Make a virtue of the long nights with these small-screen delights.

A combination of the cost-of-living crisis and our annual need to hunker down in the dark will surely push the nation closer to the telly than ever this year. Thankfully, there are plenty of new shows (as well as new seasons of old favourites) to keep us going. Here, we’ve zoomed in on the best of the bunch.

The White Lotus: Sicily, HBO

Early 2021 was much improved by the first series of this blistering attack on wealth, privilege and self-absorption. Set this time in Sicily, instead of Hawaii, the second series of The White Lotus promises satire and sadness in equal measure. Tatler says: ‘Like its HBO sibling Succession, the comedy-drama presents the gilded world of the super-rich in a sharp, funny and at times tragic light, laying bear the corruptive influence of privilege and power.’ Launch date: October 30.

The Crown: Season Five, Netflix

The fifth season of the Netflix mega-hit covers the demise of the marriage of the couple we knew in the 1990s as The Prince and Princess of Wales. Dominic West plays Prince Charles to Elizabeth Debicki’s Diana. Imelda Staunton takes on the role of The Queen and her Duke of Edinburgh is played by Jonathan Pryce. Watching may feel more uncomfortable than it used to in the light of the late Queen’s death. But the one thing you can be sure of is that this drama (and it is a drama) will be exquisitely produced and acted. Launch date: November 9.

This England, Sky Atlantic

The long-awaited drama about Boris Johnson and his handling of the pandemic has landed – and, man, is it watchable. It isn’t always fun to be reminded of such a ghastly – and for many agonisingly wretched – time but the performances of Kenneth Branagh as Johnson, Ophelia Lovibond as Carrie and Simon Paisley Day as Dominic Cummings are utterly compelling. Critical reception has been mixed but The Times put it best when they said: ‘This England is a drama of two halves… A gruelling watch, but a mesmerising one.’ Streaming now.

Inside Man, BBC

In this bizarre BBC drama, David Tennant plays a hapless vicar in English suburbia and Stanley Tucci a clinical psychologist on death row. Eventually, they become entwined. You’ll roll your eyes and tut at the screen to start with but you won’t stop watching and you’re left longing at the end of each episode for more. The Guardian calls it ‘rollickingly confident, meaty, funny, clever (if not quite as clever, on a line-by-line basis, as it appears)’. Streaming now.

A Spy Among Friends, ITVX

It is always a pleasure to have Damian Lewis on our screens, and he is joined in this instance by a similarly pleasing Guy Pearce. To launch ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX, the two have come together in a thriller adapted from Ben Macintyre’s bestselling book, A Spy Among Friends. The six episodes dramatise the relationship between the British spies and lifelong friends, Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and Kim Philby (Pearce). The producers say: ‘Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet double agent in history. This is a story of intimate duplicity; of loyalty, trust and treachery.’ The Guardian writes of its ‘Le-Carre-meets-Mad Men vibes’. We will say no more; just be sure to tune in. Launch date: Autumn 2022.

Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes, Netflix

This three-part documentary, from director who brought us The Ted Bundy Tapes, is a gift for all those true-crime fans among you. A deep dive into one of America’s most notorious serial killers, it features interviews with the “Milwaukee Monster’s” family, friends and lawyers as well as with Dahmer himself. Prepare for your jaw to drop. Launch date: October 7.

Elvis, Amazon Prime

If you missed this Baz Lurhmann spectacular at the cinema, you can now catch it at home on Amazon Prime. The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley – and the sinister influence of his manager Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks). The Independent says: ‘Baz Luhrmann’s sweaty, seductive biopic makes the King cool again.’ Trust us: it’s worth it for the soundtrack alone. Streaming now.

By Becky Ladenburg
October 2022

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.