This week looks to a pretty damn good one (again, I love Autumn), with the worst thing starting being a not-that-bad sci-fi time-travel doohicky. Seriously though, Amazon are getting all good at this content thing, with another double-whammy of new awesome looking new stuff, there’s an excellent little comedy returning on Channel 4, and the best Scandinavian detective show besides Wallander is returning. I’m not even mad that there are, like, two police-procedurals, because they both look so good.
New stuff starting us off this week, in the form of Into the Badlands, yet another new series coming to Amazon (which is encouraging – decent competition is always a good thing). Developed by AMC (and broadcast there in the US), the show is a mix of post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, all-American goodness with über-choreographed martial arts action. It tells the story if a couple of guys undertaking a perilous journey across one of those bleak, feudal visions of the future, in search of enlightenment (apparently). There’s not much in the way of reviews for this as of now (time of writing), but a few previews are describing it as like a comic book show, that might not be the most intellectually stimulating thing ever, but is definitely good fun. The entire first season will be available on Amazon Prime Instant Video, on Tuesday.
Up next is Canadian sci-fi series Continuum, returning for its fourth and final season. The show is about a group of terrorists who travel back in time from 2077 in order to, through violence, prevent their future. So, basically, Terminator, but a TV show, and without robots or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Also with that hip and trendy anti-corporate message – the future to be avoided here being one where corporations replace governments (and it’s great, because said message is brought to you through advertising, or, rather, various corporate sponsors). The show has received kinda positive praise throughout its run – if you’re already invested this will obviously be one to watch, but if not, there’s probably better things to start. The final season begins on Syfy, at 10pm on Tuesday.
Another returning show – this time Channel 4’s Toast of London. Created by Arthur Mathews (Father Ted) and Matt Berry (The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd), and starring Berry, the show is a comedy about the life of an eccentric middle-aged actor, who, despite believing himself to be, is far from successful. The show has received very positive reviews (but also bad ones, from the same publications, so it has its ups and downs), and is considered to be something of a cult show (I’d say widely, but that would really defeat the point, wouldn’t it?). Toast of London returns for its third season at 10:30 on Wednesday.
Due to the wonderful, if slowly eroding, phenomenon that is works of art entering the public domain, everyone’s favourite detective is just…just everywhere. Take, for example, Elementary, essentially American Sherlock. Starring John Lee Miller as Benedict Cumberbatch, Lucy Liu as Martin Freeman, and Natalie Dormer as Andrew Scott, and New York City as London, the show is…I mean, can’t you guess what it’s about? A brilliant detective, his devoted, doctored assistant, solving crimes and doing battle with his evil nemesis. Still, as easy as it may be to poke fun, the show has actually received very positive reception from, like, everyone (though not quite Emmy-level good), so if the two year wait between Sherlock seasons is too much to bear, maybe give this a try. It’s fourth season starts on Sky Living, at 9pm on Thursday.
Our second new show of the week also comes from Amazon (it’s almost like something’s coming out on Netflix that they’re trying to compete with) – this one being The Man in the High Castle. Based on the acclaimed novel of the same name by Phillip K. Dick, the show looks at a particularly nasty kind of alternate history – one in which the Nazis won the Second World War, and America was divvied up by them and the Japanese. The actual plot involves some serious use of the “meta” – a woman finds news footage of an alternate timeline in which the Allies won the war, and tries to find the man who made it, and I’m kinda confused, but mainly excited because this sounds awesome. The show was spawned from Amazon’s publicly available pilot program thingy (which also gave us Mr. Robot, just saying), where it received huge amounts of support and adulation. The first season will be available in its entirety on Amazon Prime Instant Video on Friday.
Wrapping things up this week is the return of The Bridge, that Scandinavian crime police detective thing show that everyone keeps telling you to watch. In this, its third season, the show picks up 13 months after the end of the second season, with another gruesome and mysterious murder having happened. Saga (Sofia Helin), the show’s protagonist, teams up with a new partner, who is openly hostile towards her due to the developments of the previous season (developments that I have now spoiled for myself – great), in order to catch the killer. The Bridge airs on BBC Four (and is the only reason anyone watches BBC Four, let’s be honest), at 9pm on Saturdays.