Cucumber, Banana, Gotham, The Knick: this autumn's best TV shows
Toast of London and Broadchurch revamp Gracepoint also among our highlights
In 1999, Russell T Davies helped remould the British TV landscape with Queer as Folk. After resurrecting the Time Lord for a whole new generation, he’s returning to his Channel 4 roots for three separate series, linked by a vivid exploration of modern sexual mores. Cucumber is an eight-part series about a gay couple whose settled life together shatters into a million pieces after a night featuring ‘a death, a threesome, two police cars and Boney M’, while on E4, Banana comprises eight standalone tales covering, and we’re quoting here, ‘50 shades of gay and beyond’. Online at 4oD you’ll find Tofu, a documentary series which tackles the issues raised in those dramas.
After all that fruit and bean curd, how about a slice of toast? Steven Toast, to be exact, as the honey-tonsilled Matt Berry returns for a second helping of Toast of London in which the failed actor (pronounced ac-tor) attempts to rescue his pitiful career. And drawing on the pre-Batman origin story, Five brings us the US hit Gotham. It follows the young detective James Gordon (The OC and Southland’s Ben McKenzie) and the recently orphaned Bruce Wayne, as well as introducing us to the folk who will later become the Joker, Catwoman and the Penguin.
He may have apparently quit the cinema game, but Steven Soderbergh is joining the ever-increasing wave of names heading to TV. Sky Atlantic’s The Knick is set in early 20th century New York and explores the groundbreaking medics at the Knickerbocker Hospital. Clive Owen heads the cast.
Over on ITV, it’s US remake time as Broadchurch transmogrifies into Gracepoint. To confuse matters even more David Tennant reprises his role as the lead cop with Anna Gunn (the terribly popular Skyler from Breaking Bad) in the Olivia Colman part.