Sneak Peeks: Must-See TV

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1.Wolf Creek

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the outback, everyone’s favourite bush-bashing psychopath serial killer is back in this Stan series. John Jarratt returns to the Mick Taylor role that made him internationally famous, but this time the tables are turned and he’s being hunted by Eve, a victim who got away, played by Lucy Fry, recently seen in Stephen King adaptation 11/22/63.

All six episodes are on Stan from today.

2. Outcast

From Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, this is a 10-part horror drama about a young bloke trying to understand why he’s been plagued by supernatural events his whole life. Unsurprisingly, given the success of TWD, Kirkman’s Outcast comic was picked up for production before it was even published, and Season 2 of this series has already been greenlit before its even been broadcast.

Outcast screens on Foxtel’s FX from June 4.

3. Secret City

This locally made political thriller – filmed in Parliament House and on location in Sydney and Canberra – is inspired by bestselling novels The Marmalade Files and The Mandarin Code. Against a backdrop of US-China conflict, Anna Torv stars as a reporter who uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the freedom of every Aussie citizen. With a top supporting cast, including Dan Wyllie, Alex Dimitriades and Jacki Weaver, this six-parter promises to be the antidote to a long, dull election campaign.

Secret City screens on Foxtel’s Showcase from June 5.

4. The Kettering Incident

 Every bit as anticipated as Secret City, this thriller with supernatural overtones follows a doctor who’s mysteriously linked to the disappearances of two girls in Tasmania’s wilderness. The catch? The cases are separated by 15 years. This eight-parter stars Elizabeth Debicki, the rising Aussie star of The Night Manager and The Great Gatsby, along with Offspring’s Matt Le Nevez.

Screens on Foxtel’s Showcase from July 5.

5. Cleverman

 Set in near-future Australia, this sci-fi drama posits a world in which non-human “Hairies” are vilified, persecuted and contained in a camp because they’re considered a threat to the human population. Cleverman, played by Hunter Lochard Page, is the indigenous superhero predicted to put things right by Aboriginal mythology. This promises to be both a gripping action adventure and incisive social commentary.

Screens on ABC-TV and ABC iView from June 2.

6. Animal Kingdom

 Based on the awesome Aussie film, this American series stars Ellen Barkin in the role of “Smurf” made famous by Jacki Weaver. From the trailer, it looks like a muscular adaptation of the story of a naïve young fella taken into a crime family. This time around, the bros aren’t seedy Melbourne types but gnarly surfer dudes. Scott Speedman and Shaun Hatosy co-star.

Screens in the US from June 14. Local broadcast to be confirmed.

7. Preacher

 Based on the cult comic and developed by Seth Rogen, this 10-parter has Dominic Cooper as ex-preacher Jesse Custer, who develops supernatural powers and sets out on a vigilante mission with the ultimate aim of literally finding God. He’s helped—and hindered—by various vampires, rednecks, Civil War re-enactors, conspiracy nuts and heavenly angels. It looks awesome.

Screens in the US from May 22. Local broadcast to be confirmed.

8. The Get Down

 Baz Luhrmann promises to do for 1970s NYC hip-hop what Vinyl just did for 1970s NYC rock ‘n’ roll. With Baz’s usual fondness for colour and music, this 13-parter is partially told via a rap-voiceover as future hip hop star Ezekiel (played by newcomer Justice Smith) recounts his days learning from the likes of Grandmaster Flash. Jimmy Smits and Giancarlo Esposito (aka Gus from Breaking Bad) co-star.

Screens on Netflix from 12 August.

9. Westworld

Loosely based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name about a cowboy robot theme park, Westworld promises to be the most ambitious TV series from HBO since, well, Game Of Thrones.  “Basically, we’re shooting Alien, Days Of Heaven and Unforgiven simultaneously,” says producer-showrunner Jonathan Nolan, who’s best known for co-writing the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar and the rest of brother Chris’s blockbusters. Westworld boast what could be TV’s biggest A-list cast, with Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright all playing major roles.

Screening dates to be confirmed.

10. Brain Dead

 If you’re following the US presidential election, you could be forgiven for thinking American politicians are a bunch of brain dead stooges doing the bidding of some extra-terrestrial power. That’s the premise of this 13-part comic political thriller starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Death Proof) as a Capitol Hill staffer who discovers that bugs are eating the brains of the country’s leaders.

Screens in the US from June 13. Local broadcast to be confirmed.

11. The Night Of

 The Night Of is being touted as the next True Detective. From creators Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) and Richard Price (Clockers), this HBO eight-parter follows the always ace John Turturro as he undertakes an in-depth investigation of a fictional New York murder case.

 Screens in the US from July 9. Local broadcast to be confirmed.

12. Taboo

Co-created by Tom Hardy (with his dad Chips Hardy and Ridley Scott), this dark thriller is set in 1814 and has him as a gent thought dead in Africa. When he returns to England for his father’s funeral, he vows to exact revenge on those who wronged him and wreak chaos on the East India Company, which is depicted as being like a combination of the CIA, the NSA and Google. This looks great, particularly for top-notch villainy from Michael Kelly (House Of Cards) and Jonathan Pryce (Game Of Thrones)

Screening dates to be confirmed.