Fan-favorite period dramas and crime thrillers top the bill for MASTERPIECE this fall, with new episodes of cherished series and intriguing all-new productions.
“We have a fabulous lineup for our fall season leading off with World on Fire, an epic World War II drama starring Jonah Hauer-King and the incredible Lesley Manville, followed by Nicola Walker in a stellar performance as a crime-solving police detective in Annika,” said Executive Producer Susanne Simpson. “Plus, we have two returning mysteries, the ever-popular Unforgotten and Van der Valk.”
MASTERPIECE remains one of the highest rated PBS programs, with 33 million television viewers and 58 million streams a year.
This month, the two dark and dramatic mystery series, Van der Valk and Unforgotten, return with enough murder and mayhem to satisfy any crime thriller aficionado. The two programs, set in Amsterdam and Britain respectively, follow tight-knit police squads as they navigate their grisly cases and complicated relationships.
For many, Amsterdam is a city of bikes and boats. But steely-eyed cop Piet Van der
Valk only sees the murder-infested underbelly of the Netherlands capital. Marc Warren stars as the title character along with returning stars Maimie McCoy as Inspector Lucienne Hassell, Darrell D’Silva as team pathologist Hendrik Davie and Emma Fielding as Chief Commissaris Julia Dahlman. They welcome two new sergeants to the team, the hotshot but impulsive Eddie Suleman (played by Azan Ahmed) and the technical whiz Citra Li (played by Django Chan-Reeves).
“As ever, with each film we wanted to take our audience into an Amsterdam world we hadn’t explored before,” said co-writer Chris Murray.
Unforgotten, which The Guardian calls a “cracking crime drama … the meat and two veg of television crime dramas,” returns after the shocking conclusion of Season Four with the death of DCI Cassie Stuart, played by Walker. Viewers of Season Five will meet her replacement, DCI Jessica “Jess” James played by Sinéad Keenan. As the six episodes unfold, the ghost of their much-loved former colleague continues to loom large over the team.
But Walker fans need not despair. She will return in October in Season Two of Annika, as DI Annika Strandhed, the speedboat-driving head of Glasgow’s newly formed Marine Homicide Unit, who juggles baffling cases and a rebellious teenage daughter. As she supervises a colleague who was passed over for her position and digs into sordid crime, she delivers asides to the audience, interjecting jokes and insider observations.
Season Two of World on Fire returns on October 15, taking viewers from the streets of Britain into occupied France, Nazi Germany and to the sands of the North African desert, where British troops struggle alongside Indian Sappers and Australian Diggers to adapt to a very different kind of combat.
“The second season of World on Fire brings us right back into the drama where we left off,” said Simpson. “Writer Peter Bowker does a masterful job of depicting the experiences of ordinary people during World War II, and I can’t wait for our audience to see it. It’s worth the wait!”
See previews and explore the MASTERPIECE schedule here.