All the compelling new dramas on TV in 2023
There's little else we love more than relaxing on the sofa and watching some gripping telly of an evening, so luckily for us we spoiled for choice with all the compelling TV dramas coming our way this year.
Upcoming highlights include BBC One's lavish adaptation of Great Expectations, with Olivia Colman playing the iconic Miss Havisham; Netflix's Bridgerton spinoff focusing on Queen Charlotte's origin story; Gemma Whelan returning as DS Sarah Collins for series two of ITV's crime drama The Tower, and Michelle Keegan starring in BBC One drama Ten Pound Poms, set in Australia post-World War II.
ITV has also just confirmed a new climate change thriller starring Peaky Blinders actor Sophie Rundle.
Whether you love dramas, thrillers or police procedurals, there's something for everyone.
Here's a look at some of the upcoming TV series set to launch later this year, from adaptations of popular novels, factual dramas to brand-new stories, featuring stellar acting talent...
Daisy and the Six
Daisy and the Six, Prime Video's adaption of Taylor Jenkins' beloved best-selling novel of the same title, finally has a release date.
The series – produced by Amazon Studios and Reese Witherspoon's production company Hello Sunshine – follows the story of the iconic 1970s band, fronted by two feuding yet charismatic lead singers, Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne. It will launch on Prime Video on 3rd March.
Drawn together by personal and artistic chemistry, their complicated musical partnership catapulted the band from obscurity to unbelievable fame. And then, after a sold-out show at Chicago's Soldier Field, they suddenly called it quits. Now, decades later, the band members finally agree to reveal the truth.
The stellar cast includes Riley Keough as Daisy Jones, Sam Claflin as Billy Dunne, Camila Morrone as Camila Dunne, Will Harrison as Graham Dunne, Suki Waterhouse as Karen Sirko, Josh Whitehouse as Eddie Roundtree, Sebastian Chacon as Warren Rojas, Nabiyah Be as Simone Jackson, and Tom Wright as Teddy Price, with a special guest appearance by Timothy Olyphant as Rod Reyes.
Daisy and the Six will launch on Prime Video on 3rd March.
The BBC has announced Grenfell, a forthcoming factual drama about the 2017 fire at Grenfell Tower in West London which killed 72 people, impacted the lives of thousands more, and left a community grieving in its wake.
The drama will draw on over five years of research – taking in public sources, the inquiry hearings and extensive interviews conducted by writer-director Peter Kosminsky and associate producer Ahmed Peerbux – to give a comprehensive account of the events leading up to, during, and after the devastating fire which took place on 14 June 2017.
The BBC says: "Told from multiple perspectives, the three-part series will shine a light on the human stories of those caught up in the tragedy, exploring the profound impact of Grenfell on survivors, the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost, the firefighters on duty that night, and the wider community.
"The shockwaves of Grenfell were felt all over the country. This drama will ask not only how this terrible tragedy was able to occur, but also what we can learn to ensure that the events at Grenfell can never happen again elsewhere."
Writer and director Peter Kosminsky says: "Occasionally, events occur in our national story which touch us all. The fire at Grenfell Tower is such an event. We remember what we were doing when we heard about it, remember the pictures, the saturation coverage. And yet, despite this, despite the many newspaper pages and TV hours devoted to the story, we may be left with a less than clear sense of exactly what happened, what went wrong. In our drama, we attempt to pick our way through hours of public testimony, as well as original interviews conducted by our team, to reach the heart of this catastrophe: how such a thing can have happened; how we can avoid it ever happening again."
Grenfell will launch on BBC One later this year.
After the Flood
Gentleman Jack's Sophie Rundle stars in ITV's climate change mystery thriller, After the Flood.
The six-part series is set in a town hit by a devastating flood. When an unidentified man is found dead in a lift in an underground car park, police assume he became trapped as the waters rose, and as the investigation unfolds PC Joanna Marshall, played by Sophie, becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to him.
The mystery unfolds across the series while we also see the real impact of climate change on the lives of residents in this small town.
Philip Glenister takes on the role of property developer Jack Radcliffe and Lorraine Ashbourne is confirmed to play Jo's mother, Molly.
Sophie said in a statement: "I am really thrilled to be joining After the Flood. Jo is a brilliantly bold, compelling protagonist. The story is sharp, intriguing and articulate about the climate crisis and the impact on the communities it is directly affecting. There are so many people I’m really looking forward to working with on this project, I can’t wait to get started."
After the Flood will launch on ITV1 and ITVX.
