DQ100 2024/25 – Part one

DQ100 2024/25 – Part one

March 21, 2024


In the first part of the DQ100 2024/25, DQ picks out a range of shows to tune in for and the actors, directors and writers making them, as well as some of the trends and trailblazers worth catching up with.


Alessandro Borghi
The award-winning Italian actor has starred in filming including The Eight Mountains, Romulus & Remus: The First King and On My Skin: The Last Seven Days of Stefano Cucchi, as well as long-running roles on TV series such as Devils and Suburra: Blood on Rome. He now takes the lead role in Supersex, a Netflix drama inspired by the life of adult star Rocco Siffredi. Across seven episodes, it explores his family, his origins and his relationship with love to reveal how and when Rocco Tano became Rocco Siffredi, the most famous porn star in the world.

Doria Tillier
Tillier takes the title role in Iris, a Canal+ series she also created, writes with Constance Verluca and directs with Jean-Baptiste Pouilloux. Produced by Les films entre 2 & 4, the six-parter introduces Iris, who doesn’t often get along with those around her: her boyfriend, the wine merchant, her friends, her sister-in-law and her colleagues. Longing to find someone who understands her, she meets someone who could be ‘the one,’ only to discover his wife is her editor and the only person who believes in her writing. Tillier has previously been seen in La Flamme and movies including La belle époque, Le Jeu (Nothing to Hide) and Mr & Mrs Adelman.

Joel Basman
Basman (Der Überfall, KaDeWe) stars in Austrian historical drama Kafka, playing the German-language author in the centenary year of his death. Pitched as an entertaining and humorous approach to his life and character, the six-part series follows Kafka’s remarkable love affairs with Felice Bauer, Milena Jesenska and Dora Diamant, his difficult relationship with his tyrannical father and his close friendship with Max Brod, who would ultimately come to betray his terminally ill friend. The coproduction from ORF, NDR and Superfilm is distributed by ORF Enterprise.

Louisa Harland
Best known for her role as Orla McCool in Irish comedy hit Derry Girls, Harland has also appeared in drama The Deceived, Big Boys and Love/Hate. She now takes the lead in Happy Valley creator Sally Wainwright’s action-fantasy series Renegade Nell, which is produced by Lookout Point and coming to Disney+. She plays Nell, a quick-witted and courageous young woman who finds herself framed for murder and unexpectedly becomes the most notorious highwaywoman in 18th century England. And when a magical spirit called Billy Blind appears, Nell realises her destiny is bigger than she ever imagined.

Supinder Wraich
Sort Of, Guidestones and Copper star Wraich takes the lead in Allegiance, a Canadian police procedural from Anar Ali, the creator of medical series Transplant. The actor will play Sabrina Sohal, a star rookie officer who must grapple with the limits of the justice system as she fights to exonerate her politician father, in the story of a young woman caught between her allegiance to her flag, her badge and her family. Lark Productions and Universal International Studios are producing for CBC, while NBCUniversal Global Distribution is shopping the drama internationally.


Aisling Walsh
Bafta-winning filmmaker Walsh (Room at the Top) reunites with her Elizabeth is Missing collaborator, writer Andrea Gibb, for Miss Austen, an adaptation of Gill Hornby’s novel of the same name. Starring Keeley Hawes and Rose Leslie, the story takes a literary mystery – Cassandra Austen notoriously burning her famous sister Jane’s letters – and reimagines it as a fascinating, witty and heartbreaking tale of sisterly love, while creating in Cassandra a character as captivating as any Austen heroine. It is coproduced by Bonnie Productions and Masterpiece, in association with the BBC and Federation Stories. Walsh’s other credits include Wallander, Fingersmith, An Inspector Calls and Maudie.

Alauda Ruiz de Azúa
Lullaby director de Azúa, winner of three Goya awards, creates and co-writes her first series, Querer, which is coming to Spanish streamer Movistar+. Starring Nagore Aranburu, Pedro Casablanc, Miguel Bernardeau, Iván Pellicer and Loreto Mauleón, the four-part series opens when Miren goes to the police station with her lawyer and denounces her husband for continuous rape during a marriage – seemingly perfect to everyone who knows them – that has lasted more than 30 years. Her husband claims not to have done anything wrong and feels a victim, outraged and wronged. Their eldest son decides to support his father because he himself is afraid of having crossed that line, while their youngest son decides to support his mother because he has also felt that invisible violence.

