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Autumn TV preview 2022 — all the best dramas coming soon

Autumn TV Preview 2022 — join Keeley Hawes (Crossfirre), David Tennant (Inside Man), Imelda Staunton (The Crown), Gemma Arterton (Funny Woman) and Adrian Dunbar (Ridley).
Autumn TV Preview 2022 — join Keeley Hawes (Crossfirre), David Tennant (Inside Man), Imelda Staunton (The Crown), Gemma Arterton (Funny Woman) and Adrian Dunbar (Ridley). (Image credit: BBC/Sky/ITV/Netflix)

An amazing season of Autumn TV will be upon us very soon — yes that important time for all channels and telly fans when the summer holidays are over and we focus on what great television is in store during autumn and the run-up to Christmas

This year, there are plenty of wonderful TV dramas coming your way, all with top stars and include returning favourites, brand new crime thrillers, period dramas and everything in between.

So here at What to Watch we've previewed the best dramas of the Autumn TV season 2022 right here...

Crossfire (BBC1)

Keeley Hawes plays Jo in Crossfire.

Keeley Hawes plays Jo in Crossfire. (Image credit: BBC / Dancing Ledge Productions)

Crossfire is set in a luxury resort in the Canary Islands. This three-part thriller stars Keeley Hawes as Jo, who's enjoying a relaxing break with family and friends when shots ring out. As gunmen, out for revenge, take over the complex, the holidaymakers and hotel staff are forced to make life and death decisions that will have far-reaching consequences. 

"I’m excited to be embarking on this brilliantly compelling and propulsive drama," says Keeley.    

Other cast in Crossfire includes Josette Simon (Small Axe), Anneika Rose (Line of Duty), Lee Ingleby (The A Word), Daniel Ryan (The Bay), Vikash Bhai (The Stranger), Hugo Silva, Alba Brunet, Shalisha James-Davis and Ariyon Bakare (His Dark Materials).

The Crown (Netflix)

Imelda Staunton joins The Crown Season 5.

Imelda Staunton joins The Crown Season 5. (Image credit: Netflix)

Imelda Staunton will become the third actor to portray Queen Elizabeth II when she ascends the throne for The Crown season 5. "I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I’m now doing the Queen that we’re a little more familiar with," says Imelda. 

As the action moves into the 1990s, the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana (now played by Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki) will be at the heart of this season.

Jonathan Pryce plays Prince Phillip while Jonny Lee Miller is Prime Minister John Major, Khalid Abdalla is Dodi Al-Fayed and Olivia Williams will play Camilla Parker Bowles.

* You can watch all four previous series of The Crown on Netflix, with Claire Foy then Olivia Colman playing the Queen.

The Suspect (ITV)

Aidan Turner in ITV's The Suspect

Aidan Turner in ITV's The Suspect. (Image credit: ITV)

Poldark's leading man Aidan Turner stars in The Suspect as successful clinical psychologist Dr Joe O’Loughlin, who goes from hero to murder suspect in this five-part thriller, based on the bestselling 2004 novel by crime writer Michael Robotham (opens in new tab)

"Joe's a layered character and very flawed," says Aidan. "Is he good, is he evil, or could he be both?"

Other cast include Shaun Parkes (Small Axe), Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Camilla Beeput (Peep Show), Adam James (Vigil) and Anjli Mohindra (Bodyguard).

Doc Martin season 10 (ITV)

Martin Clunes as Doc Martin

Martin Clunes and Caroline Catz in Doc Martin. (Image credit: ITV)

This autumn sees a bittersweet return to the fictional Cornish village of Portwenn, as Martin Clunes reprises his role as curmudgeonly Doctor Martin Ellingham, alongside Caroline Catz as his wife Louisa, for the final series, Doc Martin season 10

The new eight-part run will be followed by a Christmas special. "We have some great storylines, which I hope Doc Martin fans will love," Martin reveals. "The Doc resigned in the last series, and when we start the new season, he’s left holding the baby — literally! — as he and Louisa have had a second child, daughter Mary Elizabeth. He begins to question whether he’s made the right decision about resigning!"

Fans of the show, which began in 2004, will pleased to hear Dame Eileen Atkins (AKA Aunt Ruth), Ian McNeice (Bert Large), Joe Absolom (Al Large), Jessica Ransom (Morwenna), John Marquez (PC Joe Penhale), and Selina Cadell (Mrs Tishell) are reprising their roles. 

* You can watch all previous series of Doc Martin on BritBox.

