DQ100 2024/25 – Part two

DQ100 2024/25 – Part two

June 20, 2024


In the second 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.


Diego Boneta
Mexican actor Boneta (Who Killed Him?, Luis Miguel: The Series) will star in El Gato, a bilingual drama based on the comic book series El Gato Negro. He plays Frank Guerrero, the black sheep of his family, who finds himself at the centre of a vast conspiracy when he discovers his father was the titular 1970s vigilante. When Frank returns home to Mexico after his father’s death and finds his estranged family all vying for control of his father’s business empire, he learns his only inheritance is a seemingly worthless piece of land – which sits atop El Gato’s secret lair. Now he must solve mysteries decades in the making and unravel the truth about his father’s connections to a modern-day terror plot. The show is produced by MGM Television for Prime Video.

Lena Góra
Góra began acting aged 16 on stage in London and New York, before making her TV debut in 2019’s The King of Warsaw. Feature films including Imago and Roving Woman followed, and she is now taking the lead in The Easterngate, the first Max original series from Poland. The suspense thriller delves into the world of modern espionage, following the journey of Ewa Oginiec (Góra) who, after a personal drama, aims to exit the secret service and start her life again. But with Russian war manoeuvres on NATO’s eastern flank, her plans take a turn when her partner, who is also an agent, gets outed by Russian intelligence and vanishes mysteriously. The series, which is set in spring 2021, began filming in March and is directed by Jan P Matuszyński.

Mia McKenna-Bruce
Set to bring the work of Agatha Christie to life for a new generation, McKenna-Bruce will star in a Netflix series that takes its title from the Queen of Crime’s novel The Seven Dials Mystery. In 1925 England, a practical joke at a lavish country house party appears to have gone horribly, murderously wrong. It’s then up to the unlikeliest of sleuths – the fizzingly inquisitive Lady Eileen ‘Bundle’ Brent (McKenna-Bruce) – to unravel a chilling plot that will change her life, cracking the mystery wide open. Described as a witty, epic and fast-paced drama, it comes from Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall and director Chris Sweeney (The Tourist). McKenna-Bruce, who won the Bafta Rising Star award at this year’s ceremony in the wake of her feature film How to Have Sex, will star opposite Helena Bonham Carter (Nolly) and Martin Freeman (The Responder).

Anna Samson
A familiar face to fans of long-running soap Home & Away, Samson was a resident in Summer Bay between 2021 and 2022, appearing in more than 120 episodes. The British-born, Australian actor is also known for roles in Dead Lucky, Jack Irish, Wake in Fright and Winners & Losers. She is now set to become the first female detective in the Death in Paradise universe (‘The Paraverse’) when she takes the lead in upcoming spin-off Return to Paradise, in which she plays DI Mackenzie Clarke, an expat who has made a name for herself in London’s Metropolitan Police for cracking uncrackable cases. When she is accused of tampering with evidence, Clarke reluctantly returns to her hometown to join the team at Dolphin Cove Police Station and must attempt to win over her colleagues and the locals who still remember why she fled years earlier. The series is produced by BBC Studios Productions Australia and Red Planet Pictures, and is coming to ABC in Australia and the UK’s BBC.

Can Yaman
Almost 50 years after it was last adapted for television, a new version of Emilio Salgari’s historic saga Sandokan is in production – with Yaman in the lead as the titular pirate who wages war with his motley crew against colonial powers in South-East Asia. In Borneo, a tropical paradise inhabited by the native Dayak tribes but dominated by the ruthless law of the colonialist British, Sandokan is a pirate who fights only for himself and his crew. But his life changes when, during a raid, he meets Marianne, the beautiful daughter of the British consul. As he embarks on an impossible love affair with Marianne, he is also called upon to help the Dayak tribes fight for freedom – a road that leads him to become the legendary Tiger of Malaya. The series is produced by Lux Vide for Italy’s Rai and distributed by Fremantle, with Yaman already a superstar in his home country of Turkey following roles in Dolunay (Full Moon), Erkenci Kuş (Daydreamer) and Bay Yanliş (Mr Wrong).


