A complete guide to watch to watch this autumn.

by | Aug 16, 2019 | All, Previews, TV News

The autumn is coming and it’s more often than not the time when channels bring out their BIG shows as the weather turns, holidays are over and we’ll be stuck in hunkered in front of the television.

Though it’s too early for confirmed transmission dates, we’ve put together a list of the shows you won’t want to miss this autumn. The exciting ones include ITV’s true-crime drama A Confession starring Martin Freeman and written by Jeff Pope. Jack Thorne follows up National Treasure and Kiri with his next four-part drama for Channel 4 entitled The Light and brand new crime drama The Dublin Murders starts on BBC One. Returning shows include Peaky Blinders, The Good Place, Motherland and Inside No.9

A Confession (ITV)

Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton star in this three-part true crime drama from Jeff Pope. The series details the disappearance of 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan in March 2011.  On a night out with girlfriends, Sian left a nightclub in Swindon Old Town to walk the 15 minutes home to boyfriend Kevin Reape, played by Charlie Cooper. Worried for her safety, Kevin reports Sian missing when she fails to come home in the early hours or respond to his increasingly frantic texts. Senior Investigating Officer Steve Fulcher leads a team which begins to piece together Sian’s last movements, scouring CCTV footage from the club and re-tracing her steps home. Cell-site analysis reveals her mobile phone signal bouncing off a mast 14 miles away in Savernake Forest.  With the missing person’s enquiry in full swing Fulcher, orders a full-scale search operation.

The Capture (BBC ONE)

BBC/Heyday Films/Guy 

When soldier Shaun Emery’s (Callum Turner) conviction for a murder in Afghanistan is overturned due to flawed video evidence, he returns to life as a free man with his young daughter. But when damning CCTV footage from a night out in London comes to light, Shaun’s life takes a shocking turn and he must soon fight for his freedom once again. With DI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) drafted in to investigate Shaun’s case, she quickly learns that the truth can sometimes be a matter of perspective. Should she trust Shaun Emery?

The Capture is billed as an acutely timed thriller that looks at a troubling world of fake news and the extraordinary capabilities of the intelligence services. In this ‘post-truth era’, can we really believe what we see? The six-part series also stars Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hand Of God), Famke Janssen, Ben Miles Laura Haddock, Lia Williams, Sophia Brown and Paul Ritter. The series is written and directed by the Bafta award-winning filmmaker Ben Chanan. 

Catherine The Great (SKY ATLANTIC/HBO)

Four-part mini-series that that delves into the politically tumultuous and sexually charged court of the most powerful female monarch in history. Catherine wielded supreme power throughout Russia for nearly half of the 18th century strong-minded, independent, brilliantly intelligent and sexually liberated, she was the definition of the modern woman. The mini-series follows Catherine’s passionate affair with her romantic and political soul mate, Grigory Potemkin. Amid scandal, intrigue and immense conflict, this is a story of obsessive love. Unable to publicly marry and famously promiscuous, they develop a unique and devoted relationship, overcoming their adversaries, claiming the Crimea, and together shaping Russia into the country we know today.  Helen Mirren, Jason Clarke, Gina McKee, Rory Kinnear and Richard Roxburgh are confirmed to star. Expected in October.

Defending the Guilty (BBC TWO)

Six-part comedy starring Katherine Parkinson and Will Sharpe as criminal barristers that stand up in court in an attempt to save people from conviction and prison. Sometimes it’s a hopeless case. Sometimes they have the chance to right a wrong. But mostly their clients are just plain guilty and it shows how the current legal system is simply a game to be played and for our characters to be won and that’s all that matters. Written by Kieron Quirke (Cuckoo) and based on the book Defending The Guilty: Truth And Lies In The Criminal Courtroom by Alex McBride. Expected in September.

