Photo: Apple Pictures

The best television in the UK this summer

The Undoing writer returns—and ITV follows Doreen and Neville Lawrence's fight for justice
July 15, 2021
Stephen, ITV, August

Twenty-two years ago, Paul Greengrass’s drama The Murder of Stephen Lawrence won a Bafta for its depiction of the quest for justice of the parents of the south London 18-year-old, killed in a racially motivated attack in 1993. This three-part sequel picks up the Lawrences’ fight after the 2005 repeal of the double jeopardy rule in murder cases. Hugh Quarshie reprises his role as Neville Lawrence, Small Axe’s Sharlene Whyte plays Doreen Lawrence, and Steve Coogan is DCI Clive Driscoll, who uncovered evidence of institutional racism in the police.

Nine Perfect Strangers, Amazon Prime Video, August

Writer and producer David E Kelley, who had the nation gripped last year with The Undoing, returns to the work of Liane Moriarty, who wrote the novel on which his earlier, acclaimed thriller Big Little Lies was based. Nine Perfect Strangers is adapted from Moriarty’s 2018 novel about a boutique health-and-wellness resort in Australia, whose super-stressed city-living clients have no idea what they are about to experience. Nicole Kidman, who starred in both those Kelley hits, plays the retreat’s director.

Schmigadoon! Apple TV+, August

This new comedy series has a fun premise. Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key are a couple on a backpacking trip who come across a magical town where everyone is living in the golden age of studio musicals from the 1940s. It’s interesting timing, too, for a parody of iconic musicals, in a year in which Lin-Manuel Miranda, known for the musical Hamilton, has reinvigorated the genre in cinemas with In the Heights and has also contributed songs to Netflix’s new animated family-friendly musical Vivo.