Summer’s here and the time is right for tuning into new and returning crime thrillers, documentaries, mysteries, period dramas, and sci-fi series, plus a competition show, from the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Jonathan Creek: Season 5 (UK)
This month kicks off with a double dose of Jonathan Creek, the hit mystery series starring Alan Davies (The Brief) as the eponymous magician-turned-businessman and amateur sleuth, now married to Polly (Sarah Alexander, Coupling) and living in her late parents’ house instead of his windmill. The fifth season’s three stories feature a locked-room mystery, a psychic’s prediction, and what seems to be a kidnapping victim’s teleportation. Jonathan Creek: Season 5 premieres in the US on Thursday, 1 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
Jonathan Creek: Daemons’ Roost (UK)
The 2016 Christmas special finds Jonathan helping returning client Stephen Belkin (Emun Elliott, The Paradise) and his second wife, Alison, after Nathan Clore (Ken Bones, Medici: Masters of Florence), her stepfather, has a stroke and can’t reveal the truth about how her family died when she was a child. Were they killed by the demonic forces that legand says inhabit Daemons’ Roost, Clore’s home, and how is this place linked to the death of Stephen’s first wife? Jonathan Creek: Daemon’s Roost premieres in the US on Thursday, 1 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
The Heart Guy: Series 1 (aka Doctor Doctor) (Australia)
Already renewed for a second season, this Doc Martin-esque Aussie medical drama stars Rodger Corser (Glitch) as Dr. Hugh Knight, a hedonistic heart surgeon who screws up royally and gets banned from surgical practice for a year. More salt on the wound is his having to work as a country GP in none other than his hometown of Whyhope in order to remain a doctor. It’s not that he can’t go home again; he just doesn’t want to be there. Further details about the show are here. The Heart Guy: Series 1 premieres in the US on Monday, 5 June 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV.
This fact-based drama stars Oscar® nominee Tim Roth (Rob Roy) as Reg Keys, who ran in the 2005 General Election as an anti-war independent candidate for MP of Sedgefield, a constituency held by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Reg’s entry into politics was spurred by the deaths of his son and five other soldiers in Iraq during an ambush. Costarring Anna Maxwell Martin (Midwinter of the Spirit), Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey), and Tim Bentinck (The Politician’s Husband), amongst others, Reg premieres in the US on Tuesday, 6 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
Debuting in the US on the same date as the 2017 General Election in the UK, this made-for-TV movie follows the events surrounding the UK’s hung parliament in 2010 and its aftermath, which involved the three main party leaders — Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell), Labour leader Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve, Rebus), and Conservative David Cameron (Mark Dexter, The Bletchley Circle) — attempting to form a government, in spite of their contrasting policies and personal beliefs. Coalition premieres in the US on Thursday, 8 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
Dark Matter: Season 3 (Canada)
Based on the comic book of the same name, this sci-fi drama returns with another season of adventures for the remainder of the crew of the derelict Raza spaceship. When we left the group of mercenaries in the Season 2 finale, they were facing another betrayal and more danger. How the cliffhanger gets resolved, we shall find out when Dark Matter: Season 3 premieres in the US on Friday, 9 June 2017, at 8 PM ET, on Syfy.
Wynonna Earp: Season 2 (Canada/US)
Another series based on a comic book is this supernatural horror drama starring Melanie Scrofano (The Listener) as the eponymous law woman, a cursed descendant of Wyatt Earp. With his revolver, she returned to Purgatory in Season 1 to send the revenants trapped there back to hell. But her work isn’t nearly done… Wynonna Earp: Season 2 premieres in the US on Friday, 9 June 2017, at 10 PM ET, on Syfy.
Orphan Black: Season 5 (Final) (Canada)
Tatiana Maslany (World Without End) finally won a Primetime Emmy® Award for her portrayal of clones Sarah, Cosima, Alison, Helena, Rachel, et al — two of whom engaged in an epic battle in the Season 4 finale, which sets up the ultimate showdown that brings this multiple award-winning sci-fi drama to a close. Orphan Black: Season 5 premieres in the US on Saturday, 10 June 2017, at 10 PM ET, on BBC America.