Dublin Murders (BBC ONE)

BBC/Euston Films/Steffan Hill

A new 8-part drama coming to BBC One. The series is written by Sarah Phelps (ABC Murders, Ordeal by Innocence) based on the Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad novels which blends the first two novels, In the Woods and The Likeness into a dark psychological mystery with a tap root that drops deep down into Ireland’s past, foreshadows the future and brings insight to its present. The series stars Killian Scott (Strike) and Sarah Greene. This series, set during the height of the Celtic Tiger financial boom of the millennium, will focus on two murder investigations led by ambitious and charismatic Detectives Rob Reilly and Cassie Maddox. The victims – a young talented ballerina who is found dead on an ancient stone altar; and a vivacious free-spirited woman, who is found stabbed in a roofless famine cottage – are seemingly unrelated, but as we will discover, are actually knitted together by powerful shared themes – the macabre ‘red in tooth and claw’ elements of both stories, and their heart-thumping psychological thriller qualities. Expected in October.

The End of the F***ing World (CHANNEL 4)

The long-awaited second series of the darkly comic drama starring Jessica Barden and Alex Lawther. Series one launched on Netflix three months after its debut on Channel 4, but current Channel 4 boss Ian Katz has said that the release meant many viewers assumed it was a Netflix original. “Next time we’ll run the whole series on the channel,” Katz told Deadline in 2018, “then there will be a conventional hold back of more than a year before people see it on Netflix. It really bugs me that people think that show is a Netflix show; I really want to reclaim ownership of it – it’s absolutely a Channel 4 show.”

Frayed (SKY ONE)

Award-winning Australian comedian Sarah Kendall will star in the bittersweet dark comedy co-commissioned with ABC in Australia. The comedy is the first scripted co-commission between the two broadcasters. Set in 1989, Frayed follows the journey of Sammy Cooper, a fabulously wealthy London housewife whose life appears perfect. But when her husband dies in a bizarre sexual incident, the true state of their finances is revealed. With no house, no money, and no friends, Sammy is

forced to return to the town in Australia she grew up in. 

The Goes Wrong Show (BBC ONE)

Comedy series written by and starring the original founding Mischief Theatre members; Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields alongside Nancy Zamit, Charlie Russell, Bryony Corrigan, Greg Tannahill, Dave Hearn and Chris Leask. With their unique brand of physical theatre, the Mischief team will bring all aspects of their globally recognised talents to the

television version which will be filmed in front of a live studio audience. The series sees The Cornley Drama Society undertaking another (overly) ambitious endeavour, held back by prolific over-actor Robert Grove, the screen-hogging Sandra Wilkinson and the artistically mistrusted Dennis Tyde.

Six brand new, hand-crafted, half hours of theatrical catastrophe include the gripping courtroom drama ‘A Trial to Watch’ and World War II spy thriller ‘The Pilot’ (which is not the pilot). The Goes Wrong Show is simply Mischief’s biggest disaster yet.

Gold Digger (BBC ONE) 

Six-part contemporary drama from Marnie Dickens (Thirteen) which tells the story of the wealthy 60-year old Julia Day (Julia Ormond) as she falls in love with Benjamin (Ben Barnes), a man 26-years her junior. As the series progresses the impact their unconventional relationship has on her family is explored and the secrets of their past are revealed. Has Julia finally found the happiness she’s always deserved? Or is Benjamin really the gold digger they think he is? 

Also starring are Alex Jennings as Julia’s ex-husband Ted, Nikki Amuka-Bird as Julia’s former best friend Marsha and Julia McKenzie as Ted’s mother, Hazel.

The Good Place (NETFLIX) 

It was announced recently that the fourth season of the much-loved comedy would be it’s last. The end of season 3 saw Chidi agree to have his memory wiped so that the rest of the group could finally reach The Good Place. It is a full, series-ending, wrap-up kind of a thing,” creator Michael Schur told TVLine. “So it will have one gigantic story that will serve as the end of the series for everybody.” He went on to say that the fate of both life and the afterlife rests on Eleanor’s shoulders, a heavy burden. Schur previously teased that season 4 will have more in common with season 1 than ever, but that Chidi’s wiped memory will probably lead to “different power dynamics” before adding that “the idea is always to change everything and somehow still do the same show that people have been watching. So hopefully, that’s what happens.” He also confirmed that The Bad Place will be sending another saboteur along to try and ruin Eleanor’s plans, as they didn’t know Chidi would be rebooted.” Season 4 will have 14 episodes, instead of the usual 13, and will wrap up with an hour-long instalment. The series will air weekly on Netflix beginning Friday 27th September.



