Our guide on the best TV shows to watch and talk about this autumn

It’ll soon be time to enjoy cosy nights in with your feet up in front of the fire… and the telly.

And there’s plenty to look forward to with a host of new shows and dramas, a pair of revisited classics and the return of an old favourite with a radical makeover.

Here’s what you will be watching – and talking about – over the next few months…

Vanity Fair, ITV

With our seemingly unending love for a period drama, Vanity Fair promises to be one of the biggest TV shows of the year.

An all-star cast including Michael Palin, Suranne Jones and Martin Clunes join rising Hollywood star Olivia Cooke as William Makepeace Thackeray’s beguiling anti-hero Becky Sharp.

The Victorian drama follows her attempt to escape poverty and climb her way to the top of English society.

Screens September 2, 9pm with episode two the next day and the rest of the seven-part series Sundays.

Dynasties, BBC1

Sir David Attenborough’s documentary, four years in the making, will follow families of lions, hunting dogs, chimpanzees, tigers and emperor penguins at the most critical periods in their lives.

Bosses have promised that Dynasties will be “even more intense and gripping” than Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II. It is on air later this year.

Killing Eve, BBC1

In this spy thriller – already US Emmy-nominated – bored MI5 agent Eve (Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy) is sent to hunt ace assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer, Doctor Foster) in a cat-and-mouse game. On air later this year.

Maniac, Netflix

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, who starred in teen movie Superbad, reunite for this black comedy. They play strangers who meet in a mental health facility in this 10-part series. On our screens September 21.

Butterfly, ITV

Starring Anna Friel, the three-part drama follows the story of 11-year-old Max who makes the huge decision that he wants to live as a girl and become Maxine.

But his parents, played by Friel, and former Hollyoaks actor Emmet J Scanlan, are fundamentally divided about what is best for their child.

While mum Vicky accepts her son’s decision and allows him to dress as a girl at home, she is terrified of the reaction from others.

Due on air later this year.

Bodyguard, BBC1

Keeley Hawes’ Home Secretary gets a bodyguard, played by Game of Thrones ’ Richard Madden. But her politics is everything he hates, catching him between his duty and beliefs. Starts tomorrow, 9pm, with part two on Monday.

Strangers, ITV

Promising to be one of the most talked about dramas of the year, it stars John Simm as a professor whose life is devastated when his wife is killed.

He then discovers the shocking truth about the woman he loved.

On air later in September.

The War Of The Worlds, BBC1

Hopefully it won’t cause quite the same national panic that the radio broadcast did 80 years ago, but this version of the HG Wells classic will undoubtedly be well-viewed.

Eleanor Tomlinson and Rafe Spall play Amy and George, a couple trying to start a life together in Edwardian London while avoiding the chaos of an alien invasion.

Robert Carlyle and Rupert Graves also star in the adaptation, which was filmed in Liverpool and is to be shown in October.

Dark Heart, ITV

DI Will Wagstaffe, played by Tom Riley, is a cop haunted by the murder of his own parents when he was a teenager.

The six-part series was first shown on ITV Encore in 2016. Four new episodes were shot this time round.

On air later in the year.

Les Miserables, BBC1

If you have spent years avoiding musicals, relax, this version is not one.

Instead, it is an emotional six-part drama, starring Dominic West and Lily Collins.

On air later this year.

Little Drummer Girl, BBC1

No stranger to big and small screen success, Big Little Lies and Tarzan star Alexander Skarsgard will no doubt hope this new John Le Carre adaptation will be as big a hit as The Night Manager.

Made by the same team, it also stars Florence Pugh, Michael Shannon, and Charles Dance in a tale full of international plots and espionage.

Set in the 1970s and filmed in Greece, Pugh plays an actress who finds out her holiday beau is an Israeli officer with an ulterior motive.

Due on our screens later this year.

Wanderlust, BBC1

Joy Richards, played by Muriel’s Wedding star Toni Collette, and hubby Alan (Steven Mackintosh) try to get out of a sexual rut in this funny and moving drama. Airs September 4, 9pm.

Press, BBC1

Press explores the newspaper world. Peaky Blinders’ Charlotte Riley plays a broadsheet editor while Apple Tree Yard’s Ben Chaplin is a tabloid editor and David Suchet is a media baron. Screens on September 6 at 9pm.

Mother’s Day, BBC2

Starring Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure, this emotional drama looks at the aftermath of the 1993 Warrington bombings when two young boys, Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball, lost their lives.

McClure plays Susan McHugh, who organised a peace rally in protest at the attack, while Daniel Mays and Anna Maxwell Martin portray Tim Parry’s parents Colin and Wendy.

The 90-minute drama marks the 25th anniversary of the bomb and airs in September.

Doctor Who, BBC1

The cult BBC show returns with Jodie Whittaker as the 13th – and first female – Time Lord.

As well as a new Doctor, there is a new Tardis, a new sonic screwdriver and a new bunch of companions, with comedian and quiz show host Bradley Walsh backing Jodie up with relative unknowns Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole.

With all these changes, it could be a very alien Doctor Who indeed.

The new series is expected to air in September or October.

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