Series to Watch: October 2020
DQ checks out the upcoming schedules to pick out 10 new dramas to watch this October, from Disney’s take on the space race to a Hulu horror anthology and a Swedish small-town thriller.
Original broadcaster: Hulu
Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Jonathan Tucker, Charlie Tahan, Nicole Beharie, Hamish Linklater, Marquis Rodriguez, Bill Camp, Michael Hsu Rosen, Taylor Schilling, Roberta Colindrez, Adria Arjona, Trieu Tran, Kelly Marie Tran, Mike Colter, Adepero Oduye
Air date: October 2
Encounters with mermaids, fallen angels and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts in this horror-tinged anthology series, which is created by Mary Laws (The Neon Demon, Succession, Preacher) and based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters.
The Good Lord Bird
Original broadcaster: Showtime
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Joshua Caleb Johnson
Air date: October 4
Also airing: Sky (UK), Stan (Australia)
Adapted from the novel by James McBride, The Good Lord Bird spotlights the complicated racial, religious and gender roles that make up the American identity. Told from the point of view of Onion (Johnson), it follows an enslaved boy who becomes a member of Brown’s motley family of abolitionist soldiers and eventually finds himself participating in the famous 1859 raid at Harpers Ferry.
Original broadcaster: C More/TV4 Sweden
Starring: Josefin Asplund, Alexej Manvelov, Gustav Lindh, Peter Gardiner, Christian Hillborg, Joel Spira, Kardo Razzazi, Mahmut Suvakci, Bekzod Kuliev, Amanda Ooms, Lina Englund, Felice Jankell
Air date: October 7 on C More, October 18 on TV4
Also airing: ZDFneo (Germany), ShowJet (Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), Edel, iTunes, Amazon EU, Google Ireland
Based on Jens Lapidus’s novels, this Swedish series revolves around business lawyer Emily Jansson (Asplund) and former criminal Teddy Maksumic (Manvelov). Emily is an aspiring so-called ‘top dog’ who is struggling to advance at the law firm. Teddy is a new underdog who decides to leave the mafia. A mysterious disappearance causes their paths to cross, bringing unforeseen consequences.
Original broadcaster: CBC
Starring: Joel Oulette, Crystle Lightning, Kalani Queypo, Anna Lambe, Nathan Alexis, Georgine Lightning, Craig Lauzon, Joel Thomas Hynes
Air date: October 7
Also airing: SyFy (UK), NITV and SBS On Demand (Australia), Globoplay (Brazil), KinoPoisk (Russia)
Jared (Oulette) is an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family above water. But when he starts seeing strange things – talking ravens, doppelgängers, skin monsters – his already chaotic life is turned upside down. It turns out he’s inherited magical abilities from his mother, and from someone Jared never even knew existed – his real father, Wade. Jared’s mum hid the truth from him because Wade is not just any dad, he’s also the mythical Trickster – and Wade’s reason for suddenly showing up in his son’s life is centuries in the making. Wade has come back to determine if Jared has inherited his magic, because only one Trickster can exist at a time. The series is based on the book trilogy by Eden Robinson.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: Henry Thomas, Victoria Pedretti, Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, Rahul Kohli, Amelia Eve, T’Nia Miller
Air date: October 9
From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan and producer Trevor Macy comes the next chapter of Netflix’s The Haunting of… anthology series, set in 1980s England. After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Smith and Ainsworth), who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen (Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Eve) and housekeeper Mrs Grose (Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.
The Right Stuff
Original broadcaster: Disney+
Starring: Patrick J Adams, Jake McDorman, Colin O’Donoghue, James Lafferty, Aaron Staton, Michael Trotter, Micah Stock
Air date: October 9
This eight-episode show, based on the book by Tom Wolfe, tells the story of the Mercury 7, America’s first astronauts, and the early days of the US Space Program. At the height of the Cold War in 1959, newly formed NASA is given the monumental task of putting man in space as seven military test pilots are plucked from obscurity and forged into heroes before they achieve a single heroic act.
Original broadcaster: Hulu
Starring: Tom Austen, Sydney Lemmon, Elizabeth Marvel, Robert Wisdom, Ariana Guerra, June Carryl, Alain Uy
Air date: October 16
A Hulu original, Helstrom follows the complicated dynamic between Daimon (Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Lemmon), the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, as they track down the worst of humanity, each with their own attitude and skills. The 10-part series comes from Marvel Television and is based on the Marvel Comics characters Daimon and Satana Hellstrom.
Original broadcaster: HBO Europe
Starring: Ulf Stenberg, Aliette Opheim, Tobias Zilliacus, Miriam Ingrid, Oliver Dufaker
Air date: October 18
The small community of Beartown is slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees surrounding it, but with the junior ice hockey team having a shot at winning the national semi-finals, all the dreams of the locals now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. This heavy burden becomes the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatised and a town in turmoil as accusations travel through Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. The five-part drama is based on the novel of the same name by Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove).
Original broadcaster: HBO
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant
Air date: October 25 (Delayed from May 10)
Also airing: Sky (UK), Fox (Australia)
Grace and Jonathan Fraser (Kidman and Grant) are living the only life they ever wanted for themselves until, overnight, a chasm opens in their existence, with a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child (Noah Jupe) and her family. Created by David E Kelley (Big Little Lies), The Undoing is directed by Susanne Bier (The Night Manager).
Original broadcasters: ZDF (Germany), Viaplay (Scandinavia), Canal+ (France)
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Michael C Hall, Logan Marshall-Green, Nina Hoss, Tuppence Middleton, Male Emde, Sebastian Koch, Maximilian Ehrenreich, Anne Ratte-Polle, Ivan Gvera, Benjamin Sadler, Cloe Heinrich
Air date: October 30 (ZDF)
From Swedish writer/director Måns Marlind (The Bridge) comes period action thriller Shadowplay (also pictured top), in which New York cop Max McLaughlin (Kitsch) arrives in war-torn Berlin in 1946 to set up a police unit in the American occupation zone. Supported by German policewoman Elsie (Nina Hoss), their aim is to bring down the ‘Engelmacher’ (Sebastian Koch), the Al Capone of post-war Berlin. But Max also wants to confront his brother Moritz (Logan Marshall-Green), who is waging a deadly private war against escaped Nazi criminals.