Baltasar Kormákur
Kormákur (Everest, Adrift, The Deep) has partnered with actors James Norton and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for his latest project, historical drama King & Conqueror. Written by Michael Robert Johnson (Sherlock Holmes), it tells the story of a clash that defined the future of a country – and a continent – for a thousand years, the roots of which stretch back decades and extend out through a pair of interconnected family dynasties, struggling for power across two countries and a raging sea. Harold of Wessex (Norton) and William of Normandy (Coster-Waldau) were two men destined to meet at the Battle of Hastings in 1066; two allies with no design on the British throne, who found themselves forced by circumstance and personal obsession into a war for possession of the crown. The eight-parter is produced by Rabbit Track Pictures, The Development Partnership, RVK Studios and Shepherd Content, in association with the BBC. Paramount Global Content Distribution is handling sales.

Bille August
August is an award-winning filmmaker, most notably for 1987’s Pelle the Conqueror, which won the Palme D’Or in Cannes, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. The Dane’s work also includes The House of the Spirits, Les Misérables, Night Train to Lisbon, A Fortunate Man and The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones. He is now in production on new TV series The Count of Monte Cristo, produced by Italy’s Palomar and France’s DEMD Productions for Rai in Italy and France Télévisions, with Mediawan Rights distributing. Starring Jeremy Irons, Sam Claflin, Ana Girardot and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, it based on the classic novel and follows Edmond Dantes, a 19-year-old sailor falsely accused of treason, who is imprisoned without trial in the Château d’If, a grim island fortress off Marseille. After many years of captivity, he finally escapes and under the identity of the Count of Monte Cristo and plans to take revenge on those who have wrongly accused him.

Sion Ifan
Welsh director Ifan is best known as an actor through roles in Living a Lie, 35 Diwrnod and Craith (Hidden). Behind the camera, his credits include Y Gyrfinach (The Secret), Pobol y Cwm, Y Coleudy (The Lighthouse) and his latest project, Cleddau (The One that Got Away). In the show, which combines a gripping murder mystery with an electrifying love story, the shocking killing of a nurse opens old wounds in a small-town community, throwing a historic conviction into doubt, raising the horrifying prospect of a copycat killer and reuniting two former lovers (played by Elen Rhys and Richard Harrington) who are tasked with finding the killer. The S4C series is produced by BlackLight Television, with Banijay distributing.


Grace Ofori-Attah
Following the success of 2023 hospital thriller Malpractice, which is returning for a second season, Ofori-Attah is again working with Malpractice lead Niamh Algar on Playing Nice. Based on the novel by JP Delaney, the story follows two couples who discover their toddlers were switched at birth in a hospital mix-up and now face a horrifying dilemma: do they keep the son they have raised or reclaim their biological child? Algar stars alongside James Norton, James McArdle and Jessica Brown Findlay in the drama, which is produced by Rabbit Track Pictures and StudioCanal for ITV and Canal+. StudioCanal is also distributing. Ofori-Attah was selected for the Bafta Elevate Talent writers scheme in 2018, having previously been a consultant psychiatrist.

Jenny Lund Madsen
Author and screenwriter Madsen (Rita, Follow the Money) has created six-part crime series Off the Record, which follows a team of journalists from a highly respected documentary programme as they unravel a story of injustice and abuse of power, all while their broadcaster threatens to close them down. The series stars fellow Rita alum Mille Dinesen, with Madsen writing alongside Anton Breum. Produced by Nordisk Film for TV2 Denmark and distributed by TrustNordisk, it is due to debut in autumn 2024.

