There’s never been a better time to stay at home on Sundays- especially if you’re a fan of drama. Audience favourites Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridge have a couple of new upstarts biting at their heels but which programme is winning the weekly battle for viewer affection? Could Indian Summers and The Casual Vacancy pose a legitimate threat to the old guard?
BBC One’s Call the Midwife is a Sunday night behemoth. With eight awards under its belt and almost 12 million viewers every week, it’s the Mike Tyson of the Battle of the Dramas – which is funny, because it has the least aggressive personality of the bunch.
Now in its fourth series, it has won the hearts of the nation with its reassuringly comfortable portrayal of midwifery in the mid-20th century.
For a heart-warming, reassuring Sunday night in, you really can’t do much better than Call the Midwife.
ITV’s period drama recently kicked off its third series with Jeremy Piven successfully stepping back into Harry Selfridge’s well-polished brogues. Now halfway into the series, we’ve seen a funeral, a marriage, illicit propositions, spiralling gambling debts and thwarted business plans. That’s plenty of action to keep you awake after a heavy Sunday roast.
In Mr. Selfridge, ITV is stepping up to the Battle of the TV Dramas with a brisk, charming and extravagant show. It’s KO move? The costumes. No other Sunday night drama is, or could ever be, as well-dressed as the cast of the suave, sleek Mr. Selfridge.
We’re transported back to the summer of 1932 in Channel 4’s epic new show. The subject of months of fevered anticipation, Indian Summers launched with an opening episode that delivered action, style and suspense in spades. After all, the rise of a nation and the death of an Empire deserves no less.
With an all-star cast including Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Jemima West and Dame Julie Walters, Indian Summers comes to the Battle of the TV Dramas with clout. And no other drama can match its exquisitely shot landscapes. It puts the other shows’ UK settings to shame.
If you want your Sunday to be full of beauty and gravitas, this is the show for you.
When you think about an idyllic West Country village, you might not immediately think of drug addicts, hard-headed councillors and deeply-bedded social divisions. Then again, Pagford isn’t really an idyllic West Country village. It’s a village at war, with residents more interested in scones and arsenic than scones and jam.
After being roundly praised by critics for its realism, JK Rowling’s Casual Vacancy squares up well in the Battle of the TV Dramas and should be your choice if you like your action set in the modern day.
And with the residents of Pagford more than willing to throw a few punches, we’d put a fiver on the BBC drama if things got physical…
Who do you think wins the Battle of the Dramas? Tweet us your favourite at @FreeviewTV.