Julian Farino
Farino previously partnered with writer Joe Barton on Giri/Haji, the BBC and Netflix series that follows a Japanese detective who travels to London in search of his brother, who is accused of a murder that threatens to start a gang war in Tokyo. Now he’s the lead director on Barton’s latest project, Sky limited series Amadeus, which finds the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Will Sharpe) in 18th century Vienna on a path that will lead him to become one of the greatest musical virtuosos of all time. The series comes from Two Cities Television and Sky Studios, with NBCUniversal Global TV Distribution handling sales. Farino’s directing credits also include Benedict Cumberbatch drama The Child in Time, Sex & the City, Rome, The Office, Entourage and In Treatment.

Charlotte Regan
Regan was among the nominees at this year’s Bafta Film Awards for her film Scrapper, having previously been nominated in 2017 for her short film Standby. On the small screen, she has directed episodes of The Buccaneers and The Responder, and is now writing and directing her own BBC series called Mint. Running across eight half-hour episodes, it is described as a darkly comic and unconventional drama about what it means to be part of a crime family, following the kids, the mum and the grandma in the family as they confront the love, darkness, humour, heartbreak and “plain weirdness” that come with living in that world. Fearless Minds and House Productions are making the show.

Christian Schwochow
With credits including The Crown, Munich: The Edge of War and Bad Banks, German director Schwochow has been tapped to lead upcoming drama Nuremberg, a series based on the Nuremberg trials. Produced by Constantin Film and Big Light Productions, it is written by Frank Spotnitz (The Man in the High Castle, The X-Files) and will follow young survivors of World War Two who go to work for Allied prosecutors trying Nazi criminals, only to find their quest for justice is undercut by secret efforts to build a new world order based on power, not principle.

Eva Sigurdardottir
Icelandic filmmaker Sigurdardottir scored her big break on Vitjanir (Fractures), the story of a city doctor who returns to her small hometown to face the ghosts of her past. She then went to the UK to shoot Domino Day, the story of a young witch coming to terms with her powers in modern-day Manchester, and her latest project also hails from the UK. Paramount+ in the UK and Ireland has ordered Little Disasters, a series based on Sarah Vaughan’s book of the same name that explores female friendships and motherhood as A&E doctor Liz (Jo Joyner) must decide whether to call social services after her friend Jess (Diane Kruger) brings her baby daughter to hospital with a head injury she can’t explain. The series comes from Roughcut Television, with Fremantle in charge of distribution.

Laura Way
Irish director Way has helmed episodes of EastEnders, Blood and The Vanishing Triangle, while also overseeing dramas including The Holiday and Maxine. More recently, she took charge of Paramount+ drama The Serial Killer’s Wife, which starred Annabel Scholey – and she is now reuniting with the actor for Dead & Buried, written by Colin Bateman. Scholey plays Cathy, who is suddenly confronted by Michael (Colin Morgan), the man who killed her brother 20 years earlier and begins a clandestine relationship with the man she despises, embarking on a campaign of harassment and deceit. As her obsession grows, dark fantasies of revenge and reality blur as she sets out on a campaign of psychological warfare to destroy Michael’s life. The series is produced by Three River Fiction and Vico Films for BBC Northern Ireland and Virgin Media Television, with All3Media International handling sales.


