Five must-watch shows to binge in March

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We cannot wait for next month, which promises to be filled with drama, laughter and suspense that will keep you glued to your screens.

Kris Marshall goes Beyond Paradise, Vera’s back, we travel to Scotland with Karen Pirie and there’s a period drama with a twist – all new and exclusive to BritBox.

Express from the UK, the eagerly awaited Death in Paradise spin-off, Beyond Paradise, launches on BritBox from Friday 24 February with brand-new episodes landing weekly throughout March.

Multi-award-winning actress Brenda Blethyn dons her iconic mac and hat to return as the unorthodox but brilliantly perceptive Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope in the 12th season of Vera, new and exclusive to BritBox South Africa.

Once you’ve binged on Vera’s likeable brand of no-nonsense crime-solving wisdom, be sure to catch the female-led detective drama Karen Pirie, based on veteran crime writer Val McDermid’s cold case novels and shot on location in Scotland.

Another must-watch highlight on BritBox in March is the new four-part period drama The Confessions of Frannie Langton, a tragic love story with a murder mystery at its heart, based on the award-winning novel by Sara Collins.

 

Beyond Paradise 


Express from the UK: New episodes land weekly from Friday 24 February
From Friday 24 February BritBox brings more exclusive content, hot from British screens. Beyond Paradise is a brand-new spin-off from Death in Paradise (also streaming on BritBox) with fresh episodes landing weekly. It follows the bumbling but brilliant DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall – My Family, Love Actually, Sanditon) and his fiancée, Martha (Sally Bretton – Not Going Out, The Office) as they relocate to the beautiful Devonshire coast.

A new adventure awaits in Martha’s hometown as she pursues her dream of running her own business, while Humphrey joins the local police – and must solve a host of baffling mysteries, from an entire family disappearing into thin air to a woman who claims she was attacked by a ghost. Beyond Paradise also stars Dylan Llewellyn, well known from his role as James in the hit series Derry Girls. Writer Tony Jordan describes the six-part BritBox Original as uplifting escapism that puts an English Riviera spin on the show people know and love.

The Confessions of Frannie Langton 


Limited Series: Wednesday 8 March

Adapted by author Sara Collins from her award-winning novel of the same name and set against the dazzling opulence of Georgian London, The Confessions of Frannie Langton narrates Frannie’s journey from a Jamaican plantation to the grand Mayfair mansion of celebrated scientist George Benham and his beautiful wife, Madame Marguerite. In a misguided and monstrous gesture, Frannie is gifted to Benham by the man who owns her, John Langton, and finds herself trapped in a deeply troubled household. As the plot twists, events take a fateful turn when the Benhams are found murdered in their beds and Frannie becomes the chief suspect.

Up-and-coming actress Karla-Simone Spence (Blue Story, BBC’s Wannabe) leads the cast in the role of Frannie, the drama’s young protagonist born into a life of slavery but fighting to tell her own story. She is joined by Sophie Cookson (The Trial of Christine Keeler, Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Marguerite Benham, Patrick Martins (Redemption, Blasts From the Past) as Olaudah “Laddie” Cambridge, Stephen Campbell Moore (War of the Worlds, The One) as George Benham and Steven Macintosh (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Luther) as John Langton. A powerful period drama with a murder mystery and a tale of forbidden love at its core, The Confessions of Frannie Langton was filmed on location in Yorkshire, England.

“The Confessions of Frannie Langton is subverting the [period drama] genre.” – The Guardian

Karen Pirie 


Season 1: Thursday 16 March

DS Karen Pirie is a young and fearless Scottish investigator with a quick mouth and a tenacious desire for the truth. Following her promotion to Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit, she’s tasked with reopening the investigation into the murder of teenage barmaid Rosie Duff, now the subject of a provocative true crime podcast. Stabbed to death in 1995, suspicion fell on the three drunken students who discovered her body, but despite police suspicion, the boys were never charged.

Arriving 25 years later in the beautiful Scottish university town of St Andrew’s, Karen (Lauren Lyle – Outlander, Vigil) is determined to uncover what happened that fateful night. However, when she uncovers flaws in the initial investigation, she soon finds herself in conflict with the officers who led the original hunt for Rosie’s killer.

Based on The Distant Echo by best-selling author Val McDermid and from the producers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard, this clever and twisty three-parter was adapted by writer and actress Emer Kenny (EastEnders, Father Brown), who also appears in the series. Karen Pirie co-stars Ariyon Bakare (His Dark Materials, Good Omens), Chris Jenks (Sex Education), Zach Wyatt (The Witcher: Blood Origin) and Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education, Rules of the Game).

“Humour, confidence and charm are perfectly blended in this suspenseful adaptation of Val McDermid’s bestseller.” – The Guardian

Vera 


Season 12: Thursday 23 March

She’s back! BAFTA- and Golden Globe-winning actress Brenda Blethyn returns for a 12th outing as the unorthodox but brilliant DCI Vera Stanhope in four new feature-length episodes of the hit crime drama. Set against the atmospheric landscapes of the breathtaking Northumberland countryside, this BritBox favourite is inspired by the best-selling novels and characters created by acclaimed author Ann Cleeves.

In each of the self-contained crime stories, Vera and her team investigate complex cases, unravel mysteries and uncover secrets that sometimes stray a little too close to home. She may be unglamorous, but Vera faces the world with caustic wit, and what she lacks in charm she more than makes up for in wisdom and insight. Blethyn recently received the Rose d’Or Lifetime Achievement Award for her many iconic roles, including playing the title role in Vera, and all previous seasons are available to binge on BritBox.

“Not your usual British detective.” – Wall Street Journal

Coming to BritBox in April

Maxine 

MAXINE, (JEMMA CARLTON)


Limited Series: Thursday 20 April 

The gripping true crime drama Maxine examines the cloud of suspicion that fell over school assistant Maxine Carr (played by newcomer Jemma Carlton) and her caretaker fiancé Ian Huntley (Scott Reid – Line of Duty, White House Farm) during police investigations into a high profile murder case.

In 2002 the small UK town of Soham is shaken to the core when two 10-year-old school girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, go missing. When Maxine’s boyfriend Ian admits to police that he was the last person to see them, she provides him with an alibi but, as the investigation escalates, they both come under closer scrutiny. Just how far will Maxine go for Ian and how much does she really know?

This three-parter explores their tumultuous relationship from Maxine’s perspective – why she lied for Ian and how she became public enemy number one – as well as examining the scale of the investigation into a tragic case that shocked Britain and drove the biggest police manhunt in UK history.

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