TV picks of the month: October

TV picks of the month: October

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Thursday, 3rd October 2019
Catherine The Great,Modern Love (Credit: Sky, Amazon Prime)
Catherine The Great,Modern Love (Credit: Sky, Amazon Prime)

The final month of autumn doesn't just bring a change in the weather, but also a whole host of new shows to watch. Here's our picks of some of October's best TV.

Catherine The Great

Starts Thursday 3rd October, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Helen Mirren (Credit: Sky)
Helen Mirren (Credit: Sky)

Powerhouse Helen Mirren takes on the role of longest-ruling female leader of Russia, Catherine II, in new four-part mini-series Catherine The Great.

The series delves into both the turbulent political landscape and sexually charged court that Catherine, one of the most powerful female monarchs in history, was immersed in.

Catherine held power as the Empress of Russia for nearly half of the 18th century, proving herself to be strong-minded, intelligent and sexually liberated.

Mirren plays Catherine as she is coming to the end of her reign and is embroiled in a passionate affair with Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke).

Unable to publicly marry and announce their relationship, they become devoted to one another and develop an obsessive love, a love that helped shape Russia into what it is today.

The rest of the cast includes Gina McKee who plays Catherine’s confidant Praskovya Bruce, Rory Kinnear who portrays Catherine’s political mentor Nikita Ivanovich Panin and Richard Roxburgh who plays Grigory Orlov, a noble favourite who fathered Catherine’s son and was virtually her co-ruler until his fall from power.

The series marks the third commission from the Sky and HBO drama partnership.

Rhythm + Flow

From Wednesday 9th October, Netflix

T.I, Cardi B, Chance The Rapper (Credit: Adam Rose/Netflix)

Hip-hop stars Cardi B, Chance The Rapper and T.I have come together to create new hip-hop talent show Rhythm + Flow.

Auditions were held in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago to discover hip-hop’s best undiscovered talent in the ten-part series.

Fellow stars Nipsey Hussle, DJ Khaled, Snoop Dogg and others joined the three judges to help them find the next hip-hop superstar.

From studios, to nightclubs, to barber shops, the trio look everywhere and anywhere to find an authentic and memorable performer.

The auditions will see hopefuls perform in real clubs with a live audience, testing both their raw talent and ability to work a crowd.

The competitors face a series of challenges from collaboration and one-on-one competition, to incorporating samples and making music videos.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK

Starts Thursday 3rd October, BBC Three, 8pm

RuPaul's Drag Race UK (Credit: BBC)
RuPaul's Drag Race UK (Credit: BBC)

The show that brought drag culture into the mainstream has come to the UK.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK will see ten queens compete to win the title of the UK’s first Drag Race superstar.

RuPaul will be joined by fellow judges Michelle Visage, Alan Carr and Graham Norton with guest judges such as Andrew Garfield, Maisie Williams, Twiggy and Geri Horner.

Love Island favourite Curtis Pritchard and his Strictly dancing brother AJ will help coach contestants, so their dance and choreography is on point.

The queens will face several challenges while still needing to impress with their overall look and persona.

Coming from up and down the UK, each queen has their own distinct signature style and is ready to slay to win the title.

X Factor: Celebrity

Start Saturday 12th October, ITV, 8:35pm

Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell Nicole Scherzinger and Dermot O'Leary
Louis Walsh, Simon Cowell Nicole Scherzinger and Dermot O'Leary (Credit: ITV)

X Factor is returning to screens for another year, but for the first time it will be celebrities taking part in the singing series.

Simon Cowell will be joined by Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger to decide who will receive the winning record deal.

The contestants include a mix of overs, unders and groups, from sporting stars, to reality stars, to soap stars.

The groups include a band of ex Love Islanders with Samira Mighty, Wes Nelson, Zara McDermott and Eyal Booker, a rugby supergroup with Thom Evans, Ben Foden and Levi Davis, a Strictly/Hollyoaks crossover with Brendan Cole and Jeremy Edwards, and two bands of social media stars.

The overs are made up of veteran journalist Martin Bashir, The Chase quiz master Jenny Ryan (aka the Vixen), Coronation Street actress Victoria Ekanoye and talk show host Ricki Lake.

The unders group will see reality star Megan McKenna, actress and plus size model Hayler Hasselhoff, EastEnders star Jonny Labey, Love Actually star Olivia Olson and Glee's Kevin McHale compete for the record deal.

Living With Yourself

From Friday 18th October, Netflix

Paul Rudd (Credit: Netflix)
Paul Rudd (Credit: Netflix) 

Comedy heavyweight Paul Rudd stars in dark comedy Living With Yourself.

The series follows Miles Elliot, a man who is unhappy with his current life and decides to undergo an experimental and controversial treatment to improve his life and become a happier person.

