April showers may bring May flowers, but they also tend to drive people indoors to watch TV. It's a good time of year for it. With award nominations dancing in their heads, all the industry's major players are putting forward their best shows. On PBS and Masterpiece, the lineup of Call The Midwife, Sanditon, and Marie Antoinette all continue to air on Sundays, with new episodes coming to PBS Passport and the PBS App every week. And when Sanditon ends, Tom Jones will join the party, arriving on the last Sunday of the month.
PBS Passport also continues its wealth of Walter's Choice/Walter Presents arrivals. The waves of incoming titles started at the end of November 2022 and is rounding towards six months' worth of multiple title debuts per week, putting it on equal debut footing as Disney+ and HBO Max for the sheer number of title arrivals. Moreover, as the Walter's Choice arrivals pile up, many of the new debuts are continuations of seasons already on passport, giving audiences more of the stories they've recently discovered, including fan favorite Astrid and the English language remake of Before We Die.
Here's a rundown of everything British or from British TV arriving for PBS Passport members this month. (As always, check your local listings!)
'The Crimson Rivers' (Les Rivières Pourpres) Season 3
There are two versions of The Crimson Rivers (Les Rivières Pourpres). There's the movie version, which debuted in 2000 starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassell. Then there's this version, the TV series, which debuted in 2018 and is a spinoff of the film. Thie series stars Olivier Marchal in Reno's role of Pierre Niémans and has thus far run four seasons on France 2. Season 2 of the series arrived at the beginning of February 2023; Season 1 is not on PBS Passport. (No, I have no idea why.) Season 3 arrives with all eight episodes on Saturday, April 1, 2023.
The Crimson Rivers
'The Good Apprentice' (L'Allieva) Season 1
Walter's Choice's second batch of arrivals includes three brand-new shows audiences haven't had access to on the PBS Passport platform before. The biggest is The Good Apprentice (L'Allieva) Season 1, an Italian series starring Alessandra Mastronardi as Alice Allevi, a medical student studying forensic medicine, torn between an arrogant doctor Claudio Conforti, the son of the institute manager, Arthur. The series ran three seasons on RAI, so there's more to come.
Also arriving on Thursday, April 6, 2023:
- Rosy Abate: La Serie Season 1 (a spin-off of Squadra Antimafia)
The Nordic Murders
'The Silence of Water' (Il Silenzio Dell'Acqua)
The Italian thriller, The Silence of Water (Il Silenzio Dell'Acqua), originally aired on Canale 5 in its home country before being picked up by France 3 the next year and then making its way to Walter Presents on Channel 4. The series features Claudio Castrogiovanni as Dino, assigned to investigate the disappearance of a teenager in a small village by the sea. The show's international popularity got it a second season, which aired in two parts, ending in 2022. Seasons 1 and 2 arrive on PBS Passport on Friday, April 7, 2023.
Leo Mattei – Special Unit
'Before We Die' Season 2
Walter Iuzzolino, the man behind Walter Presents/Walter's Choice, opened his own production studio, Eagle Eye Drama, to film English remakes of the series' most popular foreign language hits. PBS initially tried to air them along with other Masterpiece mysteries on Sunday nights, but they didn't fit the lineup. So now they're being consolidated with the original versions on PBS Passport, with Thursday airings to follow. Before We Die, Season 2 is the first to get this treatment; the Lesley Sharpe remake will be on broadcast come summer 2023. However, all episodes will join Season 1 on PBS Passport first, on Monday, April 10, 2023.
Before We Die
'The First Forgotten' (Le Premier Oublié)
Mid-month Walter's Choice brings several additional seasons to shows already on PBS Passport, and one brand new title, the French TV movie The First Forgotten (Le Premier Oublié). The film focuses on Axel (Matt Pokora), the estranged son of Françoise (Muriel Robin), whose Alzheimer's has progressed to losing whole sections of her life. Axel is the first of the siblings to disappear from his mother's memory, and the why of it all means uncovering a mystery buried in the family history.
