A feast for the eyeballs! That’s what the UK’s new TV drama (British shows returning for another series this year are here) output looks like for 2024 – a year of thrills, chills and laughs, from supernatural escapism to immersive historical dramas, true stories brought to life, and plenty to feed Britain’s current crime thriller obsession.
Here’s a flavour of what 2024 holds for your TV: book adaptations include a new imagining of Ian Rankin’s Rebus detective stories, a scandalous adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s iconic novel Rivals (starring David Tennant) and a fresh version of David Nicholls’ romance One Day.
There’s high-stakes action in thrillers like Red Eye, Black Doves and Nightsleeper, and you can transport yourself back in time to discover the lives of a notorious eighties jewel thief in Joan, sinister Jacobean power play in Mary and George, or the hard-hitting Holocaust story The Tattooist of Auschwitz.
Or escape reality entirely with Neil Gaiman’s folklore fantasy Anansi Boys, zombie comedy Generation Z, Michael Sheen’s dystopian drama The Way, or watch Jeff Goldblum as Zeus in modern mythology drama KAOS. And all that’s only scratching the surface of this year’s British drama delights.
Bookmark this list to revisit throughout the year, as we’ll be updating it with new British shows and release dates as they’re announced.
Fool Me Once
Harlan Coben is once again adapting one of his novels – this time bestseller Fool Me Once – into a Netflix drama, relocating it from the US to the north-west of England. Michelle Keegan (Our Girl) will play a woman coming to terms with the brutal murder of her husband (Richard Armitage, The Stranger) only to get the shock of her life when she spots him seemingly alive and well on her daughter’s nanny cam. Sweet Tooth‘s Adeel Akhtar plays the lead detective on Joe’s murder (with secrets of his own, of course) and national treasure Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) will play Joe’s protective mother. Filming took place in Manchester and the series is airing on Netflix now. If you’ve binged the lot and still have questions, we pick apart the ending here (spoilers!).
Mr Bates Vs the Post Office
This true crime drama depicts one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British history: the hundreds of postal workers who were wrongly accused of theft due to a faulty IT system, some of whom were even imprisoned, and the ten-year battle for exoneration. Mr Bates Vs The Post Office has an impressive cast including Toby Jones (The Long Shadow), Julie Hesmondhalgh (The Pact) and Will Mellor (No Offence). It starts on ITV on January 1st.
This six-part Channel 4 drama casts a heap of veteran screen talent, including Clarke Peters, Peter Egan, Sue Johnston and Phil Davis. Truelove initially cast Julie Walters in the lead, but due to a back injury she had to withdraw from production, and was being replaced by Lindsay Duncan (Doctor Who). The series is about a group of friends in the sixties and seventies who reunite at a wake and make a drunken pact to help each other die with dignity. Things go, as one might expect in a darkly comic thriller, awry. It’s written by Humans screenwriter Iain Weatherby and co-created by The End of the F***ing World‘s Charlie Covell, and arrives on Channel 4 on Wednesday 3rd January.
Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi unites with Cush Jumbo (The Good Wife) in this Apple TV+ crime thriller about a weathered DI and a rookie DS who are forced to team up on a cold case after receiving a mysterious anonymous phone call. Criminal Record will also star BAFTA-winning Cathy Tyson (Help) as a mother trying to clear the name of her son (Tom Moutchi, Famalam) plus Aysha Kala (The Undeclared War) and Holby City’s Chizzy Akudolu. This eight-part series arrives on Apple TV on Wednesday 10th January.
The fascinating true-life story of notorious jewel thief Joan Hannington is the inspiration for this new six-part ITV drama, with Game of Thrones‘ Sophie Turner in the lead role, depicting Hannington’s exhilarating but emotional journey from escaping a violent marriage with her daughter to becoming a criminal mastermind nicknamed “the Godmother”. The cast also includes Frank Dillane (The Essex Serpent) as antiques dealer Boisie, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr (Top Boy) as one of Boisie’s old acquaintances, and J Curtis (Harlots) as Joan’s sister Nancy. The series arrived on ITVX on January 24.
This BBC Three drama is a supernatural thriller with a twist – a witch story blended with a take on today’s dating scene. It stars Bafta-nominated Siena Kelly (Adult Material) as Domino, a young woman using all the dating apps, but she isn’t swiping to find her soulmate – she’s a powerful young witch hunting for people on whose energy she can feed. Domino is also searching for a community to help her find out who she is, but there’s a powerful coven of witches tracking her every move, convinced that Domino’s powers need to be stopped before they destroy everything around her. The series also stars Alisha Bailey (Call The Midwife), Molly Harris (Industry) and Babirye Bukilwa (We Hunt Together) and filming took place in Manchester back in March 2023. It landed on BBC Three on January 31 and is currently available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Read our review here.
David Nicholls’ bestselling romance novel was adapted into a 2011 feature film starring Anne Hathaway that, it’s fair to say, failed to set the world alight. This Netflix series looks like it’s going to be a much better bet. The lead cast includes This is Going to Hurt‘s Ambika Mod and White Lotus‘ Leo Woodall as Emma and Dexter, two young people who hook up at university on St Swithin’s day and whose lives we follow in elliptical chunks every July 15th since. Prepare for tears. Nicholls confirmed that filming began in 2022, and Netflix has now confirmed the series will arrive on 8th February 2024.
Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio is behind this thought-provoking Covid-19 drama, based on the real-life experiences of front-line doctor and bestselling author Rachel Clarke, who also co-wrote the series. Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Liar) stars as a hospital consultant caught in the eye of the storm in the early days of the pandemic. The three-part series was filmed in Northern Ireland earlier in 2023 and starts on ITV1 on Monday February 19 at 9pm.
Good Omen‘s Michael Sheen has once again worked with Quiz writer James Graham, this time on a bold new BBC drama imagining a civil uprising which starts in a small Welsh industrial town. It centres on the Driscoll family, who are forced to flee their home in the unrest, and try to start their lives afresh while battling with the ghosts of the past. It’s got an impressive cast of names: as well as directing, Sheen will also star as one of the Driscoll family, alongside Steffan Rhodri (Gavin & Stacey), Mali Harries (Hinterland), Sophie Melville (The Pact) and It’s a Sin‘s Callum Scott Howells. This three-episode series starts on Monday February 19 on BBC One.
This Netflix series will be a follow-up to Guy Ritchie’s 2019 film of the same name, which saw Matthew McConaughey play American gangster Michael Pearson, who was trying to sell off his highly sought-after marijuana empire in London. This subsequent series will star Theo James (Divergent) as ex-soldier Eddir Horniman, who inherits his posh father’s sprawling estate only to find he’s sitting atop Pearson’s infamous weed farm. This makes him a target for some very nasty characters indeed, and he’ll have to play Britain’s criminal masterminds at their own dangerous games. Also starring Kaya Scodelario (The Maze Runner), Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie) and Vinnie Jones, The Gentlemen arrives on Netflix on March 7.
Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright has created this historical adventure series set in 1705, about a gutsy young girl called Nell (Louisa Harland, Derry Girls) who finds herself framed for murder and on the run with her sisters, transforming into a notorious highway robber to survive. Then she meets a plucky young spirit called Billy Blind, (Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso) and discovers fate has brought her on the run to defeat a magical plot against the Queen. The cast also includes Adrian Lester (Trigger Point) as the scheming Earl of Poynton trying to bring Nell down, and Frank Dillane (The Essex Serpent) as Nell’s charming but dangerous friend and adversary Charles Devereux. Renegade Nell arrives on Disney+ on March 29.
A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder
Red Rose screenwriter Poppy Hogan is adapting Holly Jackson’s bestselling novel into a six-part drama for the BBC. The teen thriller tells the story of Pippa Fitz-Amobi (Emma Myers, Wednesday), a smart and slightly square heroine on a mission to uncover the killer of schoolgirl Andie Bell. Everyone believes Andie was killed by her boyfriend Sal Singh, but Pip believes the real killer is still out there, so she teams up with Sal’s younger brother Ravi (newcomer Zain Iqbal) to investigate. Anna Maxwell Martin (Line of Duty), and Gary Beadle (Rye Lane) will play Pip’s parents, and Ghosts‘ Mathew Baynton will also star. Filming took place in south-west England.
A Matter Of Blood
Fans of bestselling novelist Sarah Pinborough will be pleased to learn that – as well as an adaptation of her novel Insomnia (see below) – we’re also getting a TV incarnation of her Dog Faced Gods trilogy, a genre-bending supernatural crime series starting with A Matter of Blood. This six-part series from the team behind Death in Paradise is set in a dystopian near-future version of London, where Detective Inspector Cass Jones is on the hunt for the sinister, taunting serial killer known only as the Man of Flies. Further details are yet to be announced – watch this space.
A Very Royal Scandal
Everyone remembers that car-crash Newsnight interview between Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew about his alleged sexual misconduct, and now Prime Video is dramatising the infamous scandal, with Ruth Wilson (The Woman In The Wall) playing Maitlis and Good Omens’ Michael Sheen as Prince Andrew. Maitlis is serving as Executive Producer on the three-part series, with filming currently underway.
Hot on the heels of Good Omens came the news that Prime Video would also be bringing another of Neil Gaiman’s novels, Anansi Boys to the screen. Filming wrapped in Scotland back in May 2022, but this story’s folkloric fantasy elements and twin-leads-played-by-the-same-character conceit mean post-production is intense. A modern-set story incorporating characters from West African myth, it’s the tale of Charlie Nancy and his brother Spider, both played by Malachi Kirby, and the aftermath of their deity father Anansi’s death. Think spectacle, story and surprises when this series arrives in 2024.
Richard Gadd has adapted his hit 2019 one-man stage show about his female stalker into an eight-part Netflix series. Baby Reindeer tells the compelling true story of the bizarre relationship Gadd developed with his stalker, and the effect it has on him as it forces him to confront a deep, long-buried trauma within himself. Gadd will once again play himself, with Jessica Gunning (What Remains) playing his stalker Martha. The series finished filming in London and Edinburgh in March 2023 and Baby Reindeer will arrive on Netflix later this year.
Derry Girls‘ Nicola Coughlan and It’s a Sin‘s Lydia West star in new Channel 4 comedy drama Big Mood, about two women navigating their friendship now their twenties are behind them, facing career hardships and mental health struggles. The series also stars Sally Phillips (Taskmaster), Niamh Cusack (The Virtues) and Eamon Farren (The Witcher) and production is well underway – it’s likely this one will arrive in early 2024.
