Don’t miss our upcoming, in-depth columns on All the Old Knives, an Amazon Prime Video film starring Chris Pine and Thandiwe Newton, based on Olen Steinhauer’s spy novel (premiering April 8), and Shining Girls, an Apple TV+ series starring Elisabeth Moss, based on Lauren Beukes’ time-travel serial-killer thriller (premiering April 29). For now, here are four more adaptations headed to small screens in April:

April 8: Pinecone & Pony (series premiere, Apple TV+)

Canadian artist Kate Beaton first found fame with her webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant, which ran from 2007 to 2018 and often spoofed famous events and figures in history; it also spawned three print collections. In 2015, she published her first children’s picture book, The Princess and the Pony, which received a Kirkus star. It tells the story of a young warrior princess, Pinecone, who receives a cute, flatulent pony as a gift and struggles to train it for an upcoming battle. Kirkus’ reviewer gave the book a rave: “Where else can readers find hipster warriors, anime influences, perfectly placed fart jokes, a hidden ugly-sweater contest, and a skirmish packed with delightful nonsense (llamas! knights! hot dogs! turtle costumes!)—and have it all make such wonderful sense?” The tale provides the inspiration for this new streaming series, for which Beaton is an executive producer; it retains the author’s distinctive art style while further exploring the fantasy world of the original book. Its trailer also promises some intriguing new characters—including a monster or two.

April 15: Anatomy of a Scandal (series premiere, Netflix)

Early on in Sarah Vaughan’s 2017 thriller, James Whitehouse—a contemporary British politician who’s close friends with the prime minister—tells his wife, Sophie, of an affair that he had with his assistant, Olivia. Just 11 days later, he’s arrested after Olivia accuses him of rape. The ensuing trial is told from the alternating perspectives of Sophie, James, and prosecutor Kate Woodcroft; another storyline, set back in the 1990s, is told from the point of view of Holly, a friend of Sophie, James, and the future PM. Kirkus’ starred review called the book a “savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” One hopes that this upcoming series adaptation, which counts Vaughan as an executive producer, is just as snappy; it certainly features a fine cast, including Downtown Abbey’s Michelle Dockery as Kate, Factory Girl’s Sienna Miller as Sophie, and Strange Angel’s Rupert Friend as James. It’s also executive-produced and co-written by acclaimed TV producer David E. Kelley, who is no stranger to book adaptations; he created the Emmy-winning HBO series Big Little Lies, based on Liane Moriarty’s Kirkus-starred bestseller.


April 25: We Own This City (miniseries premiere, HBO)

Baltimore Sun crime reporter Justin Fenton’s 2021 true-crime book focuses on corruption in the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. In 2017, eight officers in the unit were charged with numerous crimes, including stealing tens of thousands of dollars from citizens by breaking into their homes without warrants. This six-episode miniseries was co-created by former Baltimore Sun journalist David Simon; he’s best known for creating the brilliant, Baltimore-set HBO series The Wire, which makes him an excellent fit for this material. (Kirkus’ reviewer even called Fenton’s book “perfect for fans of The Wire.”) The miniseries’ other co-creator is noted mystery author George Pelecanos, and its director is Reinaldo Marcus Green, who most recently helmed the acclaimed biopic King Richard. The talent in front of the camera is just as impressive, including The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal, Lovecraft Country’s Wunmi Mosaku, Treat Williams, and multiple actors from The Wire, including Jamie Hector, Darrell Britt-Gibson, and Delaney Williams.


April 28: Under the Banner of Heaven (miniseries premiere, Hulu)

This seven-episode series, inspired by Jon Krakauer’s 2003 true-crime bestseller, fictionalizes the investigation of the 1984 murder of Utah resident Brenda Lafferty and her infant daughter. Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield plays police detective Jeb Pyre, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who, during his investigation, discovers that the killings may be connected to “beliefs that I have only heard whisperings about.” Krakauer’s book, which received a Kirkus star, is a relatively straightforward account of the murders that also dives into aspects of LDS history. The series, created and written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, appears to invent at least one new character (Pyre), but its talented cast—which also features Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones as Brenda Lafferty, and Lodge 49’s Wyatt Russell—is sure to make it a gripping watch.

David Rapp is the senior Indie editor.