11 of the best TV shows to watch this October – BBC

The Collection
(Credit: Netflix)
1. The Midnight Club
It’s become something of a Halloween tradition now for horror maestro Mike Flanagan to drop another of his deliciously terrifying miniseries – and so following The Hauntings of Hill House and Bly Manor, and last year’s Midnight Mass, comes this latest chilling-looking tale, adapted from a novel by YA writer Christopher Pike and centring on a group of terminally ill teenagers living in a hospice who form a “midnight club” in which they share spooky stories. But that’s the only the start of it… From the looks of the trailer, this will pack a lot of scares in – while the cast includes true horror legend Heather Lagenkamp – aka Nightmare on Elm Street’s heroine Nancy – as the mysterious doctor in charge of the institution.
The Midnight Club premieres on 7 October on Netflix
(Credit: Showtime/Paramount+)
2. Let the Right One In
There are not one but two new high-profile vampire shows for audiences to get their teeth into this month. First up, on 2 October in the US, there is AMC’s new adaptation of Anne Rice’s classic, Interview with the Vampire – and then comes this loose small-screen spin-off from the great Swedish film about a prepubescent bloodsucker. Set in New York, it stars Demián Bichir as the father of a girl who was turned into a vampire a decade ago and is now stuck in the body of a 12-year-old, following the pair as they struggle to find a cure for her affliction.
Let the Right One In premieres on 7 October on Showtime in the US and 8 October on Paramount+ in the UK
(Credit: Disney+)
3. Marvel’s Werewolf by Night
From vampires to werewolves, here comes a horrifying addition to the Marvel franchise – a one-off 53-minute special featuring the titular lupine comic book character, played by Gael García Bernal: ordinary man Jack Russell by day, and yes, Werewolf by Night. Meanwhile the story is under wraps, but will involve a group of monster hunters, including Elsa Bloodstone, played by Irish actor Laura Donnelly. Filmed in black and white and laced with gothic humour, it promises, pleasingly, to be a few steps removed from the rest of the MCU.
Marvel’s Werewolf by Night premieres on Disney+ on 7 October
(Credit: Netflix)
4. The Playlist
From The Dropout to Super Pumped to WeCrashed, this year has seen a series of shows diving into the heady, often morally dubious world of tech start-ups. Now adding to the list is this Swedish drama providing a fictionalised account of the creation of world-conquering music streaming service Spotify, based on the book Spotify Untold by Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud. And judging by the trailer, it looks set to create unlikely high-octane drama out of the corporate battles Spotify founder Daniel Ek underwent as he set about making music more accessible than it’s ever been. However, the extent to which it will be critical of him and his company or not – given the criticism Spotify has faced over the years for, as some perceive it, exploiting musicians and their work – remains to be seen.
The Playlist premieres on 13 October on Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)
5. The Watcher
It has to be said that mega-showrunner Ryan Murphy’s golden handcuffs deal with Netflix has not produced a plethora of riches: indeed, there have been way more misses (Ratched, Hollywood, The Politician) than hits (well, The Boys in the Band was ok?). Yet this latest mini-series from the Murphy stable nevertheless looks intriguing, from its true-life story – about a couple who, after buying their dream home in a New Jersey suburb, were stalked by someone sending them letters signed off “the Watcher” – to its stacked ensemble cast. Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale are the husband and wife in seeming peril, while Mia Farrow, Jennifer Coolidge and Noma Dumezweni play a neighbour, estate agent and private investigator, respectively.
The Watcher premieres on 13 October on Netflix
(Credit: Apple TV+)
6. Shantaram
There’s a James Bond-like swagger to the trailer for this new Apple TV+ miniseries, based on Gregory David Roberts’ bestselling 2003 novel, which, as it turned out, was inspired by his own experiences in jail and beyond. Set in the 1980s, it stars Charlie Hunnam as an Australian bank robber who manages to escape prison and flee the country for Mumbai (then Bombay), where he starts a new life for himself – and unsurprisingly, perhaps, becomes involved in the city’s underworld.

Shantaram premieres on 14 October on Apple TV+
(Credit: Alamy)
7. Inside Amy Schumer 
Before she was catapulted into the Hollywood A-List, Schumer first made her name with this sketch show, whose last series ran what feels like a lifetime ago, back in 2016. But now Schumer is returning to her roots with a new series of five episodes that should be as caustic as ever: “I wanted to bring back Inside Amy Schumer to burn any remaining bridges,” she wrote in a recent letter to fans posted on social media. “You won’t want to miss the show that will finally get me forever cancelled.”
Inside Amy Schumer premieres on 20 October on Paramount+ in the US
(Credit: Amazon Prime)
8. The Peripheral
Having given us big-budget fantasy with The Rings of Power, Amazon Prime is now going all-out in the sci-fi sphere with this glossy looking adaptation of a novel by cyberpunk author William Gibson. As with much of his work, it centres on virtual reality – or is it? – with Chloe Grace Moretz playing an unfulfilled young woman living in small town America who finds an escape from her humdrum existence via a headset in which she is transported to a futuristic London. Midsommar’s Jack Reynor and Downton Abbey’s Gary Carr are among the supporting cast.
The Peripheral premieres on 21 October on Amazon Prime
(Credit: HBO)
9. The White Lotus
Mixing social satire with tropical sunsets, Mike White’s holiday resort-set comedy-drama was one of the most talked-about shows of 2021 – with the result that, even though it was conceived as a one-off series, it is now returning for a second run. Once again, it will centre on a dysfunctional bunch of moneyed vacationers, this time in Sicily rather than Hawaii, with a whole new line-up of stars including Aubrey Plaza, Tom Hollander, Haley Lu Richardson, Michael Imperioli and Theo James – new, that is, except for Jennifer Coolidge who will be returning in her delicious Emmy-winning role as the self-involved, super-rich Tanya McQuoid-Hunt.
The White Lotus premieres on 30 October on HBO in the US 
(Credit: Channel 4)
10. Somewhere Boy
From the makers of the stylish and surreal black comedy The End of the F***ing World comes this equally striking-sounding new series about a teenager who has spent all his life inside his house in the remote countryside due to being told by his troubled dad that the outside world was full of monsters – but is finally forced to confront reality. And that reality includes the untimely death of his mother many years before.
Somewhere Boy premieres in October on Channel 4 and All 4 in the UK 
(Credit: Sky)
11. Funny Woman
The always charismatic Gemma Arterton stars as Blackpool beauty queen turned comedian Barbara Parker in this period comedy-drama based on Fever Pitch author Nick Hornby’s novel Funny Girl, which sounds rather like it could be the British answer to The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. The six-part series traces Barbara’s rise to becoming a beloved sitcom star going by the name of Sophie Straw in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the sexism she has to contend with along the way – and from the trailer, it promises to be a lot of fun, complete with plenty of excellent Swinging ’60s looks and musical hits. Meanwhile Rupert Everett co-stars as Barbara’s agent.
Funny Woman premieres in October on Sky Max in the UK
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