With the nights drawing in and the sofa beckoning, November promises a slew of new TV shows. Whether it’s the highly-anticipated fourth season of The Crown on Netflix, Lena Dunham’s take on the cutthroat world of investment banking or the BBC’s second instalment of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, these are the new series to binge-watch this month.
The royal epic is back for a fourth season, charting the years between 1979 and 1990. Olivia Colman resumes her role as Elizabeth II, so too Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, Tobias Menzies as the Duke of Edinburgh and Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles. The stellar cast is joined by some notable additions for the forthcoming series including Emma Corrin, whose turn as Diana, Princess of Wales is already much talked about, and Gillian Anderson, who plays the formidable Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister. Expect drama galore – political (including the Falklands War, The Troubles in Northern Ireland, and the Queen’s fractious relationship with the PM – a veritable clash of the titans) and familial, as we witness the fairytale marriage of Charles and Diana slowly and painfully unravelling – all beautifully acted and produced, of course.
15 November on Netflix
Producer and director Lena Dunham describes her latest project as “all about the cutthroat world of international finance. Think Wolf of Wall Street meets Melrose Place.” Others are describing the eight-episode drama – written by former bankers Konrad Kay and Mickey Down – as a “millennial Mad Men”. It follows a group of ultra ambitious twenty-somethings vying for positions at a top investment bank, who’ll do anything to get their foot in the door – all seen through the eyes of Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold), a talented young woman from upstate New York. As the boundaries blur between colleague, friend, lover and enemy, in a company culture defined by sex, drugs and ego as much as it is deals and dividends, this definitely has binge-worthy written all over it.
10 November on BBC Two
A haunting adaptation of Rumer Godden’s best-selling 1939 novel, later made into a feature film, which follows young nun Sister Clodagh (Gemma Arterton), who is sent to a remote convent in the Himalayas. Unsurprisingly, all is not as it seems at this clifftop retreat, once known as the ‘House of Women’; as the three episodes unfold, and the nuns of St Faith try to establish a mission and rid the house of its unhappy memories, dark secrets from the past begin to emerge and, with the addition of the raffish Mr Dean (Alessandro Nivola) and General Dilip Rai (Chaneil Kular), suppressed desires too. Also starring the late Dame Diana Rigg, Jim Broadbent and Gina McKee, this is one not to miss.
23 November on FX
Loosely based on the 1901 short story by Jack London, Los Favoritos de Midas, but set in contemporary Madrid, this Spanish-language thriller will have viewers gripped from the get-go. The six episodes, which will be dropped by Netflix simultaneously, focus around rich businessman Victor Genovés (Luis Tosar) who receives a blackmail note from a mysterious crime organisation – aka The Minions of Midas – asking him to transfer a large sum of money; if he fails to pay up, they say, random people will be killed until he does. With Victor’s decision-making literally life and death, the suspense unfolds: can the killers be tracked before innocent people die? You’ll have to watch to find out.
13 November on Netflix
Following the watchable Vanished By The Lake and Killer By The Lake comes the final instalment of the By The Lake trilogy, which sees the return of married cops Lise (Julie De Bona) and Clovis (Lannick Gautry). This time they’re having to face a deadly virus (this was filmed last year, pre Covid-19) after an out-of-control boat comes to dock at Annecy and a man stumbles onto the deck covered in blood and black blisters. When his death is followed by another body turning up having suffered the same fate, their worst fears come true and so starts a race against time as the detective duo tackle this dangerous unseen threat. Could it be a criminal act? A terrorist? And how is this virus related to the mysterious disappearance of a little girl and her father? A nail-biting drama, and a pertinent one at that.
8 November on Channel 4
This is the second series of the BBC’s glittering adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s trilogy, which follows the coming of age of Lyra (Dafne Keen) and Will (Amir Wilson), as they wander through a series of pre-industrial parallel universes. The seven-parter (one episode had to be cut due to coronavirus, which sadly means no James McAvoy as Lord Asriel as originally planned) tells the adventure of The Subtle Knife, the middle book, which sees Lyra continue her investigation into the mysterious Dust and explore strange new worlds, including Cittàgazze, a city haunted by the soul-eating Spectres. Ruth Wilson returns as Mrs Poulter and with Fleabag’s Andrew Scott and Phoebe-Waller Bridge set to star, this is fantasy storytelling on a major scale.
8 November on BBC One