Folks say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Not so when it comes to Brit TV this month, because it starts and ends with roaring successes.
Inspired by real news, this four-part miniseries centers on the Finchley family — beloved comedian Paul (Robbie Coltrane, Harry Potter), his devoted wife Marie (Julie Walters, Harry Potter), and their troubled daughter Dee (Andrea Riseborough, Birdman) — following his arrest for an alleged historic rape. Read “National Treasure: Ripped-from-the-UK-Headlines Miniseries Premiering in the US” for further details. National Treasure, a Hulu Original Series, debuts on this side of the pond on Wednesday, 1 March 2017, exclusively on Hulu. (Pictured L-R: Riseborough, Coltrane, Walters — Photo courtesy of Hulu)
DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his new sidekick DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix, Marcella) (pictured L-R) investigate several murders in England’s deadliest (fictional) county when this fan-favorite mystery series returns with four new feature-length episodes. Guest stars include Hugh Dennis (Outnumbered), Neil Morrissey (Striking Out, see below), Susan Jameson (New Tricks), and Aisling Loftus (Mr. Selfridge), as well as Jason Hughes, who reprises his role as DI Ben Jones in one episode. Midsomer Murders: Series 19, Part 1 premieres in the US on Monday, 6 March 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV. (Photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Spoilers ahead. Picking up days after the events of the shocking Season 4 finale, the final season finds Capt. Homer Jackson (Adam Rothenberg), Det. Insp. Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen), and Long Susan (MyAnna Buring) (pictured L-R) reunited to bring Det. Insp. Bennet Drake’s (Jerome Flynn) murderer to justice. It won’t be easy, as they’re on the run from the law, including Asst. Comm. Augustus Dove (Killian Scott, Call the Midwife) and H Division’s new leader, Det. Insp. Jedediah Shine (Joseph Mawle in this recurring role). Featuring Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood), Ripper Street: Season 5 premieres in the US on Wednesday, 8 March 2017, at 11 PM ET, on BBC America. (Photo by Bernard Walsh)
Top Gear: Season 24
Hosts Chris Harris, Matt LeBlanc, and Rory Reid (pictured L-R) return for a new season, which find them on road trips in Cuba, Kazakhstan, South Korea, and the US wild west, and reviewing the Aston Martin DB11, Bugatti Chiron, Ferrari FXX K, Ford GT, and an “eight-wheeled, all-terrain monster from Russia.” Featuring appearances from German race ace Sabine Schmitz, F1 pundit Eddie Jordan, and The Stig, as well as actor James McAvoy, amongst other guests, Top Gear: Season 24 premieres in the US on Sunday, 12 March 2017, at 8 PM ET, on BBC America. (Image courtesy of BBC America)
The continent of Australia has more than 8000 islands, and this new three-part documentary lets us travel along with Martin Clunes (Doc Martin, pictured) to 16 of them, including Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Restoration Island, the Murion Islands, Tiwi Islands, Abrolhos Islands, Phillip Island, and Maria Island. Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia premieres in the US on Monday, 13 March 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV. (Photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
This new scripted drama is a Crackle Original Series based on the awesome film of the same name. The ten-parter centers on a group of up-and-coming hustlers who stumble upon a truckload of stolen gold bullion and are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime. (But will there be pigs?) Starring Luke Pasqualino (The Musketeers) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), Snatch premieres Thursday, 16 March 2017, exclusively on Crackle. My review is coming soon. (Pictured L-R: Lucien Laviscount as Billy Ayres, Luke Pasqualino as Albert Hill, Phoebe Dynevor as Lotti Mott, and Rupert Grint as Charlie Cavendish-Scott — Photo by Matt Squire/Crackle)
Striking Out (Ireland)
The new #1 drama in Ireland follows the life of Tara Rafferty (Amy Huberman, The Clinic, pictured far right) a successful solicitor with a prestigious Dublin firm who leaves it and her fellow-lawyer fiancé after she finds him in bed with a colleague. Rather than get a new job, she opens her own private practice. Costarring Neil Morrissey (Line of Duty) and Rory Keenan (War & Peace), Striking Out, an Acorn TV Original Series, premieres in the US on Friday, 17 March 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV. My review is coming soon. (Photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Written and directed by BAFTA Awards winner Sally Wainwright (Last Tango in Halifax), this tele-film tells the story of the Brontë sisters — Charlotte (Finn Atkins, Starlings), Anne (Charlie Murphy, Happy Valley), and Emily (Chloe Pirrie, War & Peace) — and how they evolved to become literary sensations in the 1840s. Featuring Adam Nagaitis (Banished) as their brother Branwell and Jonathan Pryce (Taboo) as their father Patrick, To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters premieres in the US on Sunday, 26 March 2017, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings) My review is coming soon. (Photo courtesy of Gary Moyes/BBC and Masterpiece)
