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Summer TV Guide


The warm weather, call of beer gardens, barbecues and impulsive beach breaks will normally promote a healthy build-up of dust on your remote control.

But this year, TV stations are more determined than ever to make you embrace the pleasures of the great indoors. With that in mind here's a run through of the combustive dramas, scintillating comedies and gory epics that make up summer's most enticing TV shows. Sorry, Don't Scare The Hare, you didn't make the cut...

The Hour: It's been hailed as "the British Mad Men but this Fifties-set newsroom drama shares as much DNA with films like All the President's Men. Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai star as buccaneering newshounds unravelling a political mystery as the threat of grisly violence looms. (Late June, BBC Two)

Falling Skies: Bearing the stamp of producer Steven Spielberg this new alien invasion drama (pictured above) dares to dream big. Blockbuster movie big. ER's Noah Wyle leads the human resistance as a gun-toting professor in the Indiana Jones mould and he's ably backed by terrific-named Terminator Salvation star Moon Bloodgood. (5 July, 10pm, FX)

Luther: As Jimmy McNulty bounds onto one BBC channel, Stringer Bell returns to another. Sort of. Idris Elba is back to bludgeon his way through two more cases (split across four episodes) as the London detective who gleefully shreds every page of the rulebook. (Early June, BBC One)

The Killing: Purist fans of the popular Danish original may recoil but Channel 4 have swooped to buy this coveted US crime remake. The action has been moved to rainswept Seattle and Sarah Lund is now Sarah Linden, the jumper-clad sleuth untangling the mysterious threads surrounding a young girl's brutal murder. (July, Channel 4)

Talking Funny: More than three years on from Extras Ricky Gervais raids his celebrity rolodex once more for this comedy one-off. Reading's finest, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld and Louis CK discuss the mechanics of humour and what it means to be a successful comedian. Expect dirty jokes, dark truths and Ricky's trademark cackle. (10.15pm, Sky Atlantic/HD, 2 June)

Sirens: Formerly known as Naked Apes, this comedy drama follows three bleary-eyed paramedics as they blunder through the binge drinkers, sick puddles and gory injuries that characterise their working lives. Rhys Thomas (Bellamy's People) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) impress but it's Facejacker star Kayvan Novak who steals the show as amiably dim womaniser Rachid. (Late June, Channel 4)

Torchwood: Miracle Day: Writer Russell T Davies, Eve Myles and grinning light entertainer John Barrowman return for more darkhearted sci fi drama in Torchwood's first US-set series. The mystery? A freaky occurence where alien-meddling makes everyone on Earth immortal. Captain Jack and his new team have 10 action-packed episodes to save the human race. (July TBC, BBC One)

Camelot: With Spartacus and Game of Thrones on our screens, swords, sandals and CGI beheadings have never been bigger. This bawdy retelling of the Arthurian myth is teeming with preposterous action and big name actors (Eva Green, Joseph Feinnes, Tamsin Egerton) on verily impressive, scenery-chewing form. (11 June, Channel 4)



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