Inside Man (BBC1, Netflix)

Inside Man - David Tennant

Inside Man stars David Tennant as a vicar. (Image credit: BBC/Hartswood)

David Tennant, Dolly Wells, Stanley Tucci and Lydia West lead the cast of the thriller Inside Man from award-winning writer Steven Moffat, with Hollywood star Stanley Tucci taking on the titular character. 

The four-part drama follows a prisoner on death row in the US, a vicar in a quiet English town, and a maths teacher trapped in a cellar, as their lives entwine in the most unexpected way… 

"Steven has created another brilliantly original and darkly playful series," says Ben Irving, BBC Drama Commissioning Editor. "This will be a must-watch".

* Inside Man premieres on BBC1 in the UK and on Netflix in the US.

Industry season 2 (BBC1, HBO Max)

First Look!. Harry Lawtey as Robert Spearing in Industry season 2.

First Look!. Harry Lawtey as Robert Spearing in Industry season 2. (Image credit: BBC/HBO)

Harry Lawtey is back as hedonistic London banker Robert Spearing when the second series of Industry begins on BBC1, having previously been shown on BBC2.

Everything at Pierpoint & Co is manic in the post-COVID world when we catch up with the office and lives of the banking team. The market is playing up and the trading floor is more charged, so how will working-class Robert, American newbie Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold), rich girl Yasmin Kara-Hanani (Marisa Abela) and Gus Sackey (David Jonsson) cope with it all as they can no longer hide behind their graduate status. 

Keeping them all in check as always is their boss Eric Tao (Lost star Ken Leung) and team leader Conor MacNeill (Artemis Fowl) as Kenny Kilblane .

Stirring up the status quo at Pierpoint & Co are new cast regulars this season Alex Alomar Akpobome (Twenties) as Danny Van Deventer, a wonderkid Executive Director from the New York office, Indy Lewis (La Fortuna) as Venetia Berens, Yasmin’s newest recruit on the Foreign Exchange Sales Desk and Katrine de Candole (Dominion) as Celeste Pacquet. Jay Duplass (The Chair) stars as reputable hedge fund manager Jesse Bloom, Sonny Poon Tip (Anatomy of a Scandal) as his son Leo Bloom, and Adam Levy (The Witcher) as Yasmin’s playboy father Charles Hanani. 

Returning recurring cast include Sarah Parish as Nicole Craig, Nicholas Bishop as Maxim Alonso, Sagar Radia as Rishi Ramdani, Mark Dexter as Hilary Wyndham and Caoilfhionni Dunne as Jackie Walsh. 

* Industry Series 1 is currently available on BBCiPlayer. Season 2 begins in the US on HBO Max from Monday August 1 2022 before it arrives in the UK on BBC1 in the autumn.

Ralph & Katie (BBC1)

Ralph And Katie from The A Word are now in their own BBC1 spin-off series.

Ralph And Katie from The A Word are now in their own BBC1 spin-off series. (Image credit: BBC)

Ralph & Katie is a much-anticipated six-part spin-off series from Peter Bowker's hit drama The A Word sees Leon Harrop and Sarah Gordy reprise their roles as lovebirds Ralph and Katie, who both have Down’s Syndrome and are adjusting to the ups and downs of married life. 

"It is great to be able to take Katie forward," says Sarah Gordy. "The wedding was a dream come true. I am looking forward to what comes next."

Other stars of Ralph and Katie include Nigel Betts (Ridley Road) and Sherry Baines (Jungle Cry) who play Katie's parents Steve and Clare. There is also a welcome return for Matt Greenwood (Bohemian RhapsodyWaterloo Road) who previously played as Tom in The A Word.  

New faces include Craig Cash (The Royle Family) as Brian, Dylan Brady (Coronation Street) as Dan, Jamie Marie Leary (Traces) as Emma, Sam Retford (ScrewAckley Bridge) as Gary and Daniel Cerqueira (Pennyworth) as Dr Graves.

* All three series of The A Word are available on BBC iPlayer.

SAS: Rogue Heroes (BBC1)

SAS: Rogue Heroes first look BBC.

SAS: Rogue Heroes stars Alfie Allen, Jack O’Connell, Connor Swindells. (Image credit: BBC)

Based on Ben Macintyre’s best-selling 2016 book (opens in new tab) of the same name, SAS: Rogue Heroes is a six-parter from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight charts an account of how the famed Special Forces unit was formed during World War Two. The cast includes Alfie Allen, Connor Swindells, Jack O’Connell, Jason Watkins, and Dominic West. "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," says Steven.

Funny Woman (Sky Max)

Gemma Arteton in Funny Woman.

