Banished begins tonight at 9pm on BBC 2. Some great previews have been shared online, including one for Joseph!

Jimmy McGovern creates and writes this historical drama, set in the penal colonies of New South Wales in 1788. Suffice to say that the setting, while both picturesque and threatening, is more a backdrop for a squaring off of the writer’s moral absolutes: cheeky lags, rotten redcoats, all playing their part in an immediately recognisable value system. Russell Tovey is the honourable Wheeler, and MyAnna Buring is the feisty Elizabeth Quinn. Casino Royale veteran Joseph Millson represents “bad man” with considerable glowering presence. Guardian

If the involvement of writer Jimmy McGovern, aka the man who gave us Cracker and The Street, doesn’t convince you that Banished is going to be gritty, then the premise should. The seven-part series is set in 1788, in the camp occupied by the first British convicts transported to Australia, and combines historical events and people with the fictional stories of some of the prisoners and their guards. WMN

The drama concentrates on relationships among the convicts, relationships between convicts and soldiers, and the enmity between Phillip and Major Robert Ross (played by Joseph Millson). "All are equal before the law," Phillip declares in one episode. Ross, in contrast considers the convicts human detritus and believes the community has to be controlled harshly if it is not to descend into murderous anarchy. He is also portrayed as a ruthless sexual exploiter who preyed on women. Telegraph

Banished: Jimmy McGovern pulls a blinder with new penal colony saga. Guardian 2

New South Wales, 1788 is the location for this interesting looking new drama series by Jimmy McGovern and starring Orla Brady and Russell Tovey. A ramshackle camp of British convicts transported on the First Fleet wake up to another sweltering hot day alongside their Royal Navy marine guards and their masters. Resolute in refusing to expose the man she loves and knowing full well Tommy would hang for sleeping with her, Elizabeth is sentenced to 25 lashes for refusal to confess in the fledgling penal colony. But will her principled and headstrong Tommy be so enraged by this punitive decision that he intervenes? If he does he will hang. RTE TEN