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28 British TV dramas to watch in 2018

Den of Geek logoDen of Geek 31/12/2017 simonbrew
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Wondering what to watch? Here’s our rundown of 2018’s new British dramas...

As we surge into 2018, the impressive amount of top-quality dramas emanating from our home-grown channels is showing no signs of decreasing.

There are plentiful programmes you’ll want to watch and/or record for later, as Britain’s best broadcasters battle it out for your attention and affections. Here, then, is a big long list of shows to look forward to in 2018...


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Filmmakers Hossein Amini (Drive, Our Kind Of Traitor) and James Watkins (Eden Lake, The Woman In Black) team up for AMC and the BBC’s glossy gangster miniseries McMafia. Inspired by Misha Glenny’s based-on-truth book of the same name, the series centres on Alex Godman, the British-raised son of a Russian crime boss, who struggles to escape his family’s dark history. James Norton stars as Alex, and the series debut on New Year’s Day on BBC One.


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Sky Atlantic ventures into the realm of historical epicness with Britannia, a ten-part series from Spectre and Black Mass co-writer Jez Butterworth. Kelly Reilly, David Morrissey and Zoe Wanamaker appear as part of an impressive ensemble. The series will kick off in AD 43, chronicling ancient Rome’s conquest of the Celts in the British Isles. Expect period costumes and plentiful bloodletting. All ten episodes will be available on demand from January 18th.

Hard Sun

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Billed as a ‘pre-apocalyptic crime show’, BBC One and Hulu’s Hard Sun focuses on two London detectives in a world that’s doomed to end in five years. Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn play said detectives, who stumble onto proof of the impending end of days while investigating the death of a hacker. The series debuts on BBC One on January 6th. Luther’s Neil Cross penned the scripts.


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Zoe Wanamaker, Miranda Richardson and Phyliss Logan take the lead roles in ITV’s Girlfriends, a show which celebrates the friendships between females of a certain age. Kay Mellor (The Syndicate, In The Club) wrote and directed all six episodes, with the show being a passion project she’s wanted to pursue for a while. The show will debut on January 3rd.

Derry Girls

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Set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, Channel 4’s Derry Girls is a six-part sitcom from Lisa McGee (Being Human, Indian Summers). Based on her own childhood memories, McGee has crafted Derry Girls as a chuckle-worthy coming of age story dressed grim 1990s garb and set against a dark backdrop. The series, which sounds really promising, premieres on January 4th.

Next Of Kin

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Jack Davenport (Coupling, Pirates Of The Caribbean) and Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, The Fall) star in ITV’s family thriller series Next Of Kin. Paul Rutman of Indian Summers and Vera paired with his wife Natasha Narayan to pen this six-part series. Panjabi plays a GP named Mona, with Davenport playing her husband. When Mona’s brother is murdered while working abroad, the couple are drawn deep into a conspiracy. The show will premiere on January 8th.


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Harry Potter & The Cursed Child co-writer Jack Thorne has teamed with Channel 4 and Hulu for his dark new drama Kiri. Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax) stars as Miriam, a no-nonsense social worker who is put under a lot of public scrutiny when a young girl named Kiri goes missing. This four-part thriller will premiere on Channel 4 on January 10th.

The City & The City

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David Morrissey is set to have a big year! As well as starring in Britannia, he also has the lead role in BBC Two’s The City & The City, which is based on a fantasy crime novel by China Miéville. Tony Grisoni (The Young Pope, Electric Dreams’ 'Crazy Diamond' episode) adapted the book for TV.

Morrissey’s character will head up an Extreme Crime Squad in the fictional city of Besźel. A grisly murder with links to Besźel’s politically tumultuous twin city, Ul Qoma, will provide the central narrative thrust. A firm date hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we’re expecting this one in early 2018.

A Very English Scandal

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Doctor Who legend Russell T Davies is teaming up with British film legend Stephen Frears for A Very English Scandal, BBC One’s three-part adaptation of John Preston’s novel, which focuses on scandalous 1970s MP Jeremy Thorpe. Hugh Grant stars as Thorpe, with Ben Whishaw playing his former lover Norman Scott. Readers of a certain age will remember that Thorpe was tried and acquitted of conspiring to murder Scott. We’ve no release date for this one just yet.