Daisy Jones and the Six, Prime's adaptation of Taylor Jenkins' best-selling novel,
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Netflix has confirmed the release date for Shonda Rhimes' Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story – the upcoming prequel series centred on Queen Charlotte's rise to prominence and power.
This Bridgerton-verse limited drama tells the story of how the young Queen's marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift, creating the world of the Ton inherited by the characters in Bridgerton.
The cast includes Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Adjoa Andoh (Lady Agatha Danbury) and Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet Bridgerton) reprise their roles from Bridgerton in this series.
India Amarteifio plays Young Queen Charlotte. Michelle Fairley plays Princess Augusta. Corey Mylchreest plays Young King George. Arsema Thomas plays Young Agatha Danbury.
Rounding out the cast are Sam Clemmett as Young Brimsley, Freddie Dennis as Reynolds, Richard Cunningham as Lord Bute, Tunji Kasim as Adolphus, Rob Maloney as the Royal Doctor, Cyril Nri as Lord Danbury, and Hugh Sachs as Brimsley (older).
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story will launch on Netflix on May 4th.
Ten Pound Poms
Michelle Keegan will star in BBC's original drama series Ten Pound Poms, which follows a group of Brits as they leave dreary post-war Britain in 1956 to embark on a life-altering adventure in Australia.
Faye Marsey and Warren Brown join the cast alongside Australian actors Rob Collins (Mystery Road, Firebite), Leon Ford (Elvis, The Light Between Oceans), Declan Coyle (Long Black, Life of Jess), David Field (Shantaram, Preacher), Stephen Curry (Hounds of Love, The Castle), Hattie Hook (Savage River, Of An Age), Finn Treacy (The Portable Door, Young Rock) and Emma Hamilton.
BBC's synopsis reads: "For only a tenner, the group of expats have been promised a better house, better job prospects and a better quality of life by the sea in sun-soaked Australia. But life down under isn’t exactly the idyllic dream the new arrivals have been promised. Struggling with their new identity as immigrants, we follow their triumphs and pitfalls as they adapt to a new life in a new country far from Britain and familiarity.
"At the heart of the drama are Annie (Faye Marsay) and Terry Roberts (Warren Brown). They try to make the best of the situation for their family, but the poor living conditions at the migrant hostel and local attitudes towards immigrants test them in ways they couldn’t have imagined. They aren’t the only people at the hostel avoiding the truth.
"Kate (Michelle Keegan) is a young nurse who arrives without her fiancé and will do whatever it takes to try and rewrite her devastating past. Bill (Leon Ford) has lost his family business back home and is so desperate to prove he's living the Australian dream that he’ll stop at nothing in order to get a lifestyle he can't sustain. Teenager Stevie (Declan Coyle) comes from a troubled background and hopes to use this new adventure to escape his oppressive father. Meanwhile, Ron (Rob Collins), an Indigenous Australian war veteran, struggles with feeling like an outsider in his own country."
BAFTA-winning writer Danny Brocklehurst has created the six-parter. Filming in Australia is officially underway.
Ten Pound Poms will arrive on BBC One soon.
Candice Carty-Williams, author of the bestselling novel Queenie, will make her screenwriting debut with BBC One and Netflix's Champion.
The show tells the explosive story of what happens when fame collides with family.
Déja J Bowens joins the cast with her TV debut alongside Malcolm Kamulete (Top Boy, Ill Manors), music sensation Ray BLK (also her TV debut), Nadine Marshall (Sherwood, Small Axe), Ray Fearon (His Dark Materials, Beauty and the Beast) and Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Top Boy).
The musical drama also stars Kerim Hassan, Adeyinka Akinrinade, Tom Forbes, Genesis Lynea, Karl Collins, Francis Lovehall, Corey Weekes and Rachel Adedeji.
BBC says: "Rap sensation Bosco Champion is home from prison, and ready to dominate the music industry once more. But when his dutiful younger sister Vita’s own talent is discovered by Bosco’s rival, Bulla, she steps out of her brother's shadow to become a performer in her own right, setting the Champion siblings against one another and tearing apart the whole family in the process.
"A love letter to Black British music set in south London, Champion is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture."
Candice Carty-Williams said in a statement: "Champion is a celebration of Black music and of a Black family, however fragmented that family might be, and I can’t wait for the world to see their story. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to BBC One and iPlayer in the U.K. and Netflix globally a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is my dream, as is working with some of the best producers and songwriters making music today to create original tracks for the show."
Champion will launch on BBC One and Netflix.
Help writer Jack Thorne has created another devastating and thought-provoking fictional drama called Best Interests for BBC One.