Similar to National Treasure, this miniseries is inspired by headlines. Unlike the drama, this show is a comedy. It stars Ben Miller (I Want My Wife Back, pictured center) as Dan Hern, a whistle-blower forced to seek asylum in the El Rican embassy after leaking sensitive information about CIA cover-ups. Being trapped here for a year has left the irritating Hern desperately bored while his El Rican hosts, MI6, and the CIA want nothing him out of the embassy and extradited. Asylum premieres in the US on Monday, 27 March 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV. (Photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Set in Galway and based on the novels by Irish author Ken Bruen, this crime drama stars Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, pictured) as the eponymous former cop-turned-private eye. The third season includes three new feature-length TV movies whose stories center on the crucifixion of a young man (Cross), the kidnapping of an old enemy (Nemesis), and the theft of valuable corporate data (In Purgatory). Jack Taylor: Set 3 begins streaming Monday, 27 March 2017, on Acorn TV. My review is coming soon. (Photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
This eight-part drama about prostitution in the 18th century stars Samantha Morton (The Last Panthers) as Margaret Wells, a mum and brothel owner who must fight back after she comes under attack by rival madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville, River). Costarring Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Harlots, a Hulu Original Series, premieres in the US on Wednesday, 29 March 2017, exclusively on Hulu. My review is coming soon. (Photo: Holli Dempsey as Emily Lacey, by Liam Daniel/Hulu)
After their excursion to Europe, petty criminals Ricky (Robb Wells), Bubbles (Mike Smith), and Julian (John Paul Tremblay) — aka the f***ing Trailer Park Boys (pictured L-R) — are back in Nova Scotia’s (fictional) Sunnyvale Trailer Park for more booze-filled scams and misadventures in this popular mockumentary. Trailer Park Boys: Season 11, a Netflix Original series, premieres in the US on Friday, 31 March 2017, exclusively on Netflix. (Photo © Swearnet)
The first three of the programs below premiere on local public TV stations starting in March 2017. The others roll out to additional stations this month, following their earlier debuts in select cities. Schedules vary from market to market, so check your local listings for details about air dates and times. To find out if, or to confirm that, a program will be shown in your city, contact the public TV station that serves your area.
Based on Caroline Graham‘s “Chief Inspector Barnaby” novels, Series 12 is the penultimate season starring John Nettles as DCI Tom Barnaby. In seven stories Barnaby and DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) (pictured L-R) investigate more grisly murders in the seemingly idyllic but deadly (fictional) Midsomer County. Guest stars include Jenny Agutter (Call The Midwife), Bertie Carvel (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell), Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), and Peter Davison (Doctor Who). Midsomer Murders: Series 12 is confirmed for airing on the following stations and regional networks. (Photo courtesy of American Public Television)
The wealthy (and dysfunctional) Bligh clan is the poster family for “money doesn’t buy happiness” and “it’s complicated,” the latter of which also applies to the life of nurse Sarah Nordmann, née Adams (Marta Dusseldorp, pictured). Will love trump hate in the family? Will marriages survive? Will there be a happily ever after? You gotta watch this addictive drama to find out. For further details about A Place to Call Home: Season 4 and the list of stations airing it, read this article. (Photo courtesy of American Public Television)
The Royal Good Guys
This inspiring documentary explores the philanthropic work done by the British royal family, which currently supports around 3000 charities in the UK and around the world. It focuses on the efforts of Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry (pictured right), who have started charities for causes close to their hearts. For further details and a list of the public TV stations airing the program, read “The Royal Good Guys: Princes of the Palace Help Millions through Philanthropy.” (Photo courtesy of American Public Television)
Get ready for another season of murder mysteries set in the sun and warmth of Saint Marie… and the cold greyness of London? Yup. The hit Brit mystery (Britstery?) leaves the Caribbean for the first time and DI Humphrey (Kris Marshall, pictured center) solves his last case with the team, who then begin working with DI Jack Mooney (Ardal O’Hanlon, My Hero). Death in Paradise: Series 6 premieres Thursday, 16 March 2017, at 9 PM PT, on KCET. Check with your local station about carriage and air dates and times. (Photo courtesy of KCET)
