The best of the UK's autumn TV
Some of the best reasons to spend the season in front of the TV, from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Traditionally autumn is the best time for new television series. An early highlight is Doctor Who (BBC One, 19 Sep) as Peter Capaldi returns as the world's favourite time traveller. Staying with sci-fi, Amazon has confirmed their Nazi parallel universe mind bender The Man in the High Castle (20 Nov) has been greenlit for a full season, and drifting into the horror genre, Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) fight against the undead continues in The Walking Dead season 6 (Fox, 12 Oct) while Lady Gaga headlines American Horror Story: Hotel (Fox, Nov).
It also appears the public’s appetite for superheroes refuses to wane and following on from their excellent Daredevil, Marvel and Netflix team up again for Jessica Jones (Nov). It stars Krysten Ritter in the title role, an ex-superhero turned private eye. Jones is perhaps not a character familiar to non-comic geeks, but Brian Michael Bendis’ 28-issue run on Alias – the comic series that spawned the character – really was something special. You can also catch up with Bruce Wayne before he became Batman in Gotham on Channel 5 (date tbc).
If you're looking for comedy, The Muppets (Sky 1, Oct) is a surprisingly mature mockumentary take on your favourite fuzzy friends. There’s also 80s–set coming of age drama in Red Oakes (Amazon, 9 Oct) starring Craig Roberts and directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express / Eastbound & Down); Peter Kay’s 70s sitcom Cradle to Grave (BBC Two, 3 Sep); the second season of Golden Globe-winning transgender comedy drama Transparent (Amazon, 4 Dec) and the ninth and last series of Peep Show (Channel 4) should be with us before the year is out.
Finally a quick run through some of the best drama heading your way. BBC have a new adaptation of DH Lawrence’s controversial Lady Chatterley’s Lover (BBC One, Sep) with Holliday Grainger and Richard Madden as brooding gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. The surprisingly decent TV adaptation of the Coen brothers’ Fargo returns on Channel 4 (date tbc) as does Homeland (Oct) as Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) heads to Berlin. There’s also the eagerly anticipated third season of the original Danish/Swedish The Bridge (Bron/Broen) on BBC Four plus Idris Elba is back on the beat as tough cop Luther (BBC One). And don't forget about the sixth and final series of cosy costume drama Downton Abbey (ITV, Sep).