IT is that time of year where – whisper it – the nights are beginning to draw in and all thoughts turn to cosy evenings in front of the telly.

But what to watch? Thankfully, there is no dearth of excellent TV shows to coorie-in and enjoy this autumn. Here we share our picks of the best new series – thrillers, crime drama, comedy and documentaries – to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle

Two decades have passed since Ben Fogle headed to Taransay for the seminal reality TV series Castaway 2000. In the years since he has made no secret of his love for the Scottish people and landscapes, describing it as “the most beautiful place on Earth”.

The Herald: Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle is coming soon to BBC Scotland and BBC One. Picture: BBCSacred Islands with Ben Fogle is coming soon to BBC Scotland and BBC One. Picture: BBC

Over four episodes, this BBC Scotland documentary series sees the adventurer embark upon a personal pilgrimage as he explores themes of community and spirituality across a clutch of markedly different islands. The aerial shots of beaches, machair and rugged coastline will make your heart soar.

Sacred Islands with Ben Fogle, coming to BBC Scotland and BBC One in October

Spitting Image

The rebooted Spitting Image returns this weekend for a second series. In its original incarnation, the satirical show ran for 18 series between 1984 and 1996. It was reprised on BBC/ITV streaming service BritBox UK last year, garnering an impressive 200 million global views for its debut outing.

Joining the existing cast of rubber-faced puppets this autumn will be a raft of new faces including homages to Olivia Colman, Sajid Javid, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Tom Cruise, Tom Daley, Jess Phillips, Ariana Grande, Gary Lineker, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres and Raheem Sterling among others.

Spitting Image is on BritBox UK, new episodes each Saturday

The Herald: Spitting Image returns to BritBox UK for a second seriesSpitting Image returns to BritBox UK for a second series


Hands up who has a crush on Shaun Evans? Fair enough. It would perhaps be easier to ask who doesn’t. Not content with lighting up our screens in BBC thriller Vigil, the actor resumes his role as DS Endeavour Morse, alongside Roger Allam as DCI Fred Thursday, for three new cases.

The ITV series opens in 1971, and it is all go with a bomb at an Oxford college teeing up far-reaching political ramifications. Then, when the Oxford Wanderers’ star striker receives death threats, our main man is tasked with the unenviable job of bodyguard.

Endeavour begins on STV, tonight, 8pm, with new episodes on September 19 and 26


The darkly comic BBC Scotland drama written by Bob Servant creator Neil Forsyth will soon grace us with a second run. The opening series starred Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives as chalk-and-cheese brothers grappling with the aftermath of a dastardly deed.

READ MORE: Enjoying BBC thriller Vigil? Three more must-watch new TV dramas filmed in Scotland

Series two brings a bleak homecoming for one character and welcomes a clutch of new faces to the cast including Greg McHugh and Stuart Bowman, who worked together in their Gary: Tank Commander days, and Phyllis Logan of Lovejoy and Downton Abbey fame.

Guilt, coming soon to BBC Scotland and BBC Two


What next for DI Jimmy Perez? Well, not too much longer now (hopefully) until we find out. The popular BBC Scotland drama Shetland, starring Douglas Henshall, above, will be back for its sixth series later this year.

The Herald: Douglas Henshall in BBC Scotland drama Shetland. Picture: Mark Mainz/ITV Studios/BBCDouglas Henshall in BBC Scotland drama Shetland. Picture: Mark Mainz/ITV Studios/BBC

Based on the murder mystery books by Ann Cleeves and with David Kane as principal writer for the TV version, the show’s longevity is testament to its ability to consistently deliver storylines packed with thought-provoking and weighty subject matter.

Shetland, coming soon to BBC Scotland and BBC One

The Tower

Game of Thrones actor Gemma Whelan takes the lead in a white-knuckle ITV crime thriller from Homeland writer Patrick Harbinson, based on a series of novels by former Met police officer Kate London.

Whelan plays a detective investigating the murky series of events that led to a veteran beat cop and a teenage girl falling to their deaths from a tower block. Left alive on the roof are a five-year-old boy and a rookie police officer, who then swiftly disappears.

