The UK. February 2019. Uncertainty and freezing temperatures reign. Real life is looking like an increasingly unwise decision, yet escape is costly. The reason all those long-limbed models in beach holiday ads are laughing? They’ve seen our bank balances.
The only option: television. Fortunately, this week, television has bonafide escapism on offer. Syfy’s Nightflyers comes to Netflix while Sons Of Anarchy prequel Mayans MC comes to BBC Two. That’s space, and the gang-rife Mexico/California border – two destinations you won’t get to with Thomas Cook.
Here’s Den Of Geek’s pick of the best new and continuing shows airing between Friday the 1st and Thursday the 7th of January 2019. Come back next week for the new additions.
Friday 1st February, Netflix
A ten-episode sci-fi horror set on board a spaceship on a mission to intercept alien life, Nightflyers is adapted from a George R.R. Martin novella (which was previously adapted into a 1987 feature film). It draws heavily on the genre, tipping its cap to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Event Horizon, while telling the claustrophobic story of a fractured crew, some broken people and a mysterious malevolent force. Produced by horror writer Jeff Buhler, it stars Gretchen Mol, Eoin Macken, David Ajala, Jodie Turner-Smith and Angus Sampson.
Friday 1st February, Netflix
The early word on this existential comedy-drama has been extremely strong. Orange Is The New Black’s Natasha Lyonne co-created the series with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland. Lyonne also stars in Russian Doll and directed an episode, so it’s very much her property. She plays Nadia, a woman whose life takes an unexpected fantasy turn when she dies at a party. Then comes back. Then dies again. And again. And again. And again. Think Groundhog Day, but over eight episodes (and possibly, multiple seasons).
They Shall Not Grow Old
Saturday 2nd February, 9pm, BBC Two
Not an escapist viewing choice, but a highly worthwhile one. BBC Two gives us another chance to watch Peter Jackson’s powerful WWI documentary, which first aired last November for the Armistice Day centenary. Made using archival footage hand-colourised and digitally transformed by Jackson’s team, it’s the moving story of the men who fought in WWI as told by them.
Sound And Vision
Sunday 3rd February, 1pm, BBC Radio 6 Music
A worth-listening-to rather than a worth-watching, BBC Radio 6 Music continues its series of film-music interviews with Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, whose new film If Beale Street Could Talk, comes out next Friday the 8th of February. These hour-long chats with music journalist and presenter Miranda Sawyer are always insightful and dig up some gems. Previous guests include Russell Crowe, Sam Mendes, Lynne Ramsay, Paddy Considine and Maxine Peake. Next week’s guest is Cornballs himself, director Joe Cornish.
Saturday 2nd February, 10.40pm, BBC Two
The first two episodes of this Sons Of Anarchy spin-off are being shown back-to-back on Saturday night on BBC Two. It’s been co-created by Sons’ Kurt Sutter and tells the story of the Mayans Motorcycle Club, rivals-turned-allies to Jax Teller’s crew. Its 10-episode first season aired last year on FX in the US, to positive reviews. A complex, violent and doesn’t squander the reputation of its big brother show, with a second season already in the works.
Thursday 7th February, 10pm, Sky Atlantic
Adapted from the 2016 Julia Davis Sky series for HBO by Lena Dunham, Camping takes the cringe-comedy action to the US. It’s the story of a group holiday peopled by the neurotic and unhinged (though the word is that the US version has softened much of Davis’ brilliant misanthropy). The reviews weren’t great over in the states, but if you’d like to make up your own mind, episode two continues on Thursday the 7th of February, and on Now TV. David Tennant, doing an American accent, wearing a hat, stars opposite Jennifer Garner.