The four-part family drama will star Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen as married couple Nicci and Andrew, who have two daughters – Katie played by Alison Oliver (Conversation with Friends) and Marnie played by Niamh Moriarty.
The BBC says: "Marnie has a life-threatening condition. The doctors believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die, but her loving family disagree. And so begins a fight that will take them through every stage of a legal process, as they struggle to contemplate this huge decision. Who decides? And in whose best interests will it be? This is a story of a family driven apart by having to make choices no parent would ever want to make."
The cast also includes Noma Dumezweni (The Undoing) as Samantha, Chizzy Akudolu (Holby City) as Mercy, Des McAleer (Hope Street) as Eddie, Mat Fraser (His Dark Materials) as Greg, Gary Beadle (Grantchester) as Frank, Jack Morris (Strike) as Tom, Pippa Haywood (Bodyguard) as Judge Spottiswood, Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) as Fred, Lucian Msamati (Gangs of London) as Derek and Lisa McGrillis (Mum) as Brenda.
Best Interests will air on BBC One.
Jasmine Jobson will take the lead role of Lisa in gripping psychological thriller, Platform 7, adapted from the best-selling novel by Louise Doughty.
Jasmine, most recently known for her Bafta-nominated role as Jaq in Top Boy, will be joined by Toby Regbo as Matt, Yaamin Chowdhury as Akash and Phil Davis as Edward.
"I'm super excited to be taking the lead in this amazing psychological thriller, based on Louise Doughty’s phenomenal best-selling novel," Jasmine said in a statement. "I'm also thrilled that I get to show audiences a completely different side to what I can do on screen with this character."
Platform 7 will launch on ITVX soon.
Jenna Coleman will star opposite Oliver Jackson-Cohen in Prime Video's adaptation of B.E. Jones' novel of the same name, Wilderness.
The thriller follows British couple Liv (Coleman) and Will (Jackson-Cohen) who seem to have it all: a rock-solid marriage; a glamorous new life in New York thousands of miles from their provincial hometown; and still young enough to feel that their whole lives are ahead of them. Until Liv learns about Will’s affair.
Heartbreak is swiftly followed by another emotion: fury. Revenge is her only option, and when Will proposes a trip around America’s epic National Parks to give their relationship a fresh start, Liv knows just how to get it... Wilderness is a twisted love story, where a dream holiday and a supposedly 'happily-ever-after' quickly turns into a living nightmare.
Ashley Benson (Her Smell, Pretty Little Liars) has joined the cast of Wilderness as Cara, alongside Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under) as Garth, Claire Rushbrook (Sherwood) as Caryl, Marsha Stephanie Blake (Orange is the New Black) as Det. Rawlins and Morgana Van Peebles (Superstition) as Ash. Jonathan Keltz (Reign) also joins the cast as Det. Wiseman and Talia Balsam (Divorce) as Bonnie.
Wilderness will launch on Prime Video.
Helena Bonham Carter stars as the late TV legend Noele Gordon in the three-part drama Nolly, from It's a Sin's Russel T Davies.
Noele (or Nolly to her friends) was a legend in her own lifetime. As flame-haired widow Meg Richardson in the long-running soap opera Crossroads, she was one of the most famous people in Britain. Then in 1981, at the height of the show’s success and the peak of Nolly’s fame, she was axed without ceremony, without warning and with no explanation. With the boss’s words "all good things must come to an end" ringing in her ears, Noele Gordon found herself thrown out of the show that was her life for over 18 years.
ITV says: "Nolly is a bold exploration of how the establishment turns on women who refuse to play by the rules, the women it cannot understand and the women it fears. And it is a love letter to a legend of television, and to the madcap soap she starred in, Nolly is an outrageously fun and wildly entertaining ride through Noele Gordon’s most tumultuous years, and a sharp, affectionate and heart-breaking portrait of a forgotten icon."
Augustus Prew (The Morning Show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power) joins the cast as Tony Adams, Nolly's Crossroads co-star, devoted friend, confidante, and her occasional chauffer.
Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, League of Gentleman, Doctor Who) joins as inimitable entertainer Larry Grayson, who also shared a close and enduring friendship with Gordon.
Nolly is airing on ITVX now.
The Hunt for Raoul Moat
ITV has announced the start of filming for true crime drama The Hunt for Raoul Moat starring Lee Inglby. The series will explore the human tragedies that lay behind Britain’s biggest manhunt, told through the eyes of those who sought to bring a violent killer to justice.
