From murders and mayhem to revelations and revenge, the last year of telly has been an absolute blast. Quite literally in some cases.
There was THAT Bodyguard explosion, the arrival of the first female Doctor Who and Rahul winning the Bake Off crown.
There have been other memorable moments. Lost Voice Guy won BGT, Dec went solo on Saturday Night Takeaway, Celeb Big Brother dealt with Roxanne Pallet’s punchgate and Harry Redknapp boosted sales of jam roly poly on I’m A Celebrity.
But that’s all behind us now, folks. With all those great 2018 shows in the rear view mirror, it’s time to look ahead. And there’s plenty to get excited about.
Here’s our round-up of the shows you won’t want to miss in 2019.
Line of Duty: Season 5, BBC1
We’ve waited two years to find out the answer to 2017’s biggest TV question: “Who is Balaclava Man?” Or should we say, men.
Jed Mercurio’s gripping thriller about police anti-corruption unit AC-12 left us hanging as we discovered that the network of bent coppers was bigger than the team could ever have imagined.
In a trailer, Supt Ted Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, yells: “AC-12 is being met with an institutional cover-up.” Also starring are guest lead Stephen Graham, as well as regulars Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, who has teased the script is “immense”.
When: Rumoured to be back in April.
Highlight: More hilarious one-liners from Ted, such as “Can we dial down the Iain Paisley?” God, give us strength fella.
Poldark: Season 5, BBC1
Fans sobbed into their cuppas at the shock death of Elizabeth shortly after childbirth in series four’s finale.
We even felt pity for scheming George. Drake and Morwenna’s wedding kept the tears flowing.
As this period drama returns for its final series, how will Elizabeth’s death affect Ross? And will evil George blame him? Aidan Turner and co-star Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays his fiery love interest Demelza, have been spotted filming in Cornwall. Could there still be hope for the warring couple?
When: Rumoured to be back in June.
Highlight: Seeing Aidan Turner stripping off again, hopefully.
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 3, C4
In the season 2 finale, the Martha network helped June, played by the captivating Elisabeth Moss, to escape Gilead with her baby Nicole.
But some fans were livid when June sacrificed her freedom at the last moment to stay and save daughter Hannah.
Defiant, she pulled up her hood and disappeared into the darkness. Now what? Showrunner Bruce Miller has confirmed Aunt Lydia will be back, having survived her knife attack. And we’ll learn more about Gilead designer Commander Lawrence, played by Bradley Whitford. But can June save Hannah? Praise be.
When: Rumoured to be back in May.
Highlight: More fighting talk from June. As she would say: “See you next year, bitches.”
Game of Thrones Season 8, Sky Atlantic
This epic fantasy returns for its final season. A gripping cliffhanger saw the Wall brought down by the White Walkers and their undead dragon.
So we can expect a battle between the living and the dead. And Cersai will no doubt try to double-cross Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. “Some of the main characters are going to get turned,” teased Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister.
Show boss Bryan Cogman says the characters come together to face “a common enemy” and told us to expect “an emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season”.
Highlight: Taking bets on the body count and then still being shocked at the sheer bloody massacre of it all.
Killing Eve: Season 2, BBC America
There we all were, convinced that assassin Villanelle and MI6 agent Eve were about to have a tender moment – when Eve stabbed her in the stomach and Villanelle vanished. No one expected that.
Sandra Oh, as Eve, and Jodie Comer, as Villanelle, wowed in this cat-and-mouse thriller. With filming under way in Amsterdam, London and Paris, we’ve got plenty of questions.
Who are The Twelve? Will Eve and Villanelle become lovers? And where can we buy that pink dress?
When: Set to premiere in the US in spring, UK release to follow later.
Highlight: The fashion, oh the fashion. With Villanelle a trend-setter, we wonder what we’ll be buying next.
The Crown, Netflix, Season 3
All rise for the new Queen. Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Her Maj, Elizabeth II.
Tobias Menzies takes over from Matt Smith as Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter replaces Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret.
Other cast members include Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne. With the third and fourth series to span 1964-76, history tells us that we can expect to see the birth of Prince Edward and Prince Charles’s move into the public eye, as well as a glimpse of Camilla.
When: Rumoured to be autumn.
Highlight: The casts’s royally impressive transformations of the talented cast.
The last time we saw French detective Julien Baptiste – played by Tchéky Karyo, he was going under the knife to have a brain tumour removed in the dramatic final minutes of the second series of The Missing.
We didn’t know if he’d survive but clearly all must be well.
Two years on, this spin-off from The Missing creators Harry and Jack Williams follows the investigator as he is pulled into another case.
While in Amsterdam, the city’s chief of police asks Baptiste to help track down a missing person. Watch out for fellow cast members Jessica Raine and Tom Hollander.
Highlight: With Baptiste the new Columbo, we look forward to the unassuming detective doggedly winning the day.
The Widow, ITV
This promises to be another belter from the Williams brothers, writers of The Missing and Liar.
Kate Beckinsale plays Georgia Wells, a woman who has her life turned upside-down with a phone-call in the middle of the night.
Her husband of ten years is reported dead after a plane crash in the Congolese jungle. Three years later she hears something shocking and heads to Africa to find the truth.
Also stars Alex Kingston and Charles Dance.
Highlight: Analysing conspiracy theories for eight weeks. Which turn out to be wrong.
Stranger Things, Season 3, Netflix
THIS new series of the sci-fi horror will be set in 1985, less than a year after the events of season two.
Show boss Shawn Levy says the gang will “deal with forces of evil that are new”.
We last saw the Mind Flayer towering over the school, so it’s clearly coming for the kids.
The original cast are back, including the youngsters Natalia Dyer, Joe Kerry, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Hollywood legend Winona Ryder.
When: Rumoured to be summer.
Highlight: Jumping out of our skins in terror. No, really. OK, maybe not.
Peaky Blinders, Season 5, BBC1
Moving from BBC2 to BBC1 for this final run, the Bafta-winning gangster drama will not go quietly.
The last series ended with Tommy Shelby elected MP in Birmingham South. But the world is thrown into turmoil by the 1929 financial crash.
Tommy is approached by a politician with a bold vision for Britain and realises that his response will affect the future of the nation. Returning cast includes Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Finn Cole, Aidan Gillan and Jack Rowan, as well as newcomers Emmett J Scanlan, Sam Claflin and Brian Gleeson.
Highlight: The soundtrack, costumes, sets and the never-ending hope that Tom Hardy – killed off last series – will somehow make a cameo.
Homeland: Season 8, C4
The last time we saw superspy Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, she was not in a good way. Having been captured by Russians with her bipolar medication withheld.
Elsewhere, Elizabeth Keane decided to resign as President, since most of America didn’t trust her.
Latest intel reports that the season will play out overseas for one last chapter with hints that it could go back to where it all began, in Israel.
When: Rumoured June.
Highlight: Watching Carrie dicing with death while juggling childcare worries.
Showbiz and TV editor’s picks
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