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Autumn Preview (British Edition)

Your comprehensive guide to all the new British dramas coming this autumn.

Before I get started I just want to give everyone a little insight into how British television works. As I'm sure many of you will notice, most of these shows do not have confirmed air dates yet. That's because British networks tend not to announce them too far in advance. One or two weeks notice is often all you will ever get. So even though all these shows have been confirmed for the autumn months, it's anyone's guess when most of them will even air.

VANITY FAIR (2nd September)

A co-production between ITV and Amazon, this latest adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic novel stars Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) as charming social climber Becky Sharp with support from Martin Clunes, Frances de la Tour, Anthony Head, Simon Russell Beale, Suranne Jones and Michael Palin as Thackeray himself.

PRESS (6th September)

Written by Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster, King Charles III), this six-part BBC series looks at the inner-workings of two very different British newspapers - The Herald, a left leaning broadsheet, and The Post, a right-wing tabloid. Stars Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin, and David Suchet.

BLACK EARTH RISING (10th September)

Hugo Blick's follow-up to The Honourable Woman stars Michaela Coel (Chewing Gum) as Kate Ashby, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide, who now works as a legal investigator in the law chambers of Michael Ennis (John Goodman). When her adoptive mother (Harriet Walker) takes on a case prosecuting an African militia leader, the story pulls Michael and Kate into a journey that will upend their lives forever.


From Sky, who keep making shows even though no one watches them, comes this adaptation of  Deborah Harkness' novel about Diana Bishop, a historian and reluctant witch, who is dragged back into the world of magic where she meets mysterious geneticist and vampire, Matthew Clairmont. Stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Alex Kingston, Valarie Pettiford, and Lindsay Duncan.


Following the success of The Night Manager, AMC and the BBC have teamed up again for another John le Carré adaptation. Set in the 1970s, the series follows an English actress (Florence Pugh) who becomes entangled in the schemes of an Israeli intelligence officer (Alexander Skarsgård). Also stars Michael Shannon, Clare Holman, Kate Sumpter, Charles Dance, Simona Brown, and Max Irons.

THE CRY (30th September)

Adapted from the 2013 novel by Helen FitzGerald, this four-part BBC drama stars Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Victoria) and Ewen Leslie (Top of the Lake: China Girl) as a couple whose baby son goes missing during a trip to Australia.

INFORMER (16th October)

This contemporary thriller comes from first time writers Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani. Paddy Considine stars as Gabe, a counter-terrorism officer who forces a young second-generation Pakistani man (Nabhaan Rizwan) into becoming an informer. Bel Powley, Sunetra Sarker, Sharon D Clarke, Jessica Raine, and Roger Jean Nsengiyumva also star.


Starring Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies) and written by Tony Marchant (Public Enemies, The Secret Agent, Garrow’s Law), this ITV mini-series is about Max (Callum Booth-Ford), an 11-year-old who lives as a girl at home, but then decides she doesn’t want to hide this identity from the world any longer.


Based on the novel by Andrea Levy, this three-part BBC series stars Tamara Lawrance as July, a strong-willed young slave living on a plantation during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica. Also stars Hayley Atwell, Jack Lowden and Sir Lenny Henry.


The latest series from writer Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Scott & Bailey and Last Tango in Halifax) sees her reunite with Suranne Jones to tell the extraordinary story of 19th-century adventurer, industrialist and intellectual Anne Lister.


Retaining the novel's original setting of England at the turn of the nineteenth century, this latest adaptions of H.G. Wells’s classic novel stars Rafe Spall (The Shadow Line, Black Mirror) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) as a couple fighting to survive an invasion by three-legged Martian death machines. Rupert Graves and Robert Carlyle also star.


Andrew Davies, the undisputed king of literary adaptions, brings us this non-musical version of Victor Hugo’s novel about the terrible consequences of bread crime. Dominic West stars as Jean Valjean, with David Oyelowo as Javert and Lily Collins as Fantine.

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig


  1. Some interesting titles to look out for, thanks Mark!

    That habit of only announcing dates a few weeks before is bloody annoying!!!

    I guess since it's new dramas that's why you didn't mention the third season of Victoria, right? But what about Bodyguard with the King in the North (the first one)? ;) Started last weekend sure, but people on the other side of the Atlantic might be interested in hearing about it so they can keep an eye out for it!

  2. PS: Will you update this when the others get release dates? ;)

  3. Dates will be added as soon as they become known, CrazyCris. I did think of adding Bodyguard, but since it is already airing it didn't feel right for a preview article.

  4. I thought as much, however it's still a preview for the American readers (if one considers it might make it across the pond at some point...).

  5. The War Of The Worlds?? Sounds interesting:-)

  6. I'm personally super intrigued by the idea of Matthew Goode as a vampire. That's one I'm going to watch, whenever it turns up over here across the pond.

  7. I'm so glad you do these articles, Mark. I've found many great British and Welch shows to watch because of you. Keep up the good work. I'm even considering adding BritBox to my streaming line-up. It's more time and more money spent, but I love the quality of across-the-pond productions.


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