Best new movies and shows on BBC iPlayer in October 2022

Every month BBC iPlayer offers a plethora of new movies and TV shows to watch. Critic Lillian Crawford picks six of the best titles to check out in the coming weeks.

Top Picks: TV

Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (BBC Two, From October 2)

The American actor Stanley Tucci returns to his Italian roots once more for a second series of his effervescent travelogue exploring the culinary delights of Italy. This series begins in Venice, the cuisine of which is made unique by its aquatic surroundings and centuries of placement at the hub of various cultures.

Tucci is always careful to tie the dishes he makes and consumes to the nation’s history, and is not afraid to broach some of the country’s more controversial political questions. The full first series can be streamed from iPlayer now, while the four episodes of series two will become available on the site shortly after their broadcast on BBC Two throughout October.

BBC Young Musician 2022 (BBC Four, From October 2)

The BBC’s landmark competition for outstanding young classical musicians returns in October with a fresh crop of talent from across the United Kingdom. The first week of the month will showcase highlights from finals in five categories defined by different sections of the orchestra: strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboards.

The winners of each of these category finals will this year win a place in the grand final, to be broadcast in full on BBC Four on Sunday October 9. The series is presented by saxophonist Jess Gillam, who competed in the final of the competition in 2016, and pianist Alexis Ffrench from the Saffron Hall. It’s bound to be a tight and fierce competition, made available after each broadcast on iPlayer for thirty days.

Inside Man (BBC One, From October 4)

The latest television drama from writer Steven Moffat follows four storylines which become entangled with deadly results. There’s a prisoner on death row hoping to find redemption for his crimes before his execution, played by Stanley Tucci. A journalist in England looking for a story, played by It’s a Sin breakout star Lydia West, and a village vicar played by David Tennant who picks up his son’s maths tutor from the station, played by Dolly Wells.

It looks to be a gripping drama from Moffat, best known for his time as a lead writer on Doctor Who and Sherlock, with a starry transatlantic leading cast. Each episode is being made available on iPlayer after broadcast, with the first two ready to stream now and the final two coming in early October.

Top Picks: Movies

I Am Not Your Negro (BBC Four, From October 1)

The movie picks for iPlayer this month all come from the BBC’s Black History Month schedule, featuring an array of films and documentaries focusing on black lives and history. First on the list is Raoul Peck’s 2016 documentary I Am Not Your Negro, screening as part of the BBC’s Arena documentary strand.

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film examines racial oppression and focuses on the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. It also features excerpts from James Baldwin’s unfinished novel Remember This House, upon which the main thread is based. The groundbreaking film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars and won the BAFTA in that category.

Moonlight (BBC Two, From October 3)

Next up in the schedule for the BBC’s Black History Month is the Best Picture-winning Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins. It’s coming-of-age story split into three acts, depicting the childhood, adolescence, and early adult life of Chiron, played by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, and Trevante Rhodes respectively.

Naomie Harris gives an astonishing performance as Chiron’s drug-addicted mother, as does Mahershala Ali as Juan, a drug dealer who becomes a father figure to the boy. The film will be available on iPlayer for the next two years, so plenty of time to catch up with one of the best films of the last decade.

The Color Purple (BBC Two, From October 4)

The final pick for Black History Month is Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s seminal novel, The Color Purple. The film follows Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg, in her fight to maintain self-esteem after she is separated from her sister and forced into an abusive marriage.

Set across the years 1909 to 1947 in a small Georgia town, the film features a cast including Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, as well as a rare Quincy Jones soundtrack, the first time John Williams had not scored a Spielberg movie. The film will be available on iPlayer after broadcast for the remainder of the month.