Costumes and crime on BritBox in May

Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke), Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) and Mary Parker (Kate Ashfield) in Sanditon. Photo by Joss Barratt

READY for some seaside escapism? The much-awaited second season of Sanditon lands exclusively on BritBox on May 12, express from the UK, setting Jane Austen fans’ hearts a-flutter. Plus, the gripping crime drama Bloodlands, starring James Nesbitt, also debuts this month.

The first-season finale of Sanditon left fans wondering if there was a future for this charming Jane Austen-inspired period drama. Now we see feisty heroine Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams, Curfew) returning to the seaside, joined by her sister, Alison (Rosie Graham, Outlander). Prepare to meet a number of intriguing and mysterious ew characters!

Esther Denham (Charlotte Spencer), Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and Colonel Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones). Photo by Joss Barratt

Season two continues to follow the lives and loves of Sanditon’s residents, spiced up by romance, humour and plenty of plot twists and turns. It picks up nine months after the events of season one, with Charlotte in mourning and heiress Georgiana Lambe (Crystal Clarke, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) fending off gold-diggers. New suitors on the radar are the dashing Colonel Francis Lennox (Tom Weston-Jones, Grace), the wealthy Alexander Colbourne (Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Industry) and artist Charles Lockhart (Alexander Vlahos, Versailles).

From Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio comes the ratings smash hit Bloodlands, a noir crime series set in Northern Ireland, already renewed for a second season, and starring James Nesbitt as a veteran detective who delves into his own dark past to try and solve a cold case with personal significance. Watch from May 26.

Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt), Niamh McGovern (Charlene McKenna), Bloodlands. Photo by Steffan Hill

Detective Tom Brannick connects a car pulled from the sea to a series of disappearances – including that of his wife, 20 years earlier. What ensues is a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase as Brannick sets off on the trail of a notorious serial killer.

The four-part series was the BBC’s most-watched drama launch in Northern Ireland, where it is set. The strong supporting cast includes Charlene McKenna (Peaky Blinders), Lorcan Cranitch (The Last Kingdom) and Kathy Kiera Clarke (Derry Girls).

Remember Blankety Blank? The long-running British comedy game show, which has been hosted by Terry Wogan and David Walliams in the past, is back with 10 new episodes. The reboot, hosted by Bradley Walsh, brings this beloved family series back to life from May 5 for a new generation of fans.

Blankety Blank with Bradley Walsh

Walsh (The Larkins, The Chase, Law & Order: UK) hosts a panel of six celebrities as they do their best to fill in the missing blanks and help hopeful contestants win incredible prizes in one of the most light-hearted and entertaining game shows around.

The box-set binge for this month is all five seasons of the multi-award-winning comedy spoof Episodes, starring Matt LeBlanc as a satirical version of himself in a Hollywood remake of a successful British sitcom – with hilarious results. All five seasons will be available from May 5.

From left to right: Stephen Megan, Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Grieg in Episodes

Written by visionary creators David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You), LeBlanc plays an outrageous version of himself – a dazzling, multifaceted role for which he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy. Stephen Mangan (Green Wing, Dirk Gently) and Tamsin Greig (Black Books, Friday Night Dinner), two of the crown jewels of British comedy, are Sean and Beverly Lincoln, an English couple whose BAFTA-winning sitcom is being remade for US audiences and corrupted beyond recognition.

Rounding off May’s fresh offerings is one for footie fans, on May 19. The film United, based on the true story of Manchester United’s “Busby Babes” and the aftermath of the 1958 Munich air disaster, stars David Tennant as assistant manager Jimmy Murphy and Jack O’Connell as the young Bobby Charlton.

Brogan West as David Pegg and Sam Caflin as Duncan Edwards, in United

Whether or not you’re a fan of the Red Devils, this acclaimed 2011 sports docudrama, an inspirational story of a football team, a community and a nation overcoming tragedy, will impress with its poignant storytelling. Also starring Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, The North Water) as Bobby Charlton and Ben Peel (The Fall) as Harry Gregg.

The BritBox app is available on Android TV, including enabled Smart TVs, Google Chromecast with GoogleTV, Nvidia Shield, MiBox and MiStick, plus Android and Apple mobile/tablets, FireTV, Samsung Smart TV and LG Smart TV. Enjoy one week’s free trial, sign up at R99.99 per month or R999.99 for 12 months, and register for email updates here.


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