The Tower, coming to STV this autumn

The Herald: Gemma Whelan stars as Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins in new ITV series The Tower. Picture: ITVGemma Whelan stars as Detective Sergeant Sarah Collins in new ITV series The Tower. Picture: ITV

Mr Mayor

This latest comedy collaboration of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (who previously worked together on 30 Rock and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) stars Ted Danson as a wealthy retired businessman who is elected mayor in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Brimming with optimism, Mr Mayor sets about shaking things up at City Hall – or would do if he wasn’t getting waylaid cutting ribbons, being bogged down in the red tape of politics and diverted by other assorted shenanigans. Holly Hunter plays his savvy deputy and right-hand woman.

Mr Mayor begins on Sky Comedy and Now, September 24, 8.30pm

Sex Education

Since its debut in 2019, Sex Education has become one of the most watched shows on Netflix, tapping into the zeitgeist of modern teenage lives. The deftly written comedy-drama, which is back for a third series this week, has proved a hit with viewers of all ages.

READ MORE: Sex Education: Scottish-Rwandan actor Ncuti Gatwa on his role in the hit Netflix series

Asa Butterfield plays socially awkward teen Otis Milburn, with Gillian Anderson of The X-Files and The Fall as his overbearing, sex therapist mother. Then there is everyone’s favourite: Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa as ebullient, flamboyant and adorable Eric Effiong.

Sex Education returns to Netflix on Friday

The Herald: Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong and Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn in series three of Sex Education. Picture: NetflixNcuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong and Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn in series three of Sex Education. Picture: Netflix

The Beatles: Get Back

Peter Jackson, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy, turns his hand to another epic story: The Beatles.

The three-part documentary series, attempting to capture the camaraderie and creative genius of the Fab Four, taps into more than 60 hours of unseen footage. Upwards of 150 hours of previously unheard audio has also been painstakingly restored.

The Beatles: Get Back promises a rare gem with the band’s final live performance on a rooftop at London’s Savile Row in 1969 shown for the first time in its entirety.

The Beatles: Get Back begins on Disney+ from November 25

The Morning Show

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston return in the much-lauded Apple TV+ show about the #MeToo-style scandal rocking a US television network.

The drama, inspired by Brian Stelter’s book Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV, does exactly what it says on the tin.

The Herald: Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy and Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson in The Morning Show. Picture: PA Photo/Courtesy of Apple TV Jennifer Aniston as Alex Levy and Reese Witherspoon as Bradley Jackson in The Morning Show. Picture: PA Photo/Courtesy of Apple TV

After a jaw-dropping finale to the first series, there is still much to unpack regarding the serial sexual misconduct of long-time anchor Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) and those who might have been complicit in covering up his behaviour. Buckle up.

The Morning Show returns to Apple TV+ from Friday

The Larkins

Many of us have fond memories of sitting down on Sunday evenings in the early 1990s to watch the original The Darling Buds of May starring David Jason, Pam Ferris and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the Larkin family.

READ MORE: River City star Joyce Falconer on a wild beauty spot right on Aberdeen's doorstep

A new ITV adaptation of H E Bates’s novel will arrive on our screens this autumn. Like its predecessor, the six-part series is set in the 1950s, although this time around Bradley Walsh is playing wheeler dealer with a heart-of-gold, Pop Larkin, with Joanna Scanlan as his wife Ma.

The Larkins, coming to STV this autumn


The billionaires behaving badly are back for a third series of Jesse Armstrong’s satirical comedy-drama about a media mogul’s children jostling for control over the family empire. Adrien Brody (The Pianist) joins the action for this latest instalment.

The Herald: The cast of Succession. Picture: HBO/SkyThe cast of Succession. Picture: HBO/Sky

Logan Roy, the Dundee-born ruthless patriarch of the clan, is played by Scottish acting stalwart Brian Cox (lest you get confused with the physicist chap of the same name) with Alan Ruck, Jeremy Strong, Kieran Culkin and Sarah Snook as his offspring.

Succession returns to Sky Atlantic and Now this October

The North Water

Based on Ian McGuire’s Man Booker Prize-longlisted novel of the same name, The North Water is a five-part historical thriller about the crew of a 19th-century whaling ship on an Arctic expedition. It is a tough-yet-compelling watch: blood, violence and mayhem abound.