Troy: Fall Of A City

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Troy: Fall Of A City promises to be massive. It’s a co-production between BBC One and Netflix, based on the Trojan War and the love affair between Paris and Helen of Troy. Eight highly expensive episodes (each apparently costing $8.5 million) are expected to arrive at some point in the year. The Night Manager’s David Farr is one of the writers. The cast is mostly unknowns, making this something of a gamble. The BBC will handle the UK distribution, with Netflix tackling the rest of the world.


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The always-great Paddy Considine stars in Informer, a BBC One drama from new writers Rory Haines and Sohrad Noshirvani. Considine plays a Counter-Terrorism officer who coerces a second generation Pakistani Londoner (Nabhaan Rizwan) to go undercover in a terrorist organisation and report back. Westworld alum Johnny Campbell is calling the directorial shots. Six episodes will air in 2018, although the exact premiere date is yet to be set.

Cunk On Britain

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Not exactly a drama, this one, but it’s still something to look forward to on your telly box. We may not be getting a 2017 Wipe from Charlie Brooker, but thankfully his pal Diane Morgan is branching out on her own to bring us some satirical funnies. 2018’s Cunk On Britain will see Morgan reprising the role of Philomena Cunk to present a five-part series that lampoons all things British. We don’t have a release date yet, but we’re excited nonetheless.

War Of The Worlds

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Here’s an exciting one: BBC One is working on a TV adaptation of War Of The Worlds which will faithfully adapt H.G. Wells’ iconic sci-fi novel. This means we will be getting a Victorian-era alien invasion story set in the leafy suburbs of Surrey. And, better yet, Doctor Who and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell scribe Peter Harness is handling the adaptation process. Shooting hasn’t started yet, so it’s unclear when we’ll get to watch this. We’re hoping for a late-2018 premiere, though.

Kiss Me First

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Netflix and E4’s Kiss Me First sounds like an interesting prospect. Skins co-creator Bryan Elsley has created a series that centres on a lonely video game addict (Tallulah Haddon’s Leila) who crosses paths with a confident party girl (Simona Brown’s Tess) who has a shady secret. Based on the Lottie Moggach novel of the same name, this promises to be a teen drama with a dark twist. E4 will host the show’s UK debut, at some point in early 2018.


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Multi-award-winning writer Sir David Hare is serving up a four-part drama for BBC Two and Netflix in 2018. The show is called Collateral, and it boasts Carey Mulligan, John Simm and Billie Piper among its cast. Set over four days in modern-day London, the series centres on the senseless murder of a pizza deliveryman. Mulligan’s DI character heads up the subsequent investigation, with Simm playing a politician and Piper playing his ex. S.J. Clarkson, who recently shot episodes of Jessica Jones and The Defenders, directs. No release date set yet.


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From the pen of Kris Mrksa (Nowhere Boys, Underbelly) comes a supernatural drama by the name of Requiem. It’s another BBC One and Netflix co-production – there are a lot of those going around! Across six episodes, a twisty narrative will unfold involving a suicide, a disappearing toddler and creepy Welsh village. The series is expected to debut on BBC One in January 2018. Lydia Wilson (Misfits, Ripper Street) stars as Matilda, a young woman caught up in all the drama.


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Yet another BBC One/Netflix team-up, Giri/Haji comes to us from Humans writer Joe Barton. That Japanese title translates as Duty/Shame. The protagonist is a middle-aged Japanese man named Kenzo, who comes to Britain looking for his younger sibling who has been posing as a member of the Yakuza. Across eight episodes, the series will cut between London and Tokyo. It’s unclear when this one will go in front of cameras, or when exactly it will air. We’ll let you know as we hear more.

Black Narcissus

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Here’s another exciting BBC commission. Having steamed up the screen with Apple Tree Yard, writer Amanda Coe will return to sexual themes for the BBC One drama Black Narcissus. Based on Rumer Godden’s 1939 novel (which was previously adapted into a film in 1947), the Black Narcissus TV series will centre on Sister Clodagh and the nuns of St Faith's. These nuns set up a shop in a remote area of Nepal, with Sister Clodagh soon struggling to repress her sexual desires for their land agent. No cast or release date info yet.


