May spells a special month for BritBox UK – not only will it deliver the usual roundup of British classics, but it also brings with it two brand new BritBox originals – the factual series Secrets of the Krays, and the highly anticipated revenge thriller The Beast Must Die. Plus, the early days of Borat on Da Ali G Show, the most recent Midsomer Murders, and more.
BritBox UK (which is different from the US version) is a streaming subscription service owned by ITV and the BBC. It curates British TV programmes from ITV, BBC, Channel 5 and Channel 4, as well as classic British films.
The service normally costs £5.99/month or £59.99/year, and you can get a free trial (See my review of BritBox UK here).
Some content might be added later in the month, but these are the highlights for the month of May 2021:
Feature Films Collection
Films added to the service this month include:
- Mr Nice (2010)
- The Secret of Marrowbone (2017) starring Anya Taylor Joy and George MacKay
- Ken Loach drama Raining Stones (1993) starring Ricky Tomlinson and Bruce Jones
- Romantic drama With Or Without You (1999) starring Christopher Ecclestone
- Rom-com Late Night Shopping (2001) starring Kate Ashfield
- Sports drama True Blue (1996) starring Dominic West
- Remember Me? (1997) a comedy starring Imelda Staunton, Rik Mayall and Robert Lindsay
- Singleton’s Pluck (1984) starring Ian Holm.
Revealed: Jack the Ripper: Tabloid Killer
On 25th September 1888, a letter arrived at Britain’s Central News Agency. It claimed to come from the most famous serial killer in history and for the first time, revealed the now legendary name, ‘Jack the Ripper.’
This documentary takes a closer look at the history, and reveals how this serial killer could have been fabricated for readers who couldn’t get enough tabloid thrills. If Jack was fiction, who made him up?
Exclusive to BritBox: John River is a brilliant detective whose fractured mind traps him between the living and the dead.
A 6-episode 2005 series Starring Stellan Skarsgård, Nicola Walker and Lesley Manville.
A fictional account of the Krays brothers, the film tells the story of the rise and fall of Reggie and Ronnie – both portrayed by Tom Hardy – in a powerhouse double performance.
Britain’s Forgotten Serial Killer: Trevor Hardy (2017)
This documentary explores the motivations behind Trevor Hardy, known as the ‘Beast of Manchester’ – a convicted serial killer who murdered three teenage girls in the Manchester area between December 1974 and March 1976.
Secrets of the Krays (2021)
BritBox Original: An in-depth look at the most famous gangsters in British history; Secrets of the Krays will feature revelatory interviews with those who knew the Krays best, including former gang members, relatives and family friends, as well as celebrity photographer and friend David Bailey, the Krays’ lawyers, and police officers involved in bringing them to justice.
Many have never spoken before – including Micky Fawcett who was a key member of “The Firm” from its early days.
The documentary will also unveil never-before-seen artefacts, including Reggie’s personal scrapbook documenting the brothers’ crimes, Reggie’s personal photographs, audio recordings from prison, a poem from Ronnie to Reggie, and two unpublished manuscripts from former gang members – as well as MI5 files on the Krays.
English National Opera Collection
The English National Opera’s productions of Carmen, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, The Mikado, Pirates of Penzance and Benvenuto Cellina will be added to BritBox’s Centre Stage collection.
Sam and Billie: The Mummy Diaries (Series 9)
The Faiers sisters are back. Following the success of the previous series, Sam and sister Billie throw open their doors once again for a ninth instalment of the reality series, as they continue to juggle motherhood with life in the public eye.
Midsomer Murders (Series 21 episodes 3&4)
The final two episodes of the series broadcast last year. Inspector Barnaby investigates murder mysteries in Middle England.
New Tricks (Series 1-2)
The first two series of the drama about a police unit, made up of retired detectives and a long-suffering boss, looking at unsolved crimes.
Starring Larry Lamb, Tamzin Outhwaite and Denis Lawson.
Fergie’s Killer Dresser: The Jane Andrews Story (2021)
In 2000, former royal dresser Jane Andrews’ murder of Tom Cressman shocked and fascinated Britain in equal measure. This is the definitive account of Jane’s rise and fall.
Da Ali G Show (Full Series)
The classic series from 2000, with some of the characters that later went on to star in feature films.
Provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen dons the personae of hapless rapper Ali G, goofy journalist Borat and flamboyant Austrian Brüno and interviews unsuspecting guests, often goading them into embarrassing situations.
Wycliffe (Series 1-2)
Detective Superintendent Wycliffe heads an investigating team of officers brought in to solve the most intriguing of murder cases on the magnificent and windswept Cornish coast in the far South-West of England.
Starring Jack Shepherd, Jimmy Yuill and Helen Masters.
The City and The City (Mini-series)
David Morrissey stars in this 4 episodes long BBC adaptation of China Miéville’s mind-bending novel.
Very different cities Ul Qoma and Besźel share the same space – and a dangerous and volatile relationship.
The Beast Must Die (Episodes 1&2)
BritBox Original: The Beast Must Die is a five-part revenge thriller which tells the story of a grieving mother who infiltrates the life of the man she believes killed her son.
The stellar cast includes Bafta, Golden Globe & Emmy nominated Jared Harris, Cush Jumbo OBE, Billy Howle, Nathaniel Parker, Geraldine James, Maeve Dermody and newcomers Mia Tomlinson and Barney Sayburn.
The first two episodes will be available starting today, with a further three episodes launching weekly on Thursdays.
Midsomer Murders (Series 22, episodes 1&2)
The most recent two episodes of Midsomer Murders starring Neil Dugeon and Nick Hendrix.
Dead Pixels (Series 2)
Bored office workers Meg (Alexa Davies), Usman (Sargon Yelda) and Nicky (Will Merrick) are back and just as addicted to fictional massive multiplayer online role-playing game Kingdom Scrolls.
Adult Material (2020)
The series stars Hayley Squires as British pornstar Jolene Dollar who is juggling her on-screen sex work with the reality of motherhood at home.
Rupert Everett also features as Dollar’s producer Carroll.
The Runaway (2011)
A period thriller set in the sleazy streets of London’s Soho in the 1960s and the mean streets of New York, with an outstanding British cast including Alan Cumming.