New British TV Series for 2023: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Netflix, Prime Video, BritBox
Here are the brand new British TV dramas and comedies coming our way in 2023 and beyond.
In any given year, British TV can be relied on to provide plenty in the way of crime drama, and 2023 is no different. Between these returning series and newcomers A Town Called Malice, Blue Lights, Marlow, Payback, Rebus, Steeltown Murders, The Gold, The Sixth Commandment, Wolf and more, crime continues to flourish on the small screen.
Happily though, that’s far from all that UK TV will offer this year. There’s fantasy too, in the form of Netflix’s South London super-powers drama Midtown (formerly known as Supacell), ghost detective series Lockwood & Co., Greek and Roman mythology series Kaos, and the long-awaited screen adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys. And sci-fi in Prime Video’s The Rig.
Add to all those the romances, dramas inspired by real-life, and several other book adaptations, period and otherwise (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Great Expectations, Funny Woman, Tom Jones, The Gallows Pole, The Winter King, Wahala…) plus music-based dramas Champion and This Town, and it’s a pretty full slate.
We’ll update this list as new British shows are commissioned and more details, including release dates, arrive.
Succession‘s Matthew Macfadyen and Crossfire‘s Keeley Hawes star in this three-part ITV drama, based on a real-life political scandal. Macfadyen plays disgraced Labour MP John Stonehouse, with Hawes as his wife Barbara, in this 1970s-set story about the MP’s attempt to fake his own death following the revelation of personal scandals. The script comes from John Preston, the journalist behind the book on which the BBC’s A Very English Scandal was based, with direction from Stan and Ollie director Jon S. Baird. It aired between Monday 2nd and Wednesday 4th of January on ITV and is now available to stream on ITVX.
The Light in the Hall
Written by Murdered By My Boyfriend‘s Regina Moriarty, this six-part psychological thriller for S4C and Channel 4 is about a journalist obsessed by the murder of a woman from her own home town. They were both once part of the same friendship group but fell out as teenagers. Like huge Welsh hit Keeping Faith, it’s a bilingual drama filmed and broadcast in both Welsh (as Y Golau) and English. The cast is great, with Utopia‘s Alexandra Roach and Game of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon alongside The Thick of It‘s Joanna Scanlan. It aired in English two episodes a week in January on Channel 4 and All4.
This six-episode supernatural/sci-fi thriller landed on Prime Video on Friday the 6th of January. It’s set aboard a Scottish oil rig which is thrown into chaos after a power-out and tremor are followed by a mysterious enveloping mist trapping everybody on board. Have they dug too deep? The script comes from newcomer David McPherson, with a cast including Line of Duty‘s Martin Compston, Game of Thrones‘ Iain Glen and Owen Teale, and Schitt’s Creek‘s Emily Hampshire. If you’ve already binged, here’s a spoiler-filled ending exploration.
Lockwood & Co.
All eight episodes of this fun supernatural detective thriller romp arrived on Netflix on Friday the 27th of January. It’s adapted from Jonathan Stroud’s YA novel of the same name, and follows a maverick ghost-hunting detective agency run by teenagers investigating a far-reaching mystery. Attack the Block and The Kid Who Would Be King‘s Joe Cornish has adapted the novel for screen and directs.
Before we see Russell T Davies return as Doctor Who showrunner for the show’s 60th anniversary this November, ITVX (and later ITV) has a three-part drama to air from the screenwriter. It stars The Crown‘s Helena Bonham Carter as Crossroads actor Noele Gordon, whose unceremonious sacking after years on the popular soap is the meat of this drama. Joining Bonham Carter in the cast are Mark Gatiss, Con O’Neill, Augustus Prew and more. It arrived on ITVX on 2nd February.
Comedian and writer Morwenna Banks has adapted Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl novel into this six-part Sky Comedy series starring Gemma Arterton, Rupert Everett and David Threlfall. Arterton plays Barbara Parker, who’s crowned Miss Blackpool in a 1960s beauty contest before moving to London to pursue her dream of becoming a comic. It arrived on Sky Comedy and streaming service NOW on the 9th of February.
The infamous 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery was dramatised by Guilt writer Neil Forsyth for this BBC drama starring Preacher‘s Dominic Cooper and Paddington‘s Hugh Bonneville, alongside Jack Lowden, Charlotte Spencer and Tom Cullen. This gripping true-crime plot arrived on BBC One on Sunday the 12th of February, and is available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer. If you’ve binged the lot, find out what happened next to its key players.
