Gemma Arterton in Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Full season available Friday 1 February

Based on the Thomas Hardy novel with the full name Tess of the D’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented, this BBC miniseries is not your typical period drama fare.

The story follows innocent country girl Tess Durbeyfield, who is forced by her parents to make a connection with the noble family of D’Urberville. Invited to work for them, Tess’ life is irrevocably changed when she falls under the spell of the manipulative Alec D’Urberville.

When she later falls in love with clergyman’s son Angel Clare, her time at the D’Urberville house haunts her and could prevent her from lifelong happiness.

Starring Gemma Arterton as Tess and Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne as Angel Clare, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is a moving and tragic love story, which challenged Victorian England’s ideas of sex, virtue and purity.

Tom Riley, Richard Coyle, and Jenna Thiam in The Collection

The Collection
Full season available Friday 1 February

Based loosely on the founding of the fashion house Dior, The Collection is high drama and high fashion in post-war Paris.

Stitching together the glamorous and extravagant fashions of the late 1940s with murder intrigue and betrayal, this 2016 drama follows the rise of the Sabine family’s fashion house Paul Sabine Couture.

But with ruthless businessman Paul (Richard Coyle) at the helm and Claude (Tom Riley) designing all the clothes for the fledgling couturier, the brothers’ volatile relationship could bring about the downfall of the empire.

Packed with powerhouse performances, this sumptuous drama also stars Vanity Fair’s Frances de la Tour, Meryl Streep’s daughter Mami Gummer, SS-GB’s James Cosmo and W1A’s Sarah Parish.

Rebecca Hall, Benedict Cumberbatch and Adelaide Clemens in Parade's End

Parade’s End
Full season available now.

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in this intelligent and thought-provoking adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s series of novels.

The story follows Cumberbatch’s Christopher Tietjens, an intensely honourable aristocrat who marries beautiful but cruel socialite Sylvia (Rebecca Hall) and stays faithful to her even when she leaves him for another man.

But when he falls for young suffragette Valentine (Adelaide Clemens), Christopher faces a battle between his feelings for her and what he feels is right.

The critically-acclaimed five-part series was a huge international success when it aired in 2012, earning six BAFTA nominations and five Emmy nominations.

Denis Lawson, Anna Maxwell Martin and Gillian Anderson in Bleak House

Bleak House
Full season available now.

Regarded as one of Charles Dickens’ best novels, Bleak House follows the infamous legal case of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, involving several different wills made by wealthy man John Jarndyce.

The case brings together multiple colourful characters who are all somehow mixed up in the drama – the beautiful and enigmatic Lady Dedlock, merciless lawyer Mr Tulkinghorn, the generous John Jarndyce, and his two wards Richard and Ada.

A combination of mystery, thriller and period drama, this adaptation has a star-studded cast including Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as Lady Dedlock, Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as Tulkinghorn, Carey Mulligan (An Education) as Ada and Anna Maxwell Martin (The Bletchley Circle) as Ada’s companion Esther.

Brett Climo and Marta Dusseldorp in A Place to Call Home

A Place to Call Home
Five seasons available now.

This sweeping Australian drama is set in rural New South Wales, with the story starting in the wake of World War II.

Marta Dusseldorp plays Sarah Adams, a woman with a mysterious past who returns home to Australia and starts work at a hospital near the Bligh family estate Ash Park.

Upon her arrival, Sarah immediately clashes with the Bligh family matriarch Elizabeth (Noni Hazlehurst) while also becoming closer with the wealthy heir George (Brett Climo).

Creator Bevan Lee describes the series as a “compelling melodrama about love and loss set against the social change of the 1950s” and we can confirm it is completely addictive.

Lee Ingleby in Our Zoo

Our Zoo
Full season available now.

This charming, feel-good family drama is based on the inspiring true story of the Mottershead family who founded Chester Zoo in the 1930s.

Innocent actor Lee Ingleby plays George Mottershead, a veteran of World War I whose love of animals inspired him to create a zoo without bars in the face of staunch opposition and huge personal sacrifice.

The series also stars Liz White (Call the Midwife), Peter Wight (Vanity Fair) and Honor Kneafsey (A Christmas Prince) as the Mottershead’s daughter June, who grew up around the animals of Chester Zoo and lived nearby until she died in 2015 at the age of 88.

 

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