by his staff. (For further details, read this article.) The Halcyon begins airing Monday, October 2nd, at 10 PM ET, on Ovation TV.
The Collection (UK/US/France)
Set in a post-World War II French fashion house, this drama centers on two brothers, played by Richard Coyle (Coupling) and Tom Riley (Da Vinci’s Demons), whose clashes threaten to upend the atelier before they can achieve the goal of restoring the supremacy of Paris as the haute couture capital following its occupation by the Nazis. Featuring Frances de la Tour (Vicious), Michelle Gomez (Doctor Who), Alix Poisson (The Disappearance), and Jenna Thiam (The Returned), The Collection begins airing Sunday, October 8th, at 10 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
NON-PREMIERE PROGRAMS ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Created and written by Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect), this crime drama series à la Law & Order follows cases from the commission of the crime to the trial of the accused — examining the grueling, pressure-packed police investigations in all their gritty detail and revealing the strategies of both the prosecution and the defense as they maneuver toward a final verdict. Starring David Hayman (The Paradise), Dorian Lough (New Blood), and Victoria Smurfit (Once Upon a Time), Trial & Retribution: Cases 7-14 begins streaming exclusively on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video on Monday, October 2nd.
Penelope Keith At Her Majesty’s Service (UK)
Dame Penelope Keith (To the Manor Born) follows up her hugely popular series, Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages, with this four-part program. Here she takes viewers behind the closed doors of Queen Elizabeth’s royal residences across the UK — Windsor in London, Hollyrood and Inverary in Scotland, Hillsborough in Northern Ireland, and Caernarfon in Wales — and gives us access to rooms not typically seen by tourists while showing us the daily life of palace staff. Penelope Keith At Her Majesty’s Service begins streaming Monday, October 9th, on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video.
Second Sight: Series 1 & 2 (UK)
This mystery/crime drama stars Oscar® nominee Clive Owen (Closer) as DCI Ross Tanner, head of the Specialist Elite Murder Unit, who learns he has a rare disease that is causing him to go blind. Costarring Claire Skinner (Outnumbered) as his partner, DI Catherine Tully, the four two-part stories in Second Sight: Series 1 & 2 begin streaming exclusively on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video on Monday, October 9th.
Rain Shadow (Australia)
Three-time Golden Globes® nominee Rachel Ward (The Thorn Birds) stars in this drama as the secretive and insensitive Dr. Kate McDonald, the longtime vet for the small and failing Australian farming community of Paringa, which has been in a decade-long drought. Her practice is stretched to the limit, so she hires the young and feisty Dr. Jill Blake (Victoria Thaine, Nowhere Boys), but the two are at odds and overwhelmed, while tensions in town reach a breaking point after a mysterious disease begins to ravage the local sheep. Rain Shadow begins streaming exclusively on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video on Monday, October 16th.
M.R. James Ghost Stories (UK)
Originally produced for the BBC’s annual Ghost Story for Christmas program, the three short films below are adapted from stories by M.R. James, “the originator of the antiquarian ghost story.” Each of them begins streaming Monday, October 30, on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video — just in time for Halloween.
Number 13 — Oxford academic Professor Anderson (Greg Wise, The Crown) arrives in a small town to authenticate papers from the time of the Reformation, but his stay in the hotel’s room number 12 is unsettling: noises awaken him each night, they escalate to an attack, and room number 13 appears from out of nowhere…
A View from a Hill — While walking through the countryside before cataloging and valuing Squire Richards’ (Pip Torrens, Poldark) archaeological collection, historian Dr. Fanshawe (Mark Letheren, Wire in the Blood) uses the squire’s bewitched binoculars and sees the abbey that used to stand next to the hanging grounds of Gallows Hill. If only he had left well enough alone…
Whistle & I’ll Come To You — After placing his ailing wife Alice (Gemma Jones, Unforgotten) in a care home, retired astronomer James Parkin (the late, great John Hurt, The Elephant Man) finds an inscribed wedding ring on the beach. Then he notices a mysterious figure following him and experiences a rash of supernatural disturbances at the hotel that his rational mind explains away. Only they’re not what he wishes they were…
Witches: A Century of Murder (UK)
Another one for Halloween is this two-part docudrama series presented by British historian Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb (Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home). In it she reveals the origins of the mass witch hunts and trials that swept across the British Isles 400 years ago, during which persecutors’ fear of Satan drove them to the horrendous lengths of torturing and putting to death hundreds of innocent people. Witches: A Century of Murder begins streaming Monday, October 30th, on Acorn TV and the Acorn TV Channel on Amazon Video.