Keira Knightley, Ben Whishaw (pictured in This Is Going To Hurt, above) and Sarah Lancashire lead the impressive cast of this new Netflix thriller from The Lazarus Project‘s creator Joe Barton. Set in London at Christmas, Black Doves centres on Helen (Knightley), a politician’s wife who begins a passionate affair that endangers her secret identity as a spy for shadowy organisation The Black Doves. When Helen’s lover Jason is assassinated, her bosses send old friend Sam (Whishaw) to protect Helen and work with her to find the killer – but he has a murky past of his own, and it’s about to catch up with him. Black Doves began filming in October 2023.
The producers of Peaky Blinders, and The End of the F***ing World director Jonathan Entwistle are collaborating on a new historical drama which Entwistle describes as “history, heart, family and war – all wrapped up in a punk attitude.” Set in 17th century England, Civil Blood is a coming-of-age tale following the adventures of a young woman growing up in a time of war. No further details about casting or filming have been announced yet – we’ll update when we know more.
Code of Silence
EastEnders star and Strictly champion Rose Ayling-Ellis will star in this suspenseful ITV crime drama about a deaf catering worker, Alison, who is recruited by the police to lip read conversations between dangerous criminals, and quickly becomes key to unlocking the perilous investigation. Things become more complicated when Alison becomes attracted to one of the main suspects, Liam. Filming is set to begin soon.
Jason Watkins (Line of Duty) will star in a new four-part thriller for Channel 5 about a man pushed to breaking point when his family is terrorised by a group of teenage boys. Alongside Watkins as Simon, Outnumbered star Claire Skinner will play Simon’s wife, and newcomer Joe Barber will play Jordan, the ringleader of the teens. Desperate to protect his young daughter, Simon will eventually make a split-second decision that changes everything, sending his life spiralling out of control. Filming began in October 2023 and the series will arrive on Channel 5 later in 2024.
Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie) is set to play the lead role in this forthcoming adaptation of writer Terri White’s powerful memoir. White, a journalist and broadcaster and former editor of Empire Magazine, is adapting her own autobiography, which examines how early childhood trauma and abuse resurfaced in adulthood. His Dark Materials producers Bad Wolf are behind this one.
Bestselling novelist PD James’ Cordelia Gray books – An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and The Skull Beneath the Skin – have been picked up by the production company behind Peaky Blinders. The popular detective stories were originally released in the seventies and eighties, but screenwriter Eve Hedderwick Turner (Anne Boleyn) is transporting the stories into a modern day setting. Further details will be announced during the year.
Matthew Goode fans rejoice, because the A Discovery of Witches star is back in a new Netflix crime thriller. Adapted from the novels by Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen, Department Q is the story of DCI Carl Morck (Goode), an Edinburgh detective working a cold case while processing his guilt over a violent past attack. Goode is joined by some of Scotland’s finest, including Kelly Macdonald, Chloe Pirrie, Shirley Henderson, Kate Dickie and Guilt‘s Jamie Sives and Mark Bonnar.
A forgotten but fascinating time in history will be the focus for Dope Girls, telling the story of the female gangs running Soho’s clubs, drugs and moonshine after the losses of World War One. This Bad World production stars Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown) as Kate, a nightclub owner trying to provide for her daughter, and Eliza Scanlen (Little Women) as fresh Met Police offer Violet who leads an undercover investigation into this thrilling, audacious criminal world. Filming is currently underway.
This tense, twisty and weird thriller about a missing boy in 1980s Manhattan will arrive on Netflix courtesy of The Split screenwriter Abi Morgan. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured in Doctor Strange above) as the missing boy’s father, a puppeteer on a children’s TV show who finds solace in his friendship with the titular Eric, a monster who lives under his son’s bed. Eric also stars Gaby Hoffmann (Transparent) and McKinley Belcher III (Ozark) and will arrive on Netflix later this year.
There’s an impressive cast behind Channel 4’s new comedy horror series, which will see a sleepy town suddenly become an apocalyptic dystopia when a chemical leak from an army convoy outside a care home causes its residents to become bloodthirsty zombies. Among the town’s elder residents is Sue Johnston (The Royle Family), Robert Lindsay (My Family) and Eastenders legend (and recent Doctor Who recruit) Anita Dobson, plus Johnny Vegas (Benidorm) and Paul Benthall (The World’s End). Starring among the teens who are left to fight the zombies are Jay Lycurgo (The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself), Buket Komur (Our House) Lewis Gribben (Somewhere Boy), and Viola Prettejohn (The Nevers) who will star as Charlie, Kelly, Steff and Finn respectively. The series is filming in Wales and will arrive on Channel 4 soon.
Six years after the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire that claimed 72 lives, the BBC confirmed their plans to air a three-part factual drama drawing on extensive research, telling the story of the events leading up to, during and after the devastating tragedy. It’s being written and directed by BAFTA-winning Peter Kosminsky (Wolf Hall, which is also returning in 2024) and will cover the story from multiple perspectives, including victims, survivors, the firefighters on duty that night and the wider community. Following some controversy over the announcement last year, casting and filming details have not been confirmed, but we’ll update when we hear more.
How to Get to Heaven From Belfast
Here’s one we’ve been waiting for – the brilliant Lisa McGee’s (pictured above) follow-up to Derry Girls has been announced and it’s a comedy thriller called How to Get to Heaven From Belfast, coming to Channel 4. It’s the story of three women in their late thirties, who’ve been friends since their schooldays, and who reunite to attend a friend’s wake, which leads them into a dark and twisted mystery. “Not so much a ‘whodunit’,” says the press release, “as a ‘what the hell happened'”. Cast and release schedule is all still to be confirmed, but sign us up!
