The weather outside may be frightful but there’s nothing more delightful than the upcoming slate from BritBox, the streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV offering the largest collection of unmissable British entertainment, jam-packed with cozy mysteries, crime dramas and even an iconic soap joining the service for the first time.
2022 will kick off with the world premiere of two new cozy crime series greenlit by BritBox last year: Hope Street and Sister Boniface Mysteries. From the team behind long-running crime drama The Bill, Hope Street offers a fresh setting for the charming, character-led mysteries that are BritBox’s strength. On January 31, audiences will be transported to fictional Port Devine, a quaint village on the stunning Northern Irish coast. The series showcases the warm-hearted and good-humoured people of Northern Ireland in an ensemble cast featuring Amara Karan (The Night Of), Ciarán McMenamin (Primeval), Brid Brennan (Brooklyn) and Des McAleer (The Crown).
A spinoff of the beloved BBC series Father Brown, Sister Boniface Mysteries is a light-hearted murder mystery that follows a Vespa-driving, crime-solving nun, played by Lorna Watson (Watson & Oliver). Quirky, endearing and exceedingly clever, Boniface uses forensic techniques heretofore unseen in the village of Great Slaughter. Featuring familiar faces from Father Brown and new characters for audiences to fall in love with, BritBox viewers can expect the series to premiere February 8.
BritBox’s first global commission, Murder in Provence will premiere on March 1. The witty, warm, Provençal masterpiece stars Roger Allam (Endeavour), Nancy Carroll (The Crown) and Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman). Based on the Verlaque and Bonnet series by M.L. Longworth, Murder in Provence follows Antoine Verlaque (Allam) as Investigating Judge in Aix-en Provence and his romantic partner turned partner-in-crime Marine Bonnet (Carroll) as they investigate the murders, the mysteries and the surprisingly dark underbelly of their idyllic home. Their efforts are aided by Hélène (Settle), a hard-nosed detective and Antoine’s trusted confidante.
In addition to the strong slate of commissions, many fan-favourite series will make their triumphant returns in the coming months including BritBox Original Traces starring Line of Duty’s Martin Compston, BAFTA-winning Molly Windsor, Breaking Bad’s Laura Fraser and Canadian actress Jennifer Spence. The season premiere in February will see The Scottish Institute of Forensic Science and Anatomy investigating bombings throughout the city of Dundee as Emma (Windsor) and Daniel (Compston) handle the emotional tumult and fallout of his father’s trial.
Tune-in January for the highly anticipated second installment of Vera S11 (date to be announced imminently). BritBox will also add seasons 1, 2 and 6 to the service. Additionally, Britain’s best crime-fighting clergyman will return to screens for season 9 of Father Brown on January 18.
Building on the tradition of last year’s release, Lennon’s Last Weekend, BritBox will expand its collection of documentaries with The Beatles and India on February 15. The film is an exploration of how India shaped the development of the band and their pioneering role in bridging two vastly different cultures. It features rare archival footage, eye-witness accounts and location shoots from places the Beatles visited and stayed during their time in India.
At the end of January, the latest season of the long-running BBC soap Doctors will air within hours of the UK exclusively on BritBox, strengthening the streamer’s slate of soaps and further delivering on its promise to bring the best of British television to North America. Across the pond, the series continues to dominate its daytime slot with engrossing storylines and a high caliber cast. Serious explorations of medical conditions, passionate personal stories and outrageous humour combine to create a unique, innovative, and uplifting drama. A hot bed of future stars, Doctors has given erly breaks to many British A-listers including Eddie Redmayne, Claire Foy, and Jodie Whitaker.
BAFTA-winning hit Unforgotten returns for a fourth season led by Nicola Walker (The River) and Sanjeev Bhaskar (Paddington). This season sees Cassie (Walker) and Sunny (Bhaskar) a cold case with disturbing ties back to the police force.
Show Descriptions and Premiere Dates Below:
Vera 11 – Date TBA
The highly anticipated second half of Vera S11 sees Vera investigating a daring port robbery, the death of a school teacher, a body discovered in a burned out car, and the web of intrigue surrounding the untimely demise of a young manager at a local green energy company. Vera will bring her usual brand of searing insight, caustic wit and fearless detection to these Northumberland cases involving family betrayals, toxic obsessions and long-buried secrets.
