MAD MEN (Sky Atlantic, April)
Mad Men’s seventh and final season arrives with quite a fanfare. The season is split — seven episodes this year and seven in 2015. Rumours abound of a Don Draper nervous breakdown and a hippie invasion. But claims that the cast will crash-land on a mysterious island have been ignored by creator Matthew Weiner.
CRITICAL (Sky1, early 2015)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead) stars in Jed Mercurio’s full-tilt real-time medical drama, set in a state-of-the-art major trauma centre that treats the gravely ill or seriously injured. Each week consultant Glen Boyle (James) leads the team in a new case — from major crashes to sensitive operations — told in forensic detail and spanning both the hospital and the inner space of the human body.
PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS (Sky Arts, May)
Like an ideas incubator, Playhouse Presents sees Sky Arts invite big names to the small screen for personal projects. Previously, David Tennant starred in a Will self short story, Harry Shearer played Richard Nixon and the darkly comic Psychobitches first drew a ragged breath. This year Daniel Mays and Ashley Walters play thoughtful cops on a rough estate in Nightshift while Billie Piper, Ben Whishaw, Lindsay Duncan and Alice Sanders star in Foxtrot, Polly Stenham’s tale of an ill-fated girl gang heist.
TRYING AGAIN (Sky Living, April)
A sensitive, heart-warming, relationship comedy isn’t necessarily what you’d expect from the people behind The Thick of It and Veep. Simon Blackwell writes and Jesse Armstrong script-edits a romcom starring co-creator Chris Addison. Matt (Addison) is trying to patch things up with meg (ex-EastEnder Jo Joyner) after she cheated on him with her boss. But in a small Lake District town it’s hard to put the past behind you when you bump into it every day.
Your chance to watch Sky for free
Wondering whether to take the plunge with Sky? There’s a brand new way to sample some of the broadcaster’s comedy and drama content. Point your web browser to youtube.com/SkyFirstEpisodes and you can see the first ever instalments of gripping anglo-French crime thriller The Tunnel, pirate drama Moonfleet, starring Ray Winstone, the acclaimed sitcom Moone Boy and the Daniel Radcliffe/Jon Hamm comic drama A Young Doctor’s Notebook — in full, for free!