Coming To BritBox UK May 2022: True Crimes, Fictional Crimes

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The sun is already out most hours of the day in May, but you can still get a cup of tea and sit down in front of the TV, for some British gems on BritBox: New Original comedy series The Dry, a true-crime documentary collection, and some classic fictional crimes with an Agatha Christie film collection.

BritBox UK (it’s not the American version) is a streaming subscription service owned by ITV. 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 review of BritBox UK here).

You can either subscribe directly via the BritBox website, or as an Amazon Prime Video channel (which will then make it available on every device with a Prime Video app – including Sky Q / Sky Glass).

Big changes are coming to BritBox UK later this year, with it moving over to ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX – learn more about the upcoming BritBox changes in our guide.

As always, some content may be added later in the month, but these are the highlights for the month of May 2022:

May 1

Film collection: 

Calm With Horses (2019)

Douglas ‘Arm’ Armstrong has become the feared enforcer for the drug-dealing Devers family, whilst also trying to be a good father. Torn between these two forces, Arm’s loyalties are tested when he is asked to kill for the first time.

Starring Barry Keoghan, Cosmo Jarvis and Niamh Algar.

Close My Eyes (1991)

An estranged brother and sister begin an intense sexual relationship, behind the curtain of their otherwise normal lives.

Starring Saskia Reeves, Alan Rickman, Clive Owen and Lesley Sharp.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

Realistic story of working-class Yorkshire life, alternately serious and light-hearted, as two schoolgirls have a sexual fling with a married man.

Starring Siobhan Finneran, Michelle Holmes, George Costigan and Lesley Sharp.

This Is England (2006)

A rebellious young boy joins a group of skinheads and gives his life a new direction, until he meets a man named Combo, a former member of the crew and ex-convict, who starts his own clan.

Starring Stephen Graham, Thomas Turgoose, Joseph Gilgun and Vicky McClure.

Touching the Void (2003)

The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.

Starring Brendan Mackey and Nicholas Aaron.

Velvet Goldmine (1998)

In 1984, British journalist Arthur Stuart investigates the career of 1970s glam superstar Brian Slade, who was heavily influenced in his early years by hard-living and rebellious American singer Curt Wild.

Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Christian Bale and Toni Collette.

Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)

Five sisters living together in 1930s rural Ireland experience the many ways in which family life can bring both joy and heartbreak.

Starring Meryl Streep, Kathy Burke and Rhys Ifans.

May 5

The Dry (Season 1, 2022)

BritBox Original: After losing her job in London, recovering alcoholic Shiv Sheridan returns home to Dublin where she must navigate life with her dysfunctional family, who are all in denial about their own issues, whilst trying to stay sober.

Their chaotic way of life provides intense drama and dark humour, which will make you laugh and make you think in equal measure.

The Dry BritBox
Photo: BritBox

Starring BAFTA and Oscar-nominated Ciaran Hinds, as well as Pom Boyd and Roisin Gallagher.

Call The Midwife – Retrospective Special (2021)

A retrospective look at 10 years of Call the Midwife, full of births, deaths, love stories, faith and family.

Call the midwife bbc season 1
Photo: BBC

Viewers are also given an insight into how the costume, design, music and make-up teams work to finesse every detail seen on screen.

Gideon’s Daughter (2006)

Stephen Poliakoff-penned drama following Gideon, a leading PR consultant, over a few months in 1997 as he is courted by the government to manage the millennium festivities.

Gideon finds that the hollowness of high-profile public life is exposed by his relationships with his daughter, who is on the brink of leaving home for university, and Stella, a woman grieving the loss of her young son in a cycling accident.

Starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Miranda Richardson and Robert Lindsay.

Killing Escobar (2021)

Crime documentary following the untold story of the attempted assassination of Pablo Escobar, while at the height of his powers, by a small team of elite mercenaries.

Featuring a heart-stopping dramatic reconstruction, access to never-before-seen footage of the mission and first-person accounts from both the mercenaries and the cartel.

The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders (Season 1, 1996)

A strong-willed woman has many adventures while struggling with the harshness of 1700s London.

