2019 looks set to be a big year for some of our favourite returning shows and for some fresh, new ones for us to indulge in.
Perhaps the big one this year is the final season of Game of Thrones; season eight is scheduled to have a smaller episode count (only six) but some of them will be running into feature length time. The show will finally be back on our screens in April, but it’s unlikely that this is the last we’ll see of Westeros, seeing as HBO is working with the writers on spin-off series set before this particular fight for the Iron Throne. How it will all end is a mystery since George R.R. Martin has not actually got around to finishing the book series, but I daresay the bookies will be placing bets as to who will finally end up sitting on that most uncomfortable throne.
In the vein of medieval fantasy, we can look forward to the return of Netflix and Matt Groening’s animation Disenchantment and the release of Netflix’s new original adaptation of The Witcher series. The former ended with Princess Bean reunited with her mother, Elfo dead, and Bean’s whole kingdom turned into stone. With mixed reviews for the show’s first season (our own writer Hattie Griffiths was not overly impressed), it’ll be interesting to see whether Disenchantment will improve in its second outing. As for The Witcher, this hotly-anticipated series starring Henry Cavill will take its inspiration and storylines from Andrzej Sapkowski’s book series and not the popular video game adaptation. Netflix may well be hoping to capitalise on the Game of Thrones-shaped void in our lives by bringing out its own rival fantasy series; whether comparisons between the two are fair is up for debate, but hopefully this Netflix original won’t disappoint for video game and book fans alike.
So what else does 2019 hold in store for TV viewers? Long-time fans of Jed Mercurio’s Line of Duty series will be eagerly awaiting its fifth season, and surely the show will have plenty of new viewers following on from 2019’s big hit Bodyguard (also a Mercurio script starring Richard Madden). If you’re not up to speed with the police procedural that catches corrupt cops, you can catch up with the previous four series on Netflix before the latest instalment airs.
Other returning shows include The Crown, with an overhaul in casting to reflect the passage of time from the first two series, Olivia Coleman and Tobiaz Menzies will be taking over from Claire Foy and Matt Smith. Fingers crossed they’ll be able to pull it off! Our favourite gang of misfits will be coming back to Netflix with Stranger Things set for a summer return, so get ready to head to the upside down again.
In addition to this we can gear up to watch the next seasons of Big Little Lies and True Detective. Both HBO shows have a big following, rightly so with Big Little Lies’ excellent script and True Detective’s great track record for atmosphere, set design, and stellar casts. As for new shows, HBO and the BBC have finally gotten together to create their own adaptation of Philip Pullman’s book series His Dark Materials. The 2006 film adaptation got lukewarm reviews at best, but hopefully for fans of the series the longer format of TV will lend itself well to Pullman’s complex epic trilogy.