Created and co-written by Tony Jordan (Life on Mars), this clever and star-studded period drama brings many of Charles Dickens‘ characters into the same setting for a story that includes the murder of Jacob Marley (Peter Firth, MI-5). Featuring Stephen Rea (War & Peace, pictured) as Inspector Bucket, Ned Dennehy (Glitch) as Ebeneezer Scrooge, Anton Lesser (Endeavour) as Fagin, and Pauline Collins (Bleak House) as Mrs. Gamp, Dickensian has already debuted in the US on public TV stations like WXEL; other stations will begin airing the 20-episode series this month. Check with the one in your area to find out if it will be airing it, too. (Photo courtesy of BBC Worldwide)
MORE PROGRAMS ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
Julia McKenzie (Agatha Christie’s Marple) and Anton Rodgers (May to December) (pictured) star in this popular Britcom from the ’80s as empty nesters Hester and William Fields. With the challenge of daily parenting behind them, she takes on self-improvement projects with varying degrees of success and manages to take her staid accountant husband along for the (bumpy) ride. Fresh Fields: Series 1-4 begins streaming Monday, 6 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
This award-winning, fan-favorite legal dramedy stars Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing, pictured) as Cleaver Greene, a charming, witty, and brilliant barrister battling self-destructive tendencies while defending clients who are probably guilty. Guest stars include Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters), Sam Neill (Tutankhamun), Noah Taylor (Deep Water), and Hugo Weaving (The Lord of the Rings films). Rake: Series 1 begins streaming Monday, 6 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
Directed by Adrian Sibley (Baz Luhrmann: The Show Must Go On) and narrated by Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding), this documentary takes viewers on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at The Ivy, one of the world’s most eminent and unique culinary establishments, as it embarks on its first major renovation in 25 years. Located in London’s West End, The Ivy is renowned for its dining experience (check out the recipe book), décor, and star-studded clientele, which includes luminaries of theatre, film, and television. The Ivy begins streaming Monday, 13 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
This award-winning Britcom stars Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) as Gary, a flat owner who shares it first with the irrepressible Dermot (Harry Enfield, The Windsors, in Series 1) (pictured R-L) and later the womanizing Tony (Neil Morrissey, Line of Duty). Foolishness in their man cave abounds, especially when Gary’s girlfriend Dorothy (Caroline Quentin, Blue Murder) and upstairs neighbor Deborah (Leslie Ash, Where the Heart Is) are around. The complete series of Men Behaving Badly begins streaming Monday, 13 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
Four in a Bed: Series 1
Four pairs of B&B owners compete in this series by taking turns staying at each other’s establishments and rating their stays — from the cleanliness and furnishings to the breakfasts — with the winner being the B&B deemed the best value for the money. Series 1 features hoteliers based in Oxfordshire, South Wales, and Edinburgh. Four in a Bed: Series 1 begins streaming Monday, 20 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia
Historian Lucy Worsley (The Art of the English Murder, Tales From the Royal Wardrobe, pictured) presents this fascinating documentary about the Romanovs, the dynasty that ruled Russia for more than three centuries. From Peter the Great to Nicholas II, Worsley reveals stories of betrayal, scandal, and murder that helped shape both the influential dynasty and European history. Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia begins streaming Monday, 27 March 2017, on Acorn TV.
(All photos in this section courtesy of Acorn TV)
Based on a true incident and adapted from Jonathan Smith’s novel, The Churchill Secret: KBO, this feature-length drama stars Michael Gambon (Harry Potter films) as the British statesman in his most difficult hour: following a stroke that he seeks to keep hidden from the world. The cast features Romola Garai (The Hour) as Churchill’s nurse, Millie, and Lindsay Duncan (The Honourable Woman) as his wife Clemmie. Churchill’s Secret begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Saturday, 11 March 2017.
The third season of this Golden Globe®-nominated sci-fi thriller finds Sarah (Tatiana Maslany, pictured) and her clone sisters starting to piece together the complex conspiracy behind the shadowy Dyad Institute. But the discovery of Project Castor — a top-secret military project producing highly-trained male clones — throws their lives back into turmoil. Orphan Black: Season 3 begins streaming as an Amazon Prime Video offering on Thursday, 16 March 2017.
(All photos in this section courtesy of Amazon)
For updates about March 2017 program offerings, see the British TV Viewing Guide.