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Doctor Foster’s Mike Bartlett has written a new series named Press for BBC One. The show will follow two rival daily newspapers, with numerous familiar faces filling up their offices. There are roles for Charlotte Riley, Ben Chaplin and David Suchet, for example. Bartlett’s Doctor Foster collaborator Tom Vaughan will direct. The exact month of release hasn’t been specified, but it will fall in 2018.


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Toni Collette will star in Wanderlust, a family drama from BBC One and Netflix. Written by Nick Payne (Constellations) and directed by Luke Snellin (The A Word), this series will explore the relationships of a multi-generational family. Raising questions about monogamy and relationships, Collette’s Joy will reassess her relationship with her husband (Steven Mackintosh) after he suffers a cycling accident. No release month confirmed yet.


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Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes head up Bodyguard, from Line Of Duty’s Jed Mercurio. Hawes plays a fictional Home Secretary, with Madden playing her war veteran bodyguard. The pair will clash over their disparate political beliefs, with Madden sworn to protect a person he disagrees with on numerous big topics. BBC One is the home network of this one, but they haven’t announced the premiere date yet.

The Widow

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Harry and Jack Williams, known for their work on The Missing, are jumping ships from the BBC to ITV to bring us a new eight-part drama entitled The Widow. It’s early days yet, with no cast info confirmed, so there’s a chance that this one may not arrive until 2019. Whenever it does appear on our screens, it will tell the story of a reclusive widow named Georgia Wells, who attempts to unravel the truth about her husband’s death. He died while working in Kinshasa.

The Barking Murders

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The Barking Murders is a three-part BBC drama based on the murderer Stephen Port, and the aftermath of his four kills. Port date-raped and murdered four men, between 2014 and 2015, using Grindr to attract his victims. Writer Jeff Pope, who previously penned The Moorside and Little Boy Blue, is leading the charge on this one. We haven’t heard any casting news or release date confirmations yet, but we’ll keep you posted.


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Gavin & Stacey alum Alison Steadman will play the title role in Edith, a new six-part comedy series from the BBC. Edith is a widow who lives across the road from her ex-boyfriend Phil (played by John Cleese). Jason Watkins plays Roger, Edith’s fifty-year-old son who returns home and moves back in, getting in the way of Edith’s resurgent romance with Phil. Charles McKeown wrote this one, having previously helmed Hold The Sunset. The release date hasn’t been set yet.

Hatton Garden

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This ITV drama based on the notorious Hatton Garden robbery was originally slated for a 2017 release, but it was pushed back to 2018 for reasons unknown. Timothy Spall heads up the cast, with Kenneth Cranham and Brian F O’Byrne also in the cast. Jeff Pope and Terry Winsor wrote the scripts, which consist of four hour-long episodes. The exact release date hasn’t been nailed down yet.


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Lee Ingleby stars in Innocent as David Collins. After serving seven years in prison for murdering his wife, he is released on a technicality. As he attempts to return to ordinary life, a new police investigation headed by DI Cathy Hudson (Angel Coulby) brings new secrets to the surface. This four-part ITV crime drama doesn’t have a firm release date at the time of writing.


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Anna Friel stars in ITV’s three-part drama Butterfly, playing the mother of a transgender child. Friel’s Vicky is the mum of Max, an eleven-year-old who was born male, but identifies as female. The series, penned by Tony Marchant of Public Enemies, does not yet have a firm release date. Butterfly promises to be heart-warming and emotional. Count us in!

Good Omens

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At long last, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s beloved novel Good Omens is coming to the screen. And it’s got a stellar cast lined up, with David Tennant playing the demon Crowley and Michael Sheen as the angel Aziraphale. As fans of the book will know, these two must form an unlikely alliance to avert an apocalypse.

Shooting has already started on this BBC Two and Amazon Prime collaboration, but sadly, signs seem to be pointing to a 2019 release. Unless the show is bumped up in the schedule, then, we’ll have to make do with all those other new dramas for 2018....

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