Tag Archive: ITV


Review by C.J. Bunce

The biggest draw of ITV’s first two seasons of its police procedural The Bay was its lead detective.  Morven Christie (Death in Paradise, Doctor Who) played detective Lisa Armstrong, a family liaison officer (“FLO”) with the Morcambe police.  Morcambe is the eponymous Bay, a seaside town on England’s northwest coast, near Manchester (setting of several great British crime dramas, like Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, and Cracker).  But that changes for the third season of The Bay, now streaming on Britbox.  Taking her place is Marsha Thomason, who played White Collar’s (American) agent Diana Barrigan.  Armstrong’s show was as much about her personal life, her kids and relationships, as the crime-solving.  Viewers get no wrap-up for her story, but for season 3 the writers try to hold that same focus on the pressure of life as a cop helping citizens who have experienced distress.  And the season opens with a dead body floating out in the bay near a buoy. 

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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Call it an “upstairs/downstairs” police procedural.  Britbox’s newest original series, The Tower, follows a team of detectives investigating their fellow coppers after an incident on a London rooftop goes horribly awry, resulting in the death of a civilian and a veteran beat cop.  In three short episodes, the story grows increasingly complex as secrets are revealed, careers unravel, and conflicting loyalties test every character.  The British ITV series is now streaming on BritBox via Amazon.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

BritBox may not be the #1 streaming service around, but thanks to the pandemic its subscriptions have reportedly doubled this year.  And you’d think that would give a series like Wild Bill the possibility of a second chance.  Wild Bill was a 2019 British series in the great tradition of police procedurals featuring coppers with attitude starring the unlikely lead in a British series, Rob Lowe.  It’s probably Rob Lowe’s best personal performance to date, and certainly his most mature role, yet the series was canceled by production company ITV after the first season.  And that was a scrawny British season of six episodes, not 10 or 13 like we’d find on this side of the pond, which makes it doubly unfortunate to lose a series with so much promise.  Since American viewership has brought a new life to all things British TV, you’d think that might mean something, but apparently British television studios don’t like making money over here.

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Marchlands cast - can you find Alice

With a television series featuring Doctor Who and Arrow’s Alex Kingston, Life on Mars’s Dean Andrews, Luke Skywalker’s pal Wedge Antilles, and the lead actress from Attack the Block, you just can’t go wrong.  And it’s really hard to beat an old British cottage near the woods as the setting when you’re creating a ghost story.  Add to it one of borg.com’s most discussed subjects: a movie about a creepy little girl, and you’re in for a good show.  That could not be more true than with the UK mini-series Marchlands.  UK production company ITV and 20th Century Fox created an expertly constructed five-part, supernatural drama mini-series that traverses three families living in different eras in the same British house.

Marchlands title card

Marchlands first aired in the UK in 2010, but it hasn’t been released in the States yet. In fact the only way to view it is to buy it from a British online retailer along with a DVD player that will play DVDs from Europe.   Along with watching all the other series from the UK long before they cross the lake to America, going the extra mile to get access to these series is well worth the effort.

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