New premium drama channel BBC First will launch on Foxtel on August 3.
The BBC Worldwide channel, which will showcase the very best new British dramas and comedies in one place for the first time, will launch with a special box set screening of the cinematic blockbuster The Musketeers. The box set will be followed by a preview of the first episode of BAFTA award winning Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, and the captivating single drama Burton and Taylor which earned Helena
Bonham Carter Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations and also stars Dominic West.
The Musketeers will also be screened as double episodes across five Sunday nights from August 10.
Natalie Edgar, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said: “A Sunday launch gives us the chance to reach as many viewers as possible on our first day. We wanted to mark this exciting occasion with a very special line-up for viewers which gives them a real taste of the channel and delivers content to them in a way we know they like to enjoy it. We’re pleased to offer viewers the opportunity to watch all ten episodes of The Musketeersback to back, as well as give audiences a glimpse of the quality and breadth of drama on the channel which encompasses epic series to intimate one-offs, featuring top talent both in front of and behind the camera.
“Over the months ahead we will be offering viewers more opportunities to binge view by scheduling box sets of series and audiences’ will get the first chance to see premiere episodes of our biggest new programmes at 8.30pm.”
Latest acquisitions of major new BBC series for BBC First include two powerful contemporary dramas – The Honourable Woman starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, and the second series of The Fall, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. The Fall will be the first of many titles which will be shown on the channel is quick succession to their UK transmission.
The Honourable Woman
The Honourable Woman, written and directed by BAFTA winner Hugo Blick, is a fast-paced thriller set against an international backdrop. As a young girl Nessa Stein witnessed the assassination of her father by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Now in her thirties she is at the forefront of the Middle East peace process. After a Palestinian businessman who she awards a lucrative contract is killed, Nessa and her brother come under the close scrutiny of Whitehall and the Secret Intelligence Service. Set against the gripping backdrop of government paranoia and espionage, the series tells the story of one woman’s personal journey to right the wrongs conducted in a past life.
Currently filming in Belfast, the second series of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed psychological thriller, The Fall, sees the icy and in control Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson continue her pursuit of serial killer Paul Spector.
Brian Walsh, Foxtel Director of Television said, “The addition of BBC First cements our commitment to providing Foxtel customers with first-run, high quality international drama. The BBC is world-renowned for producing premium programming that is loved by Australian audiences, and BBC First delivers scripted drama with award-winning actors and compelling stories across varying genres such as comedy, thriller and historical.”
Titles which will be shown on the channel in launch month include:
- The Musketeers –a thrilling world of action, adventure and romance inspired by Dumas’ legendary characters, starring Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
- Peaky Blinders – acclaimed epic gangster family saga set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s, starring Cillian Murphy.
- The Politician’s Husband – a gripping drama about the shifting balance of power in a political marriage, starring David Tennant and Emily Watson and created by Paula Milne.
- Burton and Taylor – starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West and telling the story of Hollywood’s original ‘it’ couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, acting together in Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’.
- Alan Partridge – his two new mockumentaries Welcome To The Places of My Life andOn Open Books With Martin Bryce, starring Steve Coogan.
- The Fear – a bold edgy drama starring Peter Mullan as a former crime boss whose empire is brought to its knees by the disintegration of his criminal mind.
- Breathless – following the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a busy gynaecology unit in a London hospital in the 1960s.
BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform. It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition. Drama and comedy fans will be able to check what’s coming up on BBC First via the programme page.