Kelly Jones
Jones (The Long Call, The Spanish Princess) is dramatising the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, for broadcaster ITV. The four-part miniseries, called A Cruel Love: The Ruth Ellis Story, is set in 1955 and is told over two timelines: the first revealing truths about what really happened in the months before Ruth killed her lover David Blakely; and the second following her entry into the dizzying world of upper-class London as a young nightclub manageress, her abusive relationship with the man she later killed, her arrest, trial and the legal fight to reprieve her before she was hanged at just 28 years old. Lucy Boynton stars in the series, which is produced by Silverprint Pictures and distributed by ITV Studios.

Lena Dunham
The force behind HBO’s groundbreaking drama Girls is partnering with Netflix on Too Much, a romcom created with her husband Luis Felber. Produced by Working Title Television, it introduces Jessica (Megan Stalter), a New York workaholic in her mid-30 who is reeling from a broken relationship that she thought would last forever and slowly isolating everyone she knows. Taking a job in London, Jessica plans to live a life of solitude – but when she meets Felix (Will Sharpe), she finds that their unusual connection is impossible to ignore. Actor, producer and director Dunham’s recent writing credits also include Generation and Camping, plus films Sharp Stick and Catherine Called Birdy. She is also behind another upcoming Netflix series, spy drama Covers.

Samuel Jefferson
Jefferson is the British former emergency-room doctor turned screenwriter behind Krank Berlin, a German medical drama set in the toughest and most overcrowded hospital in the German capital. Haley Louise Jones (Dear Child) stars as Dr Parker, who takes over as head of the chaotic emergency room – but managing this challenging environment is no small task for a doctor seeking a fresh start in the big city after her private life imploded in Munich. The series is produced by Violet Pictures and Real Film Berlin for ZDF Neo and distributed by Beta Film.


Cicatriz (Scar)
Based on the novel by Juan Gómez-Jurado, Cicatriz follows Simon, the creator of a groundbreaking algorithm whose business success is at odds with his lack of social skills. When he joins a dating app and connects with Irina, she decides to leave her home in Ukraine and travel to Spain to see him. But the enigmatic scar on her cheek carries a dark secret and fuels her only goal – revenge. Canal+ Poland has joined the eight-part series, which is produced by Spain’s Plano a Plano in coproduction with Mexico’s Dopamine, with support from Asacha Media Group and Adrenalin, for RTVE, Prime Video in Spain and Telekom Srbija. The cast includes Serbia’s Milena Radulovic (Besa), Juanlu González (Valeria) from Spain and Maciej Stuhr from Poland.

Paramount+ has ordered this British series, set in a world where all men live under the Women’s Safety Act, meaning they are bound by a strict curfew from 7pm to 7am every night, with their movements tracked by an ankle tag 24 hours a day. When a woman’s body is discovered, brutally murdered during curfew hours and left on the steps of the Women’s Safety Centre, veteran police officer Pamela Green (played by Sarah Parish, pictured) believes a man is responsible. But in a world where men are bound by the curfew system, her theory is rejected – and people in high places are determined to stop her discovering the truth. Produced by Vertigo Films in association with Evolutionary Films, the show comes from director Joasia Goldyn and lead writer Lydia Yeoman.

Four Years Later
This SBS Australia drama follows the turbulent marriage of two young Indian lovers, Sridevi and Yash (played by Shahana Goswami and Akshay Ajit Singh), as they try to find each other again after being separated for four years. Discussing topics including intimacy, desire and power dynamics in a relationship, the story is told through two timelines, unfolding in two worlds, from two perspectives and in both English and Hindi. Created by Mithila Gupta (Five Bedrooms) and directed by Mohini Herse and Fadia Abboud, it is produced by Easy Tiger Productions (Colin from Accounts).

The Death of Bunny Munro
Former Doctor Who star Matt Smith stars in this Sky series based on the darkly comic novel by musician Nick Cave (pictured). Smith plays the title role of Bunny, a sex addict, door-to-door beauty product salesman and self-professed Lothario who finds himself saddled with a young son after his wife Libby’s suicide. With nine-year-old Bunny Junior, he embarks on an epic and increasingly out-of-control road trip across Southern England as the two struggle to contain their grief in very different ways. Written by Pete Jackson (Somewhere Boy) and directed by Isabella Eklöf (Industry), the series is produced by Clerkenwell Films in association with Sky Studios. NBCUniversal Global Distribution is handling sales.