A Town Called Malice
This Sky Original drama is from Bulletproof and The Sweeney‘s Nick Love. A Town Called Malice, with a title inspired by The Jam song of the same name, is a crime drama and family saga set in the 1980s Costa del Sol, following a criminal family who decamp from London to Spain when some money comes their way, and the law comes sniffing after them. It’s a great cast, including Jason Flemyng, Dougray Scott, Tahirah Sharif, Jack Rowan, Martha Plimpton and Eliza Butterworth. Watch it on Sky Max and NOW from March 16th.
From the writers of The Salisbury Poisonings, this original BBC One drama follows three rookie police officers working under extraordinary pressure in Belfast. They are Grace, a woman in her 40s who leaves social work to retrain as a police officer; Annie, who struggles with having to leave her old life behind; and Tommy, who proves disastrously inept at frontline policing. Filming began in February 2022 in Belfast on the series, which stars Siân Brooke, Richard Dormer, Nathan Braniff, Katherine Devlin and more. The exact March release date is still tbc.
From the writer and production team that brought us A Christmas Carol starring Guy Pearce comes Steven Knight’s second Dickens adaptation for the BBC Great Expectations. This one has a similarly starry cast, with Olivia Colman in the role of Miss Havisham (played most recently on screen by Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter), and Black Mirror: Bandersnatch‘s Fionn Whitehead as Pip, plus Hayley Squires, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Ashely Thomas, Trystan Gravelle, Owen McDonnell and – joy of joys! – Matt Berry. Lucy Forbes directs. It will arrive on BBC One on Sunday 26th March.
This coming-of-age drama follows six students who find themselves returning to school after being excluded, and form an unlikely friendship group as outsiders with an indomitable will to succeed. Phoenix Rise‘s young cast of newcomers includes Lauren Corah, Alex Draper, Jayden Hanley, Krish Bassi, Tara Webb and Imogen Baker, and the series will begin airing on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer from Friday 24th March.
Grey’s Anatomy star Kevin McKidd and Sherlock‘s Vinette Robinson star in ITVX’s new crime drama Six Four, a four-part series inspired by Hideo Yokoyama’s novel of the same name. McKidd and Robinson play Chris and Michelle, two parents and police detectives whose teenager daughter has gone missing, and who are going to any means necessary to find her. While searching, they also uncover police corruption and long-held secrets surrounding an infamous similar unsolved disappearance. And then a third girl, this time the daughter of a prominent judge, also goes missing. Six Four starts streaming on ITVX on 30th March.
The Hunt for Raoul Moat
Arguably one of the UK’s most infamous killer rampages, Raoul Moat’s shooting spree in Northumberland and the country’s biggest ever manhunt to capture him had everyone glued to the news back in 2010. Now the upcoming ITV drama The Hunt for Raoul Moat, which stars Lee Ingleby (The A-Word) and Bodyguard actor Matt Stokoe, will focus on the stories of Moat’s innocent victims and the people trying to bring him to justice. It will be air on ITV1 from Sunday 16th April.
ITV’s latest thriller sees Dr Lucinda Edwards (Niamh Algar, Suspect) face a nightmare shift that ends in the death of an opioid overdose victim, leading to an intense malpractice investigation, and as the pressure rises we soon see signs that Lucinda might be hiding something. Also starring Lorne MacFadyen (Vigil) and Scott Chambers (Innocent), the series will debut on ITV1 on Sunday 23rd April.
Written by new screenwriter Cash Carraway, whose memoir Skint Estate: A Memoir of Poverty, Motherhood and Survival made waves on publication in 2019, this eight-episode blackly comedic drama is coming to BBC One and iPlayer. It stars This Country‘s Daisy May Cooper as Costello Jones, with young Fleur Tashjian as her daughter Iris, and tells a story of maternal love, enduring friendships, poverty and prejudice. Poldark‘s Jack Farthing co-stars along with Doctor Who‘s Ronke Adékoluẹjo. Filming took place in 2022 in Bristol, and the show premiered on BBC One on 4th April.
