It was a year of dystopian futures, murder mysteries, and international spycraft at SBS On Demand. Many weekends were lost (but significant joy experienced) as viewers streamed returning favourites, along with shows brand new to SBS On Demand.
The Handmaid's Tale revealed itself once again as one of Australia's favourite dramas. The Emmy Award-nominated drama returned for a second season to huge enthusiasm from viewers as they watched the drama fast-tracked from the US.
Longtime SBS favourite The Bridge returned for its fourth and final season. While a lot of viewers were eager to see how the story of investigator Saga Norén concluded, there were also a lot of viewers who took the opportunity to re-watch the series from the first season, while other viewers started the series for the very first time. Quietly, we knew there would be interest in going back to episode one, but we were blown away with how many of you there were and how quickly you all finished it.
This is what you pressed play on at SBS On Demand in 2018:
1. The Handmaid's Tale
The award-winning drama series returns with a second season shaped by Offred's ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. In Season 2, Offred and all our characters will fight against - or succumb to - this dark truth.
2. The Bridge
A woman is found murdered in the middle of the Øresund Bridge - right on the border between Sweden and Denmark. What looks at first to be one murder, however, turns out to be two. The body has been cut off at the waist and joined together - half of it belongs to a Swedish politician and the other half to a Danish prostitute. A team of inspectors from Sweden and Denmark join together in a desperate search for the killer. [Seasons 1-4 streaming now]
Set in 1814, this dark and gritty period drama stars Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) as James Keziah Delaney, a man who has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father's shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father's legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. [Season one now streaming]
This espionage series explores a mysterious world hidden beneath the surface of our everyday existence. Howard Silk (J.K. Simmons), a lowly cog in a Berlin-based UN spy agency, discovers that his organisation safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, where the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. [Season one now streaming]
This high-octane thriller follows the events leading up to a terror-attack in Scandinavia. Borgen's Birgitte Hjort Sørensen stars as Victoria, a brilliant drone engineer who is taken hostage by terrorists in her own home, while the Secret Services in Denmark and Sweden are fighting against the clock to prevent an attack. [Season one now streaming]
6. Safe Harbour
Five Australians on a sailing holiday come across a fishing boat full of desperate asylum seekers. Deciding to help, they tow the boat but, in the middle of the night, it disappears. Years later, one of the Australians, Ryan, steps into a taxi driven by one of the refugees, Ismail. Overjoyed to learn the refugees reached Australia, he invites Ismail and his family to a barbeque - reuniting everyone. It’s there that Ryan and the others learn the truth - someone cut the rope between the two boats and, as a result, the fishing boat sank and seven people died, including Ismail’s nine-year-old daughter. Old secrets come to light, relationships are shattered and lives are put in danger. [Complete series now streaming]
7. Deep State
Ex-spy Max Easton is brought out of retirement against his will by George White - London chief of MI6 and CIA team The Section. Max’s wife Anna, with whom he has lived in the Pyrenees for the past ten years, starts an investigation into her husband’s past. What she finds puts her and their young daughters in grave danger. [Season one now streaming]
8. The Orville
From creator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy) comes this new space adventure series set 400 years in the future that follows The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life. [Season one now streaming]
In this atmospheric thriller, demoted Detective John Cardinal is brought back into Homicide when the hunch he wouldn't let go is proven correct. Now, as he relentlessly tracks a serial killer, he must keep a watchful eye on his new partner. [Seasons 1-2 now streaming]
10. The Lawyer
When Frank Nordling, a young and promising defense lawyer, learns the truth behind his parents' death, his whole world unravels. As Frank finds out, they were murdered by one of the leaders in Copenhagen's criminal underworld, Thomas Waldman, who also happens to be his firm's biggest client. [Season one now streaming]