Zero Zero Zero
Why not bring some more Gabriel Byrne into your life with the high-stakes drama Zero Zero Zero. From the makers of Gomorrah, this gritty series follows the journey of a cocaine shipment, from the moment a powerful cartel of Italian criminals decides to buy it until the cargo is delivered and paid for, passing through its packaging in Mexico and shipment across the Atlantic Ocean. An epic power struggle is sparked among the most powerful bosses in the hierarchy of international organised crime – their lives and livelihoods hang in the balance. This complex and dark crime drama explores the meaning of globalisation by showing us three different worlds from three different perspectives all participating in a single shipment of cocaine.
Zero Zero Zero is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
The Hot Zone
Want to keep feeling thrilled and chilled? This mini series (6 episodes in total) is extremely intense, but ultimately has a happy ending, which isn't a spoiler because it's all based on a true story. In 1989 it is discovered that the Ebola virus has infected a group of chimpanzees in a research lab in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Ebola is no joke, the virus, which is spread by blood, has a fatality rate of 90%. Luckily Dr. Nancy Jaax (Julianna Margulies), a real-life researcher with the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases knows the importance of containing and stopping the virus, and while she comes up against naysayers, there is no way she's letting this virus spread. The ease with which the virus can spread is scary to see, but what's really chilling and frightening is how deadly (or helpful) the human response to a virus can be.
The Hot Zone is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Project Blue Book
Perhaps you wish to stick with the alien theme of War of the Worlds? Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, Project Blue Book is a thrilling series inspired by the real-life 'Project Blue Book', the U.S. Air Force's investigation of UFOs. Aidan Gillen stars as Dr. J. Allen Hynek, a brilliant astrophysicist, who is recruited to the top-secret program alongside Captain Michael Quinn (Michael Malarkey). In Dr. Hynek's quest to discover the truth behind a string of mysterious sightings, he will slowly come to realise that he is at the centre of a vast, dangerous cover-up – one that will put him and those closest to him in peril. Think of it like a retro The X-Files, but it's all based on true stories (or is it).
Project Blue Book is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Fear The Walking Dead
Aliens, deadly viruses, why not add zombies to the watch list with seasons 1 and 2 of Fear the Walking Dead? A prequel of sorts to The Walking Dead, this series takes us back to the start of the zombie outbreak and moves us to the west coast of America with a whole new set of characters. We see the onset of the apocalypse through the lens of a fractured and blended family. The everyday pressure of blending two families while dealing with resentful, escapist and strung out children takes a back seat when society begins to break down. A forced evolution, a necessary survival of the fittest takes hold, and our dysfunctional family must either reinvent themselves or embrace their darker histories. This flashback series sheds light on how we got to the world as we know it in The Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.
The Last Wave
If you want to stick with the supernatural thriller genre, then French series The Last Wave is for you. In the peaceful seaside resort in the Landes an ominous cloud meets a supersized wave during a surfing competition, engulfing the participants in one fell swoop. When the cloud dissipates and the water recedes, the surfers are nowhere to be seen. Five hours later, they reappear safe and sound – but with no recollection of their disappearance. One by one, the returning surfers discover they each possess inexplicable powers. The cloud continues to sit threateningly above the ocean, and the returned surfers feel strangely connected to it. What caused the wave? Why did it return the surfers? And what will the community do if the wave decides to hit again?
The Last Wave is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Let's keep the mystery going with Wayward Pines. From the minds of M. Night Shyamalan and The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things) comes this highly addictive psychological thriller. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) arrives in the town of Wayward Pines to investigate the disappearance of two federal agents (one being his former lover). But this small town is not at all what it seems. Some of the residents are suitably creepy, you can't contact the outside world and the real stickler, you can't leave. Will Burke be able to discover what happened to the missing agents and uncover the truth about this mysterious town?
Wayward Pines is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Are you a fan of War of the Worlds' Catherine Durand? Well you can see more of actress Léa Drucker in the addictive French spy thriller series The Bureau. Intricately plotted and based firmly on real-life events, The Bureau focuses on French agents working for the Service of Clandestines, an elite unit within the DGSE (basically the French CIA or MI6). The writers met with working agents to develop the scripts; it's so authentic the DGSE itself gave the show the stamp of approval. With an incredible cast and creative team, plus filming across remarkable locations, this is unmissable television. You may find yourself holding your breath during intense scenes in the situation room, so please remember to breathe.
The Bureau seasons 1-5 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Years and Years
It may not have zombies but this series from Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Queer As Folk) shows how to survive against the backdrop of a frightening political world and the rise of extremism. Years and Years follows the Lyons, a busy Manchester family. Daniel’s getting married to Ralph. Stephen and Celeste worry about their kids. Rosie’s chasing a new fella. Edith hasn’t been home for years. All are presided over by Gran, the imperial Muriel. But when their lives all converge on one crucial night in 2019, the story accelerates into the future, following the lives and loves of the Lyons over the next 15 years. And what a world! Society gets hotter, faster, madder, with the turmoil of politics, technology and distant wars affecting the Lyons in their day-to-day lives. Set against this, the Lyons have to navigate their everyday hopes and fears, knowing that one ordinary family could never change the world. Or could they?
If you are after a brooding, dark and mysterious period drama (with added Tom Hardy) then look no further. Set in 1814, Taboo follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), 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. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.
Taboo season 1 is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
Perhaps you are after a hidden gem of a crime drama? This gritty noir thriller is set in Baghdad, 2003. Saddam Hussein has been thrown out of power and US-led Coalition forces now occupy Iraq. Muhsin Al-Khafaji (Waleed Zuaiter), a care-worn but resilient ex-Iraqi Police Inspector no longer recognises the country that surrounds him. When his eldest and recently estranged daughter, Sawsan (Leem Lubany), goes missing he makes it his sole aim to track her down and bring her home. But while searching for her he has to toe the line between the new local Iraqi-led police and the US military police and decide whether to become a collaborator to help his search. Talk about a stressful situation.
Baghdad Central is now streaming at SBS On Demand.
War of the Worlds airs weekly on SBS Thursdays at 9:30PM. Episodes are available the day of broadcast at SBS On Demand (also available with Simplified Chinese and Arabic subtitles). Start with episode 1:
In a very musical episode, Lin-Manuel Miranda breaks with history in the Disney Plus release of his broadway hit 'Hamilton', and Fiona pays tribute to the extraordinary scores of Ennio Morricone (and the flicks you can hear them on SBS On Demand). Fiona and Ben also review brand new sci fi drama series 'War of the Worlds' and give their take on streaming titles 'Disclosure' and 'America to Me'.