The Tunnel: Sabotage (Season 2) (UK/France)
Opening a year after the devastating Season 1 finale, the new season of this bilingual crime thriller finds English detective Karl Roebuck (International Emmy® winner Stephen Dillane, Game of Thrones) reuniting with the promoted French Police Commander Elise Wasserman (Clémence Poésy, Birdsong) to investigate a double kidnapping from a Channel Tunnel train and a fatal plane crash in the English Channel. The Tunnel: Sabotage premieres in the US on Thursday, 15 June 2017, at 9 PM ET, on PBS, with streaming available on all station-branded PBS platforms*.
Cardinal: Season 1 (Canada)
Adapted from the award-winning novel Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt, this crime thriller stars Golden Globes® nominee Billy Campbell (Once and Again) as John Cardinal and multiple-award winner Karine Vanasse (Revenge) as Lise Delorme, detectives investigating the murder of a young girl in Ontario’s Algonquin Bay. While they hunt for a serial killer, she conducts a secret investigation of her partner. Read more about this binge-worthy Canuck noir drama here. Cardinal: Season 1 premieres in the US on Friday, 16 June 2017, exclusively on Hulu.
The Great British Baking Show: Season 4 (aka The Great British Bakeoff: Series 7) (UK)
This is the final season with both Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood as judges and Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc as presenters. Contestants face off in the Signature, Technical, and Show-Stopper Challenges for Cake, Biscuits, Bread, Batter, Pastry, Botanical, Desserts, and Tudor. Those still standing compete in the Pâtisserie semi-final and Royal final before one is crowned Britain’s best amateur baker. The Great British Baking Show: Season 4 premieres in the US on Friday, 16 June 2017, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
Trooping the Colour
Get ready for the pomp and pageantry of the annual ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies, which also marks the official birthday of the British sovereign (in this case, Queen Elizabeth II). Trooping the Colour premieres in the US on Saturday, 17 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
My Mother and Other Strangers (UK)
Set in 1943 Northern Ireland, this drama follows the Coyne family — Rose (Hattie Morahan, The Bletchley Circle) and Michael (Owen McDonnell, Dominion Creek) and their three children — and their neighbors as they struggle to maintain a normal life after a US Army Air Force base with 4000 service personnel is set up in the middle of their rural parish. My Mother and Other Strangers premieres in the US on Sunday, 18 June 2017, at 8 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
Grantchester: Season 3 (UK)
The Season 2 finale left fans of this hit Brit mystery wondering if Sidney (BAFTA nominee James Norton, Happy Valley) and Amanda (Morven Christie, The A Word) would stay together. Well… And now Geordie’s (multiple-award winner Robson Green, Wire in the Blood) marriage isn’t tickety-boo either. Meanwhile, there are crimes aplenty for the vicar and the copper to solve. Based on James Runcie‘s “Granchester Mysteries” stories, Grantchester: Season 3 premieres in the US on Sunday, 18 June 2017, at 9 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
Loch Ness (aka The Loch) (UK)
Set against the backdrop of the world-famous loch, this Scottish noir crime thriller stars BAFTA nominee Laura Fraser (The Missing) as Detective Annie Redford, whose first murder case turns into the search for a serial killer. Costarring Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley), John Sessions (Mr. Holmes), Don Gilet (EastEnders), Gray O’Brien (Coronation Street), William Ash (The Tunnel), and Simone Lahbib (Wire in the Blood), Loch Ness, an Acorn TV Original Series, premieres in the US on Monday, 19 June 2017, exclusively on Acorn TV. (Pictured L-R: Laura Fraser and Siobhan Finneran, photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Walks with My Dog (UK)
This lifestyle series follows celebrities and their canine friends as they stroll across various parts of Britain and give viewers up-close glimpses of the gorgeous landscapes. From the Cornish coast to the Lake District, the program features Angela Griffin (Inspector Lewis), Bill Bailey (Black Books), and John Nettles (Midsomer Murders), amongst others. Walks with My Dog premieres in the US on Monday, 19, June 2017, on Acorn TV. (Pictured: John Nettles, photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
The Story of China with Michael Wood (UK)
Michael Wood (In Search of Myths and Heroes, The Story of India), one of my favorite historians and documentarians, returns to telly with a six-part series that explores the history of China, from its beginnings 4000 years ago, to revolution and the birth of the new China in the 20th century. The Story of China with Michael Wood premieres in the US on Tuesday, 20 June 2017, at 8 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
Inside No. 9: Seasons 2-3
One of my favorite new UK TV premieres in the US in 2014, this anthology series written by and starring Reece Shearsmith (The Widower) and Steve Pemberton (Whitechapel) returns with twelve new dark comedy stories. Amongst its long list of guest stars are Jack Whitehall (Decline and Fall), Sheridan Smith (Cilla), and David Warner (Wallander) in Season 2, and Jessica Raine (Jericho), Philip Glenister (The Level), and Alexandra Roach (No Offence) in Season 3. Inside No. 9: Seasons 2-3 premiere in the US on Wednesday, 21 June 2017, exclusively on BritBox.
