Well, it’s official folks! Summer is well and truly gone and, if the Express is to be believed, we are about to see a winter worse than any of us under 100 have ever seen.
So… when we are all stuck at home for months in 6 feet snowdrifts, what should we be watching on television? Here’s my selection of new and current shows you should be watching on the box!
If you wear casual clothes to work or a suit without a tie, then you aren’t as cool as James Spader. He wears a three-piece and a hat and has single-handedly returned proper mens formalwear to the cool wall. He’s an ex secret agent with a convenient list of bad guys (enough for roughly one per episode) and a scary insight into the life of a young agent.
Showing now on Sky Living
250 year old traitor Ichabod Crane is responsible for beheading the headless horseman and is resurrected in the present day alongside said horseman. Crane is partnered with a cop who, as a result of her skintone and gender, wouldn’t have had such a position in his time, allowing for much anachronistic quipping along the way.
Showing now on Universal
Yes, I left out the dots but it’s laborious to type. Cool agent Coulson is teamed with the woefully under-used Deb Chen and four cringeworthy stereotypes, a weekly name-drop of famous superheroes we don’t see, and a sprinkle of sci-fi gadgetry and terminology, in the hope, presumably, that he finds out the truth about Tahiti by the end of the series. Oh, and the “bus” has lots of engines.
Showing now on Channel 4
Hamlet on motorcycles in the 21st Century. America’s best television programme usually returns here early in the new year, but Channel 5 hasn’t confirmed that it has bought the UK rights yet.
(Hopefully) due on 5USA in the new year
Not since Peter Sellars learned to stop worrying and love the bomb has an actor carried off the task of portraying multiple characters with such aplomb as Tatiana Maslany. In fact, if she could play her own foster brother as well and reduce the only annoying part of the show, it’d be perfect.
Showing now on BBC Three
Not one, not two, but now three programmes all about vampires. I’m not watching them but they seem to be popular with young folks, to the point of obsession.
True Blood showing now on Fox; The Vampire Diaries starting soon on ITV2; The Originals starting soon on Syfy
Back for a fourth series, showing that a British production with American money can be the biggest thing on TV and silly can be cool. An Australian plays the American, and an American plays the Brit and newcomer Robson Green will hopefully be keeping his extreme fishing to a minimum.
Starting soon on Sky1
Casting both John Hurt and Peter Capaldi as the Doctor is inspired, and returns the character to the correct age-range. It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that our favourite Timelord is celebrating his 50th birthday this year, and is due to be seen in November and December. Capaldi will take up the screwdriver later next year but will be seen briefly at Christmas.
Specials due on BBC One
One of the better procedurals, although its core story has been drawn out a bit too long. This is set to change this year with the big reveal of Patrick’s nemesis Red John due in the first half.
Due soon on Channel 5
We are getting such great European imports these days- the Returned, the Killing, Borgen, the Bridge and so on. This new programme will be looking at the effects of the Second World War on ordinary Germans not only giving fascinating dramatic insight but also providing us with the first subtitled German import I can remember (sadly we never got Kommissar Rex).
Starting soon on BBC Two
11. Real Humans
And speaking of excellent imports, I finish with the finest drama I’ve seen all year. Yes it’s a bit of a cheat as it isn’t being broadcast in the UK and it remains to be seen whether we see the original before the British remake, but this Swedish show about the integration (or lack thereof) of androids in human society is gripping stuff.
Can be bought on DVD from the likes of eBay.
Well, mine go up to eleven. What will YOU be watching as the nights draw in?