Victoria Asare-Archer
The London-born writer has penned episodes of Death in Paradise, Turn Up Charlie and Harlan Coben’s Netflix series Stay Close – and has now been tapped as lead writer on the streamer’s next Coben adaptation. Currently in production with Quay Street Productions, Missing You follows police detective Kat, who is still reeling from the sudden disappearance of her fiancé Josh 11 years earlier. Then when she’s swiping profiles on a dating app, she suddenly sees his face and her world explodes all over again. Josh’s reappearance will force her to dive back into the mystery surrounding her father’s murder and uncover long-buried secrets from her past. Asare-Archer also has a second adaptation on her books, penning a series version of CM Ewan’s The House Hunt for Eleventh Hour Films (The Killing Kind). The story centres on a young couple, Lucy and Sam, who have put their recently renovated dream house up for sale to help clear their debts. When Lucy entertains a potential buyer alone at the house, the man turns on her and reveals something inconceivable, and things quickly spiral beyond her control.

Bruno Gascon
Portuguese filmmaker Gascon is behind Irreversível (Irreversible), a thought-provoking crime series that tackles themes such as mental health, illegal adoptions, bullying, homophobia and motherhood. In a coastal town, psychologist Júlia Mendes and police inspector Pedro Sousa team up to solve a brutal homicide involving a young girl, but as they unravel the case, they battle their own demons and strive to keep their lives intact. In a town where everyone is hiding something, the quest for truth finds blurred boundaries between love and the justification of violence. Produced by Caracol Studios for public broadcaster RTP and distributed by The Yellow Affair, the show is written and directed by Gascon, and follows other credits such as alt-history feature Patria and child abduction film Sombra (Shadow). Other upcoming projects include Past Waters, a TV series he is due to direct based on a book by João Tordo, again with Caracol producing. It is due to be filmed in 2025.

Hannah Daniel & Georgia Lee
Daniel is an actor known for roles in Keeping Faith, Tree on a Hill, The Light in the Hall and Hinterland, while Lee is a musician, songwriter – and a part-time magistrate. But together, they are a new writing duo responsible for upcoming UKTV and S4C commission Mudtown. Centred on life at Newport’s Magistrates Court, the drama follows Claire Lewis Jones (Erin Richards) as she faces personal turmoil while presiding over cases at the court. When Ned Humphries, a childhood friend of Claire’s daughter Beca (Lauren Morais), faces arson charges, Claire’s loyalty to her community is put to the test. Matters are made worse when local criminal kingpin Saint Pete (Tom Cullen) appears on the scene, while questions surrounding Beca’s new bad-boy boyfriend Sonny Higgins (Lloyd Meredith) lead Claire to uncover a web of criminal activity that could put her and her family at risk. Severn Screen is producing for UKTV’s Alibi and S4C, with All3Media International handling distribution. The show is due to air in 2025.

Milly Thomas
As an actor, Thomas has landed roles in The Feed, The Crown, Sex Education and Quacks. More recently, however, she has turned her hand to screenwriting, with credits on Clique and River City, and she has now adapted Erik Axl Sund’s novel trilogy The Crow Girl for Paramount+. The six-part psychological thriller begins with the gruesome discovery of a teenage boy’s body that has been discarded in plain sight. Determined to find who is responsible, DCI Jeanette Kirkland (Eve Myles) joins forces with psychotherapist Sophia Craven (Katherine Kelly) to hunt for the killer, despite opposition from her superiors, including confidant DI Lou Stanley (Dougray Scott). But as their investigation takes them into a dangerous world of historic abuse, murder and evidence of police corruption, they begin to share an intimacy that turns into a complex love story. Buccaneer is producing the series, with ITV Studios handling distribution.

Mia Ylönen
Ylönen is the head of drama at Finnish production company Helsinki-Filmi and has also written on a number of shows – from detective series Codename: Annika to fact-based drama Mädat Omenat (Bad Apples) and a remake of BBC series The Replacement (known locally as Sijainen). Her latest project, Icebreaker (pictured top), is already an award winner, having won the Coupe de Couer at this spring’s MipDrama event as the standout among a selection of highly anticipated upcoming series. Commissioned by Finnish streamer Elisa Viihde and distributed by About Premium Content, the six-part supernatural thriller is set on a stranded icebreaker ship where, as crew members start to disappear, a rescue operation becomes a fight for survival during a freezing winter storm. Ylönen is the creator, executive producer and head writer.


