Watch, listen and be inspired by Calum Henderson's definitive list of what's hot right now and from the vault.
The Midwich Cuckoos (Neon/Sky Go, from Monday)
First the animals begin acting up, then the electronics start going haywire. These are the two universal tell-tale signs that something weird and scary is about to happen – and The Midwich Cuckoos certainly doesn't disappoint.
Based on the 1957 novel by The Day of the Triffids author John Wyndham, the sci-fi horror series spends its first episode building a tremendously ominous vibe. Frequent shots of wild purple skies, a horse in a paddock outside the kitchen window, a child's drawing on the wall – none of these things are particularly sinister in and of themselves, but together they add up to something far spookier than the sum of their parts.
Midwich is the quintessential English village – cricket on the green, cups of tea, everybody spying on their neighbours through the lace curtains. Among the villagers introduced in the first episode is a young couple who've just moved to town; a birdlike woman who watches them intently from across the street; the wife of a local policeman whose sister has just been dumped and is now at their house demolishing a bottle of white wine; the village therapist and her adult daughter, who in her own expert opinion "has some issues".
She's nervous to leave the daughter at home alone to go on a date in the city, and even more nervous when she doesn't text back. That's because she, along with everybody else in the village, has spontaneously fainted. Emergency services are dispatched to the scene, but even in full PPE they faint too once they cross a certain point.
Then, 12 hours later, everybody all of a sudden wakes up and the real horror begins. A lot of people seem to be experiencing a case of funny tummy, but it's not a villagewide gastro outbreak – they're pregnant. Just what we need at this specific moment in time: a reboot of a 1950s pregnancy horror.
The Terminal List (Prime Video)
In the 1980s and '90s you needed a black belt in at least one form of martial arts to be an action star – now it seems it's a prereq to have been a loveable schmuck in a TV sitcom. Chris Pratt (Andy from Parks and Rec) follows in the footsteps of John Krasinski (Jim from The Office/Jack Ryan) to play Lieutenant Commander James Reece, a navy Seal dealing with the fallout of his platoon being ambushed while out on a covert mission. The Terminal List is the first in a series of five books by former navy Seal Jack Carr, so, settle in for the long haul.
Mind Over Murder (Neon)
The world is awash with so much bad true-crime content these days that nobody seems to be able to recognise the good ones anymore. Its title and general appearance don't make it immediately clear, but Mind Over Murder, a series by acclaimed documentary director Nanfu Wang, is one of the good ones. It's not quite your usual whodunnit, instead, there are six people convinced they committed the murder they were charged with back in 1985, but now there's DNA evidence that proves they didn't. There are many questions, mostly about police and the justice system, and the series approaches them with thought and rigour. Very unusual indeed.
You Don't Know Me (Netflix)
Remember Vigil, that bloody intense submarine drama that came out here earlier this year? The guy who wrote that, Tom Edge, also did the script for this four-part BBC courtroom drama based on Imran Mahmood's 2017 debut novel. And you know what, he's two from two. The tightly wound drama is led by an outstanding performance from Samuel Adewunmi, who was nominated for a Bafta for his portrayal of Hero, the murder accused. Turns out the only thing he's guilty of is spinning a hell of a yarn on the stand to profess his innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence against him.
Movie of the Week: Father of the Bride (Neon)
Maybe it's just that the stakes aren't as high – surely nobody's going to cry that their childhood has been ruined if a Father of the Bride reboot isn't very good – but this update of the 1991 Steve Martin comedy is better than you could have rightfully expected. He and Martin Short are out (don't worry, you can still find them in the new season of Only Murders in the Building over on Disney+) and Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan are in, with this version taking place in a large Miami Cuban-American family with many complex family dynamics to navigate. It's far from a straight remake of the original but still manages to end up in the same feel-good place.
From the Vault: Eurotrip (2004) (Prime Video)
You convince yourself there's no such thing as a guilty pleasure, then one day "Scotty Doesn't Know" pops into your head and you decide to rewatch Eurotrip and you realise that yes, there definitely is such a thing as a guilty pleasure and this is one of them. It's worth revisiting for the cameos alone – Vinnie Jones as an unhinged English football hooligan, Fred Armisen as an Italian train pervert, Lucy Lawless as a Dutch dominatrix. And of course Matt Damon as the singer of "Scotty Doesn't Know", a pop punk anthem that has against all odds dated better than anything else in the movie.
Podcast of the Week: X Marks the Spot
Chances are you still remember the first true-crime podcast that really hooked you. The first scam podcast probably, too. Now get ready for a new unforgettable listening experience: your first treasure hunt podcast.
X Marks the Spot is the incredible, how-did-I-not-know-about-this-already story of Forrest Fenn, a New Mexico art dealer of somewhat dubious repute who hid a literal treasure chest somewhere in the vast and dangerous terrain of the Rocky Mountains. Hundreds of people dedicated years of their lives – and five people died – searching for the bounty, thought to be worth more than $2 million, all trying to solve a set of cryptic clues in the form of a poem in Fenn's self-published autobiography.
The air force veteran turned fraudulent art dealer to the stars first hatched the elaborate plan in the 1980s, after he received a terminal cancer diagnosis, which turned out to be a false alarm. The hunt really took off in the 2010s and the treasure was finally found in 2020, months before Fenn died at the age of 90. But the story doesn't end there – if anything it only gets wilder. The thrill of the podcast, just like the thrill of the chase, is the journey it takes you on.