Written by Bafta nominee Joe Barton (Humans), this eight-part drama series will play out in both Japanese and English as the story moves across London and Tokyo.

The drama will play out across eight episodes in both Japanese and English as the action moves between London and Tokyo, traversing the narrative’s multiple time frames. The series is billed as an intricate and soulful thriller that explores the butterfly effect of one murder over two cities. 

It sees Japanese stars Takehiro Hira and Yosuke Kubosuka leading the Japanese cast. They play Kenzo (Hira), and Yuto (Kubosuka), once devoted and now estranged brothers, driven to opposite sides of the world by the spiralling consequences of one violent split-second decision. They are joined by Masahiro Motoki, Yuko Nakamura, Aoi Okuyama, Mitsuko Oka, Togo Igawa, Kazuyuki and Yoshiki Minato. The UK cast sees Kelly Macdonald, Justin Long, Will Sharpe, Charlie Creed-Miles and Tony Pitts line up across a bitter divide as the ramifications of the murder erupt across the globe from London to Toyko.

His Dark Materials (BBC ONE)

A stellar cast and crew have joined Academy Award-winning director Tom Hooper in Jack Thorne’s adaptation of Philip Pullman’s acclaimed series of novels. Dafne Keen takes on the lead role of Lyra, the young protagonist of the story who lives in Jordan College, Oxford. Placed there at the request of her Uncle, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) she lives a sheltered life amongst the scholars and college staff while under the watchful protection of The Master (Clarke Peters) and Librarian Scholar Charles (Ian Gelder). When the glamorous and mesmeric Mrs Coulter (Ruth Wilson) enters Lyra’s life she embarks upon a dangerous journey of discovery from Oxford to London. Here she meets Father MacPhail (Will Keen), Lord Boreal (Ariyon Bakare) and journalist Adele Sturminster (Georgina Campbell) at a glittering society party where she first hears about the sinister General Oblation Board.


A fifth series of the comedy anthology from the twisted brains of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. As ever, there will be a stellar cast joining Reece and Steve: the line-up includes Maxine Peake, Jenna Coleman, David Morrissey, Phil Davis, Ralf Little, and Jill Halfpenny.

The Light (CHANNEL 4)

Following on from his dramas National Treasure and Kiri this four-parter comes from the pen of acclaimed writer Jack Thorne. this four-part drama is set in a Welsh community that has been left behind, a large construction project offers hope for a better future. But an explosion, followed by a catastrophic collapse, leaves many dead, children included, and the community devastated. Polly (Sarah Lancashire) is the wife of the local politician (Mark Lewis Jones) who championed the project. Their rebellious daughter, Leona (Jade Croot) broke onto the site on the day of the explosion but now is left with a lifelong disability after the disaster. As grief gives way to a torrent of anger and blame, the community finds itself torn apart. It falls to Polly to hold the community together and face the challenging truths that emerge. 

Motherland (BBC TWO)

Second series of the modern parenting comedy starring Anna Maxwell Martin, Dianne Morgan and Paul Ready. A collective sigh of relief can be heard across the Motherland as a new school term dawns. It’s also dawned on Julia that she still hasn’t sorted her childcare. Her wonderful husband has decided to step up to the mark and train for Iron Man. The alpha mums are back in the cafe, rolling up their blouse sleeves for this year’s PTA while Kevin looks on from his table next to the toilet. Liz has mastered the art of not giving a f**k, and is going back to bed.

Peaky Blinders (BBC ONE)

Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd 2017/Matt Squire

The acclaimed series returns for a fifth series and gets a promotion from BBC Two to ONE.

Series five finds the world thrown into turmoil by the financial crash of 1929. Opportunity and misfortune are everywhere. When Tommy Shelby MP (Cillian Murphy) is approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain, he realises that his response will affect not just his family’s future but that of the entire nation. They are joined by new cast members Sam Claflin, Anya Taylor-Joy, Brian Gleeson, Neil Maskell, Kate Dickie, Cosmo Jarvis and Emmett J Scanlan. Sunday 25th August, 9.00pm BBC ONE Read all our Peaky Blinders coverage HERE 

Pose (BBC TWO)

Second series of the critically acclaimed US drama series centred around the ball culture of the gay and lesbian culture in New York. The second series sees the action moves into the 1990s with Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ taking over the charts. It looks deeper into the AIDS crisis and sees more division within the community. 