Wolf Hall: The Mirror & The Light
Almost a decade after Wolf Hall first aired, the BBC and Masterpiece PBS have confirmed a long-awaited sequel, once again based on Hilary Mantel’s novels about Thomas Cromwell and the court of Henry VIII. Wolf Hall: The Mirror & The Light will reunite director Peter Kosminsky and writer Peter Straughan with producer Playground and Company Pictures. Mark Rylance also returns as Cromwell, with Damian Lewis as Henry and Jonathan Pryce as Cardinal Wolsey. In May 1536, Henry’s second wife Anne Boleyn is dead. As the axe drops, Cromwell emerges from the bloodbath to continue his climb to power and wealth, while his formidable master, Henry, settles into short-lived happiness with his third queen, Jane Seymour.


Fashion forward
In biopics hailing from multiple countries, no fewer than three new series spotlight the work of iconic fashion designers. Cristóbal Balenciaga, on Disney+, comes from Spain and follows the designer to Paris where he hopes his designs will build on trends led by Chanel, Dior and Givenchy. Meanwhile, Apple TV+’s The New Look (pictured) highlights a similar story, with the Paris-set drama focusing on how the French capital led the world in fashion thanks to Christian Dior, whose work puts him in conflict with Chanel, Pierre Balmain, Balenciaga and more. Another Disney+ series launching this year, German drama Kaiser Karl, will chronicle the rise of Karl Lagerfeld through the world of 1970s Parisian high fashion.

Harlan Coben
Coben is no stranger to success, having written more than 30 bestselling thriller novels. He’s also seen his stories, and some original projects, land on the big and small screens, but it is his latest effort that has become a particular sensation since its release at the start of the year. Fool Me Once, based on his book of the same name, follows Maya Stern (Michelle Keegan), who discovers her dead husband (Richard Armitage) might still be alive and embarks on a hunt for the truth that reveals shocking secrets about her life. The series drew 61 million views in the first two weeks of its release and was in the Netflix Top 10 in 91 countries around the world – statistics that led the streamer to commission two more Coben adaptations, Missing You and Run Away, that will mark the ninth and 10th projects in its long-running creative collaboration with the author.

Issa López
After its groundbreaking first season, HBO crime drama True Detective’s second and third outings couldn’t match the initial entry, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of detectives in pursuit of a serial killer. Yet with this year’s fourth instalment, the Jodie Foster- and Kali Reis-led True Detective: Night Country, showrunner López oversaw the show’s most watched season, attracting 12.7 million cross-platform viewers in the US alone. The series has since been renewed for a fifth season, while López has scored a multi-year overall deal with HBO.

More or less
When British comedian Greg Davies was asked what he would change about the television business during a Berlinale Series panel on comedy series, he suggested all new comedies be given a two-season order. His point was that many classic sitcoms took that amount of time – or even longer – to find their voice, and their audience. But the same could be said for other scripted series. The days of long-running dramas such as Law & Order (pictured) and NCIS appear to be numbered, as traditional procedurals you could rely on returning year after year fall out of fashion. In their place have come so-called ‘event’ and shorter-run limited series – but even dramas designed to run for several seasons are often canned prematurely when instant reviews and ratings fail to impress. Though the Peak TV era may be winding down, series still need to hit the ground running if they’re going to last the distance, however long that might be.

Mr Bates vs the Post Office
If ever proof were needed of the power of television drama, look no further than this four-part drama that debuted on ITV at the start of the year. It told the story of what is described as the greatest miscarriage of justice in British history, when hundreds of sub-postmasters and postmistresses were wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting due to the defective Horizon computer system. Many were imprisoned and all had their lives turned upside down by the scandal. Although the truth of the matter had already been reported across the past 20 years, the series pushed the scandal to the front pages, sparked public outrage and led UK prime minister Rishi Sunak to announce a new law to clear the names of those wrongly convicted. A public inquiry is ongoing, as is the row over compensation.

tagged in: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,