Best new movies and shows on BBC iPlayer in March 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

Peaky Blinders (BBC One, March 1)

While the sixth series of Peaky Blinders is to be the final outing of the show proper, creator Steven Knight has plans for a film and several spin-off series set within the same world as the original. It’s also set to honour the late Helen McCrory: the actress portrayed Aunt Polly and sadly died in April 2021.

Set in inter-war Birmingham, Peaky Blinders follows the rise of a group of gangsters named for their deadly headgear. The previous five series are available on iPlayer now, with new episodes joining them after broadcast.

Stanley Tucci: Searching For Italy (BBC Two, March 1)

Oscar-nominated actor Stanley Tucci, currently doing a tour of interview shows in the UK, goes to Italy in this new six-part series to explore the country’s cuisine. The first episode sees Tucci venture to Naples where, in the Spanish Quarter, he meets Professor Elisabetta Moro who takes him to visit the last authentic fried pizza maker Fernanda’s.

The full series will be available on iPlayer shortly after broadcast, with the episodes also airing on BBC Two on Sundays at 19:20. Nothing like some tantalising Italian dishes in a hot climate to see through the tail-end of the British Winter.

Killing Eve (March 1)

At the end of series three of Killing Eve, Villanelle and Eve decided they would go their separate ways on a Thames bridge. After a two year wait, the first episode of the final series will be available on iPlayer from the beginning of March before being broadcast on BBC One a week later.

We return to Villanelle apparently having found God and asking for the forgiveness of her sins. It’s an intriguing premise for a series now taken over by Laura Neal as showrunner and screenwriter, known for her work on Secret Diary of a Call Girl and Sex Education. It’s been a shaky show that significantly declined in quality after Phoebe Waller-Bridge left the writing team, but perhaps Neal can pick it up.

Top Picks: Movies

The Apartment (BBC Two, March 1)

Released in 1960, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment won five Oscars following its release. Starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, the title room is used by Lemmon’s work superiors for their extramarital affairs, including his boss who conducts an affair with a lift operator played by MacLaine.

The film will only be available on iPlayer for seven days so be sure to check it out quickly. Hilarious and painfully moving in its depiction of mental health crises, it’s one of the finest films Wilder made.

Brief Encounter (BBC Four, March 3)

Adapted from Noel Coward’s play Still Life, Brief Encounter is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made. It follows a love affair between a doctor, played by Trevor Howard, and a housewife, played heart-wrenchingly by Celia Johnson, soundtracked by the overwhelming romance of Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto.

The film will be on iPlayer for 26 days, although it’s often shown on the BBC. After watching, also seek out David Lean’s other early British dramas, including Blithe Spirit and Hobson’s Choice.

The Lavender Hill Mob (BBC Two, March 4)

Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway make for a mighty comedic pairing in one of Ealing’s finest films about a bank agent who plots to steal gold from his workplace by melting it down and remoulding it as Eiffel Tower souvenir models. The great screenwriter T.E.B. Clarke won an Oscar for his screenplay, a comic take on the British police drama he mastered in The Blue Lamp.

Ealing films are a staple of BBC Two’s lunchtime programming, so be sure to keep an eye out for other masterful films from the studio. This one will be available on iPlayer for 30 days, with plenty of other British film treats available alongside it.