An t-Eilean (The Island)
Announced as the biggest Gaelic drama series in the history of BBC Alba, with an estimated budget of more than £1m (US$1.27m) per episode, An t-Eilean is set to arrive in 2025. Set against the backdrop of the Outer Hebrides, it sees four troubled siblings gather at their family home as their father is questioned over the mysterious death of their mother. Gaelic speaker Sorcha Groundsell (His Dark Materials, The Innocents) plays PC Kat Crichton, a police family liaison officer who returns to her home island as part of the investigation into the brutal and inexplicable murder. Black Camel Pictures is producing, with All3Media International handing distribution.

Blind Spot
Ida Engvoll and Pål Sverre Hagen take the lead in this Swedish mystery crime series, which has been commissioned by Prime Video Nordics. Based on Anne Holt’s novel 1222, the story begins with a snowstorm that leads a train from Stockholm to Narvik to collide with an avalanche. Among the passengers taking shelter in an isolated mountain hotel is police officer Hanna (Engvoll), who is called into action when a number of mysterious murders take place. Despite the fact she has been temporarily suspended from her duties, Hanna begins an investigation with support from doctor Magnus (Hagen), whose main goal is to protect his daughter and her friends. Due to arrive in 2025, Blind Spot is coproduced by Amazon MGM Studios and Nordic Drama Queens, with Fifth Season distributing.

Down Cemetery Road
Following the success of espionage series Slow Horses, Apple TV+ is backing another adaptation of a novel by Mick Herron, with Emma Thompson and Ruth Wilson (pictured) set to star. When a house explodes in a quiet Oxford suburb and a girl disappears in the aftermath, neighbour Sarah Tucker (Wilson) becomes obsessed with finding her and enlists the help of private investigator Zoë Boehm. They soon find themselves in a complex conspiracy that reveals people who were long believed dead are still among the living, while the living are fast joining the dead. 60Forty Films is producing, with Morwenna Banks (Funny Woman) as lead writer and Natalie Bailey (Bay of Fires) directing.

Peep Show’s David Mitchell turns detective as the title character in this “genre-bending” case-of-the-week BBC One series. When John ‘Ludwig’ Taylor’s identical twin James goes missing, John takes over his brother’s identity in a quest to discover his whereabouts. John has never married, never had a family and doesn’t own a computer, a mobile phone or a television, preferring to work as a puzzle designer in quiet solitude. But becoming James, he is forced to step into his brother’s shoes as a successful DCI leading Cambridge’s busy inner-city major crimes team. Anna Maxwell Martin (Motherland) also stars as Lucy, John’s sister-in-law and the wife of his missing brother. Big Talk Studios is producing the six-part series in association with That Mitchell & Webb Company, with ITV Studios distributing.

The Gray House
From executive producers including Morgan Freeman and Kevin Costner, this American Civil War drama focuses on the true story of the unsung women who turned the tide of the conflict in favour of the North, which remained loyal to the federal government and wanted to limit or abolish slavery. It follows a Virginia socialite, her mother, a formerly enslaved sister-in-arms and the city’s most notorious courtesan as they operate deep inside the corridors of Confederate power, transforming their underground railroad into an effective and even more dangerous underground spy network, risking life and liberty to help win the war and preserve American democracy. Boasting a cast including Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), Daisy Head (Harlots), Amethyst Davis (Kindred) and Ben Vereen (Roots), the show is produced by Costner’s Territory Pictures and Freeman’s Revolutionary Entertainment, alongside Big Dreams Entertainment and Republic Pictures. Distribution is handled by Paramount Global Content Distribution.