READ MORE: Arctic ice floes and polar bears: Gary Lamont on new BBC thriller The North Water

Stephen Graham stars as the duplicitous captain, with Colin Farrell as a terrifying harpooner and Jack O’Connell playing a surgeon with a dark secret. Look out for Gary Lamont and Gerry Lynch among the crew of the Volunteer as it creeps through the icy climes.

The North Water continues on BBC Two, Fridays, 9.30pm. Stream all episodes on BBC iPlayer now

The Herald: The North Water. Picture: Nick Wall/See-Saw Films/BBCThe North Water. Picture: Nick Wall/See-Saw Films/BBC

All Creatures Great and Small

Nicholas Ralph reprises his role as Glaswegian vet James Herriot as All Creatures Great and Small gears up for a second series, with events at Skeldale House picking up three months on from last year’s debut offering on Channel 5.

The drama, based on the much-beloved books by the late James Herriot (real name Alf Wight), is set in the rural Yorkshire Dales during the late 1930s. The cast includes Samuel West, Anna Madeley, Callum Woodhouse and Rachel Shenton, as well as bovine, equine and canine thespians.

All Creatures Great and Small returns to Channel 5, Thursday, 9pm

The Herald: Callum Woodhouse and Nicholas Ralph in All Creatures Great and Small. Picture: Channel 5Callum Woodhouse and Nicholas Ralph in All Creatures Great and Small. Picture: Channel 5

The Long Call

Fans of Vera and Shetland – the TV dramas based on the novels of Ann Cleeves – will be in for a treat with this four-part ITV adaptation of the crime writer’s North Devon-set series that centres on Detective Inspector Matthew Venn.

READ MORE: Scots star Nicholas Ralph on the magic of All Creatures Great and Small

Pennyworth star Ben Aldridge plays the brooding Venn who returns to the small community he had vowed to leave behind for good. He leads a murder investigation that brings former neighbours and friends under suspicion. The cast features Juliet Stevenson, Martin Shaw and Pearl Mackie.

The Long Call, coming soon to STV


This twisting – often claustrophobic – BBC thriller is proving gripping viewing. The plot centres on the disappearance of a Scottish fishing trawler and a death on board a Trident nuclear submarine as tension builds between the police, the Royal Navy and intelligence services.

READ MORE: Outlander star Lauren Lyle on new BBC thriller Vigil and her upcoming role in ITV crime drama Karen Pirie

Suranne Jones leads an ensemble cast for the six-part series that includes Rose Leslie, Martin Compston, Shaun Evans and Paterson Joseph, as well as Gary Lewis, Connor Swindells, Daniel Portman, Lauren Lyle, Lois Chimimba and Lorne MacFadyen. Perfect viewing for an autumn evening.

Vigil continues on BBC One, Sundays, 9pm. Catch-up on BBC iPlayer

The Scotts

Burnistoun stars Robert Florence and Iain Connell have co-written The Scotts, a whip-smart mockumentary-style comedy series that draws much of its tongue-in-cheek inspiration from glitzy US reality shows.

The Herald: Louise McCarthy in BBC Scotland comedy The Scotts. Picture: Martin Shields/The Comedy Unit/BBCLouise McCarthy in BBC Scotland comedy The Scotts. Picture: Martin Shields/The Comedy Unit/BBC

Think Keeping Up With The Kardashians meets The Real Housewives of Glasgow as it charts the eye-watering antics of a dysfunctional Scottish family. The superb cast includes Louise McCarthy, Barbara Rafferty, Shauna Macdonald, Sharon Young and Lee Greig.

The Scotts continues on BBC One Scotland, Mondays, at 10.35pm and BBC Scotland, Thursdays, 10pm. Stream all episodes on BBC iPlayer now

Hollington Drive

Anna Maxwell Martin (Line of Duty) and Rachael Stirling (The Bletchley Circle) play sisters facing their lives being torn apart in an unsettling four-part ITV thriller.

READ MORE: Burnistoun stars return for new TV comedy series The Scotts – with big ambitions

The elevator pitch? After an idyllic family gathering, cousins Ben and Eva ask to play in the park. When the pair don’t appear home on time, they are discovered fighting beside woodland. Then, a short while later, a distraught neighbour calls to say her 10-year-old son has gone missing.

