Top UK Dramas SoHo-Bound in June

While premium British dramas like Top of the Lake and Parade’s End are paraded out only in SD on UK TV, SoHo has picked up a couple for next month that should be a must-see in HD.

Of the two, Black Mirror looks the most daring.

A three-part, satirical take on screen technology, it’s from media commentator and writer Charlie Brooker and won the best TV mini-series prize at the 2012 International Emmy Awards.

Episode one is billed as a “twisted parable for the Twitter age”, episode two sends up entertainment shows and the finale explores an alternate reality in which everyone’s brain has the equivalent of a My Sky chip.

Brooker told The Guardian he was aiming for a mix of The Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected and Hammer House of Horror.

“Each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.

“And if there’s one thing we know about mankind, it’s this: we’re usually clumsy.”

Black Mirror will screen 9.30 Wednesday from June 12 and Restless 8.30 Monday from June 23.

Whereas Black Mirror’s taken 18 months to air here (and has since spawned a second series), the gap will be barely six months for William Boyd’s “terrific” adaptation of his spy novel about a woman whose mother, in 1976, tells her she has been living a double life as British Secret Service agent for the past 30 years.

The cast includes Charlotte Rampling, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon, Rufus Sewell and Hayley Atwell.

The Guardian thought it “well-acted, well-written, well-paced and well-filmed” while The Hollywood Reporter said “it never flags in pace, and all the performances, even the smaller ones (like Gambon’s), are enthralling”.

It’s frustrating that British series of the calibre of Black Mirror and Restless don’t make it on to SoHo as quickly as US cable fare, although this can have more to do with when the distributors make such series available here as opposed to SoHo programmers having a master plan.

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