Line of Duty star Vicky McClure (pictured above in Trigger Point) will star in new Paramount+ drama Insomnia, based on the novel by Sarah Pinborough, about a woman called Emma whose dream life begins unravelling when she develops insomnia just before her 40th birthday. The cast also includes Corinna Marlowe (Hysteria) who plays Emma’s mother, who had a breakdown at a similar age and has always predicted Emma will have the same fate, and Tom Cullen (The Gold) as Emma’s husband Robert. Dominic Tighe (Suspicion) and Lyndsey Marshal (Inside Man) also star as Emma’s close friends. Filming for the six-part series wrapped in December 2023 so we’ll probably see this one later in the first half of 2024.
The eight-part genre-straddling British fantasy series series puts a modern twist on Greek and Roman mythology, and comes from The End of the F***ing World‘s Charlie Covell. Starring Jeff Goldblum as an all-powerful but insecure Zeus, KAOS will see six human strangers on Earth discover they’re part of an ancient prophecy, and it’s up to them to save the world from the apocalypse. After first being announced in 2021, the series is finally arriving on Netflix this year.
This true-crime drama will tell the real-life story of Chloe Ayling, a British model who was abducted in Italy in 2017, but then found herself in the centre of a media storm after being accused of faking her kidnapping. Killing Eve‘s Georgia Lester has written the six-part series using detailed research and interviews – and with the full support of Ayling herself – and the series will explore her kidnap, the court case that had her captors jailed, and Ayling’s experience of being blamed for her kidnappers’ crimes and disbelieved by the press. Tania Parkes (The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself) will star as Chloe Ayling, alongside Adrian Edmondson (Rain Dogs), Nigel Lindsay (The Capture) and Christine Tremarco (The Responder). Filming began in July 2023.
King and Conqueror
Happy Valley’s James Norton (pictured in the series above) will star in this eight-part BBC historical drama about the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Norton plays Harold, Earl of Wessex, alongside Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as William, Duke of Normandy, and the series is penned by Michael Robert Johnson, the screenwriter behind Sherlock Holmes and The Frankenstein Chronicles. Filming is taking place in Iceland this year.
In 1988, a bomb exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 as it flew over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing 270 people and becoming the deadliest terror attack on British soil. The BBC and Netflix have joined forces to create a new six-part factual drama telling the story of this infamous tragedy, and the subsequent combined Scottish-US police investigation on both sides of the Atlantic, taking us right up to the most recent developments in 2022. Lockerbie will be written by novelist Jonathan Lee and produced by World Productions (who were also behind factual dramas United and Anne), with filming taking place in Scotland, Malta and Toronto. We’ll update with casting details when we hear more.
Lord of the Flies
For the first time ever, William Golding’s 1954 novel Lord of The Flies is being adapted for television, becoming a four-part series for the BBC. National Treasure‘s Jack Thorne will be writing the screenplay, telling the famous story about a group of young boys who find themselves stranded on a tropical island, and their disastrous attempts to govern themselves. The series will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Lost Boys And Fairies
This powerful new BBC drama will follow couple Gabriel and Andy on their journey to adopt their first child, a story inspired by the personal experience of its writer, Daf James. Lost Boys and Fairies will star Sion Daniel Young (Deceit) and Fra Fee (Les Miserables) in the lead roles of Gabriel and Andy, alongside Elizabeth Berrington (The Pact), Sharon D. Clarke (Doctor Who) and Outlander‘s Maria Doyle Kennedy. Filming took place in Cardiff in 2023.
Coming to Channel 5 is this four-part psychological thriller starring Sally Lindsay (The Madame Blanc Mysteries) and Neil Morrissey (The Good Karma Hospital). Lindsay plays a recently divorced woman having a holiday romance when she realises that her paramour is a scam artist. Enter: the ex husband (Morrissey) to team up with her and try to get the stolen money back. Filming took place in Cyprus last year so the series is expected to arrive on Channel 5 soon.
Upstart Crow‘s David Mitchell (pictured) will star in a genre-bending comedy detective drama for the BBC about a solitary luddite who goes on a quest to find his missing twin brother. Mitchell plays John, a man who enjoys living alone and designing puzzles for a living under the pseudonym ‘Ludwig’, but when his twin brother James – a successful DCI in major crimes – goes missing, John must assume his identity to track him down. Filming on the six hour-long episodes is currently taking place.
This original BritBox drama was commissioned in mid-2021 and is still in development, with The Crown‘s Claire Foy (pictured above) attached to star as the lead. Foy will play Evie Wyatt, whose family has long been at war with the Marlows, a rival clan in the “Edgelands” of the Thames Estuary, for centuries. It’s a revenge, succession-warring story tinged with myth and tragedy that’s described as “a modern epic” in the official press announcement, and comes from Southcliffe and Red Riding’s Tony Grisoni, so has a strong storytelling pedigree.
Mary And George
This historical psychodrama is based on the unbelievable true story of Mary Villiers, who moulded her beautiful and charismatic son George to seduce King James I and become his all-powerful lover, making them one of the most powerful families in the English court. The excellent cast stars the Oscar-winning Julianne Moore (Still Alice) alongside Cinderella’s Nicholas Galitzine and Mayflies’ Tony Curran, plus Unforgotten‘s Nicola Walker and Malpractice‘s Niamh Algar. Filming took place in 2023 and Mary & George will premiere soon on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK, and on STARZ in the US.
Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo’s 2013 novel Mr Loverman is being adapted into an eight-part BBC drama starring The Walking Dead and Save Me‘s Lennie James. He’ll play the exuberant Barrington Jedidiah Walker – Barry to his friends – a 70-year-old snappy-dressing Hackney personality whose wife of 50 years, Carmel, suspects he’s been cheating on her. As Evaristo’s groundbreaking exploration of Britain’s older Caribbean community uncovers, the reality is he’s been having a decades-long passionate affair with his best friend and soulmate, Morris. The series will explore parenthood, regrets and social expectations about sexual orientation and love – filming took place at the end of 2023, and more details will be announced soon.
The BBC is producing this real-time thriller set on a sleeper train travelling from Glasgow to London, in which a government agency desperately tries to intervene in the rapidly-escalating events onboard. The six-part drama will star Alexandra Roach (The Light in the Hall) and Joe Cole (Gangs of London) as two strangers – one on the train, one not – who are working to save the lives of everyone on board. Filming took place in Glasgow and the series will air in early 2024 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Martin Clunes is once again teaming up with the team behind the true-crime drama Manhunt (in which he starred back in 2019), this time on a new six-part series Out There, about a widowed farmer who discovers his teenage son has become involved in county lines drug dealing, an increasingly dangerous problem in the UK. The series also stars Mark Lewis Jones (Gangs of London) and Gerran Howell (1917). Filming took place in Wales, and the series will arrive soon on ITV1 and ITVX.
BAFTA-winning Wunmi Mosaku (Damilola, Our Loved Boy) will star in Passenger, a darkly comic thriller for ITV that is also a debut screenwriting job for Better‘s Andrew Buchan. Set in the small northern village of Chadder Vale, the six-part drama will see Former Met Police Detective Riya Ajunwa (Mosaku) begin to investigate a series of horrific crimes in the village, while trying to convince the villagers that all is not as it seems, as she finds herself drawn into a universe unlike anything she has ever seen. Other cast include The Bay‘s Daniel Ryan, Hubert Hanowicz (This Is Going To Hurt) and Gentleman Jack‘s Natalie Gavin. Passenger will premiere on ITVX before arriving on ITV1 later this year, and the series will also be available internationally on BritBox.
Based on Eliza Clarke’s crime novel of the same name, Penance is being adapted for TV by bestselling author and Doctor Who podcaster Juno Dawson. The story centres on the brutal murder of a North Yorkshire teenager by three of her school friends on the eve of Brexit, and the events that led up to it, covering social media wars, obsessions with the occult and long-held rivalries. More details will be announced soon.
Alex Dahl’s bestselling thriller novel Playdate is being adapted into a twisty five-part series for Disney+. It centres on every parents’ worst nightmare: mum Elisa lets her daughter Lucia go on a sleepover at a new friend’s house, but when she goes to collect her the next day, she discovers the house was a holiday rental and discovers Lucia, her friend Josie and Josie’s mother have vanished. In the urgent manhunt that follows, Elisa and her husband Fred find themselves under public scrutiny, and secrets about their past come to light, which explain the reason Lucia was taken. The cast includes Denise Gough (Andor), Holliday Grainger (The Capture), Ambika Mod (This Is Going to Hurt), Jim Sturgess (Cloud Atlas) and The Suspect’s Bronagh Waugh.
Happy Valley star James Norton and Malpractice’s Niamh Algar will lead the cast of this nightmarish psychological thriller – based on JP Delaney’s novel of the same name – about two couples who discover their toddlers were switched at birth. The four-part series will see the couples make the horrifying decision about whether to reclaim their biological child or continue to raise the child they know and love. Playing Nice will air on ITV.
Apple TV+ has lined up a top cast for this eight-part conspiracy thriller from Sherlock and Vienna Blood‘s Steve Thompson. It’s the story of a brilliant maths mind on the brink of an enormous breakthrough that would give him the key to every computer in the world, and the enemy trying to stop him in his tracks. Playing the young genius is One Day and White Lotus‘ Leo Woodall, who’s joined by Quintessa Swindell, Stephen Rea, David Morrissey, Martha Plimpton, Sidse Babbett Knudsen, Jason Flemyng and more. Think twists, action and scary tech.
Happy Valley‘s Siobhan Finneran and Black Ops‘ Katherine Kelly will star in new six-part ITV thriller Protection, about the dark and murky truth on witness protection, which often involves the morally-grey aspect of protecting criminals as well as innocent witnesses. Based on the experiences of a real long-serving witness protection officer, the drama will see police officer DI Liz Nyles (Finneran) find herself at the heart of a breach in the system, fighting to uncover the corruption in her unit while protecting people who don’t always deserve her help. The series will also star Trigger Point‘s Nadine Marshall, with filming beginning in Liverpool shortly, and a planned release on ITV and ITVX in 2024.
Candice Carty-Williams’s bestselling novel Queenie is being adapted for TV by Channel 4. It stars Dionne Brown (Criminal Record) as Queenie Jenkins, a twenty-five-year-old Jamaican-British woman, who goes through a messy breakup and has to confront her past before she can rebuild. Other cast members include Jon Pointing (Big Boys), Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones) and You‘s Tilly Keeper. Filming took place in South London and the series will arrive on Channel 4 soon.
