Words: Hugh Kaye
Anna Friel spent time at Mermaids, the transgender support charity, before filming Butterfly (ITV, Sun 14 Oct, 9pm).
The three-part drama centres on 11-year-old Max who announces that he identifies as a girl and wants to live life as Maxine. Mum Vicky (Friel) takes the news reasonable well, certainly compared with her estranged husband Stephen, played by former Hollyoaks star Emmett J Scanlan.
In a week somewhat lacking in great LGBT+ shows, at least Doctor Who (BBC1, Sun 14 Oct, 6.55pm) continues after its well-received opener. In a story called The Ghost Monument, the Time Lord and her new companions become involved in an unusual race.
And a new season of The Flash (Sky 1, Thurs 18 Oct, 8pm) starts with Barry discovering he has a daughter. Let’s hope the writers have come up with some fresh ideas before this super-hero series runs out of steam. There’s only so far Grant Gustin’s cute looks can take the show!
The week ends on a high note with Bohemian Rhapsody and Attitude cover star Rami Malek popping up on The Graham Norton Show (BBC1, Fri 19 Oct, 10.35pm).
No doubt he will be talking about his role as Freddie Mercury with the film due to open on 24 October. There is also music from Christine and The Queens.
In a close-to-barren week for TV, Netflix comes to the rescue with the arrival of Spanish drama Elite.
What might seem like another high-school drama, as three poor students join a top private school after their own building collapses, almost immediately takes a sharp turn with a tale involving murder, and is, in fact, a look at the differences between the “haves” and “have-nots” in Spanish society. The handsome actors and LGBT+ characters are a welcome bonus.
On the subject of teen dramas, series three of Riverdale is also streaming now. I still can’t quite work out who decided to give the Archie comics such an amazing makeover!
There’s also a chance to see Champions, the comedy about a washed-up jock who now owns, and lives above, a gym. Years after getting a girl pregnant, he meets his young son – who just happens to be gay.
Don’t deny it: lots of you out there may not like football but certainly like a certain footballer. You can get an insight into his life in Ronaldo, although it’s probably not as in depth as some would want!
On a serious note, there’s also Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia. The writer and commentator lived with Howard Austen for 53 years (although refused the label of “gay”) and this film, released in 2013, foresees a right-wing takeover of American politics.
That said, even Vidal would probably be shocked by what is going on in the USA today had he not died the previous year. He is buried next to Austen, who died in 2003.