Your new favourite TV dramas of 2016

Your new favourite TV dramas of 2016

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By Ed Gove,
Monday, 21st December 2015
Beowulf, ITV
Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands (Credit: ITV/Laurence Cendrowicz, Aimee Spinks and Justin Slee)

Next year looks to be fantastic for high quality, epic TV dramas. Here are a few favourites that we have heard about. 



Churchill’s Secret - ITV

This one of TV film stars Harry Potter actor Michael Gambon as Winston Churchill. In 1953 Winston Churchill has the first of several strokes which was kept secret from the world. Told from the perspective of his young nurse, Churchill fights to recover, all the while holding tight to the reins of the nation, refusing to relinquish his Prime Ministership.



Deutschland ’83 – Channel 4

Deutschland ’83 is an exciting new drama to feature on Channel 4. Set in 1983, an East German native is sent undercover to West Germany as an undercover spy for the Stasi. However the vibrant, colourful world that meets him across the wall is like nothing he could have expected. The German-language spy drama will air on Channel 4, before launching the Channel 4 foreign-language on-demand service Walter Presents.


The Cormoran Strike Mysteries – BBC One

Based on the successful detective series by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym of Harry Potter author JK Rowling), Cormoran Strike follows the eponymous detective as he solves violent and grisly cases with the help of his quick-witted secretary Robin. The screenplay adaptions are being written by The Casual Vacancy screenwriter Sarah Phelps and Spooks writer Ben Richards.


Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is adapting Trollope's novel (Credit: ITV/Kieron McCarron)

Doctor Thorne - ITV

Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean), Rebecca Front (The Thick of It), and Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean, Lovejoy) star in this period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. Adapted from an Anthony Trollope novel, the three-part drama is about English high society as alliances are made and broken, and loves are formed and lost.


Troy: Fall of a City – BBC One

This bold new project by the BBC tells the story of the fall of the ancient city of Troy to the Greek forces, from the perspective of a Trojan family. The show is a powerful retelling of Homer’s epic Iliad. This show is a big deal for the BBC and, costing as much as £2 million per episode, promises a lot to look forward to!


Aliens – E4

Aliens have been living among us since they crashed in the UK 40 years ago, residing in a walled ghetto called Troy. Lewis (Michael Socha- Being Human, This is England) is a border guard at that wall where he, like everyone else views aliens as second-class citizens. However his life is turned upside down when he finds out that he is the world’s first half-alien. Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum), Ashley Walters (Top Boy, Hustle) and Michael Smiley (Black Mirror, Luther) are among some of the well-known faces appearing in the show.



Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands - ITV

This upcoming epic is based on the Old English poem Beowulf. Written by James Dorner (Wallander, The Musketeers), Tim Haines (Primeval) and Katie Newman (Primeval, Primeval : New Age) the show will feature well-known faces among the newcomers in its cast, including Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey, Eragon) and Homeland’s David Harewood. Beowulf (Kieran Bew) must defend the village against the monster Grendl, and in doing so win the trust of his people, but more importantly, his family.

Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands begins on 3 January


A Midsummer Night’s Dream – BBC One

A one-off, 90 minute adaption of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Doctor Who writer Russell T Davis, is forming part of the BBC’s Shakespeare Festival. The performance stars Maxine Peake (Silk), Matt Lucas (Little Britain) and John Hannah (The Mummy, Atlantis).



Jericho - ITV

This historical drama is set in Yorkshire and stars Jessica Raine from Call the Midwife. When Annie Quaintain (Raine) is left penniless after her husband’s death, she takes her two children to start a new life in Jericho, the shanty town out on the moors, which is home to the navvys who work building the railways.

Jericho starts on 7 January 2016. 


Hooten and The Lady – Sky 1

This new rollicking adventure drama by Hustle showrunner Tony Jordan is hitting our screens next summer. W1A’s Ophelia Lovibond stars with Michael Landes, as Lady Alexandra Lindo-Parker, from the British Museum, as the pair travel the world in search of lost treasures.



Marvel’s Luke Cage - Netflix

The third Netflix Marvel series is a spinoff from 2015’s Jessica Jones. It stars Mike Colter as Luke Cage, a superhuman ex-convict with incredible strength and unmarkable skin. Cage has already featured in the Jessica Jones series as a Jones’ short-term love interest.


The Last Post – BBC One

From the writer of BBC award-winning legal drama Silk Peter Moffat comes The Last Post. Based on the writer’s childhood memories of growing up in the Middle Eastern port of Aden in 1965, this show focuses on a Military Police unit fighting terrorists in the Middle East, and the family who have accompanied them.


Jack Ryan – Amazon

This exciting action/adventure show from Amazon Prime Video follows Jack Ryan, who ends up a spy for the CIA.  Based on a character by Tom Clancy, viewers can expect action and tension in bucketfuls!


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Next year looks to be fantastic for high quality, epic TV dramas. Here are a few favourites that we have heard about.