Henry Fielding’s 18th century novel has had a fresh update courtesy of Vanity Fair screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes. With a cast including Ted Lasso‘s Hannah Waddingham and leads Solly McLeod and Sophie Wilde (You Don’t Know Me), this period romp tells the comedic story of its titular foundling’s adventures in life and love. The three-part series is coming to ITVX on 4th May.
BAFTA-winning Surannne Jones (Vigil) has co-created this three-part drama about two estranged sisters who – after the body of their mother is found on a beach – find themselves confined on the Isle of Man unable to escape the consequences of her secrets and lies. Jones stars alongside Hugh Quarshie (Riches), Eve Best (House of the Dragon) and The West Wing‘s Stockard Channing. Maryland is due to arrive on ITVX in late May.
This four-part series from the writer of Manhunt and Safe House is a dual-chronology story set in 1973 and the early 2000s, about the real-life hunt to catch a serial killer in the Port Talbot area of Wales. Philip Glenister and Steffan Rhodri lead the cast as detectives investigating the killings using pioneering DNA evidence, alongside Keith Allen, Matthew Gravelle and more. Steeltown Murders will launch on BBC One at 9pm on Monday 15 May, with all episodes then available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
Ten Pound Poms
Named after the cheap tickets British citizens bought to escape post-war Britain for a new life in Australia, Ten Pound Poms is a forthcoming BBC drama starring Michelle Keegan, Faye Marsay and Warren Brown. It’s scripted by Brassic‘s Danny Brocklehurst and will also air as a Stan Original Series in Australia. The story’s about a group of Brits who emigrate in 1956 to start afresh in a new country. Ten Pound Poms will be released on BBC One on Sunday 14th May.
The Gallows Pole
Benjamin Myers’ novel set in 18th century Yorkshire about a motley gang who set about redistributing the wealth through a complex forgery operation will mark filmmaker Shane Meadows’ first project for the BBC. The This is England and The Virtues co-screenwriter and director has assembled a choice cast for this six-part period drama that promises to have real punch. Michael Socha is the lead, alongside Thomas Turgoose, George Mackay, Tom Burke, Sophie McShera and Samuel Edward-Cook, alongside a group of first-time actors. The Gallows Pole is released on BBC Two on May 31st and all episodes will then be available on BBC iPlayer.
Line of Duty‘s Vicky McClure stars in this twisty, gripping crime thriller about a mother who is so desperate to find out the truth about her daughter’s death that she befriends the man who is currently in prison for her murder. The series originally aired on ITVX in late December 2022 but will arrive on ITV on Monday 15th May at 9pm – read our spoiler-heavy explainer of the ending.
The Full Monty
25 years after the hit movie The Full Monty was released – in which a group of six unemployed Sheffield steel-workers put on a strip show – Disney+ is bringing us an eight-part comedy drama following the same men as they navigate the post-industrial city of Sheffield. Returning cast members include Trainspotting‘s Robert Carlyle as Gaz, Game of Thrones‘ Mark Addy as Dave, and Batman Begins‘ Tom Wilkinson as Gerald, plus Lesley Sharp (Scott and Bailey), Hugo Speer (Shadow and Bone), Paul Barber (Only Fools and Horses), Steve Huison (The Royle Family) and Wim Snape (Gentleman Jack). The series will explore what happened to the group in the years after their strip show, exploring their brighter, sillier and more desperate moments. The Full Monty is released on Disney+ in June.
Idris Elba is both the star and Executive Producer of Hijack, AppleTV’s tense new seven-part thriller about a hijacked plane making its way to London. Elba plays Sam Nelson, an accomplished negotiator in the business world who tries to use his skills to save the lives of the passengers, alongside The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi Zahra Gahfoor playing a counterterrorism officer who is trying to investigate the hijacking on the ground. While this is technically a US production, other British talent in the cast include Torchwood‘s Eve Myles, Jamestown‘s Max Beesley and This England‘s Aimée Kelly. Hijack premiers on AppleTV on 28th June.
ITVX series coming to ITV1
Two critically-acclaimed dramas which originally previewed on ITVX in late 2022 are being broadcast on ITV1 in June:
Litvinenko is a four-part true crime drama starring David Tennant as the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, whose infamous death by plutonium poisoning back in 2006 kick-started one of the Met Police’s most complex and dangerous investigations.
