BBC iPlayer gets a payload of classic TV boxsets as British viewers are stuck inside

(Image credit: BBC)

With schools closing and people being advised to maintain social distancing, the BBC has announced it's adding a payload of classic series to the iPlayer streaming service (check it out here). Ten series of MI5 drama Spooks are available right now, with other older favourites like Kenneth Branagh detective drama Wallander and The Missing coming later this month.

Here's what you'll be able to marathon on iPlayer in the next few months:

  • Spooks (every episode) – Out now
  • Waking the Dead (every episode) – 26th March
  • French and Saunders (every episode) – 26th March
  • Wallander (every episode) – 30th March
  • The Honourable Woman (every episode) 30th March
  • The Missing – all episodes – 31st March
  • Baptiste – all episodes – 31st March
  • The A-Word – series 1 & 2 – 9th April

“BBC iPlayer is playing a vital role in these unprecedented times, not only allowing people to catch up on the latest news but also giving them a place to escape into a great series of their choice," says Dan McGolpin, controller of programming and BBC iPlayer. McGolpin points out that this joins a suite of recent shows added to the service, like every episode of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood as well as acclaimed police drama Line of Duty.

Sign in with the device of your choice, and find something to watch.

iPlayer's range is secretly amazing

Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh, is a beautifully shot detective series based on the novels by Henning Mankel. 

Wallander, starring Kenneth Branagh, is a beautifully shot detective series based on the novels by Henning Mankel.  (Image credit: BBC)

Funded by licence fee payers, iPlayer could be the best streaming service you're not watching. You absolutely must watch dark anthology show Inside No 9 if you haven't already, and every single episode is available to stream through the BBC service. All four series of Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle are on there, as well as both series of Killing Eve, which is a smash hit on iPlayer. That's barely scratching the surface.

But it's not just homegrown shows you'll find on there. Through its deal with US cable network FX, you can watch every episode of shows like Snowfall, Better Things and Pose. 

It's also got a great revolving range of films to watch. At the time of writing, you can stream Channing Tatum sports drama Foxcatcher, Oscar-winner Manchester by the Sea and ambitious multi-generational drama The Place Beyond the Pines, with Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling. 

As people combat the boredom of being stuck indoors, the BBC is playing its part. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.