In the last few years, original British dramas like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Misfits have become international hits with considerable fandoms. Hypable’s Harri Sargeant takes a look at new upcoming dramas that could match the popularity and quality of their predecessors.

As American broadcasters have announced their fall line-ups over the last few weeks, it looks like we are in for another turbulent year of television. From the controversial Elementary and jumping-on-the-bandwagon Beauty and The Beast to the eagerly anticipated Revolution and dare-we-get-our-hopes-up Arrow, it looks like the United States will be treating the world to a massive range of new dramas and comedies of varying quality. In recent weeks we have been bombarded with announcements, teasers and promos in an effort to court loyal viewers a couple of months early.

Over here in Britain though, we do things a bit differently. Instead of a big, glitzy ceremony and months of speculation, our channels simply commission a series quietly when they are presented with something that interests them. It may be a more artistically credible approach to green-lighting drama, but it can make it difficult to choose what you intend to watch. As an ambassador and passionate fan of the dramatic works of my home country (nearly all of the fandoms I cover for Hypable are British-made television shows), I try my best to stay informed about the sluggish trickle of announcements. For those of you who don’t live in the U.K. or miss the muted announcements – and it’s all too easy to do so – I’ve collated a list of upcoming British dramas that you should look out for. Here’s hoping that it will help you find something to watch when you get a craving for tea, Union Jacks and miserable weather.

Wizards vs. Aliens


“Tom Clarke is a seemingly ordinary boy who loves football. He lives with his dad Michael and grandmother Ursula in an ordinary house in an ordinary street – but there’s something different about Tom. He has an astonishing secret – his family are Wizards! When the alien Nekross arrive on Earth hungry for magic, there’s big, big trouble in store for all wizardkind.

“With the help of his friend and science super-brain Benny, Tom must stop them – but will these two unlikely heroes succeed, or will the Nekross devour all the magic on Earth with disastrous results for the whole planet?”

It sounds like a ludicrous concept, but this new children’s drama is the creation of Russell T. Davies, the man the world has to thank for bringing Doctor Who back to our screens and cementing its place in the psyche of a whole new generation. While Wizards vs. Aliens seems more Sarah Jane Adventures than Torchwood, don’t let the family-friendly premise put you off. Rusty is a master of genre-bending television, and WvsA could become essential viewing for all ages.

Due to air in autumn 2012.

Watch if you like: Doctor Who

Bert and Dickie


“Thrown together just five weeks before the final of the 1948 London Olympics, Bert Bushnell and Dickie Burnell not only pushed physical and emotional limits, but also rose above distinctions of birth and class to become Olympic gold medallists.

“Bert and Dickie’s personal battle reflects a much greater struggle as London prepares to host the Olympic Games. In 1948, just three years after the end of the Second World War, London is half-destroyed. But, determined not to “let the Games die”, the British Olympic Committee convinces Prime Minister Attlee that the Olympics could help bring the country back together – and the Austerity Olympics are born.”

The name of star Matt Smith is enough to ensure that this television movie is universally popular, with the actor taking a break from traversing time and space as The Doctor to star alongside Sam Hoare in a touching period drama about two unlikely heroes. The drama carefully coincides with the start of this year’s London Olympics, and is sure to be a feel-good affair to get even the laziest couch potato in the mood for a hundred meter sprint.

No U.K. air date has yet been set.

Watch if you like: Christopher and His Kind, Downton Abbey

Mayday


“When a young girl goes missing on her way to the Mayday parade, the small community in which she lives looks to one another for answers.

“But beneath the picture-postcard idyll lies a sinister other world and the dark woods teem with myth.

“As the community reels from Hattie’s disappearance, the drama follows the mass hysteria and ensuing search from the point of view of the central characters, each of whom fears that someone they know is responsible. As they keep silent, their suspicions intensify over the course of the five episodes.”

From the makers of Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Hustle comes a unique take on the mystery genre starring Spooks alumni Peter Firth. Mayday is my most anticipated new drama of the year, and the most likely to reach fandom stardom. Combining crime and fairytale lore, this fascinating concept mash-up is definitely one to watch.

Due to air July 1.

Watch if you like: Once Upon A Time, Life On Mars

Me and Mrs. Jones


“Created and written by Oriane Messina and Fay Rusling (Green Wing, Campus), directed by Nick Hurran (Outside Edge, Doctor Who) and produced by Serena Cullen (Rules Of Love), the series follows the increasingly complex life of Mrs. Jones (Alexander) as she balances love, affection, sex and motherhood between an ex-husband, one grown-up son, two young daughters and male admirers with a 20-year age gap.”