Prime Suspect: Tennison (aka Prime Suspect 1973) (UK)
Introduced in Lynda La Plante‘s novel, Prime Suspect, the character of Jane Tennison returns to the small screen with Stefanie Martini (Doctor Thorne) in the role in this prequel to Prime Suspect (which starred Dame Helen Mirren). Set in 1973, the series follows Tennison, here a WPC with the Met, as she deals with workplace sexism and family disapproval while assisting in a murder investigation. Prime Suspect: Tennison premieres in the US on Sunday, 25 June 2017, at 10 PM ET, on PBS. (Check your local listings.)
I love this show! Based loosely on the “Hamish Macbeth Mystery” novels by M.C. Beaton, this Scottish dramedy stars Primetime Emmy® nominee and BAFTA winner Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty) as the eponymous policeman, the sole copper in the (fictional) Highland village of Lochdubh. Full of quirky, lovable characters and a delight to watch, it costars Ralph Riach (Fortitude), Brian Pettifer (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell), and Shirley Henderson (Happy Valley), amongst others. Additional details are here. Hamish Macbeth: Series 1-3 begins streaming for the first time in the US on Monday, 26 June 2017, on Acorn TV. (Pictured: Robert Carlyle, photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Broadchurch: Season 3 (Final) UK
The last-ever season of Broadchurch had to happen at some point. Too bad for us it’s this month. The final case that DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant, Doctor Who) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman, The Night Manager) investigate in the small seaside town is a serious sexual assault. Featuring Julie Hesmondhalgh (Happy Valley), Sarah Parish (Atlantis), Mark Bazeley (Home Fires), and Lenny Henry (The Syndicate), Broadchurch: Season 3 premieres in the US on Wednesday, 28 June 2017, at 10 PM ET, on BBC America.
Cleverman: Season 2 (Australia/New Zealand)
Opening six months after that intense Season 1 finale, Season 2 of this Peabody Award-nominated drama finds Koen (Hunter Page-Lochard, Wentworth) trying to unite the cultures of the Hairypeople and humans with his superhuman power as the Cleverman. Meanwhile, Jarrod Slade (multiple-award winner Iain Glen, Jack Taylor) has found a way to remove the DNA that gives the Hairies their power. Steeped in ancient Australian Aboriginal mythologies, Cleverman: Season 2 premieres in the US on Wednesday, 28 June 2017, at 10 PM ET, on SundanceTV.
Killjoys: Season 3 (Canada)
The Season 2 finale of this sci-fi action series left viewers with a lot of questions about what’s in store for the trio of interplanetary bounty hunters, which presumably will be answered when Killjoys: Season 3 premieres in the US on Friday, 30 June 2017, at 8 PM ET, on Syfy.
ADDITIONAL PREMIERES TO CONSIDER
TURN: Washington’s Spies: Season 4 (Final) (US)
The Season 3 finale brought spies on both sides of the Revolutionary War to the gallows, and the final season finds those on the side of the Continental Army continuing to risk all for freedom and the birth of America. Based on the book Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose and featuring a large and impressive cast of British actors, including lead Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), TURN: Washington’s Spies: Season 4 premieres Saturday, 17 June 2017, at 9 PM ET, on AMC.
