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Acorn TV May 2021 Highlights


Crime-writer extraordinaire Lynda La Plante (Prime Suspect, Widows) brings us this gritty, slick, long-running police procedural. Each series brings us two thrilling feature-length instalments that start with the shocking crime, followed by the in-depth police investigation and concluding with the gripping trial. Originally airing on ITV, we follow the gritty cases and the personal lives of DS Mike Walker (David Hayman, Viceroy's House, Murphy's Law) and DI Pat North (Kate Buffery, Wish Me Luck, The Rainbow).


Emmy award-winning and BAFTA nominated period drama The Hour delves deep into the high-stakes world of TV news. Set in 1956, the series sees BBC reporters Bel Rowley (Romola Garai, Emma, The Miniaturist) and Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw, Spectre, The Lobster), join a brand-new current affairs programme and soon become embroiled in a dark and dangerous conspiracy.


Julie Graham (Queens of Mystery, Shetland, The Bletchley Circle) gives a stand-out turn as Rosalie, a woman grieving the death of her husband, but when she meets the charming Jed (Nico Mirallegro, Rillington Place, My Mad Fat Diary), her and daughter Maddie's (Tallulah Greive) lives are about to change forever. The family start to feel a spark of hope for the future, but underneath, a deadly and morally corrupt triangle is taking shape. Also stars Neil Morrissey (Good Karma Hospital, Line of Duty).


This award-winning, much-loved French crime drama follows the smart and charming Commandant Candice Renoir (Cecile Bois, Germinal, Gloria), a police officer and single mother of four who returns to the force, the BSU in Sete, following a 10-year hiatus. Candice must face the challenge of juggling work and family life, while also fighting to be accepted by her colleagues and prove herself in the new world of crime-fighting, using technology she doesn't quite understand. But Candice is determined to do the job she loves... solving crimes.


Head to the stunning Kent coast to discover this gem of a series, starring acting favourite Kerry Godliman (After Life, Save Me, Adult Material) in the lead role. Pearl Nolan (Goldliman) has always dreamed of becoming a detective; however, an unplanned pregnancy left her police career in tatters. When the body of a close family friend is found under mysterious circumstances, Pearl suspects foul play and teams up with new arrival, DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles, The Musketeers, Liar, Alex Rider), to learn the truth. Episode two: when an estate agent is found tied up having been tortured, DCI Mike McGuire is left baffled over what could have driven someone to act so viciously. Meanwhile, Pearl investigates a string of anonymous donations and whether Whitstable has its very own Robin Hood...

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Deutschland '89 and Deutschland '83, '86 & '89 Complete DVD Box Set

FOLLOWING THE unparalleled success of Deutschland '83 and '86, which critics hailed as the start of a golden age for German TV, comes the hugely anticipated third instalment of the gripping series, Deutschland '89. Alongside programmes like the much-lauded Babylon Berlin, a fourth series of which is in the making, the timing is perfect for the next instalment of this cool, super stylish thriller. It is set to arrive on digital from 24 April and on DVD on 26 April 2021 from Acorn Media International alongside a stunning Deutschland '83, '86 & '89 Complete DVD Box Set.

Deutschland '89 takes us to the era-defining fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and the return of superspy Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay - Line of Separation) who must deal with the consequences it brings. The peaceful revolution has thrown his world into turmoil. He and his fellow agents at the HVA (East German Foreign Intelligence) are reeling. Their government has collapsed, their organisation is in chaos and their futures are uncertain, at best. How to play the next hand? Join Big Brother at the KGB? Go West and work for an enemy agency? Use international contacts to begin a new career? Or run off to paradise with hoarded gold? Our heroes need to reinvent themselves in the face of a new world order.

Deutschland '83 saw UK viewing figures in excess of 2.5 million, exceeding that of the seminal Nordic noir hit The Killing and putting Germany at the forefront of must watch television. This epic coming-of-age story is set against real events, culture wars and the political realities of Germany in the early 1980s and sees Jonas Nay (Line of Separation) as a spy at the centre of this suspenseful Cold War thriller. The series also features an era defining 1980s pop soundtrack that hits all the right nostalgic buttons (99 Red Balloons anyone?).

Deutschland '86 catapults audiences into the tumultuous political landscape of 80s East Germany. We join Martin Rauch (Nay) in 1986 and East Germany is broken, Perestroika is real, terrorism plagues Europe, the AIDS crisis intensifies and the struggle against apartheid rages on. Banished for his sins in 1983, Rauch wallows in limbo until his Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader - Aimee & Jaguar, The City and the City) conscripts him into her plan to drum up hard currency abroad. They set off on an adventure through Africa, Western Europe and finally home to East Germany. Can Mafioso-style capitalism save communism just in the nick of time?

Experience a seminal historical event, along with the style, sounds and politics at the end of a memorable decade, through the eyes of a superspy in the riveting Deutschland '89 and revisit Martin Rauch's journey up the ranks in Deutschland '83, '86 & '89 Complete DVD Box Set.

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Raw Limited Edition Blu-ray

Get ready to tuck into a meaty treat with Raw, the deliciously dark tale of a strict vegetarian who discovers a taste for human flesh after heading to a brutal veterinary college where initiation ceremonies are the norm. Second Sight has cooked up a special Limited Edition Blu-ray of this horror hit due to be dished up on 26 April 2021.

Julia Ducournau's shocking feature film debut was acclaimed by critics after a barnstorming debut at Toronto International Film Festival, where paramedics had to be called after audience members fainted at the film's premiere. Now, after wowing audiences on its initial release, Second Sight has pulled the Raw ingredients together for a lip-smacking Limited Edition release packed full of extras and served up in a sumptuous rigid slipcase with a booklet containing essays and interviews and three collector's art cards.

