‘Masterfully unpack layers of the modern-day anxieties behind the curtain of media’

The return of Bad Wolf’s darkly comic drama thrusts audiences back in at the deep end, as the iconic Suzie Pickles makes her daring come back (of sorts).

Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper’s extraordinary vision takes the second series of the Sky Atlantic drama to even darker places. In what one judge describes as a “fascinating look at how we treat flawed female celebrities”, we return to Pickles following an array of public scandal and the collapse of her marriage.

Now finding herself at rock bottom, embroiled in a viscous divorce and living in her sister’s box room, she decides her only option is to appear as a contestant in a TV dance competition.


The dialogue is as tight as the continuously claustrophobic atmosphere that looms throughout this darkly comic drama, with the final episode of the trio structured in ‘real time’ as the personal and public ordeals collide.

Its brutal examination of misogyny carefully dissects the social and public constructs of femininity and masculinity, with one judge adding that Piper’s performance as Pickles is able to “masterfully unpack layers of the modern-day anxieties behind the curtain of media.”

It’s Billie Piper’s central performance as the iconic anti-hero that garnered most praise from the judges, who lauded her captivating performance. “Outstanding”, “incredibly textured”, and “captivating” were all words used by the judges to describe her spectacular return to the small screen.

The drama received widespread critical praise, with five-star reviews from The Guardian, iNews and Heat, with one judge simply calling the drama “a total treat”. 


bad sisters

Bad Sisters
Merman for Apple TV+

Bound together by the premature deaths of their parents, Sharon Horgan’s daring exploration of sisterhood delivers in this darkly comic drama that secured Apple TV+ its first Bafta TV award. This reimagining of the Flemish series “Clan” was described by one judge as a “beautifully produced story of female empowerment, family, and friendship”.

red rose

Red Rose
Eleven Film and eOne for BBC Three

BBC3’s supernatural drama Red Rose bloomed online, with the teen-thriller captivating audiences with a sinister fictional app that takes over the lives of Bolton’s teens. Effectively capturing the much-desired 16-34 audience with over 1.1m tuning in within the first week of transmission, what begins as a game of admiration rapidly descends into something much darker, as series creators Paul and Michael Clarkson offer a playfully dark love letter to their Northern home.

slow horses

Slow Horses
See-Saw Films in association with Apple for Apple TV+

Following a dysfunctional team of MI5 agents and their obnoxious boss, the series was praised for being a “witty and paced reinvention of the spy genre.” With Academy and Bafta-Award winning Gary Oldman expertly guiding the series in the lead role, See Saw Films’ drama quickly secured further series orders, with a third and fourth series incoming.

the devils hour

The Devil’s Hour
Hartswood Films for Apple TV+

This compelling drama handled complex subject matters with a delicate touch, balancing multiple philosophical narrative threads with a deft hand. Lucy (played by Jessica Raine) awakens every night at exactly 3.33am and her search for answers leads to a trail of brutal murders. The non-linear structure is expertly guided by Raine and her co-star Peter Capaldi.

this is england

This England
Passenger Pictures, Revolution Films, Fremantle for Sky Atlantic

This unflinching examination of the UK government’s handling of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic in England was recorded as the real-life drama was still unfolding. Taking viewers inside the halls of power as Boris Johnson grapples with the pandemic, Brexit and a controversial personal and political life, the drama includes sections that tell the stories of real people affected by the first wave of Covid-19.