Riches is a glamorous, high-stakes family drama which focuses on the exploits of the super-wealthy Richards family. The impressive cast includes Hugh Quarshie (Holby City), Ted Lasso’s Sarah Niles, Cold Feet’s Hermione Norris and Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle.
A Spy Among Friends
This six-part Cold War spy drama – based on the true story featured in Ben Macintyre’s bestelling novel – first arrived on the ITVX streaming service in December, and now it’s getting a July slot on ITV1. The star-studded line-up includes Damien Lewis (Homeland), Line of Duty’s Anna Maxwell Martin, and Guy Pearce (Memento, Mare of Easttown).
RELEASE DATES TBC
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Holly Jackson’s bestselling novel is being adapted into a six-part drama for the BBC. The teen thriller will be written for screen by Poppy Cogan, the screenwriter behind BBC Three’s Red Rose, and will tell the story of Pippa Fitz-Amobi, a smart and slightly square heroine on a mission to uncover the killer of schoolgirl Andie Bell. Casting is tba.
Hot on the heels of the surprise Good Omens Series 2 announcement came the news that Prime Video would also be bringing Neil Gaiman’s 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.
Jack Thorne, the busiest screenwriter in the UK and lead writer on His Dark Materials, returns to the BBC with a new original four-part drama partly inspired by the real-life Charlie Gard case. It’s about a young child with a life-threatening condition whose medical team judge it in her best interests that she be allowed to die, a decision her family can’t support and fight every step of the way. The commission was announced in July 2019 but the pandemic delayed filming, which began in March 2022 with Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan in the lead roles.
Eastenders legend Ross Kemp is returning to acting after 15 years to star as police detective Tony Warden alongside newcomer Beth Alsbury in this new four-part thriller for Channel 5. Blind Spot tells the story of Hannah, a woman who works monitoring CCTV on a rough estate, who is fight to find a missing woman who disappeared after a violent criminal is seen leading her to a CCTV blind spot. After being dismissed by the decidedly dodgy detective (Kemp), she’ll take matters into her own hands to discover what really happened, putting her own life in danger. The series will also star Sanditon‘s Crystal Clarke, Sue Vincent (Waterloo Road) and Line of Duty‘s Kiran Landa.
Acclaimed 2021 feature film Boiling Point is being adapted into a five-part television drama for the BBC. Starring Stephen Graham and Vinette Robinson, supported by a strong cast (many of which cross over with excellent Sky drama Save Me), it’s set over the course of a single night in an upscale London restaurant where the head chef is struggling to stay above water in the face of personal demons, terrible guests, a smarmy mentor and more. Tense, captivating and certain to make you want to tip generously.
From Candice Carty-Williams, writer of 2019 hit novel Queenie, comes a series celebrating contemporary Black British music. Champion is an eight-episode musical drama about a highly personal rap battle between a South London brother and sister, former rap sensation and ex-con Bosco, and his former PA and younger sister Vita. Which of the Champion siblings will prosper? Top Boy‘s Malcolm Kamulete stars opposite Sherwood‘s Nadine Marshall, Doctor Who‘s Jo Martin and His Dark Materials‘ Ray Fearon, with TV newcomers Déja J Bowens and Ray BLK. It will air on the BBC in summer 2023 – watch the trailer.
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.
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.
From playwright and screenwriter Abi Morgan, creator of The Split (pictured above), comes a tense Netflix thriller about a missing boy in 1980s Manhattan. Eric is the story of 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. Benedict Cumberbatch stars alongside Gaby Hoffmann and McKinley Belcher III. Expect it to be dark, weird and emotional.
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 is currently underway in Manchester.
Six years after the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire that claimed 72 lives, the BBC has confirmed their plans to air a three-part factual drama drawing on extensive research, which will tell 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) and will cover the story from multiple perspectives, including victims, survivors, the firefighters on duty that night and the wider community. Casting and filming details are yet to be announced.
This BBC Three coming-of-age drama is set in 2001 and follows a group of five friends as they try not to let first loves, danger and parental disapproval get in the way of their music career. The friends will be played by fresh talent including Shanu Hazzan (EastEnders), Juwon Adedokun (Damilola), Gabriel Robinson (Casualty), Tienne Simon (Silent Witness) and newcomer Yus Jamal Crookes. Described as a ‘love letter to East London’, the show finished filming earlier this year and will arrive on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer later in 2023. Watch the trailer here.
