It’s out with the old and in with the new, which is exactly why we welcome these new shows to our screens this January.
Limited series from Thursday, January 11
Based on Jess Ryder’s hit psychological thriller of the same name, The Ex-Wife tells the story of Tasha (Céline Bucken – War Horse, Free Rein), a young woman who feels like she is living the dream: She has the perfect house, a loving husband and a beautiful little girl.
But there’s one large blot on Tasha’s marital landscape: her husband’s ex-wife won’t leave them alone and seems intent on staying in the picture. When Tasha returns home one day to find her life turned upside down, she realises that the dream she is living may be about to turn into a nightmare. This new crime drama also stars Tom Mison (Sleepy Hollow, Watchmen) and Janet Montgomery (New Amsterdam, Salem).
Limited series from Thursday, January 18
Produced by award-winning content studio SISTER (Chernobyl, This is Going to Hurt), Leila Farzad (I Hate Suzie, Avenue 5) and Andrew Buchan (Broadchurch, The Honourable Woman, ABC Murders) star in Better, the BBC’s brand-new five-part thriller from Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent (Humans, Spooks).
Set and shot entirely in Leeds and West Yorkshire, Better explores the complex and powerful bonds of loyalty and family, set in a world where everyone has their own version of “right” and “wrong”. Examining the power of human conscience, we follow DI Lou Slack’s (Leila Farzad) epic battle towards redemption, by bringing down Col McHugh (Andrew Buchan); the man she has come to love like a brother and the man she has helped place at the head of Leeds criminal underworld. But while Col is a dangerous enemy to make, Lou’s biggest battle may yet be with herself.
19 years ago, when Lou was a young police officer at her lowest ebb and Col a low-ranking but ambitious newcomer to the Leeds underworld, their paths crossed, and they struck a deal that changed their lives forever. The bargain allowed Col to become very rich and very powerful, and Lou to turn around her failing career. A complex but special bond between the pair was forged, and so began Lou’s gradual slide into corruption. But now, when Lou’s family is brought to the brink of a tragedy, she must put right the wrongs that she has spent years rationalising and excusing, to have a second chance at a new, better life.
“This moreish bent copper show gets stronger and stronger.” – The Guardian
Irvine Welsh’s Crime
Season 2 from Thursday, January 25
The eagerly anticipated second season of BritBox Original Crime launches exclusively on 25 January, with Emmy Award-winner Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible 2, Twin Town, My Week with Marilyn) returning in his lead role as troubled detective DI Ray Lennox. The latest season is again adapted for the screen by best-selling author Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) alongside writing partner Dean Cavanagh, with Welsh also acting as an executive producer.
Scott’s portrayal of Lennox in the first season landed him the International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actor. He leads a stellar line-up of Scottish talent, including Ken Stott (Rebus, The Missing) and Joanna Vanderham (Dancing on the Edge), who reprise their roles as Chief Superintendent Bob Toal and DS Amanda Drummond. John Simm (Grace, Doctor Who) and Derek Riddell (Silent Witness) also return for the second season, which sees Scott’s son Gabriel Scott (House of the Dragon) appearing alongside his father.
In the opening episode, Lennox is ready to return to the fray at Edinburgh Serious Crimes division, keen to prove he is fully recovered from the breakdown induced by bringing Mr Confectioner to justice, but he’s surprised to find that it’s all changed. Bob Toal has lost his mojo, Amanda Drummond is freshly promoted and there are two new faces on the team in the form of devious Tommy Stark and failed actor Norrie Erskine. When one of Lennox’s former colleagues is attacked, he and Drummond quickly realise that all is not as it seems as they become embroiled in a case about vengeance, identity and social justice. The six-part series, again shot on location in Scotland, will be available exclusively on BritBox in South Africa, where Season 1 is currently available to stream.
“Edinburgh in all its Jekyll/Hyde, fur coat/nae knickers glory” – The Scotsman
Catch all this on BritBox.