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Autumn TV: Stylist’s guide to the best shows coming this season

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Lauren Geall
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His Dark Materials

With mysterious BBC thriller Dublin Murders arriving on 14 October and season three of The Crown just around the corner, our autumn TV schedules are looking pretty good. These are Stylist’s picks of the best dramas to catch this season from across the BBC, ITV, Netflix, Sky and more…     

Autumn is well and truly upon us, and we’re so here for it.

Alongside the annual ritual of cracking out the coats and scarves and polishing up our boots, we’re ready to snuggle up on the sofa under the cover of a soft and cosy blanket, accompanied by some of the best TV the season has to offer.

Because, if you weren’t already aware, autumn is the season for TV: as the rain pours, the wind blows and the nights draw in, there’s no better excuse than to ditch all your plans and indulge in a brand new series. 

It makes sense then that with the season of TV coming upon us, the country’s broadcasters are bringing out the big guns when it comes to high-intensity dramas, laugh-out-loud comedies and some fantastic literary adaptations. From the BBC’s The Capture (which has been touted “the new Bodyguard”), to season three of Netflix’s hit historical drama The Crown there’s loads to enjoy and look forward to.

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So without further ado, here is Stylist’s ultimate guide to all the best TV shows you need to add to your watch list this autumn – you can thank us later.

Best Autumn TV on the BBC

  • The Capture

    Best Autumn TV: The Capture
    Best Autumn TV: Holliday Grainger in The Capture.

    Who is in The Capture?

    Laura Haddock, Paul Ritter, Holliday Grainger, Ralph Ineson, Sharon Rooney, Callum Turner.

    Where and when can I watch The Capture?

    The Capture is on Tuesday nights at 9pm, from the 3 September to 8 October on BBC One. You can catch the first five episodes of the series on BBC iPlayer now by following the link below.

    What do we know about The Capture so far?

    The first three episodes have taken audiences by storm, so we’re very excited for the rest of the series. In fact, The Capture has been touted “the new Bodyguard,” so it’s shaping up to fill some pretty big shoes. The BBC’s latest crime thriller has attracted a lot of attention ever since it was first announced, and with its star-studded cast and attention-grabbing trailer, that’s not much of a surprise.

    The story follows ex-soldier Shaun Emery (Callum Turner) who has his conviction for murder in Afghanistan overturned after a court in London finds the video evidence used to implicate him was flawed. However, after he returns to normal life with his daughter in London, a piece of CCTV footage from night out threatens his freedom once again.

    Get Stylist’s latest take on The Capture here.

  • World On Fire

    Best Autumn TV: World On Fire
    Best Autumn TV: World On Fire

    Who is in World On Fire?

    Helen Hunt, Sean Bean, Lesley Manville, John Hauer-King, Julia Brown.

    Where and when can I watch World On Fire?

    World On Fire started on the 29 September and will run for seven episodes on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC One. You can catch the first episode of World On Fire on BBC iPlayer now by following the link below.

    What do we know about World On Fire so far?

    World On Fire is set to be a gripping, dramatic and emotional drama which will follow the “intertwining fates” of people from across Britain, Poland, France and Germany during the first year of the Second World War. Unearthing the human stories behind this massive historical event, World On Fire will follow personal stories of love, life, loss and everything in between. 

    Watch the trailer for World On Fire here.

  • Giri/Haji

    Best Autumn TV: Giri/Haji
    Best Autumn TV: Giri/Haji

    Who is in Giri/Haji?

    Kelly Macdonald, Takehiro Hira, Yosuke Kubozuka, Justin Long, Charlie Creed-Miles.

    Where and when can I watch Giri/Haji?

    Giri/Haji starts on Thursday 17 October on BBC Two at 9pm, and will run for eight episodes. There are also plans for the show to be released internationally via Netflix in 2020.

    What do we know about Giri/Haji so far?

    Giri/Haji (which translates to Duty/Shame in English) is an international drama set between both Tokyo and London. The story follows Kenzo (Takehiro Hira), a Tokyo-based detective and family man who has to travel to London after his brother, Yuto (Yosuke Kubozuka), goes missing.

