2019 saw Game of Thrones come to an end, a chilling dramatisation of the Chernobyl disaster, Neil Gaiman’s adaptation of a beloved fantasy-comedy, a new Jack Ryan, and a return to Hill House. Here’s STACK‘s ten best TV series released on home entertainment formats in 2019…
A harrowing dramatisation of the catastrophic events of April 1986, when an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the USSR led to one of the worst man-made disasters in history. This is some of the most terrifying television you will ever experience. Such is the intensity of this Emmy-winning mini-series, you’ll feel as though the invisible radioactive threat is seeping from the screen into your home.
THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE
Loosely based on the eponymous 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson – first adapted for the screen as The Haunting (1963) – this 10-part series perfectly complements the acclaimed film, honouring the source material while exploring the haunting’s lasting impact on Hill House’s residents, the Crain family. Alternating between two time periods, the effects of childhood trauma is the primary theme.
An obsessive game of cat and mouse ensues between an MI5 operative (Sandra Oh) and a mercurial female assassin (Jodie Comer) in this wonderfully witty and edgy spin on the spy thriller, from creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag). Propulsive and addictive, if you love the dark art of espionage, Killing Eve is unmissable. [Season 1 & 2 available now]
Neil Gaiman’s passionate adaptation of the comic-fantasy novel he co-wrote with the late Terry Pratchett is a great showcase for Michael Sheen and David Tennant, as an angel and demon attempting to sabotage the biblical Armageddon. A wonderfully whimsical mini-series with the flavour of Monty Python and Douglas Adams.
OUTLANDER: SEASON 4
Reunited and relocated, Claire and Jamie face new challenges in colonial era America, circa 1767. Navigating this New World adds additional frisson to a season that returns the series to its cozy comfort zone and shifts the focus back to the central couple, whose resilient relationship has always been the heart and soul of the show.
GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 8
It’s an understatement to say that fans were divided over the way events concluded after eight years – some simply raged against the end of their favourite show, while others raged over the storyline’s twists and turns and more compact delivery. Regardless of which camp you fall into, there’s no denying that the final season is a colossal achievement that represents the series at its most ambitious, spectacular and emotionally resonant.
BETTER CALL SAUL: SEASON 4
Jimmy McGill’s progression towards his date with destiny as shyster Saul Goodman accelerates in the most downbeat season to date. Seemingly unaffected by the death of his brother Chuck, it’s dodgy business as usual for Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), and there’s further insight into the enigmatic Mike (Jonathan Banks), who is tasked with overseeing the construction of Gus Fring’s super drug lab. And that’s not the only thing that will ring a bell with Breaking Bad fans…
TOM CLANCY’S JACK RYAN: SEASON 1
John Krasinski (A Quiet Place) follows Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine into the Ryanverse. Although sharing the character’s DNA and adding a possessive prefix, the series draws from current geopolitics, not the events of Clancy’s novels, and features a younger incarnation of the former Marine turned CIA analyst/operative. This cracking re-imagination of the classic spy thriller is a must-see for fans of Homeland and 24.
THE EXPANSE: SEASON 3
Tapping into the pioneering spirit of humankind, The Expanse delivers gritty, thought-provoking space opera in the tradition of Battlestar Galactica. Events reach a crescendo in season three as the war between Earth and Mars escalates, with the crew of the Rocinante caught in the middle. With a nine-book saga to draw upon, this stellar science fiction series is just warming up…
BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: SEASON 6
Saved from cancellation death by NBC, the Nine-Nine’s resurrection doesn’t hold back on the (hilarious) drama. From Captain Holt’s work-induced funk to Jake and Amy’s somewhat eventful honeymoon, plus Hitchcock and Scully in their heyday to Gina’s departure for internet stardom, Brooklyn Nine-Nine remains just as vital as ever.