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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sara Wallis

Top 10 gripping TV dramas this summer - from The Capture to Game of Thrones prequel

Just because the nation is gearing up for holiday mode, television is not taking a break, with summer promising lots of top shows.

From gritty crime thrillers and psychological dramas, to comedies, documentaries and top entertainment, there are brand new series and some old favourites to look forward to.

In the first day of a bumper three-day series, here are our top ten dramas to watch out for, with factual and films to follow over the next two days.

So don’t move too far from your screen - here is our scorching hot guide to a summer of great entertainment…

The Capture is returning this summer (BBC/Heyday Films/Nick Wall)

The Capture, BBC1, August

This surveillance thriller became BBC iPlayer ’s most requested show of the year when it hit screens in 2019. Now it’s finally back, with Paapa Essiedu starring alongside Holliday Grainger, who returns as DI Rachel Carey, and Ron Perlman, back as US intelligence operative Frank Napier.

Essiedu plays Isaac Turner, a young rising star MP with ambitions for the very top.

This second series questions if we can really believe what we see. Britain is under siege: hacked news feeds, manipulated media and interference with politics.

‘Correction’ unit cop Carey finds herself in the middle of a new conspiracy - with a new target.

Gripping new drama The Control Room is coming in July (BBC/Hartswood Films)

The Control Room, BBC1, July 17

This gripping new thriller tells the story of Gabe, played by Iain De Caestecker, an ordinary man who works as an emergency call handler for the Strathclyde Ambulance Service in Glasgow.

His world is turned upside down when he receives a desperate life-and-death call from a distressed woman, played by Joanna Vanderham, who appears to know him.

With Gabe under pressure to work out who she is, he makes a decision that threatens to have devastating consequences. One call that has changed everything.

The three-episode, high octane mini series also stars Sharon Rooney and Daniel Portman.

The Great was dubbed 'better than Bridgerton' (HULU)

The Great, C4, August

This was such a big hit first time round that some people even thought this was “better than Bridgerton”. The brilliantly tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top period drama now returns with Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult as Catherine and Peter III of Russia.

The second series sees Catherine finally taking the Russian throne for herself - but she will quickly learn that dethroning her husband was just the beginning.

Her fight to liberate Russia will mean battling her own court and those closest to her, including her own mother - played by Gillan Anderson.

She will also have to navigate matters of the heart with Peter.

The stars of Bad Sisters (Apple TV)

Bad Sisters, Apple TV+, August 19

This chaotic, dark comedy and thriller is the latest offering from Catastrophe writer Sharon Horgan.

She stars alongside Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene and Eve Hewson as the five Garvey sisters.

Bound together by the premature death of their parents, they promise to always protect one another. Easier said than done.

The ten-parter, adapted from the Belgian series Clan, follows the highs and lows of the sisters, as they navigate a well-meaning promise that is bound to end badly.

A female-led riot, but token men include Claes Bang, Brian Gleeson, Daryl McCormack and Assaad Bouab.

Fast-paced sci-fi hit Paper Girls (Anjali Pinto/Prime Video)

Paper Girls, Prime Video, July 29

Based on a comic book series of the same name, this fast-paced sci fi series follows four young girls who become trapped in a complicated, time travelling conflict.

A few hours after Halloween night in 1988, the 12-year-olds stumble into a terrifying mission, unwittingly caught in a war between factions of time travellers.

They will have to face a dangerous, occasionally humorous, mission to save the world.

As they travel between our present, the past, and the future – they encounter future versions of themselves and now must choose to embrace or reject their fate.

Tanya Reynolds (Getty Images for BFI)

I Hate You, C4, summer

Turning his comic gaze from family to friends, creator of Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper, brings this brand new sitcom.

It’s about two best friends in their 20s - Charlie, played by Tanya Reynolds, and Becca, played by newcomer Melissa Saint.

Their relationship is intense, messy and complicated with jokes, bickering, laughing and yelling. They are friends who really love each other and can really wind each other up.

Robert says: “Having spent ten years writing a show about a super intense family, I really wanted my next one to be about super intense friends.”

A League Of Their Own, Prime Video, August 12

Evoking the joyful spirit of the 1992 hit movie, this drama series tells the wider story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball.

The show follows Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Max (Chanté Adams) and a new ensemble of sharp and funny women as they carve their paths toward the field, along the way finding their teams and themselves.

After forming the professional women’s league in 1943, they must keep it alive through tough games, injuries, sexual awakenings and road trips across a rapidly changing America.

It also stars D’Arcy Carden, best known for The Good Place, and Nick Offerman, star of Parks and Recreation.

Matt Smith starring in House of the Dragons (© 2022 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.)

House Of The Dragon, Sky Atlantic/NOW, August 21

Thrones fans can get excited about a new chapter in the history of Westeros with this series, set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the drama tells the story of House Targaryen.

It stars Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, heir to the throne, warrior and dragonrider, and Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, the King’s first-born.

Also starring Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best and Rhys Ifans.

A teaser trailer reveals an epic, big-budget blockbuster, stunning backdrops, bold costumes, battles, politics and Matt Smith in an excellent blonde wig.

Sean Bean stars in Marriage (BBC / The Forge)

Marriage, BBC1, August

Two of Britain’s most beloved actors, Nicola Walker and Sean Bean, play the leading roles in this up-close portrait of a marriage.

Funny, moving and revealing, it sees couple Ian and Emma negotiate the ups and downs of their 30-year marriage, dealing with insecurities, hopes and fears. “It’s a beautiful, funny and complicated world,” says Nicola of the four-part drama.

The four-episode drama promises to explore all the risks and gifts of a long term intimate relationship.

Watch out also for James Bolam as Emma’s father, Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Emma’s boss and Chantelle Alle as the couple’s daughter.

American fantasy series The Sandman (COURTESY OF NETFLIX)

The Sandman, Netflix, August 5

This American fantasy series, based on a 1990s comic book written by Neil Gaiman, tells the story of Dream - aka the Sandman.

Tom Sturridge plays Dream (or Morpheus), the king of dreams and one of the seven ‘Endless’ family of beings, who is captured, but finally escapes after 105 years to restore order to the kingdom of Dreaming.

It also stars Jenna Coleman as Johanna Constantine, an occult detective, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, the ruler of hell, Charles Dance as a charlatan occultist, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Asim Chadhry as the biblical Cain and Abel, Stephen Fry as a bodyguard and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death.

A starry cast also includes Mark Hamill, David Thewlis and Joely Richardson.

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