    But once he arrives in London, Kenzo grows closer to the Met detective looking into the case his brother found himself entangled in before his disappearance, entangling his personal life with his professional one in a move which could spell disaster for his marriage.  

    Watch the trailer for Giri/Haji here.

  • Dublin Murders

    Best Autumn TV: Dublin Murders
    Best Autumn TV: Dublin Murders

    Who is in Dublin Murders?

    Killian Scott, Sarah Greene, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Moe Dunford

    Where and when can I watch Dublin Murders?

    Dublin Murders starts on Monday 14 October, with the second episode coming on Tuesday 15 October. The programme will continue with two episodes per week for eight episodes on BBC One.

    What do we know about Dublin Murders so far?

    This new crime drama, which is based on Tana French’s best-selling Dublin Murder Squad series, follows two murder investigations led by detectives Rob Reilly (Killian Scott) and Cassie Maddox (Sarah Greene).

    Although there’s a notable lack of information about the plot (which only serves to make it twice as mysterious and enticing), we do know the two murders are connected by a shared theme.

    Watch the trailer for Dublin Murders here.

  • His Dark Materials

    His Dark Materials
    Best Autumn TV: His Dark Materials

    Who is in His Dark Materials?

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

    Where and when can I watch His Dark Materials?

    His Dark Materials will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 3 November, and will run for eight episodes.

    What do we know about His Dark Materials so far?

    His Dark Materials is an adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s hit series of novels, which follow the story of a young girl called Lyra. Set in a pre-industrial alternative universe where people are accompanied by daemons (physical manifestations of their soul), the story begins at Jordan College, Oxford, where Lyra lives quiet life among the academics. 

    However, after a new visitor arrives at the college and whisks Lyra off on a mysterious adventure, the young girl becomes involved in an unexpected turn of events which will see her set off on a truly epic adventure.

    Read Stylist’s guide to everything you need to know about His Dark Materials, including the trailer, here.

  • The War Of The Worlds

    The War Of The Worlds
    Best Autumn TV: The War Of The Worlds

    Who is in The War Of The Worlds?

    Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall, Robert Carlyle, Rupert Graves

    Where and when can I watch The War Of The Worlds?

    We haven’t got any confirmed dates yet, but we do know the show will run for three episodes on BBC One.

    What do we know about The War Of The Worlds so far?

    The three-part series is an adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel of the same name, and is set in Edwardian England during an alien invasion which threatens humanity. 

    The first alien invasion story in literature, The War Of The Worlds follows the story of George and his partner Amy as they defy society to start a life together: but there’s an extra-terrestrial threat waiting just around the corner. 

Best Autumn TV on ITV

  • A Confession

    Best Autumn TV: A Confession
    Best Autumn TV: A Confession

    Who is in A Confession?

    Martin Freeman, Siobhan Finneran, Imelda Staunton, Charlie Cooper, Joe Absolom, Stephanie Hyam.

    Where and when can I watch A Confession?

    The show debuted on 9pm at Monday 2 September, and the final episode is set to air tomorrow (7 October). You can catch-up on A Confession on ITV Hub by clicking on the link below.

    What do we know about A Confession so far?

    A Confession is a true crime drama based on the story Superintendent Steve Fulcher, who breached police protocol during the hunt for missing girl Sian O’Callaghan in Swindon in 2011.

    O’Callaghan was 22 when she went missing on a night out in Swindon in March 2011 – and Superintendent Fulcher led a team of investigators to piece together the last moments before her disappearance, taking CCTV footage from the club and retracing her steps home. After suspicions led him to Christopher Halliwell, a local taxi driver, Fulcher extracted a confession from him – but broke a number of rules in doing so.

    Watch the trailer for A Confession here.

Best Autumn TV on Netflix

  • Unbelievable

    Best Autumn TV: Unbelievable
    Best Autumn TV: Unbelievable

    Who is in Unbelievable?

    Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Marrit Wever, Danielle Macdonald.

    Where and when can I watch Unbelievable?

    Unbelievable was released on Netflix on 13 September, and consists of eight episodes.

    What do we know about Unbelievable so far?