Father Brown S9 – premiering January 18
More charming countryside mysteries featuring the charismatic clergyman sleuth. The year is 1953, and the sleepy Costwold village of Kembleford is stirred by such dastardly deeds as murder at the local holiday camp and at Lady Felicia’s illustrious New Year Masked Ball. With a killer in his midst, could this be the last waltz for Father Brown? He also faces a race against time to unmask a mystery attacker before pernicious newcomer Lord Hawthorne has him hounded out of the parish for good. And Sid and Sergeant Goodfellow need his ingenuity to solve a fiendish kidnapping.
Doctors – premiering January 24
This long-running hit on BBC One follows the turbulent lives and loves of the staff and patients at a busy medical practice. In the UK, the series continues to dominate its daytime slot with engrossing storylines and a high-caliber cast. Serious explorations of medical conditions, passionate personal stories and some outrageous humour combine to create a unique, innovative and uplifting drama. A hotbed of future stars, Doctors has given early breaks to talent including Eddie Redmayne, Claire Foy, and Jodie Whittaker.
Hope Street – premiering January 31
Hope Street is set in the fictional town of Port Devine on the Northern Ireland coast and will focus on Port Devine’s police department and the mysterious arrival of English Detective Constable Leila Hussain, the first Muslim police officer in the town’s history. The character led series combines a long running serial narrative with self -contained crime stories in each episode.
Sister Boniface Mysteries – premiering February 8
From the makers of Father Brown and Shakespeare & Hathaway – Private Investigators comes a light-hearted murder mystery series starring a Vespa driving, crime solving Catholic nun: Sister Boniface. It’s the 1960s and police forensics are rudimentary. Luckily the residents of Great Slaughter, nestled deep in the British countryside, have a secret weapon. This nun might be predisposed to forgive – but she’s also one hell of an amateur detective. If there’s evidence to be found, Boniface will find it, with a little help from dashing maverick DI Sam Gillespie and buttoned-up Bermudan DS Felix Livingstone, who’s horrified to be stuck in the eccentric world of Great Slaughter.
The Beatles and India – premiering February 15
In his directorial debut inspired by his own book, Across the Universe – The Beatles in India, Ajoy Bose, alongside producer Reynold D’Silva (Audrey, The Ninth Gate), and co-director Pete Compton (It was Fifty Years Ago Today!) have created an audio-visual presentation that stands apart from the many documentaries produced about The Beatles, delving deep into the most crucial period of their evolution from the world’s most famous popstars, into multi- faceted pioneering musical artists. The Beatles and India features unseen recordings and photos, rare archival footage, eye-witness accounts as well as walkthroughs of the stunning locations in India the band visited.
Traces S2 – premiering February
Lab assistant Emma Hedges is now training to be a forensic chemist, and on the cusp of seeing her mother’s murder case finally resolved. Daniel is to give evidence against his father. Will Emma and Daniel’s relationship withstand the pressure? Will justice be served? Meanwhile, professors Sarah Gordon and Kathy Torrance are investigating a deadly bombing campaign. Homemade devices are going off around Dundee, with critical clues hidden inside the bombs. Will the team track down the bomber before their identity goes up in smoke?
Unforgotten S4 – premiering February 24
The BAFTA-winning hit returns, as Cassie and Sunny investigate a cold case with alarming links to the police force. A corpse is discovered in a scrap yard, his features frozen in time. Four suspects emerge. All four have links to the law and attended the same police training course back in 1989. Since then their lives have gone in very different directions. Some have thrived and others have faltered. But exactly who is fighting for justice? Can the police force ever really be trusted? And will Cassie and Sunny find themselves on the wrong side of the law?
Murder in Provence – premiering March 1
Starring Roger Allam (Endeavour, The Thick of It), Nancy Carroll (The Crown, Father Brown) and Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman), and based on the books by M.L. Longworth, Murder in Provence follows Antoine Verlaque (Allam), Investigating Judge in Aix-en Provence, and romantic partner Marine Bonnet (Carroll) as they investigate the murders, mysteries and dark underbelly of their idyllic home. Their efforts are aided by Hélène (Settle), a detective and Antoine’s trusted confidante.