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Much as reoccurring series are great, we all love having a new show with fresh characters to sink our teeth into.
Thankfully, there are plenty of brand new British TV shows on the way this year, which will keep us from going into an end-of-War-and-Peace meltdown and demonstrate that Britain makes some world class drama.
An unusual format, this series will consist of a couple of two-hour long films following the infamous detective, derived from the George Simenon novels. Rowan Atkinson is playing the title role so, if you can get over the fact that he doesn’t always play a moron, it should be an interesting watch. Having seen the first trailer, the production certainly seems atmospheric and intense – a kind of high-end Miss Marple. You just have to get over the nagging feeling that Atkinson is going to stick his pipe up his nose and make nonsensical sounds every time there’s a tense pause.
The Living and the Dead
The BBC have commissioned a period drama (how innovative) about a couple (blah blah blah) who move to a desolate Somerset farm (yawn) and are bombarded with some supernatural ghost shit… wait, what? That’s right, this drama/horror hybrid is bringing something pretty fresh and it looks pretty exciting.
And while we’re on the subject of ‘pretty’, Colin Morgan (Humans, The Fall, Merlin) and Charlotte Spencer (Glue, Stonemouth, Line of Duty) make a very striking couple. They both have super-cool hair, which will look eerie against all the landscape shots. They’re like a pair of edgy kids you’d see on ‘The Kooples’ website, who you’d never be hip enough to hang out with, but find oh so mesmerising. And there will be ghosts, people. Shit-scary ghosts.
For those of you who held a candlelit ceremony when Downton Abbey finished, you may want to reconsider your priorities. But also, rejoice! No-one does costume dramas like the Brits, and ITV have announced an ambitious eight-parter about the life of Queen Victoria, which means eight and a half hours of corsets and curtsying. It stars Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley) as Queen V and Tom Hughes (The Game, Dancing on the Edge) as Prince Albert. We will be following Victoria as she takes up the throne, right through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert – oooh courtship, everyone grab your fans!
The series is in the capable hands of Mammoth, who have done some other pretty great drama series (Endeavour, Poldark), so there are high hopes this will deliver. Oh and to answer the question you daren’t ask: it doesn’t look to be that porny. But there probably will be some heavy breathing and hardcore eye contact.
If all this intensity isn’t your thing, BBC Two have this little gem of a comedy arriving on screens sometime in April. Plus, British TV doesn’t get more British than David Mitchell playing William Shakespeare. We will follow Shakespeare as he fumbles through his burgeoning career as the greatest playwright of all time. With Ben Elton penning the series, it seems the BBC is having a go at making another Blackadder. And why not? We all love Blackadder. Although I assume Rowan Atkinson is too busy being all serious and Maigret-y to squeeze back into his tights.
Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes, Line of Duty) plays Louise Durrell in this new six-part drama from ITV. It’s the 1930s and Louise is running out of dollar, with her husband dead and her unruly children spiralling out of control. She decides she must either marry out of necessity or uproot her family and move to Corfu. Of course, she chooses the latter, because of girl power – who wants to wait 70 years for the Spice Girls anyway? – and a tale of humour and heart follows.
So there you have it, five reasons to stop all your hard work, sit on the sofa with some snacks and put your feet up in 2016. Because we all need encouraging.