Big things are happening at BritBox streaming service as the holiday season fast approaches.
Starting on December 19 and running until the 26th, BritBox is running a very special BritMas Marathon with over 50 holiday themed titles and specials.
· A Child’s Christmases in Wales: Inspired by Dylan Thomas’ nostalgic anecdotal tale and narrated by Michael Sheen, this observant comedy peeks into the lives of a South Wales family’s Christmases across the 1980s.
· A Christmas Carol: Since “A Christmas Carol” was first published in 1843, the name of Ebenezer Scrooge has been famous throughout the world. See Michael Hordern’s stunning portrayal of the miserly misanthrope being shown the error of his ways in this iconic adaptation.
· A Ghost Story for Christmas: As a Christmas treat in the late 1960s and 70s, the BBC produced adaptations of ghost stories based on the works of MR James which were broadcast to terrified viewers in the dead of winter.
· Carol’s from King’s: An annual worldwide broadcasting phenomenon that takes place at the medieval chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, Carols from King’s is a beloved British celebration of Christmas. Every year, the King’s College Chapel Choir performs a carol service that always opens with ‘Once in Royal David’s City” and followed later on by a new, specially commissioned carol for each year.
· Clash of Santas: Howie, newly separated from his wife, travels to Lithuania to take part in an international Santa Claus convention. His buddy Colin agrees to go along for the sleigh ride but ends up as cast at Howie’s cheerleading elf.
· Click & Collect: To save his daughter’s Christmas, Andrew (Stephen Merchant) goes on a road trip with Dev (Asim Chaudhry), his neighbour from hell, to buy an elusive Sparklehoof the Unicorn Princess.
· Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special: It’s Christmas in Barry and Billericay, and we are back with the Shipmans and Wests for the festivities after 10 years. More food, more laughter, more chaos, and more love.
· The Lights Before Christmas: Luminous London: This hop-on hop-off tour of London’s most delightful light displays will take you on a journey that captures the warmth and ambiance of the season.
· Upstart Crow: A Lockdown Christmas – The plague has hit London and as Christmas approaches Will and Kate (Gemma Whelan) are in wave fifteen of state-enforced home confinement together in Will’s London lodgings. As Kate fills endless time with baking, painting, hoarding, clapping and DIY haircuts, Will is doing his absolute best to use the plaguey lock-in to pen a classic for the new King so his head doesn’t end up in a basket. The problem is he’s got zero inspiration… Can Will come up with the perfect play? And far from their friends and loved ones can he and Kate find a way to create their own kind of Christmas merriment?
BritBox is also presenting its Best of 2021, which includes this year’s most popular series.
• Traces Season 1 – launched January 5, 2021
A body buried in Dundee 18 years ago. A daughter left behind. A murder unsolved. Until now – because Emma Hedges played by Molly Windsor needs to find out what happened to her mum. With help from colleagues at the Scottish Institute of Forensic Science and Anatomy, she follows the trail of evidence. It leads her to new love, old friends, and plunges her into a police investigation. This is a world of danger and deceit. Will Emma have the nerve to follow the evidence no matter where it takes her? Also starring Jennifer Spence (Supernatural), Martin Compston (Line of Duty), and Laura Fraser (Better Call Saul)
• The Pembrokeshire Murders – launched February 2, 2021
Two unsolved double murders from the 1980s cast a long shadow over the work of the Dyfed-Powys police force. In 2006, newly promoted Detective Superintendent Steve Wilkins played by Luke Evans (Nine Perfect Strangers) decided to reopen both cases. Employing pioneering forensic methods, Wilkins and his handpicked team found microscopic DNA and fibers that potentially linked the murders to a string of burglaries committed in the 80s and 90s. The perpetrator of those crimes was nearing the end of his prison sentence, but if Steve Wilkins was right, he was also a serial killer… Could Steve and his team unease this enough forensic evidence to charge their suspect before he was released to potentially kill again
• Honour – launched February 16, 2021
When DCI Caroline Goode played Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard) discovered that Banaz played by Buket Komur (What Is Your Name) had been to the police five times to report threats to her life from members of her own family, she was appalled that her colleagues had missed multiple chances to prevent this so-called “honour” killing. Caroline vowed that she would not rest until she finally got justice for Banaz. It was a promise that would quickly become all-consuming. Written by Gwyneth Hughes, Honour is a tense and moving drama that brings this important true story, and a detective’s unwavering quest, vividly to life.
• Grace – launched April 27, 2021
Starring John Simm (White Dragon) as the tenacious Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, this brand new thriller is based on the first two stories in the series: Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead. Hard-working Brighton-based detective Roy Grace has given his life to the job, but his career is at rock bottom. Exiled to running enquiries into long forgotten cold cases, the disappearance of his beloved wife, Sandy, still haunts his thoughts. Following another reprimand for his unorthodox methods, Grace risks being moved from the job he loves most. With so much at stake, his colleague Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson, played by Richie Campbell (Small Axe) knows Grace has more to give and asks him for help with a case.