Featuring the dream-team pairing of Misfits star Robert Sheehan and Sherlock maker Hartswood Films, Me and Mrs. Jones has all the makings of a comedy classic. Expect to see the high production values of Sherlock coupled with Sheehan’s trademark one liners and dry wit in what could be this year’s funniest series.

No U.K. air date has yet been set.

Watch if you like: Misfits, Coupling

Derek


“Derek Noakes is a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through.

“He’s 49, adores animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain’s Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting.

“Derek works in a retirement home with his mate and landlord, Dougie. Derek cares deeply for old people because they’re kind and funny and tell him stories about the olden days.

“Hannah is a care worker at the home and is Derek’s best friend. She’s smart, witty and hard-working, but unlucky in love, and, like Derek, always puts other people first.”

Commissioned for a full series after the spectacular success of an initial one-off episode, the latest offering from the controversial creator of The Office and Extras shows a more sensitive side to Ricky Gervais without losing any of his boundary-pushing humour. Derek is a character you can really root for, and the show’s awkward humour and surprising poignancy will undoubtedly make for compelling viewing.

Due to air in early 2013.

Watch if you like: Life’s Too Short

Will you be looking out for any of these new shows?

DCOM marathon schedule: See full list of movies and when they air

The mega marathon begins Friday, May 27 and runs into June!

10:00 am EDT, May 27, 2016

The highly-anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie marathon began Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m. eastern and runs through the holiday weekend. See the complete DCOM marathon schedule here!

When Disney Channel says they’re running a DCOM marathon, they mean it. The network will be airing 51 DCOMs from Friday to Monday ahead of this summer’s release of their 100th DCOM, Adventures in Babysitting (debuting June 24). Who needs Memorial Day festivities when you can sit inside and enjoy Disney Channel classics all weekend?!

After Monday they’ll continue to air a couple more movies every night until they eventually air all 100 DCOMs. That’s right! Every single one of ’em is returning to television between now and late June.

Below is the complete list of DCOMs airing from Friday, May 27 into the middle of June. Since many are airing in the overnight hours, you’ll probably want to set up your DVR. Or in case you want to watch them again. And again.

DCOM Marathon Schedule

Friday, May 27

10:00AM Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
11:20AM Read It and Weep
12:55PM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
2:40PM Jump In!
4:15PM Lemonade Mouth
6:15PM Zapped
8:00PM High School Musical 2
9:55PM The Cheetah Girls 2
11:45PM Zenon the Zequel
1:25AM Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
2:55AM Twitches Too
4:25AM Alley Cats Strike!

Saturday, May 28

6:25AM You Wish!
8:05AM The Proud Family Movie
9:50AM Quints
11:25AM Horse Sense
1:10PM Cow Belles
2:50PM Twitches
4:30PM The Even Stevens Movie
6:15PM Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie
8:00PM Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
9:50PM Princess Protection Program
11:30PM The Cheetah Girls: One World
1:05AM Zenon: Z3
2:40AM Halloweentown High
4:20AM The Thirteenth Year

Netflix DCOMs High School Musical

Sunday, May 29

6:00AM Right On Track
7:45AM Full-Court Miracle
9:35AM Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
11:20AM Brink!
1:10PM Double Teamed
2:55PM Rip Girls
4:35PM Motocrossed
6:20PM Cloud 9
8:00PM Teen Beach 2
9:55PM Bad Hair Day
11:40PM How to Build a Better Boy
1:20AM Pixel Perfect
2:55AM The Other Me
4:30AM Genius

Monday, May 30

10:00AM Stuck in the Suburbs
11:30AM Halloweentown
1:05PM Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
2:55PM Smart House
4:25PM High School Musical
6:15PM Camp Rock
8:00PM Descendants
10:05PM Teen Beach Movie
11:55PM Cadet Kelly
1:50AM The Cheetah Girls
3:35AM Johnny Tsunami

Camp Rock DCOM

After Memorial Day Weekend, Disney Channel will air two more DCOMs each night. Here’s the schedule so far (again, set your DVRs because these air late!)

Wednesday, June 1
12:00AM Return to Halloweentown
1:40AM Can of Worms

Thursday, June 2
12:00AM Going to the Mat
1:40AM Miracle in Lane 2

Friday, June 3
12:00AM The Suite Life Movie
1:40AM Ring of Endless Light

Saturday, June 4
12:00AM Invisible Sister
1:40AM Now You See It…

Sunday, June 5
12:00AM Girl vs. Monster
1:40AM Phantom of Megaplex

Monday, June 6
12:00AM Tru Confessions
1:40AM Tiger Cruise

Tuesday, June 7
12:00AM Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
1:40AM Under Wraps

Wednesday, June 8
12:00AM Den Brother
1:40AM Go Figure

Thursday, June 9
12:00AM Avalon High
1:40AM Jett Jackson: The Movie

Friday, June 10 and beyond
As of right now Disney Channel hasn’t released the schedule beyond June 10.

Which DCOMs do you plan to watch during the Disney Channel Marathon?

Next week we’ll be launching a fun new game here on Hypable where we’ll seek your help in ranking every single DCOM in the history of DCOMs. It’s probably a good idea to watch as many of these as possible so you can brush up on your knowledge base and rank them accurately!

James Cameron’s Battle Angel adaptation has found its lead in Maze Runner standout Rosa Salazar.

According to Collider, Salazar has been officially confirmed as the lead in Alita: Battle Angel, beating out Maika Monroe and Zendaya for the titular role. The manga adaptation was developed by James Cameron, and will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.

Battle Angel Alita is a manga series by Yukito Kishiro, which takes place in the 26th century and follows a cyborg girl with amnesia. Designed with spectacular martial arts skills, Battle Angel becomes a bounty hunter, who makes a living tracking down violent criminals.

As Brenda in Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Lynn in Insurgent, Rosa Salazar is already well-known in dystopian YA circles. She’s also had recurring roles in Parenthood and American Horror Story, and you can currently catch her in FXX’s Man Seeking Woman.

alita

James Cameron has been tinkering with this project for a while, but his extensive and all-consuming work on the Avatar sequels led him to hand over directorial duties to Robert Rodriguez last year. Rodriguez previously served as showrunner on From Dusk Till Dawn (after directing the movie of the same name in 1996), and his versatile directorial resumé includes Sin City, Spy Kids and The Faculty.

When Cameron picked Rodriguez as Battle Angel director, he said in a statement, “Robert and I have been looking for a film to do together for years, so I was pumped when he said he wanted to do Battle Angel. He’s very collaborative and we’re already like two kids building a go-kart, just having fun riffing creatively and technically.

“This project is near and dear to me, and there’s nobody I trust more than Robert, with his technical virtuosity and rebel style, to take over the directing reins. We’re looking forward to learning a lot from each other while we make a kick-ass epic.”

Alita: Battle Angel has no release date yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Here’s the official synopsis from IMDb:

“Alita is a creation from an age of despair. Found by the mysterious Dr. Ido while trolling for cyborg parts, Alita becomes a lethal, dangerous being. She cannot remember who she is, or where she came from. But to Dr. Ido, the truth is all too clear. She is the one being who can break the cycle of death and destruction left behind from Tiphares. But to accomplish her true purpose, she must fight and kill. And that is where Alita’s true significance comes to bear. She is an angel from heaven. She is an angel of death.”

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to continue Harry, Ron and Hermione’s story. Downside: The characters that survived Deathly Hallows are suddenly no longer safe!

Details about Cursed Child, the Harry Potter play opening in London next month, are being kept tightly under wraps.

But one teaser J.K. Rowling did let slip? It’s designed to make you cry.

Answering the Twitter question, “Will the Cursed Child make me cry?” Rowling strongly implied that the answer is yes — “or we’ll be checking your vital signs.”

Bombarded with worried follow-up questions, Rowling (randomly) chose to answer “why are you like this” by reminding fans of what she believes her primary responsibility is as an author: To make us feel things.

Of course there’s no reason to assume the “OMG RON IS DEFINITELY DYING AKSDJFSHFJ” position (even if that is the first instinct of this writer), but it is an indisputable fact that for many authors — Rowling included — evocative storytelling is synonymous with, “I’m going to make you love something, and then I’m gonna kill it.”

Cursed Child takes place 19 years after the conclusion of the Harry Potter saga. Not only are there many elderly characters we might reasonably fear for (including McGonagall, Hagrid, and Molly and Arthur Weasley), but J.K. Rowling’s Potter series has set a strong precedent for killing off parental figures to usher in a new generation of characters.

Related: England’s biggest bookstore announces first Cursed Child midnight release party

On the other hand, we could just be traumatized by the original Potter series, and everything is actually gonna be fine. Maybe J.K. Rowling simply expects us to cry tears of happiness because we get to return to the fantastic, magical world she has created.

What do you think? Is someone we love dying in Cursed Child, or will the plot make us emotional in other ways?