Streaming service Netflix has revealed seven new British TV shows it's working on, including new series from Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson and Skyfall/1917 director Sam Mendes.
While they don't all sound like winners, a few definitely do, including an adaptation of the best-selling mystery novel The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. That book sold 200,000 copies in the UK alone – so it feels like a potential hit in the making.
Collectively, they give us a good idea of what Netflix is doing to build on its existing suite of British TV shows, which include The Crown, Sex Education, After Life, Top Boy, Anatomy of a Scandal, Stay Close and The Last Bus, many of which made our best Netflix shows list.
We'll quickly run through a bunch of the new announcements below:
- The Red Zone: A soccer-themed comedy executive produced by Sam Mendes and co-written by fantastic sports journalist Jonathan Liew, who writes for The Guardian. Netflix says it explores the 'people and surfaces that collide in the orbit of this strange world of bluffers, sharks and genuine talent'.
- Man Vs Bee: Rowan Atkinson plays a new character who contends with a bee while he's housesitting a fancy property – chaos ensues. Seriously, that's what the show will be about.
- Cuckoo Song: A horror TV show about two sisters, one human and the other an actual monster, who have to try and reverse an unfortunate pact and heal the wounds within their family.
- Half Bad: Joe Barton, creator of the fantastic BBC series Giri/Haji, is behind this supernatural young adult series. Nathan is the son of a particularly feared witch, and he's been observed for most of his life to see if he'll follow in his family's footsteps.
- Lockwood & Co: This one's exciting. Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) adapts Jonathan Stroud's Lockwood and Co. series of books, which is about three young people who work at a psychic detection agency – or a 'ghost-hunting startup', as Netflix puts it.
- Baby Reindeer: Adapted from an acclaimed one-man play by writer/actor Richard Gadd, this is about Gadd's interactions with a female stalker, and the effect the experience leaves in its aftermath.
- The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle: Based on the best-selling debut novel of author Stuart Turton, this murder mystery has a compelling puzzle at its center. As Netflix puts it, 'how do you solve a murder when every time you are getting close to the answer, you wake up in someone else’s body?'
There's no release date for each Netflix show – but you can likely expect them each to roll out within the next couple of years. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in particular feels like it's a Netflix binge watch in the making, but it's also pleasing to see Joe Cornish bring his work to TV, following his 2019 movie The Kid Who Would Be King.
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Netflix has seemingly had uncommon success with its British productions – the streaming service's commitment to making stuff for local markets, but releasing every original TV show and movie it makes to its entire subscriber base worldwide, means it's very easy to discover new shows that aren't necessarily in the English language.
Series like Dark and Money Heist have proven to be particularly popular. And Netflix has even experimented with originals made for multiple territories at once with the anthology series Criminal – that show had French, German, Spanish and British versions, all featuring different stories, but all shot on the same set.