Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+: 10 of the best new shows to watch in October

Candy, The Peripheral, The Watcher, Shantaram, The Midnight Club and The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Midnight Club

Streaming from Friday, October 7th, Netflix

Netflix’s new horror/mystery series revolves around a group of terminally ill patients at a hospice who meet up every night at the witching hour and scare the bejaysus out of each other with creepy ghost stories. They make a pact: whichever of them dies first must make contact with the others in whatever way they can. Then one of the group kicks the bucket — and things start to go bump in the night. The series is based on the 1994 novel by Christopher Pike.


Streaming from Wednesday, October 12th, Disney+

To say Jessica Biel kills it in this new true-crime series is no exaggeration. As well as delivering a tour de force acting performance as the “normal” housewife Candy Montgomery, she’s pretty nifty with a murder weapon too. It’s 1980, and Candy is the seemingly perfect wife and mom, straight out of Good Housekeeping. Even when having an affair with her neighbour’s husband, she does it with the same meticulous care she gives to planning Thanksgiving dinner. But when her friend begins to suspect something’s going in, the crime scene is set for some serious suburban carnage.

The Watcher

Streaming from Thursday, October 13th, Netflix

With a title like that, you know we’re in creepy-peepy territory. The Brannocks think they’ve found their dream home in a leafy suburb in New Jersey, but no sooner have they sunk their savings into buying the house than they find themselves in a suburban nightmare, as the neighbours turn out to be anything but friendly. Soon the Brannocks are being terrorised by someone calling themselves “the Watcher”, and are confronted with the neighbourhood’s darkest secrets. Bobby Cannavale and Naomi Watts star as the hapless homeowners, with Mia Farrow doing a turn as a scary old lady and Jennifer Coolidge as a smarmy estate agent.


Streaming from Friday, October 14th, Apple TV+

Charlie Hunnam stars as a drug addict on the run from the law in this thriller series set in 1980s Bombay. Lin Ford has been banged up for robbery but escapes from prison and heads to India, where he reckons he can stay under the radar. But it’s not long before his criminal ties bind him again, and soon he finds himself in Afghanistan, helping a local mob boss go up against Russian gangsters. When Lin falls for a mysterious woman named Karla, things get really complicated, and soon his entire edifice is in danger of falling down around him. It’s based on the best-selling novel by Gregory David Roberts.


The Peripheral

Streaming from Friday, October 21st, Prime Video

Chloe Grace Moretz stars in a new mind-bending sci-fi series, based on the novel by the master of cyberpunk William Gibson, and produced by the boffins behind Westworld. Flynn Fisher is a young woman in a dead-end job. When she gets involved in what she thinks is a virtual-reality game she learns the terrible fate in store for the world in the future. And when she learns that there’s more than one future to not look forward to, things really start going full Matrix. The Irish actor Jack Reynor co-stars in this hallucinatory vision of hell to come.

From Scratch

Streaming from Friday, October 21st, Netflix

Zoe Saldana does an Emily in Paris — type thing in this new series, only this time the setting is Italy. Saldana plays Amahle “Amy” Wheel, an American student who’s studying in Italy, and has fallen in love with the place. She’s also fallen in love with a Sicilian chef named Lino, but the course of true love etc. Just when the couple have resolved their cultural differences, Lino finds himself dealing with a serious health issue, and everyone’s loyalty is sorely tested. Expect lots of cooking, painting, kissing and tears on the terrazzo this romantic Italian adventure inspired by a best-selling memoir.

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Streaming from Tuesday, October 25th, Netflix

If you’re looking for someone to curate this new horror anthology, you could do worse than getting the director of Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water on board. Guillermo Del Toro has gathered a team of writers and directors to create sinister, sophisticated tales of the unexpected; two of the eight stories are Del Toro originals, and he also plays host. Look out for such actors as Peter Weller, Rupert Grint and F Murray Abraham in stories that promise to upend our perceptions of what is scary.

The Mysterious Benedict Society

Streaming from Wednesday, October 26th, Disney+

It’s a rule that all streaming services must have a series in which superpowered teens attend a secret academy run by an eccentric, enigmatic father figure. Blame Hogwarts, but series such as Fate: The Winx Saga and The Umbrella Academy are adding a dollop of magic to the school curriculum. The gifted orphans Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance are back in this second series, once again helping their mentor, Mr Benedict, save the world from his nasty twin brother, Dr LD Curtain. Mr Benedict and Number Two have been kidnapped, and the kids must go on a dangerous scavenger hunt, using all their wits and special skills to survive this deadly test.

The Bastard Son & the Devil Himself

Streaming from Friday, October 28th, Netflix

It’s not easy growing up with a famous parent, but when your dad is the world’s most dangerous witch, well, that can make things a bit awkward around the cauldron at dinner time. This YA drama series, based on the Half Bad books by Sally Green, tells the story of Nathan (Jay Lycurgo), the illegitimate son of a witch who is determined not to end up evil like his father. But to do that he’s going to have to get some of his good witchy friends behind him. Look out for the Irish actor Karen Connell, from Vikings, as Ceelia, and the Irish pop star Róisín Murphy as Mercury, making her dramatic debut.

The Devil’s Hour

Streaming from Friday, October 28th, Prime Video

Peter Capaldi and Jessica Raine star in a disturbing psychological thriller that will have you looking fearfully at your bedside clock. Every night at 3.33am on the button, in the middle of the so-called devil’s hour, Lucy is awoken by terrifying visions, but what do they mean? Capaldi plays a mysterious nomad who claims to be a time traveller (not Doctor Who — this guy’s name is Gideon), but the police think he may be a serial killer who has claimed a number of victims already. But why do the victims have a link with Lucy? To find out, she’s going to have to face some of her darkest fears (and so, presumably, are we). Set your alarms for 6.66 — it’s going to be a long, scary night.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist