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There’s always something happening in the realm of British TV (and Canadian TV, too). Here are a few tidbits.

British TV news bits

Black Doves

Created and written by Joe Barton (Giri/Haji, The Lazarus Project), Black Doves is an action-filled spy thriller starring two-time Oscar® nominee Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game, Pride & Prejudice), Primetime Emmy® winner Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal, This is Going to Hurt), and two-time BAFTA winner Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax).

The cast also includes Andrew Buchan (Carnival Row), Andrew Koji (Warrior), Kathryn Hunter (Andor), Sam Troughton (Chernobyl), Ella Lily Hyland (Fifteen Love), Adam Silver (The Diplomat) Ken Nwosu (Look the Other Way and Run), Gabrielle Creevy (In My Skin), and Omari Douglas (Rye Lane).

Set against the backdrop of London at Christmas, the six-part series follows Helen Webb (Keira Knightley), a quick-witted, down-to-earth, dedicated wife and mother — and a professional spy. For ten years she’s been passing on her politician husband’s secrets to the shadowy organization she works for: the Black Doves. When her secret lover, Jason (Andrew Koji), is assassinated, her spymaster, the enigmatic Reed (Sarah Lancashire), calls in Helen’s old friend, Sam Young (Ben Whishaw), to keep her safe.

Sam is a suave, champagne-drinking assassin. But having been out of the game since a failed job with disastrous consequences, he’s come home to a London that’s moved on without him. As his past threatens to catch up with him, Sam’s task is to protect Helen as she investigates who killed Jason and why. Together they set off on a mission that will lead them to uncover a vast, interconnected conspiracy — one that links the murky underworld of London to a looming geopolitical crisis — and to question the cost of the moral choices they’ve made.

Netflix hasn’t set the global premiere date for Black Doves yet; stay tuned for updates.


Letterkenny S10For fans of this hilarious, award-winning Canadian comedy series, the news about the new season is bittersweet: Season 12 is coming soon, but it’s the final season. Created by and starring Jared Keeso (Shoresy, 19-2), the rated TV-MA series, set in the fictional rural town of Letterkenny in Ontario, revolves around the goings-on in the lives of its quirky residents. Letterkenny: Season 12 premieres in Canada on Christmas Day, Monday, December 25, on Crave, and in the US on Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26, on Hulu. (Photo: Jared Keeso as Wayne, K. Trevor Wilson as Dan, Nathan Dales as Daryl in Letterkenny — Photo credit: Lindsay Sarazin / Hulu)

Make It at Market

This feel-good reality series is returning with a new season. Filmed in Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire, Series 2 sees presenter Dom Chinea (the metal work expert on The Repair Shop) and his team of business and craft experts help a new group of budding entrepreneurs make a living from their crafting hobbies, such as Des, a former teacher looking to make a career in willow weaving; Hayley, a mum who would like to change her family’s fortunes with her upholstery business; and Will, a colorblind pointillism artist. They and the other talented hobbyists, which include blacksmiths, jewelers, potters and upcyclers, are all teamed up with an expert mentor to provide practical making tips and straight-talking advice.

The mentors assess if the amateur craftspeople have what it takes before they head off into the real world to make some cash from their craft. The high-volume challenge tests if the makers can produce saleable items quickly and cheaply; the high-end piece is something that takes longer to make, uses expensive materials, and carries a high price tag; and the favorite piece is the one each loves to make the most, but can it be a profitable part of their business? (Trailer is from Season 1)

Season 1 of Make It at Market is currently available for streaming in North America on BritBox and in the UK on BBC iPlayer. Season 2 premieres Monday, 27 November, on BBC One. BritBox has not announced yet if it will screen the second season; stay tuned for updates.

Out There

With Doc Martin having concluded its ten-season run, actor Martin Clunes has been filming Out There, a new thriller written by Ed Whitmore (Manhunt) and Marc Evans (Manhunt). Set in the Welsh countryside, the drama stars Clunes as Nathan Williams, a man who runs a farm that has been in his family for generations. A single parent to teenager Johnny (Louis Ashbourne Serkis, The Kid Who Would Be King), Nathan is caught in a numbing rhythm of work and grief following the death of his wife, Sabine, two years ago — and possessing enough pent-up energy to take on the gangs that threaten to engulf his son.

Nathan’s missed all the clues that the country idyll around him has been fatally compromised, contaminated by waves of criminality spreading and mutating virus-like from the city. The land that he cherishes is being stealthily, surreptitiously invaded, and his livelihood, homestead, and family life are being threatened by local county lines drugs dealers — essentially urban gangs using the British countryside as a field of operations, moving drugs and money between their inner-city hubs and provincial areas.

Now Nathan must accept that the rustic atmosphere of his childhood is long gone, and embark on a personal journey that will take him way out of his comfort zone into a dark, alternative world to fight back and protect his family, his homestead, and his legacy.

Commissioned by ITV and ITVX, Out There will be shown in the UK on both channels (date tba). There’s been no word about a US linear or streaming channel picking it up; stay tuned for updates.


Another ITV commissions is Protection, a new thriller miniseries based on the first-hand experiences of a witness protection specialist who served in the Met for 30 years, during which he looked after a number of high-profile cases and informants, including war criminals, terrorists, and criminals of all kinds.

Created and written by Kris Mrksa (The Murders at White House Farm, Glitch, Janet King, Devil’s Dust, Underbelly), the six-part series stars Siobhan Finneran (Happy Valley, Alma’s Not Normal, Time, The Stranger, A Confession) along with Nadine Marshall (Champion, Sherwood, Trigger Point) and Katherine Kelly (The Long Shadow, Bloods, Criminal: UK). The cast also includes Barry Ward (Bad Sisters), Chaneil Kular (Sex Education), David Hayman (Taboo), Nichola Burley (The Gold), and Akiya Henry (Silent Witness).

Protection is about what happens when the witness protection system breaks down. It follows Detective Inspector Liz Nyles (Siobhan Finneran), who finds herself at the heart of a breach — personally compromised by an affair with a colleague, but determined to fight back and uncover the true source of corruption within her unit to redeem herself, restore the reputation of her lover, and keep her witnesses safe (even if they don’t always deserve it).

Navigating the morally grey, clandestine world of witness protection, Liz’s mission to find the truth will take her deep into the heart of the criminal underbelly and beyond as she becomes more and more torn between caring for her family, remaining loyal to her lover, and carrying on her duty as a police officer.

Protection will premiere on ITV1 and be available for streaming on ITVX in 2024 (date tba). There’s been no word about a US linear or streaming channel picking it up; stay tuned for updates.

New British TV FAST Channels in the US

A few more British TV FAST channels have recently launched in the US. (For information about FAST — Free Advertising-supported Streaming Television — channels, read this article.)

From global independent TV and film production, digital, and distribution group All3Media International comes Gardening with Monty Don, a destination for outdoor-focused programming from world-renowned horticulturalist and author Monty Don; Great British Menu, one of the UK’s longest-running cooking competition series; and Fifth Gear, a lively magazine series devoted to automobiles.

Gardener's World S10Content on the 24/7 Gardening with Monty Don FAST channel includes a variety of beautifully-filmed, richly-informative gardening series and documentary specials, such as episodes of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World, the UK’s longest-running gardening series; the exclusive compilation series The Gardener’s Guide With Monty Don, featuring highlights from Gardeners’ World and newly-produced wraps from Monty; popular series Big Dreams, Small Spaces and My Dream Farm; and documentaries Adriatic Gardens, Secret History of the British Garden, and others that spotlight breathtaking gardens around the world. The Gardening with Monty Don FAST channel is available on Freevee, The Roku Channel, and Tubi. (Photo: Monty Don © BBC Studios and all3media international)

Great British Menu S6The Great British Menu FAST channel consists solely of episodes from Great British Menu, a competition series in which world-class chefs create delicious dishes, ones that focus only on local ingredients and spotlight British spirit at its best, as they battle it out around the UK for the opportunity to cook at prestigious-themed banquets. Past season-long themes include The Royal Family, London Olympics, Wimbledon Tennis’s 140th Anniversary, and the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service. Past judges include chef, writer, and program presenter Prue Leith (The Great British Baking Show); food writer and critic Matthew Fort; chef, broadcaster, and newly-published writer Andi Oliver; and restaurateur Oliver Peyton, with celebrity guest judges joining in on the fun. The Great British Menu FAST channel is available on Freevee and Tubi. (Photo: Oliver Peyton, Prue Leith, and Matthew Fort in Great British Menu © Andrew Hayes-Watkins)

Fifth Gear S21 Ep 12Fifth Gear is an enthusiastic, irreverent magazine series about everything automobiles, combining the best of new car reviews, second-hand bargains, and industry news with lighter feature pieces. The hosts are among the most knowledgeable authorities of cars on television — including former Le Mans winner Tiff Needell, multiple Touring Car champion Jason Plato, longtime racing car instructor Vicki Butler-Henderson, and serial gearhead and car buyer Jonny Smith. The team is joined by a different racing driver guest from a European territory in every episode, offering viewers first-hand insight into their world. The series also features its trademark cinematic visuals and rich mix of high-octane features filmed around the globe, with a blend of supercars, bumper-to-bumper racing, crash tests, and record attempts. The Fifth Gear FAST channel, available on Freevee, consists of episodes from Fifth Gear along with compilations drawn from material from across the series. (Photo: Vicki Butler-Henderson and Jonny Smith in Fifth Gear © North One Television and all3media international)

From British broadcaster Channel 4 comes two FAST channels: 4 Adventure and 4 Emergency. The 4 Adventure FAST channel features a range of reality and documentary programs centered on survival challenges and endurance, such as Shipwrecked and The Island With Bear Grylls. The 4 Emergency FAST channel gives stateside viewers a unique insight into the frontline of British health and emergency response systems, featuring programs such as 24 Hours In A&E, Emergency Helicopter Medics, Emergency Rescue: Air, Land & Sea, and Paramedics: On the Frontline. Both the 4 Emergency and 4 Adventure FAST channels are available on Plex, Tubi, and Xumo Play.


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British TV News Bits: Black Doves, Out There, Protection & More