Time-travelling to historical Japan
One of the standout series of the year has been FX and Disney+’s historical Japanese drama Shōgun (pictured), which combines thrilling storytelling with astonishing costume and production design to tell a story set in 1600s Japan. Based on James Clavell’s novel, it follows what happens when a mysterious European ship washes up on the shores of a fishing village, with pilot John Blackthorne holding secrets that could lead Lord Yoshii Toranaga to victory in a brewing civil war. Now following in Shōgun’s wake is a Battle Royale-style Netflix series set in post-samurai era Japan. Last Samurai Standing opens in 1878, when 292 fallen samurais are lured into a survival game where the last competitor is set to claim 100 billion yen. Based on the novel Ikusagami by Shogo Imamura, it will star Junichi Okado in the lead role of Shujiro Saga, who enters this dangerous game with one goal: to save his ailing wife and child. Okada is also the producer and action choreographer, with Michito Fujii (The Journalist) directing.

Book to film… to TV
With the release earlier this year of One Day (pictured), Netflix’s adaptation of David Nicholl’s romantic comedy novel, a new entry joined the ranks of TV series based on books that had also previously been adapted for the big screen. In the case of One Day, it was also a 2011 movie. Other examples include The Time Traveler’s Wife, Shadowhunters (The Mortal Instruments), Dark Places, Percy Jackson and Alex Rider. Meanwhile, work is progressing on a potential Harry Potter series at US streamer Max, which of course follows the hit eight-film adaptation of JK Rowling’s wizard novels.

The new detectives
A wave of series are putting the true crime podcast phenomenon front and centre, as podcasters turn investigators to uncover the truth behind a number of intriguing mysteries. Netflix’s Ireland-set drama Bodkin (pictured) finds a trio of intrepid reporters delving into a cold case that the titular town’s residents would rather stayed in the past, while BBC series The Jetty sees a podcaster investigating a missing persons case, as Detective Ember Manning (Jenna Coleman) tries to work out how it is connected to a devastating fire and an illicit love triangle. Scottish detective series Karen Pirie also saw the titular police officer going up against a podcaster’s efforts to investigate a historic murder. Meanwhile, Only Murders in the Building, which returns for a fourth season in August, brings together a trio of true crime podcast fans – played by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez – as they attempt to solve a murder in their New York apartment building and start their own podcast along the way.

Tudor times
From The Crown to the upcoming King & Conqueror, which will dramatise the Battle of Hastings, British royal history is never far from our screens. Yet it’s the Tudor period – encompassing monarchs from Henry VII and Henry VIII (and his six wives) to Elizabeth I – that has proven to be particularly fertile ground for storytellers. The trend for series set during this turbulent time in the corridors of royal power include Shardlake, a murder-mystery that takes place during the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century as Thomas Cromwell sends lawyer Matthew Shardlake to investigate a mysterious death at a monastery.
Cromwell is also at the centre of Wolf Hall: The Mirror & The Light (pictured), the upcoming sequel to the BBC’s acclaimed 2015 series Wolf Hall, based on Hilary Mantel’s historical novels that see Cromwell navigate the Tudor court in the aftermath of the beheading of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn.
Turning history on its head, however, is My Lady Jane, Prime Video’s alternative-history fantasy series. The show imagines a timeline when Henry VIII’s son Edward does not die of tuberculosis and Lady Jane Grey is not beheaded, and neither is her scoundrel of a husband Guildford, leaving the headstrong Jane to become queen – and the target of villains who want the crown for themselves.

Mama Youth Project
Established by Bob Clarke in 2005, this organisation aims to widen the TV talent pool by helping young people from underrepresented backgrounds access a career on the small screen and in other media industries. So far, the group has supported more than 800 people from across the UK access screen arts careers, with a 90% employment success rate.
Clarke dropped out of school at 17 and landed in television without any formal training or education, and he is now instilling the same resilience and determination he showed in his own career in those he works with at Mama Youth Project. This year, the group was presented with the Bafta Television Craft Special Award, with CEO Clarke and chief operating officer Cristina Ciobanu accepting the prize on its behalf.

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