GET ready for the silly season as BritBox loads up a stocking bulging with Christmas episodes of your favourite British TV shows, ready for audiences to binge alongside their Christmas pud.
Catch Yuletide specials of vintage sitcom My Family, as well as a new and exclusive Christmas episode of Beyond Paradise. Plus, Annika fans are in for a treat as the second season featuring the witty Scandinavian maritime detective lands, just in time for your December holiday binge-fest.
Here’s a tasty festive treat: the long-running BritBox favourite Doc Martin gets a fitting send-off in Farewell Doc Martin, an intimate behind-the-scenes documentary that follows the cast and crew as they shoot the 10th and final season. Travel to Cornwall as Martin Clunes’s grumpy GP hangs up his stethoscope for the last time – it’s the perfect parting gift.
That’s not all: the inimitable Jason Isaacs portrays Hollywood legend Cary Grant in the stirring biopic Archie, and the Midsomer Murders detectives are back to tackle more deadly mysteries in the English countryside.
- My Family Christmas Specials (new to BritBox, 2005, 2008, 2009), December 1
There’s a reason why Christmas is often called the silly season – just ask the Harpers. In the 2005 Christmas Special (… And I’ll Cry If I Want To), the Harper family Christmas looks like being even more fearsome than usual for Ben, as Susan is giving grandson Kenzo a third birthday party to remember.
The 2008 festive edition (Have an Unhappy Christmas) sees Ben’s efforts to buy Susan’s Christmas present getting him into trouble, while a letter for Susan means a change of holiday plans for everyone.
In the 2009 Christmas special (2039: A Christmas Oddity), we fast-forward to December 2039, as the Harpers gather to celebrate Christmas. With a “greed gift exchange”, a rival cousin and a Nativity play battle, there may not be too much room for peace and goodwill.
The complete My Family box set will soon be available to binge on BritBox because…
- My Family Seasons 5 to 11 (new to BritBox), December 7
With the addition of seven more seasons, you can now binge all 11 seasons of one of the UK’s most-watched and most-beloved sitcoms on BritBox – a true holiday treat. My Family stars multi-award-winning actors Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker as dentist Ben Harper and his wife Susan – who are certainly loving parents, they just have problems showing it. And when you meet their dysfunctional kids, you begin to understand why! Immerse yourself in this long-running sitcom with its quirky humour and discover why it’s still adored by audiences around the world.
- Archie (new and exclusive BritBox Original), two episodes weekly on 7 and 14 December
BAFTA Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and executive producer Jeff Pope brings the remarkable, little-known story of the formative years of Hollywood superstar Cary Grant to screens in the much-anticipated BritBox Original Archie.
One of the 20th century’s most iconic figures, Cary Grant touched the world with his charm, wit and grace. But few knew Archie Leach, the man behind the name, and the enormous challenges he overcame on his path to stardom. From his troubled childhood to the one overpowering lie that shaped his life, this surprising and emotional drama captures the struggles, fears, loves and losses of Archie Leach – a man who couldn’t be further from the character he invented to save himself. Starring Jason Isaacs (The OA, Harry Potter, Black Hawk Down) in the title role and executive produced by Jennifer Grant, Cary Grant’s daughter, and Dyan Cannon, his ex-wife.
Archie also stars Laura Aikman (Bluestone 42, Gavin and Stacey) as Cary’s ex-wife Dyan Cannon with Harriet Walter (Succession, Ted Lasso, Killing Eve) as Elsie Leach, Cary’s mother. Dainton Anderson (Patrick Melrose), Calam Lynch (Bridgerton) and Oaklee Pendergast (Home) will play young versions of Archie Leach and Kara Tointon (Mr Selfridge, The Halcyon, Sound of Music Live) will play young Elsie.
- Farewell Doc Martin (new and exclusive to BritBox), December 7
As the camera rolled for the final time on the beloved Doc Martin after 18 years and 10 seasons, this once-off documentary goes behind the scenes to reveal the process of making the last instalment of the hugely successful series about the UK’s favourite grumpy medic, starring Martin Clunes (Manhunt, Men Behaving Badly).
From scripting and pre-production of the final season to shooting and delivery, meet the cast behind the colourful characters that live and work in the picturesque Cornish town of Portwenn, the crew members behind the camera, the residents of Port Isaac, the show’s real-life setting, and the visitors who come solely because Doc Martin filmed there.
In this documentary narrated by Caroline Catz, who plays Doc Martin’s wife Louisa, we follow this iconic show’s incredibly successful journey and bid farewell to the cantankerous medic and the village locals one final time – it’s going to be an epic and emotional send-off!
- Midsomer Murders season 15 (2012, new to BritBox), December 14
Settle in for more murder and mystery in the picturesque English countryside. Season 15 of Midsomer Murders sees Neil Dudgeon (Son of Rambow, The Messiah) return as DCI John Barnaby, supported by Ben Jones (Jason Hughes – Death in Paradise, Marcella) and pathologist Dr Bullard (Barry Jackson – Silent Witness, Kavanagh QC).
In the first feature-length episode, The Dark Rider, Barnaby and Jones are called in when the appearance of a headless horseman at Quitewell Hall foreshadows a number of deaths among the aristocratic DeQuetteville family. Meanwhile, the family stages a Civil War re-enactment with their hostile neighbours, stirring up historic battles. Can the detective duo uncover the truth about the DeQuettevilles and the ghostly rider in order to prevent more murders?
- Annika season two (new and exclusive to BritBox), December 21
A second season of the hit detective drama Annika launches exclusively on BritBox in December, based on the hugely successful BBC Radio 4 drama written by Nick Walker. Season two sees the return of Nicola Walker (The Split, Unforgotten) as DI Annika Strandhed and Jamie Sives (Guilt, Frontier) as DS Michael McAndrews.
Annika follows a sharp, witty and enigmatic Scandinavian detective (Walker), as she leads the specialist Marine Homicide Unit (MHU), tasked with investigating the unexplained, brutal and seemingly unfathomable murders that wash up in the waterways of Scotland.
Throughout the series, Annika makes the audience her confidante by breaking the fourth wall and sharing her wry observations on the cases and her life, as she manages her brilliant yet unconventional team, and her equally brilliant yet complex teenage daughter, Morgan (Silvie Furneaux – Limbo).
Coming to BritBox in December – the option to download all your favourite titles onto your IoS mobile devices, ready for the holiday season. So, you can binge your favourite boxsets and download new titles to view offline, wherever you’re spending Christmas. Android downloads are expected to follow shortly. Just remember to update your device with the latest BritBox app version.
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, and DStv. 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.