Photo by Pawel Kadysz (CC0 1.0)
Even though the Welsh lockdown has ended meaning you may have exhausted your to-watch list already, there’s still plenty more TV shows to stock up on during this month. While 2020 may still feel like you’re living in a science-fiction movie, TV can transport you to another time or place (for an hour or more). If you’re looking for something more grounded, you can solve a mystery or travel back to 18th century London – the TV world’s your oyster! Whether you are searching for something new to watch or are intrigued by the shows everyone is talking about, here are some of the best autumn picks to watch this November…
Fantasy/Sci-fi: His Dark Materials Series 2 (BBC One/BBC iPlayer every Sunday from 8th November)
After a strong debut run, the new adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s multi-award-winning fantasy trilogy has returned for a second series – this time concentrating on The Northern Lights’ sequel, The Subtle Knife. Without giving too much away of the story so far, young heroine Lyra (Dafne Keen) continues to navigate her identity as fate causes her to join forces with another. Dust, daemons and dark magic make a welcome return to the steam-punkish saga, as worlds literally collide, witches are a force to be reckoned with and Andrew Scott joins the cast as the mysterious figure, Colonel Parry. Series 1 is also available to catch up now on iPlayer.
If you liked this, you’ll enjoy… Carnival Row, available on Amazon Prime
Crime/Mystery: Enola Holmes (Netflix)
This is a light-hearted, witty tale for all to enjoy, and not just for the die-hard fans of Sherlock Holmes. There is no disguising the notoriety of the famous detective’s name, but his younger sister Enola refuses to live under the shadow of her older brothers. A delightful and whimsical adventure ensues, where we join Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) as a feisty and headstrong young woman determined to uncover the mystery of her mother’s disappearance – on her own terms of course. But when she runs into a young Lord on the run, things start to get even more complex. Overall a fun escapade into Victorian London, with a fresh modern twist (bountiful use of breaking the fourth wall) and an engaging script, we’re all certainly eager for Miss Enola to be given her own series after this excellent first outing.
If you liked this, you’ll enjoy… Sherlock, available on Netflix.
Period Drama: All Creatures Great and Small (Channel 5/My 5)
The charming and heart-warming story that has touched the hearts of many has been brought to the screen for a new generation to mark the 50th anniversary of James Herriot’s beloved semi-autobiographical book series. An absolute joy from start to finish, we meet James as a young trainee vet who gets the job of assistant to unconventional practitioner Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Set in the rural Yorkshire dales during the 1930s, the story follows Herriot’s personal and professional challenges on his daily rounds, along with Siegfried’s unruly brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse). There’s confrontations aplenty for the vet with both animals and people (including guest star Diana Rigg in one of her final roles) and not least experiencing the pangs of love with farmer’s daughter Helen (Rachel Shenton). You’ll realise just how fond you’ve become of the show over just six episodes, but the good news is a Christmas special is on the way and a renewed second series.
If you liked this, you’ll enjoy… The Durrells, available on Netflix
And in case you missed it the first time round…
Harlots (Series 1-3, BBC iPlayer)
Originally broadcast on now disbanded ITV Encore and Hulu in the US, all three series of this viciously funny and addictive series is available now on iPlayer to stream in its entirety. Be transported back to 18th century London, where rival brothel madams Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton) and Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville) fight it out to climb the social ladder. But this is a ruthless society where a woman only had her wits and her body to support herself, and sex sells like nothing else. It’s bold, vivacious and modern, sprawling from the murky underbelly of urban life to aristocratic grandeur – but anything goes when a harlot is to make her way in the world.
If you liked this, you’ll enjoy… Versailles, available on Amazon Prime.