Series to Watch: October 2021
DQ checks out the upcoming schedules to pick out 10 new series to watch this October, from a political thriller and an Australian historical murder mystery to the return of CSI and the small-screen debut of murderous doll Chucky.
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: Margaret Qualley, Andie MacDowell and Nick Robinson
Air date: October 1
Inspired by Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay & a Mother’s Will to Survive, this emotionally raw 10-part series follows Alex, a single mother who turns to housecleaning to make ends meet as she escapes an abusive relationship and overcomes homelessness to create a better life for her daughter Maddy.
Original broadcaster: Viaplay
Starring: Lydia Leonard, Victoria Carmen Sonne, Stephen Dillane, James D’Arcy, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Lorraine Burroughs
Air date: October 2
As a terrorist threat hangs over London, Danish intelligence agent Katrin (Sonne) and her British colleague (Leonard) fight a desperate battle against the clock as they become embroiled in a web of lies, murder and power struggles.
Original broadcaster: CBC
Starring: Bilal Baig
Air date: October 5 (streamer CBC Gem), October 9 (CBC)
Additional broadcasters: HBO Max (US), Sky (UK), Stan (Australia), M6-Téva (France) and Viaplay (Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Poland and the Baltics)
Starring co-creator and co-writer Baig, this coming-of-age series is described as a big-hearted comedy that follows a gender-fluid millennial who straddles various identities, from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar, to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family, to the de facto parent of a downtown hipster family.
Original broadcaster: CBS
Starring: William Petersen, Jorja Fox, Paula Newsome, Wallace Langham
Air date: October 6
Six years after the original CSI: Crime Scene Investigation series ended its 15-year run, this sequel returns to Las Vegas, where the show first started. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the entire Crime Lab and release thousands of convicted killers back onto the neon-lit streets of Vegas, a brilliant new team of investigators led by Maxine Roby (Newsome) must enlist the help of old friends Gil Grissom (Petersen), Sara Sidle (Fox) and David Hodges (Langham).
Original broadcaster: Syfy and USA Network
Starring: Brad Dourif (voice), Zackary Arthur, Teo Briones, Alyvia Alyn Lind, Björgvin Arnarson, Fiona Dourif, Alex Vincent, Christine Elise, Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon and Billy Boyd
Air date: October 12
Inspired by the Child’s Play movies and created by the film franchise’s writer Don Mancini, the series begins when a vintage Chucky doll turns up at a suburban yard sale, throwing an idyllic American town into chaos as a series of horrifying murders begin to expose the town’s hypocrisies and secrets. Meanwhile, the arrival of enemies – and allies – from Chucky’s past threatens to expose the truth behind the killings, as well as the demon doll’s untold origins as a seemingly ordinary child who somehow became this notorious monster.
New Gold Mountain
Original broadcaster: SBS
Starring: Yoson An, Alyssa Sutherland, Christopher James Baker, Dan Spielman, Mabel Li, Leonie Whyman, Sam Wang, Rhys Muldoon, Alison Bell, Chris Masters Mah and Travis Cotton
Air date: October 13
A murder mystery set in the Wild West era of the Australian gold rush, this four-part series opens in 1857 Ballarat, where European, Chinese and Indigenous Australian characters live together in a frontier town as they seek to strike it rich by finding gold. Tensions between rival camps run high, and Wei Shing (An), the charismatic leader of the Chinese operation, struggles to remain in control while he secretly amasses his own riches. When a white woman is found murdered, Shing is fearful the prejudiced Europeans will blame the Chinese. Determined to remain in power and keep his fortune, Shing must find out what really happened.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Original broadcaster: Amazon Prime Video
Starring: Madison Iseman, Bill Heck, Brianne Tju, Ezekiel Goodman, Ashley Moore, Sebastian Amoruso, Fiona Rene, Cassie Beck, and Brooke Bloom
Air date: October 15
One year after a fatal car accident on their graduation night, a group of teenagers find themselves bound together by a dark secret and stalked by a brutal killer. As they try to piece together who’s after them, they reveal the dark side of their seemingly perfect town – and themselves. The eight-part series is based on Lois Duncan’s 1973 novel, which was also the inspiration for the cult 1997 slasher film of the same name starring Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Sarah-Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe and Freddie Prinze Jr.
Original broadcaster: AppleTV+
Starring: Shamier Anderson, Colshifteh Farahani, Sam Neil, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kitsuna
Air date: October 22
From writers and executive producers Simon Kinberg (The Martian) and David Weil (Hunters), Invasion is described as a sweeping, character-driven science-fiction drama that follows an alien invasion in real time through the eyes of five ordinary people around the world as they struggle to make sense of the chaos unraveling around them.
Original broadcaster: The CW
Starring: Joseph David-Jones, Ireon Roach, Brittany Adebumola, Cory Jeacoma, TL Thompson, Jaye Ladymore, Derrick A King, Khailah Johnson, Autumn Best and Amarr Wooten
Air date: October 25
A reboot of the noughties sci-fi drama, 4400 posits a world where over the last century, 4,400 people who were overlooked, undervalued and otherwise marginalised vanished without a trace. As the series opens, they have all inexplicably returned to Detroit, Michigan, having not aged a day and with no memory of what happened to them. While the government races to understand the phenomenon, analyse the potential threat and contain the story, an empathetic social worker (David-Jones) and hardened community corrections officer (Roach) are among the civil servants called upon to deal with the uncanny refugees.
Colin in Black & White
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: Jaden Michael, Nick Offerman, Mary-Louise Parker and Colin Kaepernick (narrator)
Air date: October 29
NFL star Kaepernick has partnered with filmmaker Ava DuVernay (When They See Us) to co-create a limited series that chronicles his own coming-of-age story, tackling the obstacles of race, class and culture as the black adopted child of a white family reaches the highest levels of American football and becomes a cultural icon and activist.