BritBox profiles comedic actor Rowan Atkinson in February before airing the exclusive U.S. premiere of his first dramatic role in the detective drama Maigret.
The subscription streaming service from BBC Worldwide and ITV looks back at some of Atkinson’s most popular roles. The service already streams “Blackadder,” and in February adds “Not the Nine O’Clock News” and “Canned Laughter.”
Atkinson gets serious on Feb. 28 in “Maigret,” a new series based on author Georges Simenon’s iconic, pipe-smoking policeman who has become one of this century’s classic fictional sleuths.
BritBox also recognizes Valentine’s Day with its “7 Ways to Love Celebration,” a week’s worth of British romances culminating in the exclusive U.S. premiere of “Against the Law,” starring Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss and Richard Gadd. Read more below.
Maigret Episode 1 preview
BritBox February 2018 premieres
Thursday, Feb. 1
Before his first dramatic turn as Maigret, Rowan Atkinson was known best for his comedic talents on series like “Mr. Bean” and “Blackadder.” Now BritBox brings back two of his other top hits in exclusive U.S. premieres.
Not the Nine O’Clock News: Scheduled as the opposite of the traditional 9 p.m. serious news hour, this anarchic and satirical sketch show launched the comedy careers of Rowan Atkinson, Griff Rhys Jones, Mel Smith and Pamela Stephenson. BritBox curation of the best episodes.
Canned Laughter: A touching and amusing comedy about Robert Box (an early incarnation of Atkinson’s beloved Mr. Bean character) who attempts to date a girl in his office. After breaking the ice, Robert invites Lorraine on a dinner date, however, it seems the comical mayhem has only just begun.
Thursday, Feb. 8
The sweep and scale of the Russian Revolution acts as the backdrop for the intense and ultimately heart-breaking love story of Doctor Yury Zhivago, the physician and poet who wrestles with the anguish of being torn between the love of two women, Tonya and Lara. This version stars Sam Neill, Keira Knightley and Hans Matheson in a script by acclaimed dramatist Andrew Davies. (BritBox premiere)
Midsummer’s Night Dream
Russell T Davies’ radical adaptation of the classic Shakespeare love story caused controversy when it aired on the BBC. Now BritBox audiences can check it out for themselves. Comedian Matt Lucas plays Bottom in this modern retelling of love in the tyrannical court of Athens. Maxine Peake and Eleanor Matsuura co-star. (exclusive U.S. premiere)
Saturday, Feb. 10
Once the crowning glory of an Indian temple god, the Moonstone diamond is said to bring disaster to all who possess it. This BBC adaptation of the Wilkie Collins detective novel delves into the lengths people will go to for love and diamonds. Joshua Silver and John Thomson star. (BritBox premiere)
Sunday, Feb. 11
Lost In Austen
Hugh Bonnevile, Alex Kingston and Gemma Arterton star In this present day adaptation of the classic Jane Austen love story “Pride & Prejudice.” The plot centers on Amanda, a woman from modern London, who enters the plot of the novel through a portal in her bathroom and finds herself joining the Bennet family and disastrously changing the course of events. (BritBox premiere)
Monday, Feb. 12
Christopher and his Kind
Based on writer Christopher Isherwood’s critically acclaimed memoir, “Christopher and His Kind,” this landmark BBC adaptation gives a fascinating glimpse into the decadent and politically unstable world of 1930s Berlin. Matt Smith and Douglas Booth star. (BritBox premiere)
Tuesday, Feb. 13
Tipping The Velvet
A vibrant and outrageously fun tale of love and life set in the hidden, decadent world of bohemian London in the 1890s. This BBC adaptation of what some called risque lesbian novels caused controversy when first on UK screens. Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in one of his earliest role, the ensemble also includes Keeley Haws and Rachael Stirling. (BritBox premiere)
Wednesday, Feb. 14
Against The Law
A powerful drama based on the true story of Peter Wildeblood, a thoughtful and private gay journalist whose lover, under pressure from the authorities, turned Queen’s evidence against him in one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s—the infamous Montagu Trial. Daniel Mays, Mark Gatiss and newcomer Richard Gadd headline. (exclusive U.S. premiere)
Saturday, Feb. 17
Little Boy Blue
Based on a true story that shocked a nation, this powerful four-part factual drama, from BAFTA winning writer and executive producer Jeff Pope centers on the devastating impact on a city of an innocent child’s murder amid a wave of gang violence. Stephen Graham stars. (exclusive U.S. premiere)
Monday, Feb. 26
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Hosted by the UK’s favorite comedy duo Ant & Dec, this multi-award-winning, high-energy show returns to BritBox packed with astounding surprises, exciting challenges and celebrity guests. (U.S. premiere, “Now” title)
Maigret Episode 2 preview
Wednesday, Feb. 28
This new incarnation of the classic crime novels stars Rowan Atkinson, in his first dramatic role, as Chief Inspector Maigret as he looks to catch a serial killer stalking women in Montmarte. (Season 1, exclusive U.S. premiere)
Before Rowan Atkinson, award winning actor Michael Gambon played the famed detective offering a superbly understated performance as the sardonic but compassionate Commissaire who, with his unique brand of cool appraisal, never fails to pierce straight to the heart of the crime. (Seasons 1-2, BritBox premiere)