• Line of Duty Season 6 – launched May 18, 2021
In the latest season of this thrilling police drama, AC-12 face their most enigmatic adversary yet. Detective Chief Inspector Joanna Davidson played by Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), the senior investigating officer in a high-profile unsolved murder investigation. Davidson’s unconventional conduct raises AC-12’s suspicions, as they begin to challenge the facts of the case and question whether Davidson is doing everything in her power to find the perpetrator. The team conduct an urgent investigation into Davidson, but upheavals within AC-12 itself threaten to tear their work apart
• McDonalds & Dodds Season 2 – launched August 3, 2021
Newly promoted, the ambitious DCI McDonald played by Tala Gouveia has swapped the mean streets of London to leap up the career ladder in picturesque Bath. A tough, driven, battering ram of a cop, McDonald cracks cases through sheer force of will. When she’s partnered with veteran Sergeant Dodds played by Jason Watkins, the pair instantly lock horns over their different approaches to policing – and to life. The tortoise to her hare, Dodds is quiet and unassuming, with a hidden talent for deciphering puzzles. This season DCI McDonald and the unassuming DS Dodds return with a growingly rumbustious, and ultimately highly effective crime solving partnership. As McDonald adjusts to life in picturesque Bath, she and DS Dodds investigate deaths across the supposedly sleepy Avon Valley. In each episode, they must investigate a new and compelling crime .
• Time – launched August 17, 2021
In this moving series written by award winner Jimmy McGovern (Banished), Mark Cobden played by Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) is a husband and father like any other. Except that he’s responsible for the death of an innocent man. Tortured by visions of his victim, Mark welcomes his four year sentence as penance for his crime. But in this brutal environment, a former teacher is any easy target for the more ruthless residents. Eric McNally played by Stephen Graham (Line of Duty) is a dedicated prison officer, doing his best to protect those in his charge. And in an understaffed prison that‘s brimming with tension, the inmates’ safety rests on a knife-edge. When a dangerous convict threatens to hurt someone Eric loves, this honest man faces an impossible choice.
• The Long Call – launched October 28, 2021
Inspired by the bestselling novel of the same name, this atmospheric crime drama brings to life a new deeply engrossing mystery from Ann Cleeves, creator of Vera and Shetland. Featuring Ann’s signature chilling twists and starkly beautiful settings, The Long Call centers on its intriguing and flawed protagonist, Detective Inspector Mathew Venn played by Ben Aldridge (Fleabag). We first meet the reserved but intense Matthew at his father’s funeral in North Devon with his husband, the small community he grew up in but walked away 20 years ago after being rejected by his family. Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father, but also to take charge of his first murder case. Finding the killer is Matthew’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind – and the deadly secrets that lurk there. Also starring Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who) and Juliet Stevenson (Riviera).
• Shetland Season 6 – launched November 9, 2021
Based on the best-selling books by award-winning crime writer Ann Cleeves, Shetland follows Detective Jimmy Perez played by Douglas Henshall (Outlander) and his team as they investigate crime within the close-knit island community. Season 6 will see Perez and his team investigate the doorstep murder of a leading figure on Shetland that takes a shockingly sinister turn. The new series will also see the return of murderer Donna Killick, whose compassionate release aggrieves many of the locals not least Kate Kilmuir, the victim’s sister.
• The Tower – launched December 1, 2021
The Tower is based on the acclaimed debut novel by Kate London, a former detective who spent eight years in the Metropolitan Police’s homicide squad. A veteran cop and a teenager fall to their deaths from a tower block in London’s East End. Left alive on the roof are rookie police officer Lizzie Adama (Tahirah Sharif) and a five-year-old boy. Within hours, Lizzie has disappeared. As DSI officer Sarah Collins (Gemma Whelan) sets out to uncover the truth around the grisly deaths, the investigation takes her into the dark heart of policing in a complex and diverse city. The Tower will bring this thrilling, intelligent crime story to screen – a tale grounded in the terrifying realities of life on the beat.
• Crime – launched December 14, 2021
Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, Crime follows the gripping story of Detective Inspector Ray Lennox played by Dougray Scott, (Taken 3) a man whose clear sight is as much a blessing as it is a curse. A girl goes missing. A town is in fear. A police department fights with itself. A hero is lost, tortured by his own demons. And all the while—watching, waiting—a brutal killer is poised to strike. Prepare to enter this dangerous world and the troubled mind of Ray Lennox—a man engaged in his own disturbing battle, all while undertaking serious crime investigations in the glaring light of the public arena.
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Top Photo: Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special. Courtesy: BBC.