Sanditon (ITV)

Adaptation of Jane Austen’s final and incomplete novel. Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditon tells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker (Theo James). When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself and ultimately find love. The series has been adapted by Andrew Davies. Confirmed for Sunday 25th August on ITV.

Scarborough (BBC ONE)

Six-part comedy series from Derren Litten, the creator and writer of the award-winning sitcom Benidorm. It follows the lives and loves of a small handful of residents in Scarborough, the sometime sunny beach resort in North Yorkshire, who meet most nights in the local karaoke bar where they swap gossip and sing 80’s classics. The cast includes  Jason Manford, Catherine Tyldesley, Stephanie Cole, Maggie Ollerenshaw, Steve Edge and Claire Sweeney. Mike (Manford) and Karen (Tyldesley) are nearly-40-somethings that are giving their relationship another go, five years after they split. The pair were always meant to be together, but Mike’s ambition to become a professional entertainer meant that he was never at home. Now in his late 30’s, Mike has realised what’s actually important to him – he’s given up life on the road to come back to Scarborough and give their relationship another go. Between the local salon, Geraldine’s, and local pub/karaoke hot spot, The Good Ship, there’s never a dull day in town. But will the course of true love run smoothly for the couple the second time around, or will the trials and tribulations of their lives get in the way?

State of The Union (BBC TWO) 

A ten-part short comedy series starring Chris O’Dowd and Rosamond Pike. The series follows Louise and Tom (Pike and O’Dowd) who meet in a pub immediately before their weekly marital therapy session. With each successive episode, we piece together how their lives were, what drew them together and what has started to pull them apart. Hornby explores the complexities of marriage with his inimitable honesty and humour. It is written by playwright Nick Hornby.

Temple (September 13th Sky ONE) 

An eight-part Sky One drama set in the secret world beneath London is written by playwright Mark O’Rowe (Boy A). Starring Mark Strong, Carice van Houten and Daniel Mays. Deep below the streets of London, descending past Temple tube in the beating heart of the city, lies a dark secret. An illegal clinic has been set up in an abandoned subterranean network of tunnels. Daniel played by Mark Strong, is a surgeon driven by personal tragedy to treat anyone who is willing to pay for medical help outside the system. 

This Country (BBC THREE/BBC ONE)

A third series of the BAFTA-winning comedy from siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper who play cousins Kerry and Kurtan Mucklowe. The six-part series will follow on from the feature-length special that aired last autumn. 


Tim Minchin and newcomer Milly Alcock star in a sharp-tongued and touching comedy-drama set on a 4,000km road trip from Sydney to Perth with a piano in tow. The story follows two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other. Lucky Flynn, played by Minchin, hasn’t spoken to his family in years. He’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted

pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4,000km from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye, taking with him his only cherished posses.

War of the Worlds (BBC ONE)

From Peter Harness comes the first British television adaptation of H. G. Wells’ novel The War Of The Worlds. Horsell Common in Surrey is struck by a huge meteor, and the inhabitants of Earth slowly fall victim to a vicious invasion. Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall lead the cast alongside Robert Carlyle and Rupert Graves in the first British television adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel.

World on Fire (BBC ONE)

BBC/© Mammoth Screen

This seven-part World War II drama is written by The A Word’s Peter Bowker with Helen Hunt set to star. It is billed as an adrenalized, emotionally gripping and resonant drama following the first year of World War II told through the intertwining fates of ordinary people drawn from Britain, Poland, France, Germany and the United States as they grapple with the effect of the war on their everyday lives. The impressive cast includes Helen Hunt, Sean Bean and Blake Harrison. 

Other returning shows include ITV’s Doc Martin, Sky One comedy In the Long Run starring Idris Elba and Bill Bailey and Sky Atlantic epic Britainia.  Riverdale returns for a fourth season on Netflix on October 10th. Returning entertainment shows include The Apprentice, Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show. Christmas highlights include a dark adaptation of A Christmas Carol from Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight and a brand new episode of beloved comedy Gavin & Stacey.

Custard TV Staff

Custard TV Staff


All the latest TV news and TV listings from the staff of the site.


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