The drama focuses on the innocent victims of Moat's crimes – Christopher Brown, Samantha Stobbart and PC David Rathband; the police officers who put themselves in the firing line in their quest to apprehend Moat; and the local journalist who sought to tell Moat’s real story in a landscape of sensationalist reporting and social media provocation.
Lee Ingleby (Criminal UK, The A Word, Inspector George Gently) plays Neil Adamson, a senior Northumbria Police Officer leading the race against time to apprehend Moat.
Sonya Cassidy (The Man Who Fell to Earth, The Last Kingdom, Lodge 49) plays local journalist Diane Barnwell, Vineeta Rishi (Vera, Collateral, Three Girls) as Nisha Roberts, Sally Messham (Artemis Fowl, Doc Martin, Our Ladies) as Samantha Stobbart, Matt Stokoe (Cursed, Jamestown, Bodyguard) as Raoul Moat and Josef Davis (Young Wallander, Chernobyl, Silent Witness) as Christopher Brown.
The Hunt for Raoul Moat will air on ITV.
Medical thriller Malpractice follows battle-hardened doctor Dr Lucinda Edwards, played by Niamh Algar, who we meet towards the end of a nightmare shift. After the death of an opioid overdose victim, Edith Owusu, and despite the support of her medical supervisor, Dr Leo Harris (James Purefoy), Edith's grieving father Sir Anthony Owusu (Brian Bovell) demands an enquiry into Lucinda’s actions on the fateful night.
ITV says: "Leading the medical investigation are Dr Norma Callahan played by Helen Behan (Holding, The Virtues) and Lucinda’s former colleague, Dr George Adjei, played by Jordan Kouamé (Megalomania). While George feels this was an unavoidable tragedy, Norma is suspicious of Lucinda's behaviour and decisions in the lead up to Edith’s death.
"As the pressure of the investigation intensifies, Lucinda’s relationship with husband Tom, played by Lorne MacFadyen (Pistol, Vigil) starts to fracture, and her confident professional exterior begins to crack. Is Lucinda hiding something?"
Through the cat and mouse thriller of the medical investigation, Malpractice tells the story of a damaged doctor caught up in a dangerous conspiracy.
Malpractice arrives on ITV later this year.
The BBC has released the first trailer for Peaky Blinder creator Steven Knight's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel, Great Expectations. Oscar winner Olivia Colman will lead the stellar cast as Miss Havisham alongside Fionn Whitehead as Pip, Ashley Thomas, Johnny Harris, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Hayley Squires, Owen McDonnell, Trystan Gravelle and Matt Berry.
Great Expectations tells the coming-of-age story of an orphan nicknamed Pip, who yearns for a greater lot in life until a twist of fate introduces him to the mysterious and eccentric Miss Havisham (Colman) and Estella (Brune-Franklin), showing him a dark world of possibilities.
Under the great expectations placed upon him, Pip will have to work out the cost of this new world and whether it will truly make him the man he wishes to be.
Great Expectations will air on BBC One later this year.
You & Me
Harry Lawtey, Jessica Barden and Sophia Brown star in ITV's contemporary romantic comedy You and Me, set in London.
ITV says: "Lawtey plays Ben, a young northerner in London who finds his life changed forever when catastrophe strikes on the happiest day of his life. Jessica Barden plays Emma, a rising theatre star who hides tragedy behind her success. And Sophia Brown plays Jess, a young woman whose life takes an unexpected turn when she’s running for a bus… "
You & Me is a quintessentially modern love story shot through with the twists, turns and surprises of a gripping thriller. It explores what it means to find love, what it means to lose love, and what it takes to try and love once again.
Julie Hesmondhalgh, Andi Osho, Lily Newmark and Janie Dee also star in the series.
You & Me will premiere on ITV’s new, free streaming service ITVX before arriving on ITV.
Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville and Dominic Cooper lead BBC's major crime drama Gold, inspired by the iconic true story of the Brink's-Mat robbery – aka the 'crime of the Century', and the decades-long chain of events that followed.
BBC's synopsis reads: "On the 26th November 1983, six armed men broke into the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow Airport, and inadvertently stumbled across gold bullion worth £26m. What started as 'a typical Old Kent Road armed robbery' according to detectives at the time, became a seminal event in British criminal history, remarkable not only for the scale of the theft, at the time the biggest in world history, but for its wider legacy.
"The disposal of the bullion caused the birth of large-scale international money laundering, provided the dirty money that helped fuel the London Docklands property boom, united blue and white collar criminals and left controversy and murder in its wake.
"Inspired by extensive research and interviews with some of those involved in the events, The Gold is a pulsating dramatisation which takes a journey into a 1980s world awash with cheap money and loosened morals to tell this extraordinary and epic story for the first time in its entirety."
