The 12 best dramas coming to TV this summer

Poldark isn't the only series to hit the small screen in the next few months: from Strike with Tom Burke, to Tamsin Greig in Diana, there's plenty of TV to stay in for

139579.472804b1-7dd7-4b50-9118-ee4c3d454604

Do not worry. If sunny days leave you cold, barbecues turn to ash in your mouth and trips to the beach sound like hell on Earth, don’t fret – because there’s plenty of great telly on the box this summer to keep you entertained while everyone else runs around having waterfights and getting sunburned.

Advertisement

Gone are the days when the summer months were the doldrums of British TV, with all the top-tier series kept for the chillier days of autumn and only the bottom-barrel scrapings making it to the screen in June and July. Nowadays the world’s biggest and best dramas are just as likely to pitch up in sunnier times, and this year’s crop is no exception. Apart from Poldark there are so many brand-new and returning series to watch that you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to distractions in the coming long, warm nights.

Who needs to go outside anyway?


1. Poldark

Sunday 11th June

What’s it about?

The third series of the period drama sees Capt. Ross Poldark – a redcoat who returned to Cornwall after the American Revolutionary War – in a happier place with wife Demelza after the troubling (ahem) events last series. But it’s not all smiles. The series opener raises that ugly unanswered question about Poldark’s pregnant former love Elizabeth: just who is the father of her unborn child?

Who’s in it?

Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Heida Reed and Jack Farthing.

Why watch it?

Not only does the superbly written drama – based on Winston Graham’s epic book series – gift audiences a glimpse at 18th Century Cornwall, but the new series will shift to events abroad. Producer Michael Ray says: “The world of Poldark expands again in series three as we head across the sea to violent revolutionary France, meanwhile on the home-front we meet the richest and most powerful people in Cornwall. And they all want a piece of Ross.”


2. Fearless

June ITV

What’s it about?

Dogged solicitor Emma is convinced that a convicted child-killer is innocent, but her efforts to free him are threatened by powerful forces in the police and intelligence forces who’d rather the truth stay hidden.

Who’s in it?

Helen McCrory, Jonathan Forbes, Michael Gambon, Jamie Bamber, John Bishop and Wunmi Mosaku.

Why watch it?

“Fearless is a legal thriller,” says writer Patrick Harbinson, who’s also worked on US hit Homeland. “But one that’s written in the crash zone where law and politics collide. National security justifies all sorts of police and state over-reach — and the great majority of us are prepared to accept this. So I wanted to create a character who challenges assumptions, who fights for those outside the normal run of society, and who is uncompromising, difficult, and indifferent to unpopularity and danger.”


3. Against the Law

July BBC2

139516.952d7df3-308b-4ac5-a3bd-96a5a663fa1a

What’s it about?

More than ten years before the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967, gay journalist Peter Wildeblood finds himself in the dock when his lover is pressured to turn Queen’s Evidence against him, in a retelling of one of the 1950s’ most controversial court cases — the Montagu Trial.

Who’s in it?

Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss, Charlie Creed-Miles, Richard Gadd and Mark Edel-Hunt.

Why watch it?

Advertisement

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of a drama that tells such an important real-life story,” Mays says. “Peter Wildeblood is a fascinating, complex, yet flawed character from a time when being a gay man in Britain was incredibly difficult.”