BBC iPlayer takes on Netflix with Christmas box set selection
James R | On 29, Nov 2017
The BBC is taking on Netflix this Christmas with a selection of box sets for binge-viewing over the holidays.
Viewers will be able to tuck into a huge number of BBC drama and comedy series over the festive period, including Ryan Murphy’s brand new series, Feud: Bette And Joan, about the legendary rivalry between Hollywood icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. While that will air on BBC Two from 16th December, the BBC will also release it as a box set simultaneously, so people don’t have to wait to devour all eight episodes. A bumper sack of older treats from across the BBC will also be joining the new Christmas schedule. The first three seasons of Peaky Blinders will join Season 4, which is currently being shown on BBC Two. Other box sets will include Taboo, starring Tom Hardy, Golden Globe-winning Thomas Cromwell drama Wolf Hall, all four seasons of Line of Duty, plus Sally Wainwright’s BAFTA-winning Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire.
Sherlock fans will also be able to relive past adventures, with Season 3 and 4 returning to iPlayer, alongside the 2016 New Year’s Day special, The Abominable Bride. BBC Three’s flagship drama Thirteen will also be available. Nature fans who have been dipping beneath the waves with Blue Planet II will be able to return to the ocean with the full original season of The Blue Planet, first broadcast in 2001. Other landmark series being made available for Christmas include 2006’s Planet Earth and last year’s smash hit Planet Earth II, as well as 2011’s Frozen Planet.
Comedy fans looking for a laugh this Christmas will be able to choose from the entire series of Miranda and Inside Number 9, alongside BBC Three’s award-winning Fleabag and This Country, as well as classic episodes of Gavin & Stacey, Bad Education, Josh, Murder In Successville and Him & Her.
David Walliams films Gangsta Granny, The Boy In The Dress, Billionaire Boy and Mr Stink will all be back once more, as well Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler animations Room On The Broom, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Stick Man.
And finally, the Beeb will unwrap several Christmas classics from the archive. Five EastEnders Christmas specials – including Den and Angie’s divorce papers episode in 1986 and Tiffany’s death in 1998 – will help viewers relive Christmas on Albert Square from years gone by. And, in time for Peter Capadi’s last appearance as The Doctor, fans can enjoy every regeneration episode of Doctor Who from 2005 onwards – including the 50th anniversary episode.
Charlotte Moore, Director of Content at the BBC, says: “There is no need to go anywhere else this Christmas because we have an even richer offer across the BBC than ever before. We are always home to the very best British programmes during the festive season but with so much content to fit in, it’s fantastic to give audiences a special gift on iPlayer to complement our schedules; with boxsets of some of this year’s biggest shows and a selection of more recent hits to binge on with family and friends together this Christmas.”
Here’s the full line-up of box sets arriving on BBC iPlayer from 16th December:
Line of Duty
Feud: Bette and Joan
Sherlock – Series 3, 4 and The Abominable Bride
Planet Earth I and II
Blue Planet I and II
Fleabag (Full series box-set)
Inside Number 9 (Full series box-set)
Miranda (Full series box-set)
Josh – Series 2 & 3
Murder in Successville – Series 3
People Just Do Nothing – Series 4
Gavin & Stacey – Series 1 and Christmas Special
Cuckoo – Series 1, 2, 3 and Christmas Special
This Country – Series 1
Bad Education – Series 2 and Christmas Special
Him and Her – Series 3 and Christmas Special
Bluestone 42 – Series 1 and Christmas Special
Uncle – Series 3
The Mighty Boosh – Series 1
Room on the Broom
The Gruffalo’s Child
The Boy in the Dress
EastEnders Christmas specials
Den and Angie’s divorce papers – 1986
Tiffany’s death – 1998
Kat and Alfie’s wedding – 2003
Max and Stacey’s affair – 2007
Archie’s murder – 2009