Fingers crossed for plenty of sea otters
You can throw as many big name stars, fancy writers and special effects into the mix as you like, but they’ll probably all be blown out the water by a two-minute clip of an Iguana being chased by a snake. The magnificent David Attenborough’s latest nature series Blue Planet II starts this Sunday on BBC One, 16 years after his original.
Filming for the sequel began four years ago and promises to bring us closer than ever to life under the sea, using cutting edge camera technology and expert knowledge from around the world.
The series is likely to be underpinned with an environmental message too. It’s estimated that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish, while melting ice caps are making life harder than ever for animals on the front line of global warming.
As well as emotionally charged stories of survival, you can also expect plenty of humour and some crowd-pleasing dolphins. A guaranteed ratings buster if ever we saw one.
Here’s what else is worth catching this Autumn…
The Deuce, Sky Atlantic
1970s New York is the setting of HBO’s new drama from The Wire‘s David Simon and George Pelecanos. Starring James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gbenga Akinnagbe, The Deuce has already had rave reviews across the pond for its unflinching exploration of prostitution and porn in Seventies Manhattan. Now it’s landed on Sky Atlantic.
Alias Grace, Netflix
It’s clearly Margaret Atwood season. After the Emmy-cracking success of The Handmaid’s Tale comes a new adaptation of Atwood’s 1996 novel Alias Grace, which follows the story of Irish-Canadian maid Grace Marks who was sentenced to life in prison in 1843 for the murder of her master and mistress. Sarah Gadon takes the titular role of Grace, and the show hits Netflix on 3rd November.
Director of The Social Network and Gone Girl David Fincher is at the helm of this new Netflix drama about two FBI detectives who raid the minds of serial killers in a bid to solve future crimes before they happen. There’s a lot of buzz around this one, which has already been confirmed for a second season and drops on 13th October.
Gunpowder, BBC One
Kit Harington is shoring up his Game of Thrones retirement plan with this new BBC miniseries about the Gunpowder Plot. Harington leads opposite Liv Tyler as Robert Catesby, an English Catholic who orchestrated a plot to assassinate King James I in 1605. No solid date yet but we’ve a tiny hunch this one will air close to 5th November. Remember remember… to put it on series link.
Little Women, BBC One
Clearly nothing can replace the 1994 version starring Winona, Susan Sarandon, Claire Danes and (mini!) Kirsten Dunst, but more than two decades on there’s room for another. The upcoming BBC adaptation of Louisa May Allcott’s novel is set to make a star of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s daughter Maya Thurman-Hawke, who will play Jo March alongside Emily Watson as Marmee and Murder, She Wrote‘s Angela Landsbury as Aunt March.
Stranger Things season two, Netflix
Round two of the Duffer brothers’ Eighties-tastic drama is set for a Halloween premiere date. Winona Ryder, David Harbour and breakout starlet Millie Bobby Brown return to the cast (which presumably means Millie’s character Eleven being exploded into millions of tiny, light-filled pieces wasn’t as final as it looked). What’s going to happen to Will now he’s coughed up that weird slimy slug? What will happen now the Upside Down has been cracked open? Why does no-one care that Barb died? And who’s going to invite us to their Halloween screening party?
Making A Murderer 2, Netflix
The documentary that shone a damning light on the U.S. criminal justice system is coming back for a second series. Since the original 10-parter, Brendan Dassey has had his 2007 conviction overturned for the joint-murder of photographer Teresa Halbach – after ten years in jail – but Steven Avery remains inside on a life sentence. Netflix bosses have been reluctant to give a solid release date, but promise series two will drop ‘before the end of the year.’
The Miniaturist, BBC One
If you’ve read Jessie Burton’s international bestseller of the same name you’ll need no convincing that the upcoming TV adaptation of The Miniaturist is a must-watch. The captivating Anya Taylor-Joy takes the lead as Nella, a young bride in 1686 Amsterdam who moves in with her new husband and his frosty sister-in-law (Romola Garai), only to find a house packed with strange secrets.
The Crown season two, Netflix
The show that made your parents ask how they can ‘get Netflix on the television’ is coming back on 2nd December. The new series will apparently focus more on Prince Philip’s role in the royal marriage with characteristically undeferential scrutiny. Whatever happens next, the accountants at Netflix must be relieved the original £100 million gamble on the show has paid off.