7 TV shows to watch now that Game of Thrones is over

Tom Hardy doing a rare bit of horsing around on Taboo. Photo: Supplied

Tom Hardy doing a rare bit of horsing around on Taboo. Photo: Supplied

So Game of Thrones is over for another year or two and Twin Peaks has closed shop, but there’s no reason to leave the couch just yet. Here are seven new and returning shows sure to keep you glued to the screen until Christmas.

Outlander

Often dubbed GoT for women, this historical-fantasy drama is about to launch its third season. Ignore the derisive comparisons, though – this is superb character-led adventure with lashings of political intrigue. The first run was packed with improbably feminist sex, man-shaped eye-candy and homoerotic torture porn, but things have settled down a little since. Its premise has surprisingly modern Clare whisked back in time from 1940s Scotland to the 17th century Highland. She meets rugged-but-pretty Jamie and they fall lustfully in love (even though she’s married to the future descendant of the villainous Black Jack Randall). Last year saw the action transfer to pre-revolutionary France, whereas this new season appears to split the action between past and near-present. As with Game of Thrones, there are several fat books of source material to get through, so this could run and run.

Glitch

This offbeat Aussie drama was a smash for Auntie with its first run. There are undeniable echoes of French series The Returned, with the dead inexplicably returning to life in a small country town, but the Australian setting brings a distinct character. The action centres on policeman James (Patrick Brammall), whose wife Kate (Emma Booth) is one of the resurrected. In the new run, James is still dealing with his feelings for his undead ex (and helping her hide), while getting used to life as a dad with new wife Sarah. But Sarah has sinister plans of her own, as a spooky conspiracy starts to unfold.

Star Trek: Discovery

Star Trek has always been that rare thing in science fiction – a vision of the future that’s actually an improvement on our own. Having put aside racial and political conflict (and discovered the secret of warp travel), the united nations of humanity set out into the cosmos to bring peace, love and lycra outfits to a long list of bumpy headed aliens. Set before Kirk put on his space boots, Discovery looks to be a departure, offering a dark vision in which the Federation (that’s the Earthlings) go to war against the Klingons (bumpy heads). You could argue it’s a Star Trek for our dystopian times, but the fanboys’ main beef seems to be that they cast a woman of colour in the lead. We think this is very much a good thing.

Taboo

Tom Hardy makes a rare television appearance for this gritty, genre-mashing mystery from the makers of Peaky Blinders. He plays James, who in 1814 returns from Africa to London to inherit his father’s business empire. But it turns out to be a darker business than he had expected, with enemies lurking in every shadow. If it’s hard to describe that’s because this show verges on weirdness that even Twin Peaks would think twice about. As bonkers as it is brilliant, it’s a refreshing take on costume drama – if not one that Downton Abbey fans are likely to appreciate.

Vikings

We’re still waiting on the fifth series of this gritty, visceral drama in which Viking Ragnar attempts to conquer the world by longboat, but the first four seasons are streaming on Netflix. Its saga of power struggles, brutal warfare and passionate shagging is perfect for the Thrones fan who preferred Westeros before all those zombies and dragons came to dominate the plot. Produced by the team behind The Tudors, there’s a similarly sensational tone to its retelling of history.

American Gods

Fresh out of prison, Shadow Moon meets a god on a domestic flight. Rather than expecting worship, Mr Wednesday offers Shadow a job pulling confidence tricks. But there is a war coming – an apocalyptic battle between the old gods who have followed their worshippers to America, and the modern obsessions that have taken their place. Adapted from Neil Gaiman’s prize-winning novel by Bryan Fuller, this is an absolute treat – it’s spooky, funny and visceral with a terrific cast. After debuting back in May on Amazon Video, it’s now widely available on iTunes and home release.

Top of the Lake: China Girl

For the second series of this quirky mystery series, director Jane Campion moves the action from the New Zealand wilderness to Sydney seediness. Elizabeth Moss returns as detective Elizabeth Griffin, but the real pull here is Nicole Kidman in superbly savage form as the adoptive mother of the daughter Elizabeth once gave up. It’s not perfect, taking about as many wrong steps as it does bold and wonderful strides, but it is strange and kind of magnificent, with a powerful female focus.

 

 

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