If sober, philosophically probing true crime dramas are starting to wear you down, Channel 5 has the answer: Murder She Wrote meets Below Deck is the pitch for this original Channel 5 co-production about a cruise liner cabaret singer thrust back into his former life as a police detective when there’s a murder on board! HMS Murder (working title) sounds like a hoot that will bring together the sun, sea and exotic backdrops of Death in Paradise with a gossip and scandal-tinged murder mystery. Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators (pictured above) and Vera‘s Paul Matthew Thompson writes with Shetland and Silent Witness‘ Gordon Anderson directing.
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 exhilirating 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. Filming is currently underway.
New British fantasy series feel like they’re on shaky ground with Netflix following the cancellation of The Bastard Son & The Devil Himself, but let’s cross our fingers for this one. Kaos is a genre-straddling series that puts a modern twist on Greek and Roman mythology, it comes from The End of the F***ing World‘s Charlie Covell, and it stars Jeff Goldblum (pictured above in Thor: Ragnorak) as Zeus, so you can’t really say fairer than that.
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 – including Ayling’s book, Kidnapped – and 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. Filming will begin later this year.
Lord of The Flies
For the first time ever, William Golding’s iconic 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 is currently taking place in Cardiff.
Coming to Channel 5 is this four-part psychological thriller starring Sally Lindsay (recently seen as one of the carousel of stand-ins for Richard Osman as Alexander Armstrong’s Pointless friend) and Neil Morrissey. 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 started in Cyprus in November 2022.
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 is currently taking place.
The remarkable true story of how a group of ordinary middle-aged Welsh men became the subjects for one of the world’s first medical trials for Viagra in 1994 is being turned into a feature-length comedy drama for the BBC. Men Up stars Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones), Sherwood‘s Phaldut Sharma, Steffan Rhodri (House of the Dragon), and Gangs of London‘s Mark Lewis Jones, and the impressive cast also includes Joanna Page (Gavin and Stacey), Katy Wix (Ghosts) and The Catch‘s Aneurin Barnard. The drama is written by Industry‘s Matthew Barry.
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 (pictured above in Sherlock), Julie Hesmondhalgh (The Pact) and Will Mellor (No Offence). Filming is due to commence shortly.
Murder is Easy
We’ve got another Agatha Christie adaptation to look forward to. In her novel Murder is Easy, a series of deaths in an English village are presumed accidental, until a man called Luke Fitzwilliam meets Miss Pinkerton on a train, and she tells him she believes they’re the work of a killer. When Luke later learns Miss Pinkerton has been found dead, he feels he must hunt down the killer before they can strike again. Sian Ejiwunmi-Le Berre will adapt Christie’s novel for the screen, and Meenu Gaur (World on Fire) will direct. Filming begins this summer, and the show will air on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK and BritBox for a US audience.
The BBC are producing Nightsleeper, a 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. This 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 is currently underway in Glasgow.
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 two of 2022’s stand-out performers in This is Going to Hurt‘s Shruti, Ambika Mod (pictured above), and White Lotus season two’s Jack, Leo Woodall. They play 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.
Channel 4 is creating a factual drama about the infamous Partygate scandal, juxtaposing the revelry inside the nation’s seat of power with the hardship and sacrifice being experienced across the rest of the country. It’s being made by the producers behind some of the channel’s other hard-hitting dramas like Murdered By My Father and Killed By My Debt.
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. Filming has already begun and as well as airing on ITV and ITVX, the series will also be available internationally on BritBox.
Jed Mercurio’s production company is behind this six-part ITV thriller from Debbie O’Malley (All Creatures Great and Small, Call the Midwife). It stars The Bay‘s Morven Christie (pictured above), Westworld‘s Peter Mullan and Line of Duty‘s Prasanna Puwanarajah, and promises to be a gripping psychological story following a dangerous police operation aiming to unseat a crime kingpin, played by Mullan.
This psychological thriller, based on Louise Doughty’s bestselling novel of the same name, is the haunting story of Lisa (who will be played by Noughts and Crosses star Jasmine Jobson), a young girl who witnesses a cataclysmic event on a train station platform, before slowly discovering her life is connected to the events that she’s just witnessed. Expect a chilling mix of supernatural and contemporary realism when the series arrives on ITVX later this year.
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 is currently underway in South London.
