The best upcoming BBC dramas to look forward to

TV fans will be pleased to know there is a host of exciting new dramas winging their way to the BBC in the next year. We’ve already seen the return of much-loved series such as Happy Valley and Peaky Blinders, and there are loads of highly anticipated new releases on the horizon, too. There really is something for everyone, whether you’re a crime drama nut or just love period dramas. Here are a few upcoming TV shows in the next year to get excited about…

The best upcoming BBC dramas

CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS

bbc dramas

Anyone who spent last year swooning over the BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People will be thrilled to know that another of her novels, Conversations With Friends, is getting the same treatment, with a 12-part series scheduled for BBC Three.

The plot follows young friends Bobbi and Frances as their lives and loves become intertwined with an older couple, Melissa and Nick, eventually leading to devastating results.

BBC Pictures

Release date: 15 May, BBC Three

SILENT WITNESS

Silent Witness is soon to be back with its 25th (!) series, featuring six thrilling new episodes.

Amanda Burton will return as Sam Ryan, who calls on the Lyell team for help seventeen years after leaving.  Sam seeks to usher in democratic health care, but the shooting of the Health Secretary and Sam’s husband pulls Dr Nikki Alexander (Emilia Fox), Jack Hodgson (David Caves) and Simone Tyler (Genesis Lynea) into a world of duplicity, intrigue and betrayal.

When the credibility of DNA testing is challenged, the bedrock of forensic science is called into question. Now uncertain of who or what they can trust, the Lyell team’s investigation draws them into confrontations with echoes of their personal histories, which threaten to unravel their present.

Release date: 2022, BBC One

INDUSTRY

Fans of this gripping BBC drama – based around interns in the world of finance – will be pleased to know it’s returning for a second series this year, with plenty of new characters promised.

Industry gives an insider’s view of the black box of “high finance” through the eyes of an outsider, Harper Sterne, a talented young woman from upstate New York. Following a group of young grads fueled by ambition, youth, romance and drugs, the series examines issues of gender, race, class, and privilege in the workplace as these impressionable young minds begin to forge their identities within the pressure cooker environment of Pierpoint & Co’s trading floor, where meritocracy is promised but hierarchy is king.

Release date: 2022, BBC One

TWO TONE (working title)

Peaky Blinders fans listen up! The man award-winning writer behind the drama – Steven Knight – is coming back with a new show, which has just been commissioned by the BBC.

bbc dramas

Two Tone (which is the working, rather than official title) tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two tone music, which grew from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 70s and early 80s. The music united black, white and Asian youths in an expression of unity.

The six-part series will start filming later this year in Birmingham.

Steven Knight says: ‘This is a project that’s literally very close to home and I’m developing characters and themes that are set in the early 80s but hopefully are very contemporary. Of course, the soundtrack will be sensational.’ Sounds ideal!

CALL THE MIDWIFE

We know series 11 only finished recently, but we’re so glad to see filming for series 12 is already underway.

On the programmes social media, it wrote: ‘We bring you this picture straight from the Nonnatus House set, where our team began filming again just a few hours ago on a brand new Christmas Special and series 12 of Call The Midwife! This year Jenny Agutter (Sister Julienne) and Linda Bassett (Nurse Crane) were there to provide us with the traditional clapperboard shot that marks the beginning of the first scene of the new season.

‘We also hope to bring you some exclusive festive sneak peeks from our Poplar Christmas set later this week… so stay tuned! Call The Midwife will return with a new Christmas Special and series 12 in 2023.’

While character Trixie Franklin had to leave season 11 halfway through due to Helen George’s pregnancy, fans needn’t worry anymore that she won’t be returning for season 12. Show creator Heidi Thomas told Radio Times: ‘Trixie rejoins us. And something interesting and rather wonderful will happen for Trixie this series, so she has big news coming up – which we probably won’t unveil just yet.’

Release date: 2023, BBC One

READ MORE: YOU speaks to Helen George – ‘I might be small and blonde, but I’m no pushover’

THE GOLD

hugh bonneville

Some big names have been announced for The Gold, which is inspired by the iconic story of the Brink’s-Mat robbery and the decades-long chain of events that followed.

The cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Dominic Cooper, Jack Lowden and Charlotte Spencer.

On the 26 November 1983, six armed men broke into the Brink’s-Mat security depot near London’s Heathrow Airport, and inadvertently stumbled across gold bullion worth £26m. What started as ‘a typical Old Kent Road armed robbery’ according to detectives at the time, became a seminal event in British criminal history, remarkable not only for the scale of the theft, at the time the biggest in world history, but for its wider legacy.

