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Broadchurch will return. That was the message left on screen after the drama’s second series back in 2015. Though it was less acclaimed than the stunning first series, the last outing managed to continue the Danny Latimer murder case whilst interweaving a new crime and giving both David Tennant and the magnetic Olivia Colman plenty to do. The third series, premiering on February 27th on ITV, turns its focus away from murder. Instead it follows Julie Hesmondhalgh, best known as Haylie from Coronation Street, who plays a victim of sexual assault, and Lenny Henry, who portrays the prime suspect. This series will be the last as head writer Chris Chibnall has left to become the show runner of Doctor Who. Therefore, hopefully we can expect this to be a greatest hits series that brings the brilliance of the first series whilst going out with a bang.
The BBC has two headline dramas showing over the next two weeks. The first is Roots which airs on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC Four. The series is based on the hugely famous 1977 miniseries, which follows the life of the slave Kunta Kinte on an American plantation. Starring Laurence Fishburne, it promises to be gripping having been critically acclaimed when shown in America. Also showing on the BBC is SS-GB. This alternate history drama, based on the bestselling novel by Len Deighton, is set in a UK occupied by Germany during the Second World War. Think of it as a British alternative to Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.
Over on Channel 4, the new season of Homeland continues with Claire Danes returning as bipolar CIA analyst Carrie Matheson. Homeland has a mixed history, with excellent first, second, and fourth series, an appalling third season, and mixed fifth season. Hopefully this series, the show’s sixth, will deliver the goods as it follows Carrie back in the CIA whilst America goes through an uncertain Presidential transition (sounds familiar). Homeland is at its worst a clichéd soap opera, and at its best: the greatest thriller on television. If you need convincing, seasons 1-4 are now streaming on Netflix.
There is even more television to explore online. Over on BBC iPlayer is The Moorside, based on the disappearance of Shannon Matthews. Starring Sheridan Smith, the drama follows the girl’s disappearance as well as the trial of her kidnapper. If you’re not familiar with the events that took place in Dewsbury in 2008, the story is shocking. Sheridan Smith is brilliant as always, in a harrowing biopic that both celebrates and criticises humanity. Available on Netflix is A Series of Unfortunate Events starring Neil Patrick Harris, which was released in January and is a perfect realisation of the tragic novels we all grew up with. It captures the essence of the books more than the 2003 cinematic adaptation, and is filled with famous faces and dark humour. However, if you missed the best drama of January – Sky Atlantic’s The Affair – which is perhaps also the best thing on television, it is available in full on Sky Go. Following an extramarital relationship from multiple points of view, it is always the highlight of the winter schedule.