previews... - December 19, 2018 previews... 2019's Best New TV Drama
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows. previews... 2019's Best New TV Drama

2019’s small screen line-up is looking very tasty indeed. Today we’re previewing 10 brand new series that will debut in the new year. Time to get excited…


His Dark Materials

Starring: James McAvoy, Dafne Keen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne-Marie Duff, Ruth Wilson, Clarke Peters

Broadcaster: BBC One


Philip Pullman’s hugely successful fantasy series has been taken to the big screen once before, in 2007, with a cast that included Nicole Kidman, Dakota Blue Richards, Daniel Craig, but failed to capture audience required to earn a major franchise.

Now though, it gets a different treatment, a TV series over eight parts, adapted by Harry Potter And The Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne.

Set in a parallel universe, the series follows the adventures of a young girl named Lyra Belacqua who journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organisation.

McAvoy plays Lord Asriel, the ruthless adventurer with Logan star Dafne Keen playing leading lady Lyra.

Clarke Peters, who recently starred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, plays the master who raises Lyra. Ruth Wilson will play Marisa Coulter and Lin-Manuel Miranda playing balloonist Lee Scoresby.

The series is thought to be one of the most expensive British scripted series to date, and will also feature Anne-Marie Duff, Black Mirror’s Georgina Campbell and Games of Thrones’ Ian Gelder, while Wolf Hall star Will Keen, father of leading actress Dafne, is also in the cast.

Tom Hooper, director of The King's Speech and Peaky Blinders' Otto Bathurst are among the directors on the series.

The series won’t likely premiere until the end of the year, but the BBC are clearly feeling confident about it. A second series is already confirmed...



Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Kinnear and John Heffernan

Broadcaster: Channel 4


The campaign behind UK’s divisive decision to leave the European Union gets dramatised in this lavish small screen film.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Dominic Cummings, director of the Leave campaign, while Kinnear plays Craig Oliver, his opposite number at Remain.

The film will chart the referendum campaign, the key actors, the key decisions and the key revelations that decided the result.

James Graham, the playwright responsible for Labour of Love, Ink and Finding Neverland, has put the adaptation together.




Starring: Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Regina King, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard

Broadcaster: Sky Atlantic


The all-time classic graphic novel gets a new telling in 2019.

Damon Lindelof, best known for his work on Lost and The Leftovers, has developed the series for HBO, working from the beloved graphic novel.

The graphic novel began life as a 1986-87 DC Comics limited series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and was in development for over 10 years before it was finally brought to the big screen in 2009 by Zack Snyder.

The story of Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America, where costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered, masked vigilante Rorschach uncovers a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes, forcing him to reconnect with his old colleagues.

Lindelof's take on the graphic novel will not be straight re-telling, instead, it will be a new story in the same world with new characters set in the present day.#

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Starring: Sean Bean, Adrian Lester, Phoebe Fox, Richard Riddell, Robert Glenister, Adam Brody, Billy Zane, Miranda Richardson, Malachi Kirby

Broadcaster: Sky One


All bets are off in this fiery eight-part new action-drama.

Set in a dystopian future, we watch as a series of challengers risk everything as they race through the night from London to northernmost Scotland in their pimped-out, weaponised vehicles to win the ultimate prize.

That prize? Freedom from the totalitarian government curfew that’s controlling their lives. The winner will be the first to reach the finish line by sunrise.


Catherine The Great

Starring: Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Paul Kaye, Sam Palladio, Richard Roxborough, Rory Kinnear

Broadcaster: Sky Atlantic


Helen Mirren leads this lavish four-parter, which charts the life and times of Catherine, the Empress of Russia in the 18th century.

The series will follow the end of Catherine’s reign and her affair with Russian military leader Grigory Potemkin that helped shape the future of Russian politics.

The four-parter has been written by Nigel Williams, who penned 2005's hit series Elizabeth I, which also starred Mirren.



Starring: Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson, Jessie Buckley

Broadcaster: Sky Atlantic


HBO and Sky have teamed up for this epic five-parter about the 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, an explosion that led to one of the largest man-made tragedies in human history.

The story focuses on the men and women sacrificed everything in the aftermath of the disaster to keep things contained and to save the rest of Europe from the fallout.

Stellan Skarsgård leads the way as Boris Shcherbina, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and head of the Bureau for Fuel and Energy of the USSR.

Though a relatively minor figure in the Kremlin, he is assigned to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the early hours following the accident, when the government was still unaware the reactor had exploded.

Quickly realising the scale of the disaster, he finds himself trapped between the realities of the political system and the human cost of battling an escalating nuclear nightmare...


Starring: Riz Ahmed

Broadcaster: BBC Two


Riz Ahmed has created and will star in this deeply personal drama.

Told over nine hour-long episodes, the series tells the story of three generations of a British Pakistani family, the Latifs: Jamal and Fatima, their children Ashraf, Razia and Asim, and their grandchildren Zahed, Naseem and Ayesha.

The series follows them as they pursue their dreams over four decades, watching the United Kingdom change around them and observing the ups and downs that go alongside it.


Gangs Of London

Starring: Serena Kennedy, Jude Akuwudike, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Joe Cole, Sope Dirisu, Michelle Fairley

Broadcaster: Sky Atlantic


Gareth Evans, the man behind The Raid, has created this brutal action-drama about different gangs battling for control of the UK capital’s criminal underworld.

We watch on as one of the gangs is assassinated, leaving a sudden power vacuum. That, in turn, threatens the fragile peace between the intricate web of gangs operating on the streets of the city.

The Nun's Corin Hardy is booked to take charge of three episodes.

War Of The Worlds

Starring: Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall, Rupert Graves, Robert Carlyle

Broadcaster: BBC One


HG Wells' terrifying alien invasion horror is brought to life on BBC One in the New Year. 

The story follows Spall's George and his partner Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson) as they attempt to defy society and start a life together in the face the escalating terror of an alien invasion, fighting for their lives against an enemy beyond their comprehension...




Starring: Sonoya Mizuno, Nick Offerman, Jin Ha, Zach Grenier, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Cailee Spaeny, Alison Pill

Broadcaster: BBC Two


Alex Garland takes his bow on the small screen with this new eight-part series. 

The drama follows computer engineer investigates the secretive development division in her company, which she believes was behind the disappearance of her boyfriend...

The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass Chris Weitz