A few years ago I remember picking up Darren Shaw’s second novel from Cirque du Freak: the Magician’s Assistant with some amount of skepticism. Of course it wouldn’t be long before I was suckered in and devoured the entire collection. What that first book taught me and many others since then is that interesting people are everywhere. They exist on your jobs, in the streets and more often than not on the television shows you watch.
The list below are five of my current favourites, but truth be known it is inexhaustible.
1. Continuum – This Canadian sci-fi action, thriller is explosive. Kiera Camerson, a police officer from 2077 travels to the present day Vancouver along with members of Liber8, a group of self-proclaimed freedom fighters. While she works to apprehend them, they plot to overthrow big corporations. Created by Simon Berry, some of the stars include Rachel Nichols, Victor Webster, Erik Knudsen. Currently on break after a third season, viewers can always expect to be fully engaged.
2. Happy Valley – In this crime drama, Catherine Cawood is a headstrong police sergeant who heads up a team of officers in a rural Yorkshire valley. Still coming to grips with her daughter’s suicide, she wants to make the man responsible, Tommy Lee Royce pay for his crime, all the while a botched kidnapping begins to go awry. Written by Sally Wainwright, the shows’ six episodes have a tight unique feel. The stars are Sarah Lancashire, George Costigan, James Norton (et al). Great work on script, with cast and team of directors.
3. Utopia – A British conspiracy thriller that follows a group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel, The Utopia Experiments. Filled with predictions of the worst disasters of the last century, the group must uncover them before shadowy organization known as The Network shuts them all up. Dennis Kelly is the creator while Fiona O’Shaughessy, Alexandra Roach, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett are some of the stars. On a side note if you’ve watched either Orphan Black or Helix, you may also enjoy Utopia, which is now in its second season.
4. The Smoke – Another UK drama this one follows a gang of London firefighters led by Kev Allison, who returns to work after being scarred in a suspicious blaze while trying to rescue a crying baby. There are a wealth of characters here, each one with secrets to be explored. There is Mel, Kev’s best friend a guy who seems to have commitment issues, Trish, Kev’s girlfriend, someone who he seems to be pushing away and then there’s ‘Asbo’ the new recruit who has another deep dark secret of his own. The stars include Jamie Barber, Taron Egerton, Gerard Kearns and the writer is Luck Kirkwood.
5. Extant – This new sci-fi drama, thriller has many stars from Halle Berry to Hiroyuki Sanada (Dr. Hatake from Helix), Goran Visnjic (Dr. Luka Kovac from ER), and Camryn Manheim (Control from Person of Interest) among others. Halle plays an astronaut who is struggling to learn how she became pregnant while on a solo space mission. So far there have only been three episodes but here’s hoping that it will amount to something good.