Initially the treatment seems to have worked until Elliot discovers there is a catch, the treatment has brought to life a far superior clone of himself.

Faced with this super clone, Elliot tries to take back control of his life and win over his long-suffering wife Kate (Aisling Bea).

Along the way he realises that his life wasn’t so miserable after all and true happiness comes at a price.

The series also stars Rob Yang, Desmin Borges, Zoe Chao and Karen Pittman.


Starts Thursday 17th October, BBC Two 9pm

Will Sharpe and Takehiro Hira (Credit: BBC)
Will Sharpe and Takehiro Hira (Credit: BBC)

The international drama, which is set in both London and Tokyo, is a co-production between the BBC and Netflix.

Translated as Duty/Shame, the eight-part series focuses on two estranged brothers Kenzo (Takehiro Hira) who is a family man and detective living in Tokyo and Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka) who is living in London.

When Yuto goes missing Kenzo travels to London to seek out the truth behind his disappearance.

Kenzo seeks comfort in a makeshift family of Londoners, including Met detective Sarah (Kelly Macdonald) who is investigating the murder case Yuto seems to be involved in.

Kenzo finds his marriage under threat when his relationship with Sarah starts veering more towards the personal than the professional.

Justin Long and Charlie Creed-Miles also star as Vickers and Abbott, two shady businessmen who try to draw Kenzo into their fold, with Abbott keen to expand his empire into East Asia.

Will Sharpe also joins the cast as a charismatic rent boy.

The Accident

Stars Thursday 24th October, Channel 4, 9pm

Sarah Lancashire and Joanna Scanlan (Credit: Channel 4)
Sarah Lancashire and Joanna Scanlan (Credit: Channel 4)

Written by Jack Thorne, The Accident is the final entry in his drama trilogy for Channel 4 following National Treasure and Kiri.

Set in the fictional town of Glyngolau in Wales, the four-part-series explores how the community is torn apart by a tragic accident.

When a group of teenagers break into the construction site of a much-needed regeneration project looking to create mischief, a fatal explosion claims the lives of many of the teenagers.

The shared grief tears the town apart, as the families look for someone to blame and seek justice.

Polly (Sarah Lancashire), the wife of the local politician Iwan (Mark Lewis Jones) who championed the project, tries to hold the community together while also supporting her rebellious daughter Leona (Jade Croot), who led a group of friends into the site on the day of the explosion and has been left with a lifelong disability.

As grief gives way to anger, challenging truths begin to emerge as the town tries to recover from the major loss.

The series also stars Sidse Babett Knudsen, Nabhaan Rizwan, Joanna Scanlan, Genevieve Barr, Shaun Parkes and Adrian Scarborough.

Modern Love

From Monday 21st October, Amazon Prime

Julia Garner and Shea Whigham (Credit: Amazon prime)
Julia Garner and Shea Whigham (Credit: Amazon Prime)

Plenty of Hollywood big names feature in new Amazon Prime series Modern Love.

Based on the New York Time’s Modern Love column, which features essays and personal reflections on romance, each standalone episode explores love and relationships, bringing to life the columns eight most beloved stories.

One storyline focuses on Lexi (Anne Hathaway) a woman who is struggling with her mental health and is trying to learn how to accept love.

Another storyline looks at married couple Sarah (Tina Fey) and Dennis (John Slattery), as boredom has set into their relationship and the strain is starting to show.

A further storyline focuses on Joshua (Dev Patel) and the troubles he faces with fidelity, while Maggie (Cristin Milioti) finds herself pregnant and alone with only her doorman to turn to.

 The series also stars Andy Garcia, Andrew Scott, Julia Garner, Catherine Keener and John Gallagher Jr.

Raising Dion

From Friday 4th October, Netflix

Ja'Siah Young and Alisha Wainwright (Credit: Netflix)
Ja'Siah Young and Alisha Wainwright (Credit: Netflix)

This is not the first time Netflix has taken on the superhero genre, but Raising Dion offers a superhero origin story with a twist.

The sci-fi series – executive produced by Michael B. Jordan – focuses on a recently widowed single mum trying to raise her son while he develops superpowers.

Based on the 2015 comic book and short film by Denis Liu, the series follows Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), who is trying to balance the usual difficulties of raising a child alone, while also managing her son Dion’s (Ja’Siah Young) telekinesis and teleportation abilities and the recent death of her husband Mark (Michael B. Jordan).

Nicole finds support in Mark’s best friend Pat (Jason Ritter) as she tries to find out the origin of Dion’s powers and protect him from those who want to exploit him.

For Dion, life isn't easy being a seven-year-old child desperate to fit in yet eager to don a cape and fight villains, and his superpowers both excite him but also put him in grave danger.

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The final month of autumn doesn't just bring a change in the weather, but also a whole host of new shows to watch. Here's our picks of some of October's best TV.