After almost 15 years off-screen, it was announced in 2023 that Ian Rankin’s Scottish detective is coming back for a six-part TV series on new streamer Viaplay. The series will see Richard Rankin (Trust Me) as Rebus in his thirties, recently divorced and demoted from Inspector to Detective Sergeant following a tricky case. The new take on the character – previously played on the small screen by John Hannah and Ken Stott – will be dealing with personal and professional challenges against a backdrop of contemporary Edinburgh. Viaplay has since pulled its UK streaming service, but the series was filmed in mid-2023, so where it’ll end up remains to be seen.
Described as a “high-octane thriller”, ITV’s new six-part drama Red Eye will be an adrenaline-fuelled ride split between an all-night plane flight from London to Beijing and the corridors of power within Whitehall. It will star Jing Lusi (Crazy Rich Asians), Richard Armitage (Obsession) and Lesley Sharp (Before We Die) and is being produced by Bad Wolf. It’s currently in production and will air exclusively on ITVX in 2024.
Return To Paradise
ANOTHER Death in Paradise spin-off? Okay then! After Caribbean-set crime series Death in Paradise spawned Cornwall-based spin-off Beyond Paradise last year, Return To Paradise will transport us to the beachside hamlet of Dolphin Cove in Australia. There, Australian ex-pat Mackenzie Clarke will reluctantly return from London’s Met Police to her hometown to solve a murder after getting a reputation for cracking impossible cases. The six-part series will begin filming this year – casting is yet to be announced.
Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright has a new BBC drama on the way, hooray! Once again set in Yorkshire, Riot Women (formerly Hot Flush) will centre on five women “of a certain age” who form a punk rock band to enter a talent contest, only to discover that this gives them a new-found voice and a platform to express themselves. But the band leaders Kitty and Beth have a long-buried secret that threatens to tear them apart. The series will be produced by the team behind Doctor Foster, with more details on the way soon.
This eight-episode psychological thriller is a new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s famously slippery master forger and conman character Tom Ripley, also played by Matt Damon in Anthony Minghella’s feature film adaptation The Talented Mr Ripley. This time, Ripley will be played by Sherlock and Fleabag‘s Andrew Scott, alongside Lovesick’s Johnny Flynn, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Dakota Fanning. This one’s been eagerly anticipated for a while now – it was originally set for Sky Atlantic in the UK and Showtime in the US, and filming took place in Italy in 2021, but Ripley will now stream on Netflix in 2024.
Jilly Cooper’s iconic novel Rivals is being adapted into an eight-part drama by Disney+, and the cast list is incredible. Set in the 1980s, the dramatic storyline focuses on a bitter upper-class battle for a TV franchise between two rivals, with Alex Hassell (The Boys) playing charismatic Tory MP Rupert Cambell-Black and Doctor Who‘s David Tennant taking on the role of the dastardly Lord Tony Baddingham. Other lead cast members include Poldark‘s Aidan Turner as TV presenter Declan O’Hara, Black Lightning‘s Nafessa Wiliams as TV exec Cameron Cook, The IT Crowd‘s Katherin Parkinson as novelist Lizzie Vereker and EastEnders star Danny Dyer as electronics millionaire Freddie Jones. Production has begun, with filming taking place in the UK, and the series will arrive on Disney+ in 2024.
Miss Potter star Lucy Boynton will portray Ruth Ellis, the last woman in England to be hanged in 1955, in this compelling new drama for ITV. Told over two parallel timelines, the four-part drama will reveal secrets that have been hidden for decades concerning Ruth Ellis’ murder of her abusive lover David Blakely (played by Mary and George‘s Laurie Davidson), telling the story of her arrest, conviction and the fight to save her from execution. Other cast members confirmed include Toby Jones (The Long Shadow) as Ellis’ solicitor John Bickford, Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who) as Victor Mishcon, Juliet Stevenson (Wolf) as Dr Charity Taylor, plus Happy Valley‘s Joe Armstrong and Mark Stanley. Filming took place in 2023 and the series arrives on ITV this year.
Based on CJ Sansom’s Tudor mystery novel series of the same name, Shardlake is an eerie whodunnit set during the dissolution of the monasteries. When a commissioner is murdered while gathering evidence to close a monastery, Cromwell (Sean Bean, Marriage) orders the sheltered lawyer Shardlake (Arthur Hughes, Help) to find the killer, and makes it clear failure is not an option. He also sends along the cocky young Jack Barak (Anthony Boyle, Derry Girls) to help, although Shardlake can’t tell if he’s an assistant or a spy. And as soon as they arrive at the remote monastery, it’s clear the monks will stop at nothing to preserve their order. The series was filmed across central Europe last year and will arrive on Disney+ in 2024. See the first trailer here.
Douglas Stuart is adapting his own Booker Prize-winning novel for this BBC drama, which tells the autobiographically inspired story of young Shuggie and his siblings growing up against a backdrop of poverty and alcohol addiction in 1980s Glasgow. It promises to be a powerful and emotional drama, and was due to film in Scotland during 2023, but casting and release details have yet to be announced.
