Equally mysterious but with an arguably more high-profile cast, The Leftovers is an adaptation of novelist Tom Perrotta’s 2011 best-selling novel of the same name. Set in a small New York suburb three years after 140 million people – two per cent of the world’s population – disappear without trace or explanation, the series tells the unfolding story of the people of the fictional town of Mapleton who were left behind.
The 10-part series follows – and is primarily seen through the eyes of – police chief and father-of-two, Kevin Garvey (played by Justin Theroux, the Mulholland Drive actor who is also known to many as Mr Jennifer Aniston and cousin to documentarian Louis). Kevin tries to maintain a sense of normality despite the fact that the notion couldn’t be further from the reality. And that’s not least because his wife Laurie (Amy Brenneman, star of long-running US TV drama Private Practice) has left her old life behind to join a mysterious cult.
Other names of interest in the programme include British actor and former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston, who plays the town’s anguished reverend, Matt Jamison, and Lord of the Rings starlet Liv Tyler as the melancholic bride-to-be, Megan Abbott.
The series explores how an ordinary town unites and divides under the strain of the chaos that ensues. Dealing with the loss and anger that is felt in the aftermath of this mass disappearance, The Leftovers tries to make sense of what’s happened. What is it that has caused this inexplicable event, and what of the other mysteries that will emerge during the course of the series?Artfully crafted and deeply thought-provoking, The Leftovers is the must-watch drama of the season.
Starts 16 September, 9pm Sky Atlantic