Downton, Doctor Who head autumn drama schedule

Downton Abbey has been unveiled as the jewel in the crown of ITV’s sparkling autumn schedule.

TV Times magazine has previewed the top shows to look out for in the coming months, and the fourth series of the global hit period drama takes centre stage among  the new arrivals and old favourites that we can expect on our screens.  

Other ITV highlights include Breathless – a new medical drama set in a 1960s gynaecology unit starring Pirates of the Caribbean actor Jack Davenport as a charismatic surgeon – and the return of Doc Martin.  

Meanwhile, BBC’s shiny gem is the much-anticipated special 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

Screening on 23 November, exactly 50 years after the show’s premiere in 1963, it will see past and present Time Lords David Tennant and Matt Smith battle the Daleks.

Meanwhile, BBC2 drama An Adventure in Space and Time, traces the origins of the show with David Bradley starring as William Hartnell, the first actor to play Doctor Who.

Also highly anticipated on the is new family drama Atlantis, from the makers of Merlin, plus the return of Strictly Come Dancing for an 11th outing and the return of The Paradise and Ripper Street.

For the full autumn preview, buy the new issue of TV Times out today.