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?

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.

Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

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Jessica Jones introduced us to Marvel’s live-action Luke Cage (Mike Colter), who has his own show debuting on Friday. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time.

The mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rich and complicated. Not only do you have to remember what’s happened from episode to episode and season to season, it’s also important to keep in mind what’s happened in other shows and movies.

But that’s why we’re here. Looking forward to Luke Cage premiering on September 30? Us too. Having a little trouble remembering what happened in Jessica Jones and not feeling up to rewatching the show from start to finish? No problem.

Everything you need to know about ‘Luke Cage’

The man

luke cage premiere date

We first met Luke in the series premiere of Jessica Jones and he was in the majority of the episodes for the season. He owned a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and made it a priority to stay away from complications. Too bad Jessica Jones is the definition of complicated. Sweet Christmas.

With chemistry pretty much off the charts, it didn’t take long for Luke and Jessica to start hooking up. Unfortunately, between Kilgrave’s manipulations and Jessica’s lies, the situation came to a head and Luke found out it was Jessica who was responsible for his wife’s death way back when Kilgrave was livin’ large with Jessica at his side.

Luke left after that, but not before he ran into Kilgrave with the intention of killing the man. Instead, Kilgrave used his power of mind control to plant Luke back into Jessica’s life and keep an eye on her until it was time for Kilgrave to use his trump card. He even forced Luke to blow up his own bar.

In a final confrontation, where Kilgrave once again played with Jessica’s emotions, Luke said he didn’t forgive her for killing his wife and, under Kilgrave’s power, attacked her until she was forced to put a shotgun to his head and pull the trigger.

Thanks to Luke’s powers, he survived, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t some damage. Luke was unconscious, and Jessica was forced to bring him to the hospital where Claire used her position as a nurse to sneak him back to Jessica’s apartment and keep an eye on him.

By the end of the series, once Kilgrave was killed and Jessica was arrested, Luke recovered from his injuries and left Jessica’s apartment when Claire wasn’t looking.

The myth

luke cage mike colter

Luke Cage’s powers are not unlike Jessica’s, though where they both share a similar level of strength, Luke has the added benefit of unbreakable skin. The experiments he was subjected to didn’t make him completely impervious to injury, as seen when the shotgun blast rattled his brain so much it did some internal damage. Areas like his eyes are also open to injury, if Claire sticking that needle through the socket is any indication.

Luke is also just, you know, a big guy. Is intimidation a supernatural ability? Because if so, this guy has got it in spades. He’s a good fighter and obviously used to dealing with the seedier side of the city, so even without his powers, he’d be good to have in a fight.

Luke Cage from the comics isn’t much different, though his interactions with other superheroes have given him an additional leg up. For instance, Iron Fist has taught Luke Cage additional fighting techniques, but we haven’t seen that in the MCU since Iron Fist has yet to debut on Netflix and it’s uncertain what their interactions will be like.

Apparently Luke also has a sweet jacket that’s as impervious as his skin. Given all the clothes we see him go through in the trailers for the upcoming season, perhaps we’ll see him gain a useful item like this in the upcoming freshman run.

The legend

luke cage clip

Luke Cage is already making a name for himself by the end of Jessica Jones, and it’s clear that season 1 of his own show is only going to further his story as a legendary hero. If you want to avoid spoilers at all costs, skip this section. If you’d like to get familiar with some of the show’s upcoming new characters, read on.

In Luke Cage season 1, it’s clear that Cornell Stokes/Cottonmouth will be to Luke as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin was to Matt Murdock’s Daredevil. This is the guy who wears the crown around Harlem (where Luke has recently moved following his interactions with Jessica), and it’s pretty clear Stokes took no time in pissing off Luke.

Mariah Dillard will be an enemy of a different variety, as she’s a powerful local politician who also happens to be Stokes’ cousin. From the trailers it looks like the two are in business together, but the relationship is contentious at best. Alvarez/Shades, an associate of Cottonmouth, is also going to cause some problems for Luke.

On the other side of the line you have Misty Knight, a police detective who has Luke Cage on her radar. She might also be causing some problems for our hero, but she’s definitely one of the good guys. Her partner is Rafael Scarfe.

Claire will also be returning, this time in a starring role, so the hope is we’ll be seeing plenty of the nurse who is heroic in her own way. She might not have supernatural abilities, but she heals who she can, despite their various complications. She’s also there to light a fire up under the asses of heroes who might be losing their way — and she’s very good at her job.

Everyone’s favorite crook, Turk, will also be showing up in Luke Cage, as will Claire’s mother, Soledad. You can also expect Willis Stryker/Diamondback to play a part this season. He’s tied up with Cottonmouth and Shades and definitely has something against Luke. In the comics, they go way back, and Stryker even had a thing for Luke’s wife, Reva.

Here’s the latest trailer for ‘Luke Cage’ season 1

‘Luke Cage’ season 1 will be exclusively available to stream on Netflix come September 30

Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

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Once Upon a Time season 6 will see Sean Maguire’s Robin Hood at least one more time! Come on, is anyone ever really gone for good on this show?

Remember when Hook died, but he really didn’t? Remember when Neal died, but we got see him again in limbo between reality and the Underworld? Well, Robin Hood is following a similar Once Upon a Time narrative arc as EW confirms that the outlaw will return in season 6.

Adam Horowitz and Eddie Kitsis confirmed the news saying, “We’re thrilled to have Sean back for this story arc and are excited for the audience to see what we have planned, which in the wake of his character’s heartbreaking demise, is something we hope is unexpected and surprising.”

Bringing back characters is one of the major reasons why characters on this show can never have closure. In the aftermath of season 5’s most remarkable death, Once Upon a Time took the necessary steps to give Regina closure. In Neal’s apartment (once again, reviving Neal’s presence for Emma), Regina began to process the reality of her life through a letter from Robin.

Once Upon a Time season 5 regina robin

Kitsis makes note that Regina’s course of action this season will deal with processing her grief. “I can tell you that a lot of this year is about Regina dealing with loss and moving on, because I think Regina has the most unfair luck of anybody, but that’s what makes her Regina,” says Kitsis.

We already caught some of that in the season 6 opener where Regina talks with Snow White about her character’s story and its various interpretations. If the feather floating away from Regina on the bench was a nod to her finding the strength to let go even a little bit, what will Robin’s return mean for her mentally? Regina needs all her faculties to face the most terrifying adversary this season– herself.

What will Robin’s return look like?

Maybe he will appear Jiminy Cricket style and remind her of her best qualities as she faces the Evil Queen. Or perhaps he will appear to save his daughter through some kind of intrinsic bond that exists between them? Maybe that feather actually means a bit more than we give it credit for!

Once Upon a Time season 5 episode 100 review regina robin henry

Kitsis and Horowitz note that Sean Maguire will have “an arc” meaning it is likely that he will appear in more than one episode.

What are some of your theories for Robin’s involvement in season 6? Let us know in comments!

Once Upon a Time season 6, episode 2, “A Bitter Draught,” airs Sunday, October 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.