Shy student Justine (Garance Marillier, due to make her English language debut in sci-fi thriller Warning alongside Alice Eve), heads to a veterinary school and is subjected a tough series of hazing rituals from fellow students. And it's even tougher for vegetarian Justine as she is covered in blood and forced to eat raw meat. But after tasting the flesh, Justine finds herself craving even more meat - and it doesn't matter if it's animal or human as her uncontrollable desires lead to a horrific outcome.

Second Sight has produced a sumptuous buffet for your delectation, with new features on the menu including interviews with star Garance Marilier and producer Jean des Forets, a new commentary from critic Alexandra West, as well as interviews and commentaries from Julia Ducournau and plenty more, this is a dish that tastes as good as it looks.

Sink your teeth into Raw, a delectable, meaty treat.

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The Terror Series 1 Blu-ray and DVD

Exec-produced by Ridley Scott, horror-period-drama The Terror features a fantastic line-up of British acting greats including BAFTA winner Jared Harris (Chernobyl, The Crown) and Golden Globe nominee Tobias Menzies (The Crown, Game of Thrones), as the crew of a real life Royal Naval expedition in 1847 that ventures deep into the Arctic. Following its run on BBC Two, this gripping thriller with a horror edge is set for its Blu-ray, DVD and digital debut on 26 April 2021 from Acorn Media International.

Based on Dan Simmons' best-selling novel, the 10-part series has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%, and has been lauded as 'A fascinating step forward for the survival-horror genre...genius' (The Atlantic).

1847, the crew of a real life Royal Naval expedition led by three captains, Sir John Franklin (Ciaran Hinds - Game of Thrones, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Francis Crozier (Harris) and James Fitzjames (Menzies), is sent to find the Arctic's fabled treacherous Northwest Passage, but instead discovers a monstrous polar bear-like predator, a cunning and vicious Gothic horror that stalks the ships in a desperate game of survival.

However, it soon becomes clear that that's just the beginning of their troubles. As things worsen and civilised behaviour disintegrates in favour of survival at any cost, the crew must simultaneously battle the elements, the supernatural and eventually - themselves. The captains make contact with a mute Inuit woman, Lady Silence (Nive Nielsen - The New World, Togo), who lives as an outcast from her tribe but still follows their old religion...can they trust her to help them, or will she only add to The Terror?

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Rock Hill - Counter HIstories

The story of the Friendship 9 carries huge significance in the battle to end segregation in Southern American states. The nine mens' powerful and moving stand helped change history, but is one of the lesser-known incidents, among the many that shaped the civil rights movement of 1960s America.

Now the story of the heroes who chose to go to jail - serving hard labour sentences and rationed to bread and water - is told in feature Rock Hill - Counter Histories which is set for it UK premiere on digital on 26 April 2021, courtesy of Reel to Reel Films.

Some 40 years after a brave group of African Americans took up seats set aside for whites only at the counter of a cafe in the South Carolina town of Rock Hill, this groundbreaking documentary, which blends archive footage with recreations and new interviews with the protagonists, can tell the inspiring real tale of the Friendship 9.

The group, so called because of the school many of them attended, took a new route for Civil Rights activists as the movement and opposition to it intensified. To help the cause and save money that could be better spent elsewhere, they opted for a new strategy - jail, no bail, eschewing paying up and instead being sent to serve 30 days' hard labour. Their brave move enabled the movement to better use its resources and represented a shift in the battle for equal rights.

The award-winning documentary, which has played at festivals around the world, interviews original members of the Friendship 9, and others in and around the incident.

The must-watch Rock Hill - Counter Histories sheds light on an important historical moment through the words of the brave people who helped shape history.

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The critically acclaimed breakout Sci-Fi hit, Upgrade from director Leigh Whannell (Insidious, Saw) and the team behind Get Out, gets a new Blu-ray release in Standard Edition complete with an enhanced slew of special features.

In a near-future world, where technology controls everything, technophobe Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green - The Invitation, Spider-Man: Homecoming) is the victim of a brutal mugging that leaves his wife dead and him paralysed. A reclusive billionaire inventor offers him an experimental cure, an A.I. implant called STEM. Grey accepts and is immediately transformed into an unstoppable killing machine with enhanced strength and agility. Now it's payback time. Genre specialist Blumhouse and the visionary creator of the Saw franchise team up to create an instant cyberpunk classic.

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World on a Wire

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's dystopian sci-fi epic World on a Wire was way ahead of its time, with fascinating themes that would later be explored in films such as The Matrix. Now this hugely influential classic arrives in a stunningly restored Standard Edition Blu-ray on 26 April from Second Sight.

Simulacron 1 is a highly advanced project, designed to elevate conventional computer technology to a new level by creating a virtual reality inhabited by computer-generated people or 'identity units'. When the head of the project dies mysteriously after showing signs of mental disturbance, Dr Stiller becomes his successor. As he begins to probe deeper into Simulacron, the line between the real and virtual world becomes increasingly blurred and his own existence is questioned.

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In Bruges

The hilariously dark hitman movie with a heart, In Bruges, gets its Standard-Edition Blu-ray release, complete with special features on 19 April from Second Sight. The film from award-winning director Martin McDonagh (Three Bill Boards Outside Ebbing Missouri), the film was originally released in 2008 and has gone on to earn cult status. It sees Brendan Gleeson (Cold Mountain) and Colin Farrell (The Lobster) in career defining, critically acclaimed performances, as a pair of hired heavies sent to lie low in the Belgian city after a botched hit, with the Daily Express saying 'Gleeson is a delight and Farrell gives his best performance'.

Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) stars as their boss and the line-up also features Elizabeth Berrington (Good Omens), Clemence Poesy (The Tunnel) and Eric Godon (The Missing).

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