New crime thrillers, Squid Game, Doctor Who and 9 more shows to watch this week


This week, Helen Bownass reveals the upcoming TV thrillers you need on your radar, while Kayleigh Dray talks us through three new must-watch titles and gets us hyped for Doctor Who. Enjoy…

Such Brave Girls

This new BBC sitcom follows three damaged narcissists – sisters Josie (Kat Sadler) and Billie (Lizzie Davidson) and their single mother Deb (Louise Brealey) – as they attempt to navigate their way through life without any therapy whatsoever. Cue a bevy of terrible and misguided decisions in their neverending and near-pathological quest for love… or, as we prefer to call it, relatable content. Wednesday 22 November; BBC Three and BBC iPlayer

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The Crown's Vanessa Kirby – the queen of the period drama – is back at her scene-stealing best in Ridley Scott's historical epic. And, while the title might suggest a dry film about its eponymous war leader (Joaquin Phoenix), it's actually all about how devastatingly infatuated Napoleon was with Joséphine. You'd best believe that their legendary and volatile romance takes centre stage in this bittersweet tale of love and loss. Wednesday 22 November; UK cinemas

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Squid Game: The Challenge

Netflix's Squid Game offered up a tense social commentary on how capitalism and greed can destroy lives, so of course it's been turned into *checks notes* a reality series in which players compete in a series of terrifying challenges for the chance to win a mega cash prize. Of course it has. Still, despite all of our misgivings, we'll absolutely be tuning in to see how they cope with Red Light, Green Light. Wednesday 22 November; Netflix

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... why Doctor Who has always been about its women

"For a show that has been, until Jodie Whittaker's tenure, all about a very clever (Gallifreyan) man in an even cleverer blue box, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Doctor Who is a show that's for and about men," says Kayleigh. "Here's the thing, though: the Doctor would honestly be nothing – he'd be dead a thousand times over – were it not for all the brilliant, bolshie women who surround him.

"I'm talking about the ordinary women who defy expectations to commit truly extraordinary feats. The shop girls, the office temps, the hardworking NHS staff who shun mediocrity and embrace a life of adventure. The Rose Tylers who scatter themselves through time and space to destroy the Daleks. The Martha Joneses who spend a year trekking across an apocalyptic world to change the course of history. The Donna Nobles who sacrifice their most treasured memories in order to save the universe. The… well, you get the point.

"It's these women, of course, who keep the Doctor from being too alien. They serve as a moral compass, teaching him vital lessons about humanity and morality throughout all of their wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey hijinks together. While he may dazzle them with new worlds, new monsters and new faces, it is they who truly steer the Tardis as it wheezes its way across the universe. And it is their desire to 'eat life', to quote Christopher Ecclestone, that keeps the Doctor from spiralling into a pit of ennui, angst and chilly detachment.

"Roll on, then, the 60th anniversary specials. Roll on, too, the return of celebrated showrunner Russell T Davies, along with David Tennant and Catherine Tate's reprisal of our favourite time-travelling (and, most importantly, strictly platonic) BFFs. Not forgetting the handing over of the reins to Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor and Millie Gibson's Ruby Sunday. Allons-y!" Watch the Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials on BBC One on Saturday 25 November and Saturday 2 and 9 December

5 new crime thrillers to have on your radar

"If you're not on Team Inject All The Christmas Films Into My Veins Now, I have good news. 'Tis also the season for brilliant and dark new thrillers," says Helen. "Here's what to get ready to be stressed out by."

Boat Story
If there's a duo that knows how to write a good thriller it's Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing, The Tourist) and they're back to put us through it again. The six-part series stars Daisy Haggard and Paterson Joseph, who find a huge stash of cocaine on a shipwrecked boat and decide to sell it. But they quickly become entangled with the police and some very dodgy characters. Sunday 19 November, 9pm; BBC One

A Nearly Normal Family
A dash over to Sweden for this intense Scandi-noir series based on a bestselling novel. It centres on the well-off Sandell family, whose lives implode when their daughter is accused of murder and they are forced to reckon with how well they really know her and what they'll do to protect her. 24 November; Netflix

The Couple Next Door
One thing we know about thrillers: if you start the series as a happy couple, the chances are you won't end up that way. Outlander's Sam Heughan and Eleanor Tomlinson star in this series about a couple who move to suburbia and befriend their neighbours, who happen to be swingers. And things get messy. 9pm, 27 and 28 November; Channel 4

Platform 7
Jasmine Jobson's reign over 2023 continues post-Top Boy with this four-part adaptation of Louise Doughty's novel. She plays Lisa, who witnesses a horrifying event on a train platform that triggers a memory to reveal a connection between her own life and the event she has just witnessed. Expect to be terrified. 7 December; ITVX

After being trapped on a murderous submarine for days, you might think DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) would be ready to leave the force. But no, she's back on duty, and this time she's investigating – alongside partner DS Longacre (Rose Leslie) – the cause of multiple deaths at the site of a weapons test in Scotland. Coming soon; BBC1

Apple TV+ shares a first glimpse of new Coco Chanel drama The New Look
Exclusive: watch the official trailer for Paramount+'s The Doll Factory
8 new festive Christmas films coming this winter
Netflix's new documentary The Psychopath Life Coach exposes the dark underbelly of self-help
The White Lotus: the hit series is officially casting its third season
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Image credits: BBC; AppleTV+; Netflix; BBC; ITV; Netflix
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