As we find ourselves in another week of lockdown, we round up our top film and TV picks across BBC iPlayer for your binge-watching pleasure…

French and Saunders

Rewatch this high-spirited comedy series by the queens of British comedy. French and Saunders was big budget and always full of big ideas. Laugh along to some truly spectacular spoof episodes of prominent films including What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, The Exorcist, Gone With The Wind, Misery, Silence of the Lambs, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Kill Bill and Harry Potter. There’s just nothing that these two amazing ladies can’t do. Film fans will not only love French and Saunders’ genius spoofs of popular films, but also the behind the scenes mockumentary antics behind the films too.

Gentleman Jack

Gentleman Jack is a riveting series based on the diaries of Anne Lister, a truly iconic historical figure who detailed her romances with women in her diaries using a secret code. These diaries have only been found and decoded in recent history, confirming her as a true trailblaizer; living openely as a lesbian in the 1800s and marrying a woman. It’s not only a significant piece of history but also a marvellous show, with Lister being played exquisitely by Suranne Jones.

Killing Eve

Sometimes a television series comes along and blows everything else out of the water. Killing Eve is one of those shows. A story about two mastermind women, one a MI6 operative, and one a psychopathic assassin who become bound to each other through mutual obsession, respect and violence. Played amazingly by Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer (whose accents are incredibly limitless), the show is a superb, exhilarating piece of television which also boasts an amazingly curated soundtrack and slick editing, cinematography and design on all fronts. The intoxicating central relationship between the two leads is the most seductive element of the series. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’m very jealous that you get to watch it for the first time.

Line of Duty

This is a television series full of momentum, intelligent writing and fast-paced police mojo. I never thought a show full of long interrogation room scenes (tallying up to 30+ minutes sometimes) would be interesting, but wow, do those scenes keep you riveted. It’s all down to some smart writing and fantastic acting. It centres on a controversial anti-corruption division of the police force, predominantly the AC-12 team, led by a few maverick officers as they uncover corrupt coppers in their ranks. Jed Mercurio’s intense, twisty narrative full of shocking turns is one not to miss.

Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema

This is a documentary series for film fans where Kermode delves deep into the techniques of some classic film genres including the spy genre, superhero movies, horror and historical British dramas.

The Nest

This drama thriller is currently airing on BBC at the moment and is keeping its audience on the edge of their seats. A wealthy couple are struggling to conceive when they meet a teenage girl who becomes their ‘last chance’ surrogate. When the teenage stranger’s dark past slowly becomes revealed, it’s a thrilling ride.


Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s seminal Sherlock Holmes books, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat brought this sharp, witty and slick adaptation to the small screen. With a marvelous cast including Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as the famous detective duo, this multi award-winning phenomenon is beautifully crafted with razor-sharp editing, leading production design and a memorable theme tune, made even more special with the delightfully eccentric and nuanced writing and visual graphics that add to the series’ charm.

Source Code

This science ficton thriller is about an army captain (Jake Gyllenhaal) who decides to take part in a secret govermnent experiement, the Source Code program, which allows him to enter the body of another person (in the past) before they die in an explosion in an attempt to find a bomber before they commit another act of terrorism. It’s an enthralling, inventive, film by director Duncan Jones who also made Moon, another fantastic science fiction piece which spends time exploring the human story as much as the genre’s sensational, speculative ideas.

Three Girls

This is a harrowing drama based on the real life stories of the teenage vitims of the sexual abuse grooming cases in Rochdale in 2008. It’s an important story to tell but a heart-breaking and disturbing watch.


A norwegian thriller that follows twin brothers, one successful and one in total ruin, who lead very different lives and have been estranged for 15 years. One brother ends up switching lives with the other when he is killed, leading to a whole other world of chaos. It’s a moody, captivating piece still airing on the BBC and starring the always amazing Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones, Force Majeure).

What We Do In The Shadows

This is a fantastic little mockumentary-style, comedy-horror series which follows four vampires who have been roommates for centuries in New York trying to navigate through the intricacies and complexities of living in the modern age. It’s a hilariously, absurd black comedy which packs a lot of off-kilter charm with some terrific performances.

Ally Davies
Published on:
Thu 7 May 2020