Hollington Drive, coming to STV later this month

Stath Lets Flats

Jamie Demetriou’s triple Bafta-winning Channel 4 sitcom about an endearingly useless estate agent is one of those shows that, if someone loves it, they will spend a good 10 minutes (minimum) waxing lyrical about its many joy-inducing and life-affirming qualities.

The Herald: The cast of Stath Lets Flats. Picture: Channel 4The cast of Stath Lets Flats. Picture: Channel 4

Two years have passed since man-child Stath (Demetriou) and the staff of Michael & Eagle Lettings departed our telly boxes. In series three, our hapless hero faces rescuing the family business, becoming a father and dealing with the revelation that his best friend is in love with his sister.

Stath Lets Flats, coming to Channel 4 this autumn


A psychological thriller based on Caroline Kepnes’s bestselling novel of the same name, You is a modern and chilling twist on the boy-meets-girl story. It centres on Joe, a charming and chisel-jawed grifter/prolific serial killer, played by Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley.

The second series ended on a mighty cliff-hanger. Joe appears to have met his match in Love Quinn who – without giving away any spoilers – is not all that she seems. Then came a tantalising glimpse over the garden fence: someone has caught Joe’s eye. Roll on series three.

You returns to Netflix from October 15

The Wheel of Time

One of the most popular fantasy series of all-time, with more 90 million books sold worldwide, The Wheel of Time is set in a realm where magic exists, but only certain women are allowed to access it.

READ MORE: Enjoying BBC thriller Vigil? Three more must-watch new TV dramas filmed in Scotland

Rosamund Pike, known for her roles in Gone Girl and I Care a Lot, plays Moiraine, a member of the all-female organisation Aes Sedai. She embarks on a dangerous global quest with a quintet of young men and women, one of whom, it is prophesied, will either save or destroy humanity.

The Wheel of Time comes to Amazon Prime Video from November 19


Maverick is perhaps the best word to describe forensic pathologist Professor Wolfe Kinteh, a man regarded as the finest crime scene expert in the north of England and who thumbs his nose at doing things by the book.

The Herald: The cast of Sky drama Wolfe. Picture: SkyThe cast of Sky drama Wolfe. Picture: Sky

The brainchild of Paul Abbott, who created State of Play, Shameless and No Offence, Wolfe stars Babou Ceesay in the titular role for the six-part series, alongside Sherlock’s Amanda Abbington and Happy Valley’s Adam Long.

Wolfe continues on Sky Max and Now, Fridays, at 9pm. All episodes are available to watch now

Angela Black

On the surface wife-and-mother Angela Black enjoys a picture-perfect and privileged life. Yet, the gut-wrenching reality behind closed doors is that of someone who has become adept at covering up fresh bruises with make-up and finding new ways to explain away her missing teeth.

Joanne Froggatt plays the lead in this Hitchcockian thriller from ITV about a woman who risks everything to fight back against the man who has controlled and brutalised her for years.

Angela Black, coming to STV this autumn

The Herald: Joanne Froggatt in ITV thriller Angela Black. Picture: ITVJoanne Froggatt in ITV thriller Angela Black. Picture: ITV

The Madame Blanc Mysteries

Coronation Street alumna Sally Lindsay is the creator of a Channel 5 thriller about a grieving antiques dealer who discovers her late husband has run their business into the ground and the only option is for her to move to a small cottage in France.

The Madame Blanc Mysteries was written by Lindsay and her Mount Pleasant co-star Sue Vincent. The pair star in the six-part series alongside Steve Edge (Phoenix Nights), Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses), Robin Askwith (the Confessions films) and Paul Chuckle (yes, from ChuckleVision).

The Madame Blanc Mysteries, coming to Channel 5 in October


In 1998, Susan and Christopher Edwards killed her parents, then buried them in the back garden of their Nottinghamshire home. They spent the next 15 years raiding the dead couple’s bank accounts, using it to fund a love of Hollywood memorabilia, particularly autographs of movie star Gary Cooper.

READ MORE: Arctic ice floes and polar bears: Gary Lamont on new BBC thriller The North Water

Starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis, Landscapers is a dark retelling of this bizarre true crime story. The four-part series is created and written by Colman’s husband Ed Sinclair.

Landscapers, coming to Sky Atlantic and Now this autumn