(All photos in the above section courtesy of Acorn TV)
A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley (UK)
Historian and TV presenter Lucy Worsley (Secrets of the Six Wives) examines the “morbid national obsession” with murder in this docu-series. She looks at notorious murder cases from the early 19th century to find out how they were transformed into popular entertainment; explores how real-life crime, science, and the emerging art of detection influenced popular culture during the Victorian Age; and delves into the golden age of detective fiction — the time of Dr. Crippen, Agatha Christie, and the films of Alfred Hitchcock. A Very British Murder with Lucy Worsley begins streaming Wednesday, October 4th, on BritBox and the BritBox Channel on Amazon Video.
Starring the late, great Warren Clarke (Poldark) as the politically-incorrect, abrasive, and old-school copper DS Andy Dalziel, and Colin Buchanan (A Touch of Frost) as the university-educated, well-mannered, and modern policeman DI Peter Pascoe, Seasons 5-7 of this popular crime drama consist of original stories inspired by the characters in the award-winning “Dalziel & Pascoe” crime novels by Reginald Hill. Dalziel & Pascoe: Series 5, 6, and 7 begin streaming Saturday, October 7th, on BritBox and the BritBox Channel on Amazon Video.
Dirk Gently (UK)
Based on the cult novel Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), this dramedy mystery series stars Stephen Mangan (Episodes) as Dirk Gently, the madcap private detective who believes in the connectedness of all things, and Darren Boyd (Spy) as his reluctant sidekick Richard MacDuff. Dirk Gently begins streaming Saturday, October 14th, on BritBox and the BritBox Channel on Amazon Video.
Named by the British Film Institute as one of the Top 10 horror shows, this anthology series consists of thirteen (of course) self-contained episodes, each of which features a different kind of horror, supernatural or otherwise. Actors lending their talents to the stories include Golden Globes® nominee Brian Cox (Nuremberg), BAFTA winner Peter Cushing (Sherlock Holmes), Oscar® nominee Denholm Elliott (A Room with a View), BAFTA winner Siân Phillips (I, Claudius), and two-time Golden Globes nominee Pierce Brosnan (“James Bond” films) in his first TV appearance. Hammer House Of Horror begins streaming Saturday, October 28th, on BritBox and the BritBox Channel on Amazon Video.
(All photos in the above section © BBC Worldwide, courtesy of BritBox)
Saving Hope: Season 5 (Final) (Canada)
This supernatural medical drama ended its run earlier this year after 85 episodes. The opener of the final season picks up where the Season 4 cliffhanger left off, and finds Dr. Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks, Stargate SG-1) once again a patient at Hope Zion Hospital. While his relationship to the spirit world continues, the one with Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance, Smallville) does not. Saving Hope: Season 5 begins streaming Sunday, October 1st, on Hulu.
Cleverman: Series 2 (AU/NZ/US)
Opening six months after that intense Season 1 finale, Season 2 of this Peabody Award-nominated drama finds Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard, Wentworth) trying to unite the cultures of the Hairypeople and humans with his superhuman power as the Cleverman. Meanwhile, Jarrod Slade (multiple-award winner Iain Glen, Jack Taylor) has found a way to remove the DNA that gives the Hairies their power. Steeped in ancient Australian Aboriginal mythologies, Cleverman: Season 2 begins streaming Sunday, October 1st, on Netflix.
Schitt’s Creek: Season 3 (Canada/US)
With its Season 4 arriving in 2018, this award-winning comedy series’ third season finds the once-wealthy, still-broke Rose family — dad Johnny (Eugene Levy, American Pie), mom Moira (Catherine O’Hara, Beetlejuice), son David (Dan Levy, Admission), and daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy, The Plateaus) — continuing to have one mishap after another in the eponymous town that they own. Schitt’s Creek: Season 3 begins streaming Thursday, October 5th, on Netflix.
Hammer House of Horror (UK)
There’s a double-dose of Hammer horror this month… Okay, not really, just two streaming platforms that are bringing this acclaimed and macabre series to viewers. But still. If scary shows about devil-worship, ghosts, voodoo, werewolves, witches, and the like are your thing, then this anthology series is for you. Hammer House Of Horror begins streaming Monday, October 9th, on Shudder and the Shudder Channel on Amazon Video.
Red Riding Trilogy (UK)
Adapted from the Red Riding Quartet novels by David Peace, this dark and gritty made-for-TV film trilogy opens with Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, which follows a cub reporter’s inquiries into the disappearance of a young girl, which he believes is connected to other missing children cases. Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980 centers on the investigations of more than a dozen murders committed by the Yorkshire Ripper. And another child goes missing in Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983, which prompts the reopening of the cases from 1974. Red Riding Trilogy begins streaming Thursday, October 5th, on Sundance Now and the Sundance Now Channel on Amazon Video.
Did you miss any of the new shows from previous months? Check the British TV Viewing Guide 2017 Archives to find out.
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