Our TV Highlights of 2017

In true round-up season fashion, we’re running you through the best bits of 2017 in orderly list-style fashion picking out the best in art and theatre, literature and our own HISKIND moments that stood out as highlights from the year. Next up: TV.

Note: Had we published this one day from now, Black Mirror Season 4 would have likely taken up the entire list…

Will & Grace

Iconic nineties/noughties sitcom Will & Grace was revived this year for a 16-episode ninth season. (It has since been renewed for another season.) While revivals aren’t always welcome, the new episodes have been well-received, continuing from where the show left off 11 years ago but with new stories that give it a fresh relevance. It has yet to be broadcast in the UK, but Channel 5 will air season 9 in early 2018.

Man In An Orange Shirt

Part of the BBC’s Gay Britannia season of programming across TV, radio and online platforms, this two-part drama looked at the legacy of an illegal romance. The first part, set in the aftermath of World War II, looked at the affair between Michael and Thomas, while the second, contemporary story saw Adam (Michael’s grandson) struggling to come out to his grandmother. A beautiful, poetic and poignant pair of films, Man In An Orange Shirt was as heartbreaking as it was heartwarming. The DVD is available on Amazon.

Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay

BBC Three’s documentary, presented by the wonderful Olly Alexander, was a frank and moving exploration of the lasting effects of homophobia. “Growing up gay in a straight world has really affected me,” he explained. Meeting with young LGBT+ people around the country and openly discussing his own mental health issues, this documentary is essential viewing – not just for young queer people, who might realise they’re not alone, but for the friends and family of those who might struggle to deal with their sexuality. Read our full review here.

Doctor Who

The BBC stalwart returned to our screens this year with Peter Capaldi returning as the eponymous Time Lord, accompanied by the wonderful Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie), in one of the best seasons yet – and Steven Moffat’s last as showrunner. The first episode featuring Ms Potts saw her fall for a mysterious young woman, making her the first queer companion since John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness. Sadly, she only lasted one series – but, on the plus side, we now have the first female Doctor, Jodie Whittaker.

Star Trek: Discovery

CBS and Netflix’s new Star Trek television series is the first since Star Trek: Enterprise finished in 2005; set before the original television series and entirely separate from J. J. Abrams’ “reboot” films. Following the crew of the USS Discovery, it features Anthony Rapp as Paul Stamets, the chief engineer and a science officer specialising in astromycology (the study of space fungi), as well as the first openly gay character in the Star Trek universe. He has an on-screen romance with a fellow crewmember: “we actually get to see me with my partner in conversation, in our living quarters, you get to see our relationship over time, treated as any other relationship would be treated,” Stamets explained.

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