After almost 15 years off-screen, Ian Rankin’s Scottish detective is coming back for a six-part TV series that finds 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. The series marks new streamer Viaplay’s first UK drama commission.
This one’s been eagerly anticipated for a while now but should finally be arriving on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Showtime in the US in 2023, after filming took place in Italy in 2021. It’s a new adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s famously slippery master forger and con-man 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 Emma. and Beast‘s Johnny Flynn, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s Dakota Fanning.
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 focusses 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.
Netflix’s retelling of Prince Andrew’s infamouse car-crash Newsnight interview has an all-star cast including Gillian Anderson (Sex Education) as Emily Maitlis, Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew and Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie) as Newsnight producer Sam McAlister. Filming began in February 2023 and we can expect the film to arrive on Netflix later this year.
This one was only announced in late 2022, so don’t expect it to arrive soon. 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 is due to film in Scotland this year.
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. One to watch.
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 C.J Skuse. It’s the story of Rhiannon, 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….
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.
The Burning Girls
When Paramount+ launches in the UK later this year, one of the excellent dramas we have to look forward to is The Burning Girls, based on C J Tudor’s novel of the same name. It’s set in the ill-fated and decidedly creepy village of Chapel Croft, which has been plagued with tragedies: from burning ‘witches’ at the stake in the distant past to the disappearance of two teenage girls 30 years ago, and now the local vicar has taken his own life. Jack Brooks (Samantha Morton, The Walking Dead) arrives as the new vicar, along with her daughter Flo (Ruby Stokes, Lockwood & Co), and quickly discovers the village is full of secrets, and uncovering the truth can be deadly.
Sheridan Smith (Cilla, pictured above) and Céline Buckens (Showtrial) will star in Paramount+’s new drama The Castaways, based on Lucy Clarke’s bestselling novel of the same name. They’ll play sisters Lori and Erin, who have a fight, resulting in Lori (Smith) boarding their flight to Fiji but Erin (Buckens) staying behind. When the flight goes missing, and Lori is presumed dead, Erin discovers the pilot has been spotted in Fiji using her missing sister’s credit card, and does everything in her power to track Lori down. Filming will begin in Fiji and Greece in June.
The Following Events are Based on a Pack of Lies
From Sister, the producers of This is Going to Hurt, The Baby, and The Split comes a new five-part BBC series about “two very different woman and the conman they have in common”. It’s being billed as a twisting thriller telling the stories of PA and single mother Alice, bestselling author Carolyn, and ‘ecopreneur’/scammer Rob, stars Rebekah Staton, Romola Garai, Sir Derek Jacobi and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, and comes written by sisters Penelope and Ginny Skinner.
The Fuck-It Bucket
This Netflix series marks the debut of screenwriter Ripley Parker (the daughter of writer-director-producer Ol Parker and actor Thandiwe Newton) and tells the story of 17-year-old Mia’s recovery from a serious eating disorder, and the new lease on life it gives her as she realises how much of her childhood she lost to the disease. Once out of hospital, Mia sets about making up for lost time.
Coming to Channel 4 is this six-part whodunit from writer-director Helen Walsh is about a violent assault on a teenage girl in Merseyside and the cast of characters who might have carried out the attack. It’s described as taking in themes of class, teenage life, social media and parenting, all wrapped in a thrilling drama.
In this four-part Channel 5 drama, three siblings have their world turned upside down when their father dies unexpectedly, and they make the surprising discovery he hasn’t left them anything in his will. This sends them on a quest to find out the truth about his death – was his death an accident, or murder? The series has an impressive line-up of drama alumni, including Gavin and Stacey‘s Larry Lamb, Gaynor Faye (The Syndicate), and Downton Abbey‘s Samantha Bond.
The Killing Kind
Legal thriller The Killing Kind is adapted from Jane Casey’s novel of the same name by Paramount Plus, and will star The Witcher‘s Emma Appleton as a successful barrister whose world is thrown into chaos and Merlin‘s Colin Morgan as her charming and potentially dangerous former client. Doctor Who‘s Elliot Barnes-Worrell and Unforgotten‘s Sara Powell are also in the cast.