Preacher: Season 2 (US)
Another American production with a predominantly British cast is this hilarious fantasy drama, adapted from the “Preacher” comic book series (which Stephen King said influenced his “Gunslinger” comics). It stars Dominic Cooper (Fleming) as Jesse Custer, a small-town preacher in Texas who gets inhabited by an alien entity and gains the power of “the word.” Featuring Ruth Negga (Love/Hate), Joseph Gilgun (Misfits), and Graham McTavish (Outlamder), the first season was a hoot and fans like me can’t wait for the second. Preacher: Season 2 premieres Monday, 19 June 2017, at 9 PM ET, on AMC.
MORE PROGRAMS ADDED TO STREAMING SERVICES
No Job for a Lady: Series 1-3 (Complete) (UK)
Penelope Keith (To the Manor Born) stars in this classic Britcom as Jean Price, a newly-elected Labour Party Member of Parliament. Balancing her work and family life is tricky, but trying to focus on the needs of her inner-city constituency while learning the ways of Westminster and dealing politely with chauvinist MPs is even tricker. No Job for a Lady: Series 1-3 begins streaming Monday, 5 June 2017, on Acorn TV.
The World’s Most Famous Train (UK)
This lifestyle documentary about the Venice Simplon-Orient Express takes viewers aboard the private luxury train during one 36-hour journey from London to Venice. Our guide of sorts is General Manager Pascal Deyrolle, whose job is to ensure that his 40 staffers deliver impeccable, five-star service to the 180 passengers. The World’s Most Famous Train begins streaming Monday, 5 June 2017, on Acorn TV.
First shown in the US on Masterpiece Theatre, this drama set during World War II stars Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited) as Lieutenant Brian Ash, an officer in the Royal Engineers whose job is to disarm and destroy unexploded bombs (UXBs) in London during the Blitz. Danger UXB begins streaming Monday, 12 June 2017, on Acorn TV. (Pictured L-R: Anthony Andrews and Maurice Roëves, photo courtesy of Acorn TV)
Two-time Oscar® nominee Julie Walters (Billy Elliot, Educating Rita) stars in this biopic as the late Marjorie “Mo” Mowlam, the English Labour MP and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. It was during her time as Northern Ireland Secretary that the historic Good Friday Peace Agreement was signed in 1998. Mo begins streaming Wednesday, 7 June 2017, on BritBox.
Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Celebration — BritBox will be releasing archival materials and documentaries on Saturday, 10 June 2017, in celebration of the Queen’s official birthday.
The League of Gentlemen
Jeremy Dyson (Psychobitches), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), Steve Pemberton (Happy Valley), and Reece Shearsmith (Chasing Shadows), aka the League of Gentlemen comedy troupe, wrote and starred in this dark comedy series that follows the lives of dozens of bizarre townspeople in the fictional town of Royston Vasey in Northern England. The League of Gentlemen begins streaming Tuesday, 27 June 2017, on BritBox.
Reece Shearsmith (An Adventure in Space and Time) and Steve Pemberton (Mapp & Lucia) team up again for this comedy-psychological horror series, which revolves around five rather odd characters who are connected by a mysterious blackmailer. Also featuring in the series are Daniel Kaluuya (Babylon), Daisy Haggard (Episodes), and Dawn French (The Vicar of Dibley), amongst others. Psychoville begins streaming Thursday, 29 June 2017, on BritBox.
TURN: Washington’s Spies: Season 3 (US)
If you’ve had this outstanding historical drama series (about the Culper Ring of spies during the American War of Independence) in your Netflix queue but haven’t watched it yet, fire it up now and binge-watch Season 1 and Season 2, because TURN: Washington’s Spies: Season 3 begins streaming Sunday, 4 June 2017, on Netflix. (Then jump right in to the Season 4 premiere, noted above.)
For updates about June 2017 program offerings, see the British TV Viewing Guide.