Miniseries starring James Bowers, Alex Kingston and Daniel Craig.

The Guard (2011)

An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an uptight FBI agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.

Comedy-thriller starring Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan and Liam Cunningham.

The Syndicate (Season 4, 2021)

When the staff of an indebted British estate goes on to win the lottery, the line that differentiates upstairs from downstairs becomes blurred.

Starring Katherine Rose Morley, Taj Atwal and Emily Head.

Seasons 1-3 are also available on BritBox.

May 12

Danny Boy (2021)

The true story of a young soldier’s journey from hero to an alleged war criminal, the determined lawyer on his tail and their search for truth in the fog of war.

Directed by Sam Miller and starring Anthony Boyle, Toby Jones, Alex Ferns and Leah McNamara.

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)

The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.

Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helburg and Rebecca Ferguson.

King Lear (1983)

An ageing king abdicates his throne, deciding to divide his kingdom between his daughters. Two are corrupt and toadying, flattering the king, and leading him to reject his honest third daughter who speaks the truth.

Starring Laurence Olivier, Robert Lindsay and Dorothy Tutin.

Laurence Olivier Presents (Season 1, 1976)

Anthology series featuring a collection of plays in which Laurence Olivier acts or directs.

Love, Honour and Obey (2000)

A postman convinces his best friend to let him join his uncle’s criminal gang. Once accepted into the firm, the new recruit soon grows disillusioned with a life less glamorous than he expected and starts to take increasingly reckless risks.

Comedic mock-gangster film starring Jude Law, Ray Winstone and Jonny Lee Miller.

New Tricks (Season 9-12, 2012-2015)

Three retired police officers are drafted in to solve cold cases, with a touch of comedy and drama.

Starring Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, James Bolam and Alun Armstrong.

Seasons 1-8 are also available on BritBox.

Philomena (2013)

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live and work in a convent.

Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Anna Maxwell Martin and Mare Winningham.

Pride (2014)

Gay activists in the UK work to support miners during their lengthy National Union of Mineworkers strike in the summer of 1984.

Pride film britbox
Photo: BBC

Award-winning comedy starring Ben Schnetzer, Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, George MacKay, Imelda Staunton and Paddy Considine.

Suffragette (2015)

In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanised into radical political activism supporting the right for women to vote.

Starring Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw.

The Duchess (2008)

A chronicle of the life of 18th-century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, who was reviled for her extravagant political and personal life.

Starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Hayley Atwell and Charlotte Rampling.

The Little Stranger (2018)

A gothic mystery film that tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor.

During the long hot summer of 1947, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants – mother, son and daughter – are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life.

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Will Poulter and Charlotte Rampling.

The Pursuit of Love (Season 1, 2021)

Set in Europe before World War II, the series follows the adventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett, and her best friend/cousin Fanny Logan.

Consumed by a desire for love and marriage, they both seek out the ideal husband.

Starring Lily James, Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Dominic West and Emily Mortimer.

Viceroy’s House (2017)

Lord Mountbatten, the final viceroy of India, is given the task of disbanding British rule and forming an independent Indian nation. While doing so, he meets with conflicts from both sides.

Starring Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Huma Qureshi, Manish Dayal, Om Puri and Michael Gambon.

Shelley (Seasons 1-4, 1979-1982, & 1980 Special

A perpetually unemployed, sardonic `freelance layabout’ with a doctoral degree battles with authority, the tax-man, his landlady and his girlfriend as he finds himself in all sorts of situations.

Starring Hywel Bennett, Belinda Sinclair and Josephine Tewson.

May 19

Murder By Decree (1979)

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders committed by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer.

Starring Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Donald Sutherland and David Hemmings.

Bodies (Seasons 1-2, 2004-2006)

The critically acclaimed medical drama created by Jed Mercurio (of Line of Duty fame).

A young registrar, Rob Lake starts work under established gynaecologist Roger Hurley whom he finds to be an affable man. All is not as it first appears, however, and Lake soon develops grave misgivings about his employer and his methods.

