Virtual reality telling us stories. Intense political machinations. Ghoulish characters from out of Arabic legends. Techno-paranoia horror. Sounds like the morning newspapers? No, it’s just amazing TV coming in 2018 and beyond.
£801 million ($1.1 billion) by 2021 is the prediction by PwC about the near-future worth of the United Kingdom’s Virtual Reality industry. The BBC in particular is heavily invested in VR for delivering everything from news and history to arts and culture programming. “We’re understanding that you can’t separate editorial and creative from the technology…to tell stories. [The BBC’s VR hub is] a multidisciplinary team,” says the BBC’s Zillah Watson.
3 is the number of new Indian original series being produced by Netflix, which debuted its first one, Sacred Games, last year, based on the 2006-published novel written by Vikram Chandra. The three newest series, Leila, Ghoul, and Crocodile, will bring us a free-thinking woman searching for her 16-years-gone daughter, horror stories based on Arabic legend and lore, and young-adult murder-mystery action.
5 seasons are now confirmed for Black Mirror, as it gets set to return to Netflix streaming later this year, after a late-2017 fourth season. The techno-paranoia horror series was originally produced for the United Kingdom’s Channel 4 by Charlie Brooker, and has become a huge hit with American audiences. For each of the previous two seasons, Brooker and executive producer Annabel Jones have launched each cycle in two six-episode parts. “It puts us just on the cusp of a nervous breakdown — so it’s working!” Jones exclaims.
8 final episodes of the American version of fictional political drama House of Cards are coming in the Fall, to mark the wildly successful series’ final run. Production was paused so that writers could remove the man who was the main character, Frank Underwood, from the show. Underwood was portrayed (stunningly well) by actor Kevin Spacey, who has become a pariah in the acting profession after owning up to having sexually molested at least one teenage boy many years ago (Spacey, in real life, is gay). The main character for the final series will be Underwood’s wife, Claire, who becomes US President with Frank’s death.
911, an American scripted series that’s become 2018’s number one such program for Twentieth Century Fox Television, is coming to the UK and Ireland. Europe’s pay TV service Sky and the Now TV streaming service will be airing it. The scripted series is also being licensed for distribution in numerous other territories around the globe. Remarks Fox’s Gina Brogi, “Developed by one of our industry’s strongest creative teams with an award-winning cast, 911 proves the audience demand for compelling procedural dramas remains incredibly high.”
Top photo: Black Mirror, © Netflix