Netflix. Amazon Prime Video. BBC iPlayer. NOW TV. Walter Presents. There’s so much TV to watch these days in so many places that it can be hard to keep up. Every month, we boil down what’s on the box to the essentials you need in your streaming queue.
With 2019 in full swing, the first treats of the year are already upon us, from Russian Doll and This Time with Alan Partridge to The Umbrella Academy. There’s also the chance to catch up with some of the most talked-about series from the USA, including Sons of Anarchy spin-off Mayans MC and important documentary Surviving R. Kelly – and, of course, Season 3 of The Expanse, which makes the leap from Netflix to Amazon Prime Video, along with Seasons 1 and 2.
Viewing schedule too packed? We’ve sorted through All The TV to bring you your February watchlist – what’s worth watching, why and where you can find it online in the UK.
With humankind’s future at stake, a group of scientists and a powerful telepath venture into the void aboard a spaceship full of secrets in this new sci-fi series based on the George RR Martin book.
Nightflyers UK air date:
When? 1st January (8.01am) What channel? Netflix UK
Co-created by Amy Poehler, this time-bending series follows a young woman named Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) on her journey as the guest of honour at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City.
Russian Doll UK air date:
When? 1st January (8.01am) What channel? Netflix UK
Created by Kurt Sutter and Elgin James, this Sons of Anarchy spin-off introduces us to EZ Reyes (JD Pardo), who was once headed to Stanford but has seen his life derailed by crime. And so he becomes a prospect for biker gangs Mayans M.C., where his brother, Angel (Clayton Cardenas), is a member. The series begins with a cruel kidnapping that results in retribution even the Mayan bikers find distasteful.
Mayans MC UK air date:
When? 2nd February (10.40pm) What channel? BBC Two
The Lifetime documentary series, which premiered last month in the USA, has already been making waves, as it delves into and shines a light on the allegations of abuse surrounding the singer R. Kelly. The R&B musician’s genre-defining career and playboy lifestyle has been riddled with rumors of abuse and predatory behaviour. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations has seemingly affected him. This series sees women emerge from the shadows and unite their voices to share their stories.
Surviving R. Kelly will air on Crime + Investigation in the UK, which is available on Sky (156), Virgin Media (275), BT TV (328) and TalkTalk (328).
Surviving R. Kelly UK air date:
When? 5th February (10pm) What channel? Crime+Investigation
Sky Germany presents the serialised sequel to one of the most acclaimed war films of all time. Set in the autumn of 1942, the Allies have cracked the Enigma code, signalling the end of the U-boats’ dominance at sea, and increased levels of resistance in previous safe havens such as La Rochelle has made mainland Europe dangerous and unpredictable. Even as the tide increasingly turns against the German war machine, the young crew of U-boat U-612 prepare for their maiden voyage. New Captain Klaus Hoffman, following in the footsteps of his famous father, takes the helm. However, tensions simmer between him and members of the crew who feel passed over. The full box set is available on-demand at the same time as its first episode.
Das Boot S2 UK air date:
When? 6th February (9pm) What channel? Sky Atlantic
Based on the novels by James S. A. Corey, the critically-acclaimed, award-winning political series finally arrives on Amazon Prime Video, after it was resurrected for a fourth season by the online giant. The show is set hundreds of years in the future, when humans have colonised the solar system with The United Nations controlling Earth and an independent military power inhabiting Mars. Desperate for air and water, the series begins with Earth and Mars on the verge of war over the resources found in the Asteroid Belt. With few options for survival, allies struggle to fight over the future of humanity.
Co-created and written by Academy Award nominees Mark Fergus (Iron Man) and Hawk Otsby (Children of Men), the series stars three-time Golden Globe nominee Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea), Shohreh Asgdashloo (Star Trek: Beyond), Steve Strait (The Covenant), Dominique Tipper (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Wes Chatam (The Hunger Games), Cas Anvar (Punisher: War Zone), Frankie Adams (Mortal Engines) and Shawn Doyle (Frequency), Chad L. Coleman (The Walking Dead), Florence Faivre (The Sia Renaissance), and Cara Gee (Empire of Dirt). Seasons 1 and 2 also arrive on Amazon Prime Video alongside Season 3.
