Inside No. 9 Season 6 (May)
Knowing a good thing when it has one, BBC Two renewed Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s ingenious anthology series Inside No. 9 for a sixth and seventh series back in March. The sixth run aired in May 2021 (read our reviews here), and the font of originality, fun and surprise showed no signs of drying up whatsoever. Bring on series seven in 2022.
Line of Duty Season 6 (March)
Series six of Jed Mercurio’s hugely successful crime thriller concluded in April 2019 with a finale that felt very much like an ending. Line of Duty stars Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar as bent-copper-hunters AC-12, with each series welcoming a high-profile guest – previous series have welcomed Stephen Graham, Thandie Newton and Keeley Hawes, and for series six, it was Kelly Macdonald.
Marcella Season 3 (January)
ITV’s Marcella, co-created by The Killing’s Hans Rosenfeldt and starring Anna Friel, went out in a blaze of bonkers glory in 2018. Series two marked a turning point for the detective show, which went from domestic crime drama to full-blown comic-book spy thriller, complete with faked deaths, conspiracy, and secret investigative units. Series three had Marcella working undercover in a Belfast crime family. It first aired on Netflix around the world, and finally arrived on ITV in January 2021.
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing Season 4 (August)
A fishing show may seem like a strange choice for this list of mostly high-profile dramas and comedies, but Gone Fishing deserves as much celebration as any of them. That’s thanks to Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse’s natural chemistry as two long-time friends, both of whom have been forced to contemplate their mortality in recent years due to serious heart problems. It’s fishing, yes, but it’s also chat, silliness and genuine human warmth.
Motherland Season 3 (May)
Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh and Helen Linehan’s parenting comedy Motherland returned for a triumphant third series in May. Starring Anna Maxwell-Martin (Good Omens, Line Of Duty), Lucy Punch, Paul Ready and Diane Morgan, it’s a caustic look at the demands of modern parenting and life in your thirties and forties that you don’t even need to have kids to relate to/stare at in rapt horror.
Sex Education Season 3 (September)
Season three of Netflix’s celebrated high school comedy-drama went into production in September 2020 and finally arrived a year later on the streaming service. The show has won such an adoring fandom over its two seasons that they’ll wait as long as it takes to continue the stories of Otis, Eric, Maeve and of course, Gillian Anderson’s masterful Jean.