Gemma Arteton in Funny Woman. (Image credit: Sky)

In Funny Woman, Gemma Arterton takes centre stage in a breezy adaptation of Nick Hornby’s 1960s-set novel Funny Girl (opens in new tab) about a spirited Blackpool beauty queen, Barbara Parker, who moves to London and shoots to fame when she lands a role in a hit TV sitcom. 

"It’s a heart-warming story of an ambitious woman with a dream of making people laugh; it’s going to be special," promises Gemma.

Other cast includes Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s WeddingAdult Material) as Barbara’s agent Brian Debehnam, David Threlfall (Shameless) as Barbara’s father, George, and Behind Her Eyes star Tom Bateman as dangerously charming actor Clive.

Clare-Hope Ashitey (Doctor Foster), Arsher Ali (Ackley BridgeInformer, The Missing) and Alexa Davis (White House Farm), Emily Bevans (Grantchester), Leo Bill (Becoming Elizabeth), Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood) and, as well as adapting the series, writer Morwenna Banks will also be starring.


Ridley (ITV)

Adrian Dunbar in Ridley.

Adrian Dunbar in Ridley. (Image credit: ITV)

Line of Duty favourite Adrian Dunbar helms the four-part crime drama Ridley, playing charismatic retired detective Alex Ridley who’s called back into action by his protégée, DI Carol Farman (Bronagh Waugh). Working as a police consultant, can Ridley use his unique insight to help crack intriguing cases? "I don’t think I’ve ever headed into a production with more excitement," says Adrian. "As an actor, I know how rare it is to be given such a wonderful opportunity."

The Capture series 2 (BBC1)

Holliday Grainger returns to The Capture as DCI Rachel Carey.

Holliday Grainger returns to The Capture as DCI Rachel Carey. (Image credit: BBC)

Paapa Essiedu replaces Callum Turner to join hit conspiracy thriller The Capture season 2 as the series two guest lead, alongside returning star Holliday Grainger. 

The new six-parter again finds DCI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) questioning if we can really believe what we see, with Paapa playing MP Isaac Turner who has ambitions for the very top. "Ben Chanan has written one of the freshest and most prescient scripts of recent times," says Paapa. 

Indira Varma (This Way Up, Game of Thrones) and Andy Nyman (Hanna) will also join The Capture for series two and Succession star Rob Yang has landed a recurring role as the head of an internationally renowned Chinese tech company based in the UK.

Other returning cast include Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) as US intelligence operative Frank Napier and Ben Miles (Devils) is back as Commander Danny Hart, while Lia Williams (The Crown), Cavan Clerkin (The Last Kingdom), Ginny Holder (Avenue5) and Nigel Lindsay (The Salisbury Poisonings) are all reprising their roles from The Capture series one.

* The Capture series 1 is available to watch on Starzplay (via Prime Video).

The Larkins series 2 (ITV)

Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin.

Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin. (Image credit: ITV)

Bradley Walsh and Joanna Scanlan reprise their roles as Pop and Ma Larkin for a second, six-part series of adventures for The Larkins in 1950s Kent, with Joelle Rae taking over the role of Mariette Charlton.  

* The Larkins series 1 is available to watch on ITV Hub.

The Pact series 2 (BBC1)

Rakie Ayola in The Pact season 2.

Rakie Ayola in The Pact season 2. (Image credit: BBC Cymru)

After the success of the first series of The Pact in 2021 starring Laura Fraser and Julie Hesmondhalgh, the Wales-set thriller is back with a brand-new story and fresh cast, led by Rakie Ayola. 

The six-parter follows social worker Christine (Rakie) and her family who find their loyalties tested when they’re confronted by a stranger. "I’m thrilled to be bringing [screenwriter] Pete McTighe’s wonderfully mysterious story to life," says Rakie, who’s also serving as executive producer. 

* The Pact series 1 is currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

The English (BBC1)

The English star Emily Blunt with husband John Krasinski.

The English star Emily Blunt with husband John Krasinski. (Image credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Emily Blunt headlines epic western The English, written and directed by award-winning Hugo Blick. Set in 1890, the six-parter sees Emily play Cornelia Locke, an Englishwoman who arrives in America’s Wild West on a mission of revenge.

Karen Pirie (ITV) 

Karen Pirie star Lauren Lyle at the STARZ Outlander Season 5 Premiere in 2020.