The disposal of the bullion caused the birth of large-scale international money laundering, provided the dirty money that helped fuel the London Docklands property boom, united blue and white collar criminals and left controversy and murder in its wake.

Release date: 2022, BBC One

SAS: ROGUE HEROES

SAS Rogue Heroes
BBC

A major new drama series from Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, SAS: Rogue Heroes tells the story of how the world’s greatest Special Forces unit, the SAS, was formed under extraordinary circumstances in the darkest days of World War Two. It will star the likes of Alfie Allen, Connor Swindells and Jack O’Connell (above) as well as Dominic West (below).

bbc drama

‘It has been a privilege to work on a project which tells the story of a renegade band of soldiers who used wit and imagination as much as firepower to halt the march of Fascism across North Africa during the darkest days of World War 2,’ Knight said.

‘This is a war story like no other, told in a way that is at once inspired by the facts and true to the spirit of this legendary brigade of misfits and adventurers.’

Release date: 2022, BBC One

RAIN DOGS

bbc dramas rain dogs
BBC

Starring Daisy May Cooper and written by Cash Carraway, this new eight-part drama promises a tale of brilliance thwarted by poverty and prejudice.

Costello Jones – played by Daisy – is a writer and single mother with a rock and roll swagger; a woman who appreciates the glamour of the gutter but would do anything to keep her daughter, Iris, from it.

Iris  is a hustler in kid’s clothing who loves South Park, William Morris wallpaper and, more than anything, her mum. Gloria is Iris’s chaotic, directionless and utterly glorious godmother who’s running out of second chances. Selby is a boarding school boy educated on Brett Easton Ellis and Goddard, Costello’s loyal soulmate and loving tormentor.

Together they form the Rain Dogs; a makeshift family fed on defiance and chaos, and a deep but complicated love.

The show has just gone into production, so it may not be on our screens for a while, but we are already excited for this one!

Release date: TBC

BEST INTERESTS

Written by Jack Thorne, this is a story of a family driven apart by having to make choices no parent would ever want to make. Sharon Horgan and Michael Sheen play married couple Nicci and Andrew, they have two daughters: Katie and Marnie.

Marnie has a life-threatening condition. The doctors believe it is in her best interests to be allowed to die, but her loving family disagree. And so begins a fight that will take them through every stage of a legal process, as they struggle to contemplate this huge decision. Who decides? And in whose best interests will it be?

Sharon Horgan says: ‘Best Interests broke me when I first read the script and then again after talking with Jack about it. Covid seems to have shone a closer light on the desperate inequalities that exist for our disabled community so this felt very timely.’

Michael Sheen says: ‘Jack Thorne is such an extraordinary writer and he has approached this incredibly important and urgent subject with humanity, honesty and humour. I feel very fortunate to be part of this production and to work with the brilliant Sharon Horgan and some of the most talented actors around.’

Release date: TBC

MARRIAGE

bbc dramas

British TV star Nicola Walker and Hollywood actor Sean Bean are stepping into the roles of Ian and Emma, a couple navigating 30 years of marriage.

bbc dramas

Marriage is a four-part series that will explore all the humour, frustration, joy and insecurities of a long-term relationship. Directed by Stefan Golaszewski (Mum, Him And Her), it’s bound to be a funny, moving script with unflinchingly honest observations about marriage and all it entails.

Release date: TBC later this year

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Period drama fans, you won’t want to miss this. Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations is getting a new TV adaptation, and it will star none other than Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

Production has now begun on the BBC show, which will retell Dicken’s famous tale of Pip, an orphan whose story  begins when he’s accosted in a graveyard by a frightening escaped convict. The novel follows him through childhood and into adulthood, and introduces a number of iconic characters.

There’s Miss Havisham, who has refused to take off her decaying wedding dress after being jilted at the altar – this legendary character will be played by Colman. There’s the beautiful but cold Estella. And then there’s Joe, the unsophisticated and kind blacksmith.

It’s not the first screen version of Great Expectations by any means, but with Colman at the helm, this is one we cannot wait to watch!

Release date: TBC

WATERLOO ROAD

Fans of school-based drama Waterloo Road, which originally aired from 2006 to 2015, will be pleased to know it’s making a comeback – and the return of three hugely popular cast members has been confirmed.

bbc dramas 2022

Angela Griffin is back as Kim Campbell and is now Headteacher of the school, Adam Thomas is returning as Donte Charles and Katie Griffiths is returning as Chlo Charles. Images of the trio on set ahead of filming commencing have also been released.

The award-winning contemporary drama series, which is set to return to BBC One and BBC iPlayer later this year, will start shooting on location in Greater Manchester next month. The full cast will be announced soon.