The Expanse S3 UK air date:
When? 8th February What channel? Amazon Prime Video
Penelope studies to become a nurse practitioner, Elena and Syd grow closer, Alex gets punished, Lydia tackles a bucket list, and Schneider falls in love. If you haven’t seen Netflix’s reboot of the classic Norman Lear sitcom yet, get on board: this is one of the most progressive, funny and charming comedies on TV.
One Day at a Time S3 air date:
When? 8th February (8.01am) What channel? Netflix UK
Presented by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw, Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast live from MediaCity UK in Salford as the show comes to the North West of England for the very first time. As well as a new home, there is a brand new format coming too: from the hundreds of songs that have been submitted, three will be performed on the night by six different artists. The six acts will compete for the honour of representing the United Kingdom at the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv.
For those who don’t have Netflix UK, The Defiant Ones comes to BBC Four as a six-part series. Years before they brokered one of the biggest deals in music history – the 2015 sale of Beats Electronics to Apple for $3 billion – Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine navigated very different environments towards destinies that would, ultimately and improbably, bring them together. This HBO documentary charts their crossing paths, beginning with Dr. Dre’s roots in Compton, where his fascination with dance music, DJ innovations and sound brought him into contact with Eazy-E, Ice Cube, DJ Yella and MC Ren. Together, they would become the core of the 1980s gangsta-rap supergroup N.W.A. Episode 2, which airs in a double bill with Episode 1, profiles the native of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Jimmy Iovine, who talks about gravitating to music following an indifferent academic career, with a determination to avoid continuing in the family business as a longshoreman.
This feature-length documentary tells the untold story of how David Robert Jones became David Bowie, how Bowie became Ziggy Stardust and how Ziggy became immortal – changing the musical landscape as he did so. David Bowie: Finding Fame is the story that finally makes sense of one of the greatest icons of the 20th and 21st centuries. With remarkable, unheard audio recordings, unseen archive and unpublished documents alongside exclusive interviews with David’s family, girlfriends, lifelong friends and early collaborators, this film shows how his experiences in the 1960s created a blueprint for his entire career.
Starting in 1966, when he changed his name to Bowie, the film traces his interest in everything from Holst to Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men, and Anthony Newley to Tibetan Buddhism. This transmission is ahead of the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Directed and produced by Francis Whately, this is the last part of his award-winning and acclaimed David Bowie Trilogy – David Bowie: Five Years, David Bowie: The Last Five Years and now David Bowie: Finding Fame.
This 12-part series sees teenagers from across the UK allowing cameras into their family cars to film these honest, daily chats they have with their responsible adults, on life, love and everything they are going through. In a hectic world of multiple screens and social media, time spent in the car is the last refuge of unfiltered child-to-parent conversation – a place where laughs can be had and awkward subjects can be broached, without digital distractions or the possibility of escape. Part of a number of teen titles released exclusively by BBC iPlayer on Sunday 10th February.
Stacey Dooley takes a group of 16-18 year-olds into different industries – ones that are crying out for young workers – for the ultimate work experience. The series follows them as they experience the exacting nature of work, while learning to eke out their wages at apprenticeship level to pay for food and accommodation. Over the course of the series, the teens get a rude awakening as Stacey takes them on five different, tough work placements, from a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in London to a care home in Weston Super-Mare, one of the UK’s biggest call centres in Sunderland, the New Balance trainer factory in Cumbria, and Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow.
This true crime anthology, first aired on Bravo in the USA, kicks off with the tale of how a romance with the charismatic John Meehan (played by Eric Bana) spiraled into secrets, denial, manipulation and, ultimately, survival – with horrific consequences for an entire family. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Dirty John UK air date:
When? 14th February (8.01am) What channel? Netflix UK
The powerful period drama, created by acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Moria Buffini and Alison Newman, returns to whisk us back to the vibrant, cosmopolitan backdrop of 18th century Georgian London, offering a bold new take on the city’s most valuable commercial activity – sex. An all-star cast includes Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville, Jessica Brown Findlay and Liv Tyler. Season 2 follows the Wells family, led by matriarch Margaret (Morton), whose daughter Charlotte (Brown Findlay) places herself in the home of arch-rival bawd Lydia Quigley (Manville), taking their toxic and deep-set rivalry to a dangerous new level. It’s available at the same time as its US broadcast on STARZPLAY, which costs £4.99 a month, via Amazon Prime Video Channels (effectively a bolt-on subscription for Amazon Prime users), or via Virgin Media On Demand.
