Acorn TV premieres
"Martin Clunes' Islands of America" premieres June 24 on Acorn TV. (Bridget Badore photo)

Acorn TV premieres for June: ‘Straight Forward,’ ‘Martin Clunes’ Islands of America’

Acorn TV premieres two original series in June — Straight Forward, a mystery set first in Denmark and then in New Zealand, and Martin Clunes’ Islands of America, a travel journal in which the Doc Martin star journeys around the U.S. coast. Here are your June 2019 Acorn TV premieres.

June 2019 Acorn TV Calendar

Monday, June 3

Blitzed: Nazis on Drugs

Hourlong documentary, 2018; exclusive U.S./Canada premiere

Narrated by acting legend Steven Berkoff (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), this absorbing new documentary shines an extraordinary light on the Nazis’ experimentation with drugs in World War II. Hitler’s personal physician, Theodor Morell, supplied drug cocktails to the German leader,  and German troops uszed methamphetamine pills called Pervitin. How might these drugs have affected the outcome of the war and how did Hitler’s health change from his daily injections?

Living in the Shadow of World War II

3 hourlong episodes, 2017; documentary

War has never been limited to the battlefield. It marches through towns, destroys cities and kills loved ones; it casts an almost impenetrable shadow over everything it touches, but life somehow finds a way to shine, even in the toughest of times. “Living in the Shadow of World War II” explores the ups and downs of everyday life while the greatest war in history raged on.

Acorn TV premieres
Lee Remick stars as “Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill.”

Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill

7 hourlong episodes, 1974

Lee Remick (“Days of Wine and Roses,” “The Omen”) stars as Jennie Jerome, the famous American beauty who became Lady Randolph Churchill. Wife of a potentially great politician (Ronald Pickup) and mother of the most famous of all English politicians — Winston Churchill (Warren Clarke) — Jennie was a driving force in her circle and in both of these great men’s lives. 


Monday, June 10

Straight Forward

8 episodes, 2019; Acorn TV Original, exclusive U.S. premiere

After a family member is murdered, con woman Silvia (Cecilie Stenspil, “The Protectors”) decides to get even by robbing the crime boss behind the hit. But when things go awry, she has to flee from Denmark with her mother (Vibeke Hastrup, “Babette’s Feast”) and daughter (Marie Boda, “Anna”) to New Zealand and start a completely different life. The dark, edgy crime drama was filmed in beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Cecilie Stenspil stars as a con woman on the run in “Straight Forward” on Acorn TV. (Acorn TV)

Midsomer Murders: 20th Anniversary Documentary

This hourlong doc celebrates two decades of “Midsomer Murders,” a Brit mystery series where you can see some of your favorite British film and TV actors in early roles before they became stars or appeared in blockbuster hits. I’ve spotted young versions of Orlando Bloom, Henry Cavill, Emily Mortimer, Stephen Moyer, Tom Ellis, Colin Farrell, James Callis, Henry Ian Cusick, Olivia Colman, Toby Jones, Poppy Drayton, Perdita Weeks, Owain Yeoman and Kieran Bew.

And since I just went down a rabbit hole, fans of “Downtown Abbey” can find Phyllis Logan, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy and Julian Ovenden in guest roles, while “Game of Thrones” fans might recognize Alfie Adams, Michelle Fairley, Mark Gatiss, Tobias Menzies, David Bradley, James Cosmo and Anton Lesser. Imelda Staunton, Peter Capaldi, Jenny Agutter, Lesley Manville, Simon Callow, Lucy Punch, Tim Pigott-Smith, Andrew Lee Potts, Vincent Regan and Julia Sawalha also have guest starred in the series.


Monday, June 17

Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year

Episodes 1-4 of 24, 2018; exclusive U.S. premiere

What makes the perfect village and why do we love them so much? From a shortlist of more than 400 applicants, renowned actress Dame Penelope Keith and her team of three expert village judges scour the country for the very best, and crown one village “Village of the Year.”

The Poison Tree

2 hourlong episodes, 2012

Karen Clarke (MyAnna Buring, “The Descent”) has spent 12 years waiting for her partner Rex (Matthew Goode, “Downton Abbey”) to be released from prison. Now that he is free, she is looking forward to settling down to normal family life in their remote seaside cottage with their 11-year-old daughter Alice. But then Karen starts to receive silent phone calls and anonymous text messages. It seems that despite her best efforts to keep their past a secret, someone somewhere knows the truth about what she and Rex did.


Monday, June 24

Martin Clunes’ Islands of America

4 episodes, 2019; Acorn TV Original Series, exclusive U.S. premiere

“Doc Martin” star Martin Clunes embarks on an epic journey around the coast of America to discover what life is like on the surrounding islands. This time he set off on a 10,000-mile journey, from the West to the East, to explore the vast swathe of islands which are scattered beyond America’s shores. He travelled from Hawaii’s islands of fire and Alaska’s islands of snow and ice, to the playgrounds of presidents off the New England coast.

Penelope Keith’s Village of the Year

Episodes 5-8 of 24, 2018; exclusive U.S. premiere

What makes the perfect village and why do we love them so much? From a shortlist of over 400 applicants, renowned actress Dame Penelope Keith, and her team of three expert village judges scour the country for the very best, and crown one village “Village of the Year.”

The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes

Series 1, 13 episodes, 1971

Sherlock Holmes was not the only detective in Victorian London. This classic British mystery series features top-notch adaptations of detective stories from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s contemporaries. Seen on public television in the 1970s, the anthology series casts include John Neville (“The X-Files”), Peter Vaughan (“The Remains of the Day”), Donald Sinden (“Two’s Company”), Donald Pleasence (“Halloween”), and Jeremy Irons (“The Borgias”) in his first screen appearance. Offering unique insight into Victorian popular culture, intellectual preoccupations and social ills, these 13 finely crafted mysteries also are fascinating whodunits.