    We’ve already taken a closer look at this one, but for anyone who hasn’t heard of the story before, here’s a quick overview.

    Unbelievable follows the true story of teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), who faced doubt, suspicion and scepticism when she files a police report claiming that she was raped by a masked intruder in her home. The authorities then deem her story “unbelievable”, and Marie recants her report.

    Meanwhile, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of intruder rapes and partner to catch a potential serial rapist. 

    Read Stylist’s guide to everything you need to know about Unbelievable here.

  • Top Boy

    Best Autumn TV: Top Boy
    Best Autumn TV: Top Boy

    Who is in Top Boy?

    Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson, Micheal Ward, Shone Romulus, Ashley Thomas.

    Where and when can I watch Top Boy?

    Top Boy was released on Netflix on 13 September, and consists of eight episodes.

    What do we know about Top Boy so far?

    This season of Top Boy is actually the third; the first two seasons of Top Boy were broadcast in 2013, and are already available to stream on Netflix.

    The new season will pick up after long-term character Dushane (Ashley Walters) returns to London to reclaim his place at the top of the highly-lucrative drug market, teaming up with his longtime partner Sully (Kane Robinson) who has returned to the streets after time in prison. However, new character Jamie (Micheal Ward), a ruthless and powerful gang-leader, is set to get in the way of those plans.

    Watch the trailer for Top Boy here.

  • Criminal

    Criminal
    Best Autumn TV: Criminal

    Who is in Criminal?

    Katherine Kelly, Lee Ingleby, Nicholas Pinnock, Mark Stanley, Rochenda Sandall, Shubham Saraf, David Tennant, Hayley Atwell.

    Where and when can I watch Criminal?

    Criminal was released on Netflix on 20 September, and consists of three episodes.

    What do we know about Criminal so far?

    Criminal is an intense, stripped-back drama which is set entirely within the confines of a police interview suite. The cat-and-mouse style series will focus entirely on the mental conflict between the police-officer and the suspect they are questioning.

    Netflix has confirmed that the revolutionary procedural is made up of 12 unique stories, taking place in four different countries: France, Spain, Germany and the UK.

    There will be a total of 12 45-minute-long episodes, with three set in each country (and in the local language, too).

    Watch the trailer for Criminal here.

  • The Politician

    Best Autumn TV: The Politician
    Best Autumn TV: The Politician

    Who is in The Politician?

    Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bette Midler, Jessica Lange.

    Where and when can I watch The Politician?

    The Politician was released on Netflix on 27 September, and consists of ten episodes.

    What do we know about The Politician so far?

    The Politician is set to be one of the biggest shows of 2019 thanks to its star-studded cast and big-budget backing.

    The comedy follows the story of Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) as he works his way through the school political system in his bid to become Student Body President. 

    Read Stylist’s guide on everything you need to know about The Politician here.

  • The Crown

    Best Autumn TV: The Crown
    Best Autumn TV: The Crown

    Who is in The Crown?

    Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Watkins, Erin Doherty.

    Where and when can I watch The Crown?

    The Crown will be released on Netflix on 17 November, and consists of ten episodes.

    What do we know about The Crown so far?

    Fan-favourite The Crown is returning for season 3, and this time it’s taking on the years from 1964 right up until 1970. Queen Elizabeth II’s early years were covered in season 2, but this time we’ll see her story unfold. 

    A 20-second clip of Olivia Colman as the Queen was enough to get us all wanting more – and the latest trailer made us all the more excited.

    Read Stylist’s guide to The Crown season three, including the latest trailer, here.

Best Autumn TV on Channel 4

  • The Accident

    Best Autumn TV: The Light
    Best Autumn TV: Sarah Lancashire will star in The Light

    Who is in The Accident?

    Sarah Lancashire, Mark Lewis Jones, Jade Croot, Sidse Babett Knudsen.

    When and where can I watch The Accident?

    We haven’t got any confirmed dates yet, but we do know the show will run for four hour-long episodes on Channel 4.

    What do we know about The Accident so far?

