Sherlock lands on Netflix UK after Season 3’s broadcast on BBC One. Photo: BBC/Hartswood Films
Sherlock Season 1 and 2 and Season 6 of Doctor Who have been added to Netflix UK and Amazon Prime Instant Video today.
The shows mark a wave of new BBC shows arriving on the Internet TV service catalogues. Indeed, Benedict Cumberbatch’s sleuth and Matt Smith’s Time Lord are also joined by Call the Midwife and The Last Tango in Halifax on both services.
The Doctor Who release has been a long time coming for TARDIS fans. The sci-fi series, which already has Season One to Five available to stream on both Amazon and Netflix (along with a smattering of classic episodes), now includes the Michael Gambon-starring, shark-featuring seasonal special A Christmas Carol and the festival outing The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe.
While many of the new adventures (co-starring Karen Gillan’s Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill’s Rory Williams) are from Steven Moffat’s dodgy period – the less said about the Let’s Kill Hitler arc the better – the line-up does now include the mini-masterpiece The Doctor’s Wife, meaning Neil Gaiman fans no longer have to scour BBC iPlayer’s listings in hope of a repeat screening.
The arrival on Netflix UK and Prime Instant Video of the BAFTA-winning update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective, meanwhile, follows the recent broadcast of Season 3 on the BBC – and reminds members just how brilliant Mark Gatiss is as Cumberbatch’s brother, Mycroft.
Call the Midwife is a comedy drama set in a nursing convent in London’s East End in the 1950s. The show stars Miranda Hart, the recent National Television Award winner for most popular female in the role last year.
The Last Tango in Halifax is a heart-warming, romantic drama featuring characters Celia and Alan, two widowers in their seventies who find love on Facebook.
The Beeb’s increasing repertoire of shows available to stream outside of iPlayer is an interesting contrast to Channel 4, who have recently been removing TV programmes across subscription services in favour of directing viewers towards 4oD – a database which is increasingly driving up the broadcaster’s digital advertising revenue. This is despite the announcement that the BBC Trust has approved the introduction of a paid BBC iPlayer store to download older shows.