Bodies series BBC
Photo: BBC

Starring Max Beesley, Keith Allen, Tamzin Malleson and Patrick Baladi.

Cassandra’s Dream (2007)

The tale of two brothers with serious financial woes. When a third party proposes they turn to crime, things go badly and the two become enemies.

Starring Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Attwell and Sally Hawkins.

Kill Your Friends (2015)

Steven, an ambitious and drug addicted A&R scout, has been unable to find a new talent for a long time. Desperate, he resorts to extreme measures to salvage his career.

Starring Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Craig Roberts and Tom Riley.

Liberty of London (Season 1, 2013)

Take a peek behind the scenes of London’s iconic Liberty department store. Founded in 1875, Liberty has a historic reputation as a purveyor of posh, extravagant, and eccentric wares.

This fascinating series offers a revealing look at the staff, customers, and would-be designers who make Liberty a London landmark.

Lost in La Mancha (2002)

Visionary director Terry Gilliam has a dream. He wants to film the classic story of Don Quixote by recasting it as a trippy, time-travelling, mistaken-identity adventure with Johnny Depp as Quixote.

After struggling for years to get financing, insurance and a cast in place, Gilliam travels to Spain and promptly watches his dream fall apart. From flash floods to cast no-shows to serious injuries, Gilliam and his crew suffer one setback after another.

Documentary starring Johnny Depp, Jean Rochefort and Jeff Bridges.

Smother (Season 1, 2021)

On the rugged coast of County Clare, Val Ahern’s husband is found dead at the foot of a cliff the morning after a family party. The matriarch starts to dig into the family’s secrets to find out who might be responsible.

Irish thriller series Starring Dervla Kirwan, Dean Fagan, Niamh Walsh and Seana Kerslake.

The Missing (Seasons 1-2, 2014-2016)

Tony and Emily Hughes go to France on a holiday with their five-year-old son Oliver. However, when their car breaks down one night in a small town, Tony suddenly loses sight of his son.

The second season follows french investigator Julien Baptiste as he works on a new case.

Starring James Nesbitt, Tchéky Karyo, Laura Fraser and Keeley Hawes.

Vincent (Seasons 1-2, 2005-2006)

Exciting, fast-paced crime drama series starring Ray Winstone as Vincent Gallagher, head of a team of private investigators who are the last resort for troubled people with nowhere left to turn.

Also featuring Suranne Jones, Joe Absolom, Philip Glenister and Ian Puleston-Davies.

Chance in a Million (Seasons 1-3, 1984-1986)

Tom Chance is frequently the victim of unlikely circumstances, although he cares little about this and is, in fact, largely oblivious to much of what happens around him. He even meets his long-suffering girlfriend, Alison Little, by pure chance.

Starring Brenda Blethyn, Simon Callow, Deddie Davies and Hugh Walters.

The Curse (Season 1, 2022)

Crime-comedy caper from Tom Davis, James De Frond, Steve Stamp, Allan Mustafa and Hugo Chegwin.

In 1980s East London, a gang of hopeless crooks become embroiled in a major gold heist. 

Crime Scene Documentaries Collection

No Body Recovered (2021)

In January 2020, father of three Mike O’Leary disappeared on his way home from work. Police immediately launched an investigation. But how do you solve a mystery without a body?

Psychopath with Piers Morgan (2019)

Piers Morgan ventures behind bars for an encounter with diagnosed psychopath Paris Bennett.

The Killing of PC Harper: A Widow’s Fight for Justice (2022)

Documentary with Sir Trevor McDonald about the brutal killing of PC Andrew Harper, the investigation to catch his killers and the campaign to change the law by his grieving widow, Lissie.

The Trial of Louise Woodward (2021)

Documentary revisiting the gripping and controversial trial of Louise Woodward, a British nanny accused of murdering an American baby in her care.

Confessions of a Serial Killer with Piers Morgan (Season 1, 2019)

Through intense prison interviews, Piers Morgan revisits the crimes of three convicted serial killers and learns more about their motives.

In the Footsteps of Killers (Season 1, 2021)

Emilia Fox and Professor David Wilson, Britain’s leading criminologist, investigate famous unsolved murder cases.