    The Accident will follow the story of a character called Polly (Sarah Lancashire), who is the wife of a local politician in a small Welsh town, as she navigates the aftermath of a catastrophic explosion which leaves her daughter with a lifelong disability.

    But as blame over who and what caused the explosion continues to spread, Polly has to work to keep the community together.

    You can watch the trailer for The Accident here.

  • Adult Material

    Best Autumn TV: Adult Material
    Best Autumn TV: Hayley Squires will star in Adult Material.

    Who is in Adult Material?

    Hayley Squires, Siena Kelly, Kerry Godliman, Joe Dempsie, Julian Ovenden, Rupert Everett.

    When and where can I watch Adult Material?

    We haven’t got any confirmed dates yet, but we do know the show will run for four episodes on Channel 4.

    What do we know about Adult Material so far?

    The drama will examine how the influence of porn on  mainstream culture has affected how we think about and navigate ideas of consent. 

    Adult Material is told from the perspective of Jolene Dollar, a woman who has been working in the porn industry for her whole adult life to earn money to support her three children – but after a chance encounter one day on set, a chain of events threatens to unravel her career, reputation and personal life.

Best Autumn TV on Sky

  • The Loudest Voice

    Best Autumn TV: The Loudest Voice
    Best Autumn TV: The Loudest Voice

    Who is in The Loudest Voice?

    Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller, Seth MacFarlane, Simon McBurney, Annabelle Wallis, Aleska Palladino.

    Where and when can I watch The Loudest Voice?

    The Loudest Voice will run for seven episodes and is available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV now.

    What do we know about The Loudest Voice so far?

    The Loudest Voice follows the story of the founder of the conservative US News Channel Fox News, Roger Ailes, starting in 1995 and covering the next two decades of his life. The television executive was also the Republican Party’s unofficial leader for a time, so the series is set to touch on this too.

    Based on the bestselling 2014 biographical book The Loudest Voice in the Room, The Loudest Voice will document defining moments throughout Ailes’ life, including the sexual harassment accusations and settlements that brought his time at Fox News to an end.

    Watch the trailer for The Loudest Voice here.

  • Temple

    Best Autumn TV: Temple
    Best Autumn TV: Temple

    Who is in Temple?

    Mark Strong, Carice van Houten, Daniel Mays.

    Where and when can I watch Temple?

    Temple will run for eight episodes and is available on Sky One and NOW TV now.

    What do we know about Temple so far?

    Temple follows the story of surgeon Daniel Milton (Mark Strong), whose life is turned upside down when his wife develops a life-threatening illness.

    Refusing to give up, Daniel partners with resourceful “misfit” Lee (Daniel Mays), and the pair start an underground clinic in the network of tunnels which lie underneath Temple tube station. 

    Watch the trailer for Temple here.

  • Catherine The Great

    Best Autumn TV: Catherine The Great
    Best Autumn TV: Catherine The Great

    Who is in Catherine The Great?

    Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Gina McKee, Rory Kinnear, Richard Roxburgh.

    Where and when can I watch Catherine The Great?

    Catherine The Great will run for four episodes and is available on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV now.

    What do we know about Catherine The Great so far?

    The four-part drama will delve into “the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history,” according to Sky. Following the monarch towards the end of her reign, Catherine The Great will take a closer look at the life of Russia’s longest-ruling female leader, who reigned from 1762 until her death in 1796.

    Read Stylist’s guide to Catherine The Great here.

Best Autumn TV on Amazon Prime

  • Modern Love

    Who is in Modern Love?

    Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, Andy Garcia, Julia Garner, John Slattery.

    Where and when can I watch Modern Love?

    Modern Love will run for eight episodes and is available on Amazon Prime from 18 October.

    What do we know about Modern Love so far?

    Modern Love is a romantic comedy anthology series of eight half-hour episodes based on the The New York Times column of the same name.

    The anthology, from filmmaker John Carney, is said to explore love “in all of its complicated and beautiful forms as each standalone episode brings some of the most beloved stories to life with a stellar cast,” according to Amazon. 

    Read Stylist’s guide to everything you need to know about Modern Love, including the trailer, here.

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Images: BBC, ITV, Netflix, Sky, Getty

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