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Indulge In British TV This Spring On GPB

Courtesy of Neal Street Productions

Spring has sprung here at GPB and we’re ready to usher in a new season of British programming. Our spring lineup debuts next week, including new seasons of drama favorites and premieres from PBS, Masterpiece, and the BBC.

 

PBS’ Sunday drama favorite, Call the Midwife, returns for Season 8 with a royal announcement! Trixie, Valerie, Lucille, and the rest of Nonnatus House are thrilled to welcome the Queen’s Royal Birth while keeping up with the trends and changes that 1964 brings to Poplar. This season continues themes of diversity and immigration but adds new storylines focusing on teen pregnancy, abortions, and STDs. But despite the various births and shifting family dynamics in their patients, the midwives find new love and uncover family secrets, forcing them to consider their professional responsibilities in relation to personal beliefs. Season 8 of Call the Midwife premieres Sunday, March 31 at 7 p.m.

Alison Wilson lost the love of her life, but the recent widow discovers she hardly knew her spy novelist husband, Alec, at all. That’s how Mrs. Wilson, a new mystery from Masterpiece, begins, and it only becomes more compelling from there. Actress Ruth Wilson (Luther) plays her own grandmother, Alison Wilson, who must uncover the truth about the man she loved when a woman turns up on her doorstep claiming she’s the real Mrs. Wilson. Alison then becomes consumed to prove both the validity of her own marriage and Alec’s love for her, but the more she digs into Alec’s past, the more complicated her life becomes. Co-starring Iain Glen (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) and Keeley Hawes (The Durrells in Corfu), Mrs. Wilson premieres Sunday, March 31 at 8 p.m.

Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Misérables, has received a new adaptation from screenwriter Andrew Davies (Pride and Prejudice) this season. A co-production of MASTERPIECE on PBS and BBC One, the six-part drama stars Dominic West (The Affair) as Jean Valjean and David Oyelowo (Selma) as Inspector Javert as they show the struggles of France’s lower class and the lengths they will go to survive in the early 19th century. While the songs of the popular musical version are absent here, the characters are vibrant and the story, while rooted in the past, remains accessible for modern audiences. In addition to West and Oyelowo, the cast of Les Misérables includes Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply) as Fantine, Josh O’Connor (The Durrells in Corfu) as Marius, Ellie Bamber (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) as Cosette, and Olivia Colman (The Favourite) as Madame Thénardier. Les Misérables premieres Sunday, April 14 at 8 p.m.

Masterpiece Mystery fans will enjoy the final addition to our Sunday night lineup this spring with the return of Unforgotten. After closing the harrowing case from Season 2 and new developments to their professional relationship, DCI Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) partner up to solve the murder of schoolgirl Hayley Reid who disappeared on New Year’s Eve 1999. As they work to track down the killer, their investigation focuses on a close-knit group of four old school friends whose loyalties are pushed to the limit. Set across southern England exploring how lives can be destroyed by one event, Season 3 of Unforgotten premieres Sunday, April 7 at 9 p.m.

British drama also reigns supreme on Friday nights this spring on GPB! Now separated from Justine, Archie MacDonald and the residents of Glenbogle return for Season 2 of Monarch of the Glen. While Archie hopes his future lies both at Glenbogle, he faces new challenges with the new Head Ranger, Fergal MacClure, who has a crush on Katrina as well as Lexie, who has taken a shine to Archie himself. Additionally, Hector and Molly must come to terms with their growing family while Golly comes to a head with Fergal, leaving Archie to find a way to keep his family together. Season 2 of Monarch of the Glen premieres Friday, March 29 at 8 p.m.

Monarch of the Glen Season 2
The cast of "Monarch of the Glen."

Finally, new mysteries and comedy favorites return to Saturday nights this spring. After concluding our encore presentation of Season 6 of Father Brown, Season 7 of the 1950s mystery series set in the fictional village of Kembleford takes viewers alongside Father Brown (Mark Williams) as he solves new cases involving anarchists, ramblers, and Morris Dancers, all while showing concern for saving souls as well as bringing criminals to justice. Mrs. McCarthy (Sorcha Cusack), Inspector Mallory (Jack Deam), and Bunty Windermere (Emer Kenny) all return to assist Father Brown in his investigations as well as guest appearances by Lady Felicia (Nancy Carroll) and Hercule Flambeau (John Light). Season 7 of Father Brown premieres Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Following Father Brown, British comedy favorites As Time Goes By, Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, Upstart Crow, and The IT Crowd will air on Saturday nights as well.

Father Brown Mark Williams Season 7
Mark Williams as Father Brown in "Father Brown."

Don’t forget that you can catch up on many of your favorite British shows, including Call the Midwife and Unforgotten, with GPB Passport, our streaming service for all of our PBS programs. Learn how to sign up and access your Passport account on our website. 

Rachel Buchman Guest Blogger

Rachel Buchman serves as the Social Media Community Manager at GPB. She earned her degree in English Language and Literature from The University of Chicago and has been contributing to GPB’s social media platforms since 2016. She is an avid... more