Coming to Sky in 2023 is new original drama The Lovers, which stars Johnny Flynn (Emma., Lovesick) and Roisin Gallagher (The Fall, The Dry). It’s about two people who couldn’t be more wrong for each other discovering that maybe they’re exactly what the other needs. Gallagher plays Janet, a Belfast supermarket worker, and Flynn plays Seamus, a political broadcaster with a celebrity girlfriend who needs taking down a peg or two. It’s being billed as a “sexy, funny, fight-y love story”. Game of Thrones‘ Conleth Hill co-stars.
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.
Actor, comedian and Alan Partridge creator Steve Coogan will portray the life-long sexual predator and disgraced TV presenter Jimmy Savile in a new BBC drama tackling his life, rise to fame and horrific sex offences. The Reckoning is being produced by Jeff Pope, who was behind other hard-hitting UK true crime dramas The Moorside and Appropriate Adult, and while initial reports pushed a release back to 2024, it now seems likely the four-part drama will air in Autumn 2023. So far, the BBC is keeping all other details of this controversial drama under wraps.
The Sixth Commandment
Following the excellent A Very British Scandal, screenwriter Sarah Phelps is back with another true-story drama for the BBC. The Sixth Commandment dramatises the real-life deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin, played here by Timothy Spall (pictured above in The Commuter) and Ann Reid. It explores the manipulative student who targeted them and the complicated investigation that ensued. Phelps worked on the scripts with the support of the families involved, and this one’s being billed as a sensitive celebration of their lives.
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 is currently underway.
Good Omen‘s Michael Sheen will once again work 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. 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.
The Winter King
Fans of The Last Kingdom pay attention to this one! Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles are getting the adaptation treatment from ITVX for this historical action series following Arthurian legends. The cast looks top-notch too, with Eddie Marsan being joined by The Control Room‘s Iain de Caestecker (pictured above) and SAS: Rogue Heroes‘ Stuart Campbell.
The Woman in the Wall
What better combination could there be than Ruth Wilson (recently seen doing incredible work in the BBC’s His Dark Materials adaptation) and a Gothic thriller? This one is coming to the BBC in the UK and Showtime in the US, and explores the terrible history of Ireland’s ‘Magdalene Laundries’. It’s about Lorna (played by Wilson), a former inmate of the Laundries who finds herself unexpectedly under investigation for murder. Peaky Blinders‘ Daryl McCormack (pictured above) co-stars.
Then You Run
Once titled ‘You’, this eight-part thriller from The Capture writer-director Ben Chanan is coming to Sky soon and tells the story of Tara O’Rourke, a young woman on the run across Europe after committing a deadly crime. Chanan adopts from Zoran Drvenkar’s novel.
The man never stops! Not only has Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight got a second series of SAS: Rogue Heroes 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 (pictured above in Marcella), Michelle Dockery and David Dawson, and will feature original songs written by poet and musician Kae Tempest with producer Dan Carey.
Three Little Birds
From writer, actor, comedian and campaigner Sir Lenny Henry (pictured above in Doctor Who) comes a six-part ITV drama inspired by Henry’s mother’s experiences emigrating from Jamaica to Great Britain in the 1960s. It’s the story of vivacious sisters Leah and Chantelle, and their bible-loving companion Hosanna, as they travel from St Anne’s in Jamaica to settle in the UK. “This series will be a tribute to the giants who came before us and walked cold streets to create new lives for themselves,” says creator Henry. Russell T Davies is executive producing.
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.
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 has had to withdraw from production, and is being replaced by Lindsay Duncan (pictured above in Doctor Who). It’s 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.
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…
Jenna Coleman returns, fresh from her stint as exorcist-for-hire Constantine in Netflix’s The Sandman, to star in twisted love story Wilderness. Opposite The Invisible Man‘s Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Coleman will play a woman who plans to take revenge on her cheating husband on a holiday in America’s national parks that was designed to reset their broken marriage. The Prime Video drama is adapted from the book of the same name by B.E. Jones.
Not to be confused with Sky crime drama Wolfe, this new six-part crime thriller is coming to BBC One. It’s adapted from Mo Hayder’s series of Jack Caffery novels by Megan Gallagher and stars The Midwich Cuckoos‘ Ukweli Roach in the lead role of DI Caffery. Joining Roach in the cast are Doctor Who‘s Sacha Dhawan, Game of Thrones‘ Iwan Rheon, Line of Duty‘s Owen Teale and Sian Reese-Williams, and Juliet Stevenson. It’s being made by Sherlock producers Hartswood Films.