A stag do gone wrong is the focus for this tense six-part thriller, which sees a group of friends accidentally end up on a lawless prison island run by two warring siblings, with their friendships tested to the limit as they try to make it home alive. The series stars Nico Mirallegro (Passenger) as groom-to-be Stu, alongside the likes of Corin Silva (SAS: Rogue Heroes), Charlie Cooper (This Country) and Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing). The series will go into production shortly and will air on Paramount+.
This Black, British superhero fantasy series is coming to Netflix courtesy of rapper and director Rapman, and boasts a strong cast. Doctor Who‘s Tosin Cole is in the lead as Michael, who has to bring together a group of fellow South Londoners who’ve all mysteriously developed superpowers, in order to save the woman he loves. Appearing alongside Cole are Nadine Mills, Eric Kofi Abrefa, Calvin Demba, Josh Tedeku and The Responder‘s breakout star Adelayo Adedayo. Supacell arrives on Netflix in 2024.
Suspect: The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes
Stan & Ollie writer Jeff Pope is working with Disney+ to create a true crime drama about the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian national shot dead by police in London after being mistaken for a suspect in the 2005 London terrorist bombings. It’s a highly controversial case, prompting an inquest, IPCC investigations, and the resignation of the Met Police Commissioner, and importantly the Menezes family are serving as consultants for the series. Disney announced the series began filming in October 2023 so we shouldn’t have too long to wait for this one.
This eight-part dark comedy thriller is coming to Sky Atlantic, written by Pure screenwriter Kirstie Swain, and based on the novel of the same name by CJ Skuse. It’s the story of Rhiannon (Ella Purnell, Yellowjackets), a girl who goes mostly unnoticed and lives an unremarkable life in an unremarkable relationship with an unremarkable job. Until that all changes, of course, when Rhiannon is forced to confront the murderous part of herself that is remarkable… The cast also features Nicôle Lecky (Mood), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton), Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso) and Slow Horses’ Dustin Demri-Burns. Filming is currently underway and the series will be released on Sky and NOW later this year.
Canadian comedian, Taskmaster contestant and creator of Channel 4 comedy Feel Good Mae Martin is writing and starring in an eight-part thriller, Tall Pines, for Netflix. This intergenerational drama will examine the complex and sometimes twisted relationship between teenagers and adults. Filming has yet to begin.
Four-part thriller The Cuckoo follows Sian (Jill Halfpenny, The Long Shadow), a new lodger for married couple Nick and Jessica (Crossfire‘s Lee Ingleby and The Bay‘s Claire Goose) after they fall on hard times, but they soon realise that Sian is there to cause dark, twisted trouble. Filming is underway in Ireland and the series is expected to arrive on Channel 5 in 2024.
The Death of Bunny Munroe
Matt Smith (pictured above in Doctor Who) will star in six-part Sky series The Death of Bunny Munroe, based on Nick Cave’s 2009 novel of the same name, about a sleazy lothario and door-to-door salesman who suddenly finds himself the sole carer for his young son after his wife’s suicide. Smith – who will also executive produce – described the series as an “exploration of love, grief, and chaos”. Filming begins this spring.
Coming to Channel 4 is this six-part whodunnit from writer-director Helen Walsh about a violent assault on a teenage girl at a rave in Merseyside, and the cast of characters who might have carried out the attack. It will star newcomers Eva Morgan and Sadie Soverall as teenagers Kelly and Jessica, alongside Vinette Robinson (The Lazarus Project) as Jessica’s mother Natalie and Warren Brown (The Responder) as Kelly’s dad. It’s described as taking in themes of class, teenage life, social media and parenting, all wrapped in a thrilling drama.
Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman will lead a new four-part BBC thriller as Detective Ember Manning, who must investigate how a devastating fire in a Lancashire holiday home is connected to a podcaster looking into a missing persons cold case and a sinister “love” triangle between a man and two underage girls. The Jetty has been created by Harlots writer Cat Jones and also stars Matthew McNulty (Deadwater Fell), Peter Sullivan (Poldark) and Happy Valley’s Rick Warden. Production is currently underway.
The Marlow Murder Club
Death in Paradise creator Robert Thorogood is adapting his own cosy crime novel, The Marlow Murder Club, into a mystery series for the Drama channel and UKTV Play. The series will star Downton Abbey‘s Samantha Bond as Judith Potts, a retired archaeologist whose quiet life in the idyllic town of Marlow, writing crosswords for the local newspaper, is shattered when she hears gunshots in a neighbouring garden and fears a murder has taken place. When the police are doubtful about her story, she teams up with a local dogwalker, Suzie (Doctor Who‘s Jo Martin) and the vicar’s wife, Becks (Cara Horgan, The Sandman) to start an investigation of her own. The Marlow Murder Club will air on Drama and UKTV Play in 2024 before airing on PBS in the US later in 2024.
Doctor Who‘s Ruth Madeley will star in The Rapture, a five-part drama based on Liz Jensen’s bestselling 2009 novel of the same name. It tells the story of forensic psychologist Gabrielle (Madeley), who is recovering from a car accident that left her paralysed, and begins working at a maximum security juvenile detention centre. She meets 16-year-old inmate Bethany Krall, who was found guilty of brutally murdering her mother, and tells Gabrielle that she has psychic powers that have told her a natural disaster is about to take place. It’s up to Gabrielle to work out whether she’s telling the truth or is just a highly manipulative psychopath. The Rapture will air on BBC One.
