The Christmas and New Year’s break is just around the corner and we all need a good show (or two) to indulge in. Acorn TV has the best downtime shows that puts an end to fruitless scrolling.
See below our Acorn TV picks for this December!
A treat for the historians and royalists alike. This Golden Globe-winning two-part miniseries stars Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen, Hitchcock) as Queen Elizabeth I in the latter half of her 45-year reign.
Delving into the public and private lives of the ‘virgin queen’ who viewed herself as married to her country, it documents the leadership and stability she brought to the throne after the turmoil filled (albeit short) reign of her siblings.
While historical events bookmark this period drama, it truly comes alive through the depiction of Elizabeth’s personal life and the relationships with those closest to her. A powerful ageing woman, her desires are set bare and the pain caused by the shadow of her responsibilities evident.
Miriam Margolyes (The Age of Innocence, Romeo + Juliet, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) delights as Mim in this raucous and touching series about a terminally ill 70 something setting out to tick off her bucket list.
Mim commandeers her daughter Fran (Frog Stone, Jupiter Ascending, About a Boy and creator of Bucket) as chauffeur in an attempt to repair their estranged relationship. The dysfunctional duo careens around the country in Mim’s ancient BMW that is held together with crude bumper stickers and filled with plastic wrappers – a moving hoarder’s paradise.
While Mim is crass, carefree and confident, Fran is jobless, single and filled with self-doubt – a way of living Mim finds hard to reconcile. Struggling to mend broken connections Mim leans on manipulation to make inroads with her daughter, and with her diagnosis vague on details it may turn out there is more to be known about the reason behind this road trip after all.
Kavanagh QC – Series 1-3
A true classic, this British legal drama stars BAFTA winner John Thaw (Inspector Morse, Sweeney) as James Kavanagh QC, one of Britain’s top barristers.
Unlike his Queen’s Council peers Kavanagh hails from a humble working-class background in Bolton, Greater Manchester, leading to a rather different world view. Kavanagh can often be seen defending seemingly guilty clients, usually in cases marred by sexism, racism and classism. Never swayed by bribes or bullying tactics his strong sense of justice distinguishes him from his peers.
The origins of a legend. Endeavour follows the incomparable Detective Chief Inspector Morse in his early years investigating the criminal elements of Oxford. Series 6, set in July 1969, sees Morse and his allies reassigned to Castle Gate Station under the command of old foes DCI Ronnie Box and DS Alan Jago. Box and Jago are known for mistreating suspects and taking credit for junior officers’ work but there seems to be something far more sinister at play in the Oxford police force.
A worthy prequel to the beloved Inspector Morse series, “it is consistently well-crafted and satisfying in its own right.” – The Guardian. Series 6 will delight fans of the original with the first appearance of Morse with his famous moustache.
In spite of irrefutable evidence, Jane remains convinced that Andrew is guilty, and when Andrew is reinstated, she assaults him publicly at the hospital.
Jane’s life begins to unravel and Ali Hall, her loyal ally is relieved of the investigation. Andrew’s relationship with his eldest daughter Kate is also tested to the limit.
As a lawyer and loving daughter, she represented her father selflessly throughout his ordeal. But faced with contradictory evidence her faith momentarily waiveredandAndrew is quick to reinforce her feelings of insecurity. Surely ungrateful and an unkind thing for a father to do? Jane’s persistence eventually pays off, she tracks down Andrew’s former wife Isobel, a former doctor and now a hopeless alcoholic. She subsequently persuades Ali Hall to investigate Andrew’s former professional history as a young doctor.
The profile of a violent, abusive and self-obsessed fantasist starts to emerge …but it is one small piece of information offered up by Isobel that ultimately proves to be Andrew’s undoing. At the age of thirty, three years after, Jane’s mother was killed, Andrew developed a mild form of leukaemia.
It was successfully eradicated after a bone marrow transplant but it changed Andrew’s blood DNA. From this moment on the Policeswiftly matcha saliva swab to the new evidence and Andrew is arrested for murder. Justice served and with closure. Jane faces the birth of her child and her future with hope and optimism.
Blue Murder follows the struggles and triumphs of Detective Inspector Janine Lewis and her team as they investigate murders in Manchester.
Janine is a woman for our times–mother of four and separated from her husband. She is passionately committed to both her children and her work and manages to balance the responsibilities of an exciting, high-powered, professional career with the demands of home and family. She leads a tightly-knit group of detectives who are thrown together in an intense and at times dangerous work environment.
Along with the trust, respect and support the team shares come informality and playfulness. The comic banter between them provides light relief from the tough challenges of the job. Janine’s cases start with a body: a schoolgirl hit and run victim, an illegal immigrant turned lap dancer, a Muslim mullah, a crematorium worker, a childminder.
The investigations take us into diverse worlds as we experience the thrill of the hunt for the killer. In the best tradition of popular drama, good triumphs as Janine and her team bring the killer to justice, sometimes putting themselves in considerable personal danger. Blending the gritty, fast-paced excitement of up-to-the-minute murder investigations with the humanity, warmth and chaos of family life, Blue Murder delivers both the much-loved intrigue of a murder mystery as well as the refreshing appeal of a 21st-century drama.