Karen Pirie star Lauren Lyle. (Image credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ)

From the makers of Line of Duty and based on author Val McDermid’s 2003 novel The Distant Echo, this three-part thriller sees Lauren Lyle (Outlander) play DS Karen Pirie, a fearless Scottish investigator tasked with tackling cold-cases. Chris Jenks (Sex Education) is Jason ‘Mint’ Murray and Zach Wyatt (Blithe Spirit) plays DS Phil Parhatka, 

When teenager Rosie Duff (Anna Russell-Martin) was found brutally murdered in the Scottish university town of St Andrews in 1996, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who were discovered at the scene of the crime, claiming to have found her body. They were Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz (Jhon Lumsden) Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie (Jack Hesketh) and Alex Gilbey (Buom Tihngang). But with a lack of forensic evidence, no charges were brought and the police investigation floundered. Then, 25 years on, someone appears to be willing to risk everything to keep the secrets surrounding the case hidden. Do the three men know more than they previously revealed? How flawed was the original investigation? And can Karen uncover the truth of what happened to Rosie that fateful night?

Michael Schaeffer (The Salisbury Poisonings) is playing Tom ‘Weird’ Mackie senior 25 years later, Ariyon Bakare (His Dark Materials) as Alex Gilbey senior and Alec Newman (Unforgotten) as Sigmund ‘Ziggy’ Malkiewicz senior..

All Creatures Great and Small series 3 (Channel 5)

All Creatures Great and Small.

All Creatures Great and Small returns for season 3. (Image credit: Channel 5/ Playground Television (UK) LTD)

The doors of Skeldale House are reopening for a third run of the glorious 1930s-set vet drama All Creatures Great and Small, but as James (Nicholas Ralph) and Helen (Rachel Shenton) plan their future together, the storm clouds of war are gathering. 

We expect more disputes in All Creatures Great and Small season 3 between Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse) and his older brother Siegfried Farnon (Samuel West). Plus Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) is back,w while Miranda star Patricia Hodge continues as eccentric dog owner Mrs Pumphrey. 

* All Creatures Great and Small series 1 and 2 are available to watch on My5 and series 1 only on BritBox (as well as the old Christopher Timothy series).

Doctor Who (BBC1)

The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) looks into the camera dressed in an orange spacesuit.

Jodie Whittaker will play the Doctor one last time this autumn. (Image credit: BBC Studios/James Pardon)

Jodie Whittaker makes her final appearance as the 13th Time Lord in a feature-length Doctor Who story that will see 1980s companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) making a comeback.

Janet Fielding says: "In some ways, it was a very different experience to what it was like when I finished recording in 1983, but in many ways, it was very similar. It was so lovely to be a working member of the Doctor Who family again.”

Sophie Aldred adds: "It’s been quite a challenge to have such a big secret to keep, even from my family, and I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited to have been asked back. I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I adored being part of the TARDIS team again."

This third special will see The Doctor, Yaz and Dan involved in a climactic final battle with some of her fiercest foes and sees her reunited with some truly shocking guest stars. 

Chris Chibnall has teased: "Jodie’s final feature-length story contains a plethora of treats and surprises for audiences and fans, not least the return of two of the most beloved companions in the show’s history. They’ll be helping the Doctor fight on three fronts, against her deadliest enemies: the Master, Daleks and Cybermen,  in one huge story!"

* Catch up with previous Doctor Who specials and series on BBCiPlayer and BritBox.

Vienna Blood season 3 (BBC2)

Vienna Blood season 3 sees Max and Oscar back investigating baffling cases.

Vienna Blood season 3 sees Max and Oscar back investigating baffling cases. (Image credit: BBC)

In Vienna Blood season 3, and again follows the Max Liebermann (Matthew Beard), a young doctor of psychology and student of world famous Sigmund Freud, and a world-weary cop Oskar Rheinhardt (Juergen Maurer) in 19th century Vienna. Both team up wonderfully to solve gruesome and often very strange crimes in the Austrian capital. There are also relationship entanglements that have become very complicated as series 3 kicks off.

* Catch up with both previous series of Vienna Blood on BBCiPlayer.

The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power (Prime Video)

Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power.

 Morfydd Clark as Galadriel in The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power. (Image credit: Amazon Prime)

The hotly anticipated prequel The Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Powers is an eight-parter set during Middle Earth’s Second Age, thousands of years before The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. 

The epic series follows the forging of the Rings of Power, the rise of the Dark Lord Sauron, and the last alliance between Elves and Men, and stars a big British cast, including Robert Aramayo as Elrond, a half Elven politician, while Morfydd Clark plays Galadriel. Also look out for Lenny Henry as Sadoc Burrows, a Harfoot elder, and for Game of Thrones star Joseph Mawle.

Years and Years star Maxim Baldry has been cast as Isildur, Owain Arthur (A Confession) plays plays Durin IV, prince of the Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm, with Nazanin Boniadi (Homeland) starring as Bronwyn, a human mother and healer who owns an apothecary in the Southlands and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Power) is Míriel, a human and queen regent of Númenor.

Nicholas Cannon
Nicholas Cannon

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.