The Red King
A twisty police investigation combines with chilling folk horror in this new six-part mystery thriller for Alibi, written by Being Human creator Toby Whithouse. When a successful police officer, Grace Narayan (Anjli Mohindra, The Lazarus Project) is forced into a ‘punishment posting’ on the antiquated island of St. Jory, she begins investigating a cold case about a missing teenage boy. Her investigation leads her to discover extraordinary local characters and the island’s eerie past devotion to a pagan God called the Red King. The series has an impressive cast, including Adjoa Andoh (Bridgerton), Jill Halfpenny (EastEnders) and Marc Warren (Van Der Valk). Filming began in June last year so this should arrive during 2024.
The Road Trip
Based on Beth O’Leary’s bestselling novel, this six-part drama will see two sisters embark on an eventful and bumpy road trip to a Spanish wedding, forced to share a creaky campervan with one of their ex-boyfriends, his characterful best mate and a complete stranger called Rodney. Emma Appleton (The Killing Kind) and Isabella Laughland (Foundation) are sisters Addie and Deb, Laurie Davidson (Mary & George) will play Addie’s ex Dylan and David Jonsson (Rye Lane) and Angus Imrie (The Crown) play Dylan’s friend Marcus and the mysterious Rodney. Filming has taken place in Gran Canaria and Bristol and the series arrives on Paramount+ later this year.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Heather Morris’ bestselling novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, is being adapted into a powerful new TV series for Sky (UK) and Peacock (US). It will tell the hard-hitting real-life story of Lale Sokolov, a Jewish prisoner at Auschwitz in the Second World War, who is tasked with tattooing his fellow prisoners’ arms with their ID numbers, and falls in love with one of the women he tattoos. It will star both Oscar-nominated Harvey Keitel (The Irishman) and World on Fire‘s Jonah Hauer-King as Lale, and Baptiste‘s Anna Próchniak as Gita. Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets) will play the novel’s author Heather Morris. Filming began in spring 2023.
This intriguing and twisty domestic thriller is about a family’s dramatic unravelling during a summer holiday in Malta, where three siblings mourning their recently deceased sister Annabelle discover there’s far more to her death than they could have imagined. Casting details are yet to be announced, but the series will be filmed in Malta this spring and is set to air on Channel 5.
The man never stops! Not only has Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight got a second series of SAS: Rogue Heroes and a Peaky feature film on the way, he’s also behind an original six-part drama on the world of ska and two-tone music in the 1970s and 1980s. Set in Coventry and Birmingham, This Town stars Nicholas Pinnock (Marcella), Michelle Dockery and David Dawson, and will feature original songs written by poet and musician Kae Tempest with producer Dan Carey. The series will arrive on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later in 2024.
Netflix will depict one of the UK’s biggest environmental scandals – the Corby poisonings in the late 1980s – in this new four-part true crime drama, with an all-star cast including Jodie Whittaker (pictured above in Doctor Who), Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty), Amy Lou Wood (Sex Education), Rory Kinnear (James Bond) and Downton Abbey‘s Brendan Coyle. Toxic Town is being produced by Broke & Bones, the production company of Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, and will centre on three mothers who take on an Erin Brockovich-style fight for justice after toxic waste mismanagement led to a tragically high number of birth defects in the local community of Corby in Northamptonshire. Production began in August 2023.
This popular Korean drama is being remade by Firebird Pictures, a BBC Studios Production label, for the UK. Train tells the story of a detective who investigates a case that leads him to a world divided into two parallel universes, and while his love is dead in one world, she’s very much alive in the other. While tracking down the truth behind his love’s death, he simultaneously tries to protect her in the other, uncovering the connection between the two universes.
EastEnders’ Rose Ayling-Ellis will star in a six-part returning crime drama based on Will Dean’s series of novels about deaf investigative journalist Tuva Moodyson. The first series adapt Dean’s novel Dark Pines, where Tuva is working for her hometown newspaper, desperate for a headline-breaking scoop, before discovering a serial killer who has been dormant for 20 years has begun to kill again. The series is produced by the team behind Death In Paradise, and more casting and details will be released in due course
Wolf star Sacha Dhawan (pictured as The Master in Doctor Who, above) will lead the BBC’s new detective series Virdee, based on AA Dhand’s bestselling crime novels about Bradford cop Detective Harry Virdee, who has to investigate the kidnap of a local MP’s daughter. The case will force him to reunite with certain unsavoury members of his estranged family in order to save his kidnapping victim, putting him at great personal risk, with some very difficult choices to make. Further casting and details about this six-part drama will be announced in due course.
Coming to the BBC, this one’s being billed as “Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham“. It’s adapted from Nikki May’s debut novel of the same name, which tells the story of Simi, Ronke and Boo, three London-based thirtysomething Anglo-Nigerian women whose lives are rocked by the arrival of the mysterious Isobel…
What It Feels Like For a Girl
Paris Lees’ acclaimed memoir is being adapted into an eight-part drama for BBC Three, telling the story of how – as a disenfranchised teenager – she managed to escape a dead-end town in the Midlands into Nottingham’s kinetic underworld, befriending podium dancer Lady Die and being adopted into her makeshift family of chaotic troublemakers, “The Fallen Divas”. Their rollercoaster hedonist lifestyle takes Lees on a journey of self-discovery that will change her life forever. The Tourist‘s Chris Sweeney will direct and filming is only due to begin this year, so we’ve got a while to wait for this one.