We recently posted our ‘Top 7 New TV Shows We’re looking forward to!’, but I also wanted to flag up a few more that were missing from that list.
The Walking Dead
Based on a comic book by Robert Kirkman (published by Image Comics), The Walking Dead follows a group of people trying to survive in a post zombie apocalypse world. The story centres around Rick Grimes, played by UK’s Andrew Lincoln (This Life, Teachers, Love Actually, Strike Back). He’s a small town Kentucky cop, who wakes up in hospital after getting shot, only to find himself alone and everywhere deserted. Rick sets out to try and find his wife Lori, played by Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break’s Sara Tancredi) and daughter, and get to a safe place to start a new life away from the zombie hordes.
The show is being masterminded by The Shawshank Redemption’s Frank Darabont in conjunction with Kirkman, and has already been picked up for a second season. A Zombie TV show, with a decent brit actor in the lead, and a hollywood director as showrunner… That’s got to be worth a look! The six episode first season will premiere in the UK on FXUK in November.
Unlike a lot of the shows in these sort of lists, this one is homegrown in the UK. Outcasts follows a group of brave pioneers who have been given the opportunity for a second chance at life on another planet. As they settle into their new home, the town of Forthaven on the planet Carpathia, they start to realise this is no ordinary world…
The group is led by President Richard Tate, played by Liam Cunningham (Clash of the Titans, Harry Brown, Murphy’s Law), with a team consisting of the Head of Protection and Security, Stella Isen (Spook’s Hermione Norris), Officer Fleur Morgan (played by Amy Manson – Torchwood, Casualty), and the unpredictable Officer Cass Cromwell (Ashes to Ashes’s Daniel Mays).
They’re joined by Head of the Expeditionaries, Mitchell Hoban (Battlestar’s Jamie Bamber), Mitch’s ‘armed and dangerous’ 2nd in command Jack (ex-rapper turned actor – Ashley Walters), Julius Berger – VP of Earth’s Evacuation Programme (Ungly Betty’s Eric Mabius), and rebel youth Tipper Malone (Michael Legge – Shameless).
The BBC seems to be pulling out all the stops for Outcasts. As you can probably tell by some of the casting, it’s a Kudos production, which is no bad thing as it’s rare they put a foot wrong (that’s the people that brought you Spooks, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Hustle). It’s been a while since the a UK production has heading this far into the realm of serious adult scifi, so this is really one to watch out for. Outcasts is written by Spooks screenwriter Ben Richards and was shot on location in South Africa. The 8 episode first series is due to air this Autumn on the BBC.
I’m also rather hoping this does well, as the more out-and-out UK scifi we get doing well on screen, the more chance there is of Slingers getting made. ;)
None of your clever Heroes-esque ordinary people with extraordinary powers here. The Cape has a far more straight up comic book style origin. Cop Vince Faraday (ER’s David Lyons) is a good cop trying to clean up a bad city. The bad guys frame him for murder and leave him for dead. Leaving behind a wife and kid, he goes into hiding… And ends up at a circus (as you do…), where the circus folk train to take on the guise of his son’s favorite comic book hero – ‘The Cape’.
I was in 2 minds whether to add this as I’m really unsure about it. The plot set up sounds very ropey. However, with the right level of tounge in cheekness, it could be a nice little fun bit of escapism. The Cape co-stars the beautiful Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator:SCC, Dollhouse) as ‘investigative blogger’ Orwell, and James Frain (Cromwell in The Tudors) as The Cape’s arch enemy Chess. It’s also got Vinnie Jones in it playing Scales (basically Vinnie with a skin condition and a temper).
There’s no UK air date for The Cape as yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see if it survives long enough to make it across the pond.
See the rest of our Top 7 New TV Shows We’re looking forward to here!