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Five of the best new TV dramas coming this autumn

PUBLISHED: 00:08 18 August 2018

Wanderlust - Joy (TONI COLLETTE) - (C) Drama Republic - Photographer: Matt Squire

Wanderlust - Joy (TONI COLLETTE) - (C) Drama Republic - Photographer: Matt Squire

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As the nights draw in, the television beckons us closer. From Les Miserables to Luther, Wanderlust to Strangers and a saucy new series which has had TV reviewers fanning themselves to cool down, there’s something for everyone. Let’s look at five top dramas coming soon to a TV near you.

Bodyguard -  David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie MutevelianBodyguard - David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian

Autumn is around the corner and along with mists and mellow fruitfulness, there’s a whole harvest festival of new drama to look forward to. Here are five shows to look forward to - with another five coming on Thursday.

Five new dramas for Autumn

1) Les Misérables, BBC1: My colleague and I can – and sometimes do – sing the entire score from LM at the drop of a hat. It’s one of my favourite musicals of all time, and therefore I felt slightly conned that the BBC’s new version of Victor Hugo’s classic won’t include Susan Boyle belting out I Dreamed a Dream. Still, I suppose Hugo didn’t write his epic novel imagining how Simon Cowell would feel about it. This lavish new adaptation will be brought to the screens by brilliant bodice-buster Andrew Davies and promises to take the story back to its roots. There’s a stellar cast that includes Dominic West as Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo as Javert and Lily Collins as Fantine. “I thought the musical was a travesty, personally,” says Davies. Do you hear the people sing, Mr Davies? By ‘people’, I mean me and Rowan and by ‘sing’ I mean ‘honk’.

When can I watch it? November.

Luther - DCI John Luther (IDRIS ELBA) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Steve NeavesLuther - DCI John Luther (IDRIS ELBA) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Steve Neaves

Best song in Les Miserables: One More Day. This is not up for debate.

2) Luther: Luther, BBC1: The last series went out with (several) bangs, plus a murder, an abduction, three attempted murders and a shoot-out. Not to mention the ‘hand in the blender’ incident, the dangling of a loan shark from the balcony of high rise flats, the psychopath hiding under the bed, the psychopath hiding under plastic sheeting in the attic and the corpse dressed like Siouxsie Sioux of Banshee fame – and that was just in episode one. The team behind Luther has been tight-lipped about what we can expect from Idris Elba’s Luther, as has he: “It’s classic Luther,” he said of series five, “we’re not reinventing the wheel”.

When can I watch it? Soon

What do we want to see? A return for Ruth Wilson’s enigmatic killer Alice, last seen in series three but much-missed.

3) Wanderlust, BBC1: This is playwright Nick Payne’s first TV project and it’s described as “a searingly-insightful and funny exploration of the relationships of a multi-generational family” which at first glance makes it sound a bit like Coronation Street. Joy Richards (Toni Collette, who I last saw on a ceiling in Hereditary) is a therapist reassessing her own marriage after a cycling accident and struggling to find a way to keep the spark alive with husband Alan (Steven Mackintosh). As we meet her family, friends, neighbours and clients, remarkable yet relatable stories of love, lust and forbidden desire emerge or, as The Sun put it: “OH MY GIDDY AUNTIE! BBC bosses set to air their most X-rated drama Wanderlust which has bonking, drug-taking and solo sex acts.” What a review.

When can I watch it? Autumn

What will you say after watching the first seven minutes of “bonktastic” © The Sun action? “You’re terrible, Muriel…”

4) Bodyguard, BBC1: Written by the genius that is Jed Mecurio, Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes star in Bodyguard, BBC One’s new contemporary thriller from the makers of Line Of Duty. Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a volatile war veteran working as a Specialist Protection Officer for London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?

When can I watch it? August 26.

Are there any power ballads in it? Thankfully, no.

5) Strangers, ITV: Earlier in the year, Mondays nights were a tale of two Simms as we tossed a coin to decide whether to watch Trauma on ITV or Collateral on BBC2, both of which saw John Simm go head-to-head with himself in a bizarre piece of TV scheduling: Simm-ultaneous hot Simm-action. Ambitious and timely conspiracy thriller Strangers, written by screenwriting newcomers Mark Denton and Jonny Stockwood, is about Professor Jonah Mulray whose life is turned upside-down when his wife is killed while working in Hong Kong - when he travels to identify her body, he makes a shocking discovery about the woman he loved.

When can I watch it? You guessed it, ‘Autumn’.

Does the BBC have another drama starring John Simms in it which it can broadcast at the same time as Strangers? Let’s wait and see.

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