The return of the Peaky Blinders and a gritty reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are among February's TV highlights...
The return of Peaky Blinders and a gritty reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air are among February's TV highlights...
Tommy Shelby and co. are due to return to our screens in February for the sixth and final series of Steven Knight’s hit TV show, although one very noticeable absence from the cast this time around is the late, great Helen McCrory, whose role as the Shelby family’s fearsome matriarch, Polly Gray, will no doubt be sorely missed.
Cillian Murphy and the rest of the cast will be returning, however, with Stephen Graham also joining the ranks for the final series, although his role is still a tightly guarded secret at this point. It’s not quite the end of the Shelby story just yet though; the sixth series marks the end of the show’s run on TV screens, but Knight also has a Peaky Blinders feature film in the works, which is expected to continue their story beyond WWII. There’s still no transmission date for series 6 at the time of writing, but the BBC have now confirmed that Peaky Blinders will return before the end of the month.
Now in its third season, post-apocalyptic thriller series Snowpiercer returns in February, with the first two episodes available on Netflix from the beginning of the month. However, viewers will have to wait a little longer to find out the fate of Jennifer Connelly’s steely engineer Melanie Cavill, supposedly left for dead at the end of season 2, but rumoured to be returning in some capacity for the show’s third chapter – although how exactly that might transpire remains a mystery.
Daveed Diggs and Sean Bean are both present and correct from the off, however, and still locked in a tactical battle as Mr. Wilford plots to retake control of Snowpiercer from within his personal fiefdom on backup engine Big Alice. Andre meanwhile is haunted by visions of an oasis, which may yet turn out to be their salvation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has upturned traditional ways of working 9-to-5 shifts in drab offices, the shift to working from home and ‘hybrid working’ patterns for many employees has raised the age-old issue of work-life balance and given it a new urgency, with many workers finding it increasingly difficult to separate their work life from their life at home.
It seems apt, then, that a thriller series like Severance should arrive this month, with a concept that proposes a radical solution to that problem for the employees of Lumon Industries; quite literally splitting their memories into two halves. If you’re wondering how that’s going to pan out for everyone involved, the fact that the show’s first episode is titled ‘Good News about Hell’ should give you an idea of the kind of ride we’re in for here.
Patricia Arquette, John Turturro and Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott head up the cast for this new series, which is the brainchild of Dan Erickson and is being directed and produced by Ben Stiller. If you’ve enjoyed moody sci-fi shows like Black Mirror and Devs, you’ll probably find plenty to like about Severance when it debuts on Apple TV+ on February 18.
(Sky / NOW TV)
Back in 2019 a short fan film emerged online in the form of a mock trailer imagining what a gritty, dramatised reboot of the Quincy Jones-produced comedy Fresh Prince of Bel-Air might look like. The trailer not only caught the attention of the show’s star, Will Smith, but also that of several TV networks and streaming platforms including Netflix, NBC and HBO Max, launching a bidding war that was eventually won by NBC’s Peacock, which put a new TV series based on the trailer’s aesthetic into production in August 2020.
Will Smith serves as co-producer on the new series, named simply Bel-Air, along with the trailer’s creator Morgan Cooper, with a cast that includes Jabari Banks as the fictional Will Smith, Adrian Holmes as ‘Uncle Phil’, Olly Sholotan as Will’s cousin Carlton and Jimmy Akingbola as the Banks family’s butler, Jeffrey. Due to launch on NBC’s Peacock on February 13, UK viewers will be able to watch on Sky and NOW TV a day later on February 14.
This Is Going to Hurt
Due to launch on BBC One in February, Ben Whishaw stars in this new drama based on the book of the same name by Adam Kay, which charts the trials and travails of an NHS employee working his way through the ranks of the hospital hierarchy. His personal life soon begins to suffer and as he finds himself increasingly burned out be the never-ending workload, mistakes are bound to made – and there will be consequences.
Adapted for the screen by Kay himself and directed by Lucy Forbes and Tom Kingsley – the latter the BAFTA-winning director behind Ghosts and Stath Lets Flats – This Is Going to Hurt also stars Ashley McGuire, Harriet Walter, Alex Jennings, Michele Austin and Kadiff Kirwan, with its first episode scheduled for broadcast on February 8.