The cast also includes Jack Lowden (Small Axe: Mangrove, Slow Horses), Charlotte Spencer (The Duke, Cinderella), Tom Cullen (Becoming Elizabeth, Black Mirror), Emun Elliott (Guilt, Old), Sean Harris (Southcliffe, Mission: Impossible), Ellora Torchia (Ali and Ava, Midsommar) and Stefanie Martini (Prime Suspect, The Last Kingdom).
The Gold is airing on BBC One and the entire series is available to stream on BBC iPlayer now.
The Tower II: Death Message
Gentleman Jack's Gemma Whelan returns as DS Sarah Collins in The Tower II: Death Message, based on Kate London's acclaimed second novel, which will be adapted by screenwriter Patrick Harbinson.
Starring alongside Whelan is Tahirah Sharif, who was recently BAFTA-nominated for her role as PC Lizzie Adama, alongside Emmett J Scanlan as DI Kieran Shaw and Jimmy Akingbola as DC Steve Bradshaw.
Commented Polly Hill: “It’s a real thrill to be recommissioning The Tower with an excellent cast and script from Patrick Harbinson and the team at Mammoth Screen. The characters, brilliantly created by novelist Kate London, certainly resonated with our audience who are keen to learn what happens next.”
The Tower II will air on ITV soon.
The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies
The BBC has confirmed filming has begun on the five-part unconventional thriller, The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies, the first original series from sibling writing duo Penelope and Ginny Skinner.
This is the story of two very different women (Alice Newman and Cheryl Harker) and the conman (Dr Rob Chance) they have in common; a dark, funny, and unpredictable thriller about three remarkable characters trapped in a tangled triangle of complexly layered half-truths and lies of epic proportions.
Marianne Jean-Baptiste (In Fabric, Boxing Day), Alistair Petrie (Sex Education, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Night Manager) and Rebekah Staton (Raised by Wolves, Home) lead the cast as Cheryl, Rob and Alice respectively.
The cast also includes Romola Garai (The Hour, Emma, Atonement), Derek Jacobi (Last Tango in Halifax, The Crown, Gladiator), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh, Mindhorn, Nathan Barley), Karl Johnson (Hot Fuzz, Lark Rise to Candleford) and Ellie Haddington (Enola Holmes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).
The Following Events Are Based On A Pack Of Lies will air on BBC One.
Gentleman Jack's Suranne Jones is both co-writer and star of Maryland, a relationship drama about two sisters who have grown apart over the years, but through tragic events learn to love and respect one another all over again.
The three-parter will centre on the relationship between the sisters, who have been driven apart by complex family dynamics, becoming estranged and wrapped up in their own lives.
Jones said in a statement: "Maryland delves into family dynamics and the way in which we ‘label’ each other, sometimes never letting ourselves or our siblings break free from those roles. We look at how we grow apart from one another and how sometimes we don't really know anything about the people we call our own.
"I love how complex sibling relationships can be and I’m thrilled we get to do it over 3 wonderful hours and not as a ‘side story’. Maryland is an uncomfortable, funny and sometimes difficult story with two sisters at its heart and we can’t wait to take our audience along for the ride."
Jones will co-create the series with Anne-Marie O’Connor.
Maryland will air on ITV.
BBC has released the first look at crime thriller Wolf, starring Ukweli Roach and adapted from Mo Hayder's acclaimed Jack Caffery novels.
BBC says: "DI Jack Caffery is a young man searching for himself. Obsessed with the neighbour he believes murdered his 10-year-old brother in the nineties, Jack finds himself trying to right the wrongs of others, but at what cost?
"In an isolated house in Monmouthshire, the wealthy Anchor-Ferrers family find themselves the victims of a psychopath’s cruel games, trapped and terrorised. When the two narratives collide, it’s a thrilling, nail-biting and deeply disturbing race against time."
The cast also includes Sacha Dhawan (Doctor Who, Marvel’s Iron Fist) as Honey, Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, Riviera) as Molina, mismatched professionals forced together on a job; Sian Reese-Williams (Hidden, Line of Duty) as DI Maia Lincoln, a woman with a case to prove; Juliet Stevenson (Out Of Her Mind, Bend It Like Beckham) as Matilda Anchor-Ferrers, an intelligent yet neurotic housewife and Owen Teale (Line of Duty, Game of Thrones) as Oliver Anchor-Ferrers, Matilda’s wealthy and well-connected husband.
Wolf will air on BBC One soon.
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