By visiting the scenes of the crimes and reinvestigating the evidence, they attempt to get to the bottom of what really happened.

Murder in the Car Park (Season 1, 2020)

March 1987, a man lies dead in a south London pub car park, an axe in his head.

This true crime docudrama series examines the still unsolved murder of private detective Daniel Morgan.

Agatha Christie Film Collection

Following the successful launch of Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? Hugh Laurie’s original Agatha Christie series adaptation, BritBox is bringing a collection of classic Christie films:

And Then There Were None (1974)

Ten people are invited to a hotel in the Iranian desert, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?

Starring Oliver Reed, Elke Sommer and Richard Attenborough.

Death on the Nile (1978)

A Belgian sleuth has a set of murder suspects on a boat in the Nile after a rich heiress and a few others are killed. Will he be able to find the culprit before they reach port?

Death on the Nile peter ustinov
Photo: BritBox

Starring Peter Ustinov, Angela Lansbury, Bette Davis and Mia Farrow.

Endless Night (1972)

A working-class young Englishman marries an affable American heiress, but their marital bliss is soon interrupted when they begin constructing a home on land alleged to be cursed.

Starring Hywel Bennett, Britt Ekland, Hayley Mills and Peter Bowles.

Evil Under the Sun (1982)

Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phoney diamond brings Hercule Poirot to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.

Starring Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg and James Mason.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

In December 1935, when his transcontinental luxury train is stranded by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before, with a multitude of suspects.

Starring Albert Finney, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall.

The Mirror Crack’d (1980)

Jane Marple, a detective, is called upon to solve a case when a local woman is poisoned to death. Everyone believes that the target was a visiting film star, but the clues indicate something else altogether.

Starring Kim Novak, Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson.

May 26

Accused of Murdering Our Son: The Steven Clark Story (2021)

Investigative documentary following the experience of an elderly couple accused of murdering their son, Steven Clark in 1992.

Buster (1988)

The true story of Great Train Robber Buster Edwards, a small-timer who fell in with more ambitious thieves.

After the gang robs a London to Glasgow Royal Mail train in 1963, he takes his family into hiding in Mexico but finds that money is no substitute for life back home.

Starring Phil Collins, Julie Walters, Larry Lamb and Sheila Hancock.

Just Good Friends (Seasons 1-3, 1983-1986, & Christmas Specials 1984, 1986

Former lovers meet again years after their original romance failed and decide to let the past go and establish a friendship, despite disapproval from friends and family.

Starring Jan Francis, Paul Nicholas and Sylvia Kay.

The Private Life of Samuel Pepys (2003)

Samuel Pepys was a high ranking and brilliant Admiralty official, but in private he was a cheat, a philanderer and an adulterer. In 1679 Pepys was put on trial for embezzling Navy funds. His diaries can clear him but they will also expose him for what he is, destroying him as a public figure in society.

Will Pepys exonerate yet damn himself by revealing the contents of his diaries or will he hang?

Starring Steve Coogan, Nathaniel Parker and Lou Doillon.

Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders (Season 1, 2022)

Documentary series exploring more than 20 unsolved murders and attempted murders linked to Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper.

Catching a Killer (Season 1, 2017)

Documentary series following the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit and their investigative and forensic work as they hunt for the criminal associated with a case, from crime to conviction.

Interview with a Murderer (2016)

Criminologist Prof David Wilson conducts a series of interviews with convicted murderer Bert Spencer, the man suspected of – yet never charged with – killing paperboy Carl Bridgewater in 1978.

Under the Volcano (1984)

The life of Geoffrey Firmin (Albert Finney) is a disaster from day to day. His incurable alcoholism has alienated his wife Yvonne (Jacqueline Bissett) and has brought disgrace to his office and reputation.

The Consul, as he is known to locals, is a relic out of place in Mexico and at the eve of the Second World War, he is behind the times. A desperate prayer is seemingly answered when Yvonne returns to his life on the Day of the Dead festival, yearning to reconcile with Firmin.

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