Reunited by their father’s death, estranged siblings with extraordinary powers uncover shocking family secrets – and a looming threat to humanity – in this new superhero series based on the comic books by Gerard Way.
The Umbrella Academy UK air date:
When? 15th February (8.01am) What channel? Netflix UK
Lorena reveals the hidden truths in the notorious case of John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt and challenges the long-held narrative that surrounded the event. This four-part series provides a fresh perspective on the story and exposes how the case laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle and increasing sensationalistic media coverage.
Lorena UK air date:
When? 15th February What channel? Amazon Prime Video
A co-production between Channel 4 and Netflix, Traitors is a spy thriller with a cast to die for, including Keeley Hawes Michael Stuhlbarg and Luke Treadaway. The series takes us behind the scenes of a seismic moment in global history, through the eyes of one young woman caught in the middle of it. An intimate epic set in 1945 London, Traitors is the dangerous, enthralling story of Feef, who is seduced by a rogue American spy into spying on her own country. Her task? To uncover a Russian agent in the heart of the British Government. The thriller is created by Bash Doran (Boardwalk Empire, Looming Tower, Masters of Sex) and spans six episodes that promise grips and twists aplenty.
This eight-part docuseriesis a globe-spanning exploration of the most compelling, hilarious, confounding, and bizarre topics impacting the global economy, told through the curious and thoughtful mind of Kal Penn (Designated Survivor), former White House Associate Director of Public Engagement. See first-hand all the surprising ways the economy interconnects and impacts the lives of people all over the planet.
UK air date:
When? 22nd February What channel? Amazon Prime Video
Sean Bean, Billy Zane, Adrian Lester and a stellar ensemble cast line up for one heck of a night-time street race as they try to flee the totalitarian government curfew that’s controlling their lives. The winner will be the first to reach the finish line by sunrise… and that’s the only rule. Adam Brody and Miranda Richardson also star.
Baptiste is the new thrilling six-part drama from the creators of The Missing, starring Tchéky Karyo as the insightful but stubborn investigator Julien Baptiste.
Julien Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo, pictured) is trying his best to enjoy retired life with his family in Amsterdam, but when Police Commissioner and former girlfriend Martha Horchner (Barbara Sarafian) asks him to assist with a missing person’s case, Julien can’t refuse.
He meets Edward Stratton (Tom Hollander) who has been desperately scouring the streets of Amsterdam to find his niece, sex worker Natalie Rose (Anna Prochniak). Julien has great empathy for Edward’s plight and the two men delve into the seamy and criminal underworld of the red light district looking for clues as to Natalie’s whereabouts.
But the case takes an unexpected turn and Julien soon finds himself unravelling a complex web of deceit and lies.
Aha! Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) is back on our screens, after being given a chance to stand in (temporarily) as co-host on This Time, an evening weekday magazine show. His first return to live TV since his 90s chat show Knowing Me, Knowing You was cancelled after a guest was fatally shot on air, This Time is the perfect shop window for a man of Alan’s gravitas and will, or should, see him finally recognised as one of the heavyweight broadcasters of his era. The show itself is a heady mix of consumer affairs, current affairs, viewer interaction, highbrow interview and lightweight froth; very much the sweet spots for a man whose CV boasts over two decades of weekday local radio. And with an array of diverse subjects on the agenda, it promises the perfect fit for a man whose broadcasting style has been described as ‘equidistant between chitchat and analysis’. Joining Steve Coogan on the sofa will be Susannah Fielding as his female co-presenter Jennie Gresham, and Tim Key as Simon ‘formerly Sidekick Simon’ Denton.
This Time UK air date:
When? 25th February (9.30pm) What channel? BBC One
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