Release date: TBC

HAPPY VALLEY

happy valley
BBC

Sarah Lancashire will return to her role as Sergeant Catherine Cawood in the new series of Happy Valley, while James Norton again plays her nemesis, the murderer and sex offender Tommy Lee Royce.

The BBC synopsis says ‘When Catherine discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir it sparks a chain of events that unwittingly leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce.

‘Her grandson Ryan is now sixteen and still living with Catherine, but he has ideas of his own about what kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father.

‘Still battling the seemingly never-ending problem of drugs in the valley and those who supply them, Catherine is on the cusp of retirement.’

Release date: TBC

MARIE ANTOINETTE

BBC Drama Marie Antoinette

Fans of historical drama rejoice – BBC Two has a gift in store for you. Created and written by Deborah Davis, who was behind brilliant film The Favourite, Marie Antoinette tells the story of the incredibly modern and avant-garde young queen who was barely 14 years old when she left Austria to marry the Dauphin of France. Known for her extravagant tastes and pastimes, Marie Antoinette also endured great hardship, suffering enormous pressure to produce a male heir. She was eventually being executed after the French Revolution, aged just 37. This BBC drama promises to be a fascinating delve into her life.

Release date: TBC, BBC Two

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE

bbc dramas

Based on Dolly Alderton’s best-selling memoir Everything I Know About Love, this seven-part BBC One series will give an unflinching account of surviving your twenties. The central story revolves around two childhood best friends, Maggie and Birdy, and it set in a 2012 London house-share, with flashbacks to suburban adolescence in the early noughties. It features bad dates, heartaches and humiliations, asking the central question: can platonic love survive romantic love as we grow up?

Release date: 2022, BBC One

DODGER

A family-friendly comedy set in 1830s Victorian London, Billy Jenkins (who played a young Prince Charles in The Crown) stars as the eponymous pickpocket, the Artful Dodger, in a ‘prequel’ to Charles Dickens’ iconic novel Oliver Twist. Dodger and his naughty-but-nice friends get up to no good in the city, with each episode introducing new characters and familiar favourites such as Fagin, played by Christopher Eccleston, who is supported by David Threlfall, Saira Choudhry and Aabay Ali. There’s no release date just yet, but it will air on CBBC.

Release date: TBC

THE ELEPHANT MAN

Stranger Things fans will recognise the name Charlie Heaton from his role as Jonathan Byers in the Netflix sci-fi drama, but Heaton himself is likely to be unrecognisable as Joseph Merrick, who was cruelly nicknamed the Elephant Man in the 1860s due to a congenital disorder. The show recieved backlash in 2018 when able-bodied Heaton was cast, as critics commented that it would have been an opportunity to allow disabled actors to take on the role and improve on-screen representation, but the show has promised to address this with supporting roles. In this two-part drama, Heaton will portray Merrick as a young man finding his way in society with the support of surgeon Frederick Treves, before his death at just 27 years old.

Release date: TBC

CROSSFIRE

Remember Apple Tree Yard? Author Louise Doughty is bringing her sharp storytelling skills to the box with a brand-new, original three-part drama for BBC One. Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, The Durrells) plays Jo, an unsuspecting holidaymaker caught up in a life-changing event when gunshots ring out across the resort she is staying at. Doughty wanted to examine how normal people respond to extraordinary events, and based on her experience penning intense, nail-biting plots, we can’t wait to see how Hawes delivers.

Release date: TBC

ENGLISTAN

Following three generations of a British Pakistani family, Englistan is “an untold British story with universal themes and resonance,” according to creator Riz Ahmed. Often, minority and migrant stories are told from an outsider’s perspective, but Ahmed’s sensitive, nuanced approach will hand the mic back to a community that has helped shape Britain as we know it. Spanning four decades, the nine-part BBC Two series will unpack the political values, religious and cultural identities and national economics that affect the lives of this family.

Release date: TBC

BLUE LIGHTS

From the writers of The Salisbury Poisonings, this new six-part drama follows three rookie police officers working in Belfast, a uniquely dangerous place to be in the force.

Grace, a mother of a teenage boy, has made the decision in her forties to leave her steady job as a social worker to join the police. It’s the biggest gamble of her life, and just a few weeks into the job, she’s making so many mistakes that her decision no longer looks like a winning bet.

Her fellow rookies are Annie, who struggles with the fact that her chosen path may mean having to leave everything she’s ever known behind, and Tommy, who is desperate to prove himself, despite being disastrously inept at the practical side of frontline response policing.

The pressure on all three police officers is immense and, chances are not all three will last.

Release date: TBC