Hard to believe December is already here – and the festive season with it, when we have a lot of time to sit in front of the TV. So BritBox is coming to the rescue with the hit 90s sitcom The Brittas Empire, two lost Doctor Who episodes, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Brexit: The Uncivil War, a brand new Spitting Image Christmas Special, and even two Alfred Hitchcock classics.
BritBox UK (there’s also a separate US version) is a streaming subscription service owned by ITV and the BBC. It curates British TV programmes and classic films from ITV, BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4.
The subscription normally costs £5.99/month or £59.99/year, and you can usually get a free trial (See my updated review of BritBox UK here). They’re running a promotion until December 10 – where NEW subscribers can get a full year for £29.99.
You can subscribe directly through their website or as an Amazon Prime Video channel (though currently, you won’t get the special promotion on Amazon).
Some content may be added later in the month, but these are the highlights for the month of December 2021:
Snow in Paradise (2014)
Dave’s a petty criminal living on drugs and violence in London. When his actions kill his best friend, he’s propelled into feelings of shame and remorse.
Discovering Islam, he begins to find peace but his old life comes back to test him. Starring Frederick Schmidt, Martin Askew and David Spinx.
Still Life (2013)
A mild-mannered civil employee dedicates his life to tracking down the next-of-kin of and arranging funerals for his community’s unclaimed dead.
Starring Eddie Marsan and Joanne Froggatt.
The Duke of Burgundy (2014)
A woman who studies butterflies and moths tests the limits of her relationship with her lesbian lover.
Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen and Chiara D’Anna.
Spitting Image – Christmas Special
Advent events to go through Spitting Image’s legendary prism include: a shocking Christmas surprise for Prince Andrew; an ever-heroic Tom Cruise stepping up to save Christmas for Santa…
And who better to add a bit of flair to the Queen’s annual Christmas message than Phoebe Waller-Bridge; Kier Starmer finally springing into action for an oncoming Christmas lunch crisis with his (always law-abiding) vigilante alter-ego, Fox Man; while poor Rishi Sunak is visited by terrifying visions including of The Ghost of Tory Glory Past.
Here’s a little reminder from last year’s Christmas:
The episode will also air on ITV later in the month.
Grieving families struggle to come to terms with the unexpected and tragic 1989 Hillsborough Disaster.
Television film starring Christopher Eccleston, Tracey Wilkinson and Ricky Tomlinson.
The Brittas Empire (Seasons 1-5, 1991-1994)
Gordon Brittas is the manager of the Whitbury-Newtown Leisure Centre. Despite his good intentions, everything seems to go wrong when he’s around, despite the best efforts of the centre staff and his long-suffering wife, Helen.
Starring Chris Barrie, Pippa Haywood and Harriet Thorpe.
Banksy: Most Wanted (2020)
UK Premiere: Banksy is a household name, but behind this name hides a multitude of stories, artworks, stunts, political statements and identities, leading to one of the art world’s biggest unanswered questions, which this documentary tries to solve – who is Banksy?
Our Zoo (Season 1, 2014)
While returning from a reunion, George Mottershead notices the Oakfield Manor that is put up for auction. He takes a loan and decides to convert the estate into a zoo without cages.
Starring Lee Ingleby, Liz White and Ralf Little.
As Time Goes By (Seasons 1-4, 1992-1995)
The Korean War, and a long lost letter, separate the lives of young lovers Jean Pargetter and Lionel Hardcastle, whose paths cross again by happenstance.
Starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer.
Cambridge Spies (Season 1, 2003)
The true story of a group of Cambridge University Students who are recruited to spy for the Soviet Union in the early 1930s.
Starring Tom Hollander.
Agatha and the Truth of Murder (2018)
In 1926, with her personal life in tatters and her writing in crisis, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder.
Television film starring Ruth Bradley, Blake Harrison and Dean Andrews.
2Point4Children (Seasons 1-8, 1991-1999)
Series following the lives of the Porters, a seemingly average, working-class London family whose world is frequently turned upside-down by bad luck and bizarre occurrences.
Starring Gary Olsen, Belinda Lang and John Pickard.
A Very Peculiar Practise (Seasons 1-2, 1986-1988)
The various misadventures of Stephen Daker, a young doctor who works for the health centre of a modern British university.
Starring Peter Davison, Barbara Flynn and David Troughton.
Brexit: The Uncivil War (2019)
Based on recent events: With an intention to convince the British voters to leave the European Union, political strategist Dominic Cummings decides to start a controversial campaign.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rory Kinnear.
Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (Seasons 1-2, 1973-1974)
Terry and Bob from The Likely Lads (1964) continue their life after Terry arrives home from serving in the Army to discover that Bob is about to marry his girlfriend Thelma.
Can Thelma lead Bob onto the straight and narrow path or will Terry divert things once again? Starring Rodney Bewes, James Bolam and Brigit Forsyth.
Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones (1967/2020)
The eighth incomplete Doctor Who serial to receive full-length animated reconstructions of its missing episodes – read more about the reconstruction here.
The Doctor and his companions arrive at Gatwick Airport and discover strange identity-stealing aliens called Chameleons.
Doctor Who: Fury from the Deep (1968/2020)
Animated reconstruction of the missing serial. The Doctor and his companions find themselves at a gas refinery where a dangerous plant is infecting everyone and controlling their minds.
Bad Girls (Seasons 1-8, 1999-2006)
Dramatic portrayal of life in a women’s prison, focusing on the inmates and staff’s friendships and relationships, and the issues surrounding them.
Starring Jack Ellis, Victoria Alcock and Kika Mirylees.
Mistresses (Seasons 1-3, 2008-2010)
The lives and loves of four female friends: Katie, a doctor having an affair with a patient; Trudi, a 9/11 widow; Siobhan, a barrister; and Jessica, a commitment phobe who plays the field.
Starring Sarah Parish, Orla Brady and Sharon Small.
Upstart Crow: Lockdown Christmas 1603 (2020)
The plague has hit London, and as Christmas approaches, Will and Kate are in wave fifteen of state-enforced home confinement together in Will’s London lodgings.
Starring David Mitchell and Gemma Whelan.
The Hippopotamus (2017)
Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friend’s country manor to investigate a series of unexplained miracles.
Starring Roger Allam, Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw.
Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.
Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren and Diane Baker.
Barry Kane, a worker at the Los Angeles aircraft factory, escapes arrest when he is falsely accused of purposely disrupting the place. He finally succeeds in nabbing Frank Frye, the perpetrator.
Another Hitchcock classic starring Norman Lloyd, Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane.
Mary Queen Of Scots (1971)
During the sixteenth century, the Catholic Mary, Queen of Scots engages in over two decades of religious and political conflict with her cousin, the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England, amidst political intrigue in her native land.
Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson and Timothy Dalton.
The Invisible Man (1933)
A scientist finds a way of becoming invisible, but in doing so, he becomes murderously insane.
One of the films from Universal Pictures’ classic monster collection, starring Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart and John Carradine.
The Nelson Affair (1973)
Young George Matcham visits his uncle Lord Nelson and the vulgar Lady Hamilton. With the clear eyes of youth, he measures Nelson’s stature and notes his feet of clay. And yet, Nelson is a hero, a great man. How can this be resolved?
Meanwhile, the combined French and Spanish fleet puts out to sea.
Starring Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson and Margaret Leighton.