Masked vigilantes, magical creatures, filthy rich capitalists going for blood – on the surface they don’t seem to have much in common. But they’re each the subject of a brand-new HBO series that has generated excitement from viewers around the world.
Who watches the Watchmen?
We love a superhero series. We’re totally here for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and are addicted to Cloak & Dagger. But none has been as hotly anticipated as Watchmen. It’s based on the universe created in the limited series of DC comic books, and asks the question “Who watches the Watchmen?”
The story takes place in an alternative 2019, in a version of the United States that’s without cellphones or the internet. Masked vigilantes have been outlawed because of their violent methods – and they’re not too happy about it. Some team up to foment a revolution, while others must stop it before it’s too late.
You’ll recognise some famous faces in the series. Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons plays Adrian Veidt, also known as Ozymandias, a brilliant vigilante; fellow Oscar-winner Regina King (The Leftovers, The Big Bang Theory) as Detective Angela Abar/Sister Night; TV legend Don Johnson as police Chief Judd Crawford and Robert Redford as President Robert Redford, who’s been in office since 1992.
The magical world of His Dark Materials
Philip Pullman’s magnificent trilogy of novels, His Dark Materials, are among the best-loved works of fantasy fiction. In the books, he created a rich universe full of magic and mystery. There has been an attempt to adapt them for the screen before – the 2007 film The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman – but it really didn’t live up to expectations.
Now, in the hands of HBO and the BBC, a lavish new series has been produced that promises to do justice to Lyra’s rich and fascinating world.
Already renewed for a second season, His Dark Materials is finally getting the richly detailed canvas of big-budget, serialised, episodic storytelling that will do justice to this magnificent fantasy.
The series stars some big names, including James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda and British favourite Ruth Wilson. It’s streaming first and only on Showmax from 5 November.
Next in line to the throne in Succession
Succession might just be the best series you’re not watching. The Guardian said: “With revenge raccoons and boardroom satans, the drama about media tycoons is casually masterful, absolutely hilarious – and has anarchy in its DNA.”
The bitingly funny HBO drama follows the dysfunctional Roy family, who control one of the biggest media and entertainment conglomerates in the world. With patriarch Logan Roy ageing and ailing, his four adult children jockeyed for position throughout Season 1 but as Season 2 picks up, the Roys are struggling to retain control of their empire in a rapidly changing media landscape. Both seasons are now available to stream on Showmax.
Succession stars Brian Cox as the cunning patriarch, while Keiran Culkin, Alan Ruck and Matthew Macfayden number among the next generation vying for a stake in his vast fortune. It’s a gloriously intelligent show about horrible people behaving badly, and it was inspired by the real-life family of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch. Watch now »
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This article was published in partnership with Showmax.