Also arriving on Thursday, April 13, fans get more episodes of three favorites:
- Leo Mattei – Special Unit (Léo Mattéï, Brigade des Mineurs) Season 2 (Season 1 debuted in March 2023)
- The Paris Murders (Profilage) Season 5 (Seasons 1-3 arrived in February, Season 4 in March 2023)
- Paradise (Il Paradiso Delle Signore) Season 3 (Season 1 debuted in January, Season 2 in February 2023)*
*Paradise has been arriving in batches, with Season 1's 20 episodes debuting as two 10-episode seasons. "Season 3" is actually the first half of Season 2's 20-episode run. (In reality, Season 3 is where the series jumped from 20 episodes a season to 180 episodes a year, and probably will never make it over here.)
The Paris Murders
'Mafia Only Kills in Summer' (La Mafia Uccide Solo D'estate) Season 2
Despite the title, Mafia Only Kills in Summer (La Mafia Uccide Solo D'estate), this spinoff TV series of the 2013 Italian black comedy film of the same name is more of a coming-of-age drama in serialized form. The film, written and directed by the Italian impresario Pif, was inspired by actual events in Sicily from the 1970s to 1990s; the TV series, also written and overseen by Pif, picks up in the later 1970s. The series ran two seasons and focuses on the 10-year-old Salvatore Giammarresi, who witnesses several major crime events in his hometown as he comes of age. Season 1 debuted in February 2023, and all episodes of Season 2 arrive on Friday, April 14, 2023.
Mafia Only Kills in Summer
'Astrid' (Astrid et Raphaëlle) Season 2
For everyone who has been asking since November 2022 when PBS Passport would get more Astrid, this post is for you. Season two of the popular series, titled Astrid et Raphaëlle in France, headlines the arrivals for Thursday, April 20, 2023. Sara Mortensen returns as Astrid Nielsen, with Lola Dewaere as her partner in criminal hunting, Raphaëlle Coste. The series ran four seasons, so two more will eventually arrive.
Also arriving on April 20 are five brand-new titles:
- Love and Sacrifice (Sacrificio de Amor)
- Solo (Mafia Undercover) Season 1
- Two Sisters (Sorelle)
- Moscow Noir (Dirigenten)
- I Know Who You Are (Sé Quién Eres)
'Charité' Season 2
Originally streamed on Netflix until the service let the rights go, Charité is one of Walter's Choice's biggest gets. Season 1 debuted in March 2023, set in 1888 when the titular hospital first opened; it was one part period drama, one part hospital soap opera, and addictive viewing. Season 2 jumps ahead to the 1940s and World War II (Netflix had it under the title Charité At War). The hospital finds itself trying to hold down the homefront during the Blitz while overwhelmed with injured soldiers sent home from the front. All episodes of Season 2 arrive on Thursday, April 27, 2023. The series also has a third season that aired and a fourth on the way, so there's more to this anthology series.
Also, on April 27, two more fan favorites get additional seasons:
'Carmen Curlers' Season 1
The end of the month brings the Danish hit Carmen Curlers to PBS Passport. The period piece that focuses on the forging of modern Denmark was a smash hit in its home country when it debuted last year, and Walter's Choice bringing it over so fast is a significant get. Inspired by real events, the series focuses on entrepreneur Axel Byvang (Morten Hee Andersen), who recruits women from neighboring farms to produce electronic hair curlers. All episodes of Season 1 will arrive on Friday, April 28, 2023; Season 2 will be out on Demark DR network come the Fall of 2023 and probably arrive here in Spring 2024.
Also arriving on April 28 are two new titles:
- Transfer (Transferts)
Angel of Death
Last but not least, Masterpiece's new adaptation of the classic Henry Fielding novel Tom Jones arrives on Sunday, April 30, 2023. The series stars Solly McLeod (House of the Dragon) as the titular Tom, Sophie Wilde (The Portable Door) as his beloved Sophia, Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) as Lady Bellaston, and Pearl Mackie (Doctor Who) as Honour, along with a bevy of A-list British talent co-starring. The series will air weekly on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on most PBS stations through mid-May, but PBS Passport members will be able to binge all four episodes starting on the show's premiere date, Sunday, April 30. 2023.