Subscribe To HBO's Years And Years: New Thriller From Doctor Who Vet Has Gotten Rave Reviews Updates
Years and Years The Lyons family sitting around the TV

While we in the U.S. have to wait until Sunday to see Doctor Who mastermind Russell T. Davies’ miniseries Years and Years, the UK has gotten the jump on the rest of the world in experiencing the show, and its limited run just finished two nights ago. However, that does mean that the folks who are waiting for the chilling political drama to hit HBO can check out the critical and fan responses to the show before trying it on themselves. Those responses, so far, have been quite the rave.

Years and Years takes place over a 15-year period beginning in 2019, and it follows the lives of the Lyons family as they navigate the rise and fall of maverick politician Vivienne Rook, a rising star in the UK played by Emma Thompson. Her Four Star Party starts as a breath of fresh air, but quickly turns into a tumultuous force that sweeps through the country, as seen through the eyes of the Lyons.

When taking the reviews into account, there’s a common thread that seems to run through the lot, starting in Euan Ferguson’s remarks from The Observer UK:

Hang on to your hats. Credible, brutish, ultimately sympathetic, this is the series Russell T Davies was born to write - and it comes at the right time.

Bearing in mind, this is the same Russell T. Davies who wrote the entirety of the dark Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, so that recommendation above makes a lot of sense. But at the same time, Davies’ penchant for ramping up the end of the world in his works would seem to fit a show like Years and Years just as well.

And Niv M. Sultan’s review in Slant Magazine seems to acknowledge this very aspect, as seen in the following excerpt:

The series manages to pile on the cataclysms without taking pleasure in the pain of its characters.

Also the mind behind Amazon’s big Golden Globe winning hit, A Very English Scandal, Davies didn't totally steer clear of the world of politics, or drama, for too long before tackling both with a side of his sci-fi brilliance in Years and Years. Which makes the final review, courtesy of Jasper Rees from The Daily Telegraph, actually hammer home just why the show seems to have caught critics and UK audiences by the heartstrings:

Davies has not lost the knack for creating fleshy drama with a beating heart that thinks big urgent thoughts.

Currently, the HBO/BBC co-production is enjoying an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with that result stemming strictly from UK reviews only. But that seems like quite a high enough rating for potential viewers to infer that this show is bound to be another morose hit for the Home Box Office folks. Their recent run of Chernobyl would seem to have folks primed and ready for some dour futurism.

Seeing Russell T. Davies getting back into the game of the wild and weird colliding with the grounded is something that’s always worth celebrating. And while Years and Years may not be Doctor Who levels of weird, it looks to be something just as special, and certainly just as memorable.

Years and Years starts for U.S. audiences on HBO on Monday, June 24, at 9:00 p.m. ET. If you’d like to see what else is headed your way in the summer TV season, head over to our schedule for 2019’s biggest and brightest debuts to come!

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