Everything British for PBS Viewers to Stream in May 2024

Marsha Thomason as Francine Bridge, David Haig as Archie Glover-Morgan, Victoria Hamilton as Anna Marshall, Robert Carlyle as Robert Sutherland, and Jane Horrocks as Victoria Dalton in 'COBRA' Season 3 Key Art

Marsha Thomason as Francine Bridge, David Haig as Archie Glover-Morgan, Victoria Hamilton as Anna Marshall, Robert Carlyle as Robert Sutherland, and Jane Horrocks as Victoria Dalton in 'COBRA' Season 3


It has been a very long spring, and while summer's mystery series are all announcing themselves for June and July, we're not actually there yet. There's one more month of high-profile releases heading this way, and at least two more Masterpiece shows to go before the spring 2024 season has concluded. Guilt's final season, which debuts at the end of April, will run through a good part of May, and Call The Midwife, which finished for PBS Passport members weeks ago, still has a couple of episodes left on linear. 

However, May is also one of the most diverse months on the PBS calendar for British streaming. Great Performances is back this month with a new production of William Shakespeare, as it broadcasts every year at this time. Plus, we have a surprise early arrival on PBS Passport for members in the form of COBRA, which won't premiere on linear for months yet.

Then there's Walter Presents; fans of the foreign language anthology have probably noticed several of its popular shows are running out of seasons or coming to a close. This month, with one big exception, the anthology is introducing all new titles that have only just started airing in this decade. It's an exciting time to be a fan of these programs, as nearly everything arriving for May will be brand new and up-to-date contemporary... well, those that aren't period pieces anyway.

So, let's grab a cold drink, grab a seat in the air-conditioned TV room, and check out what's coming to PBS as it gets too hot to go outside.

'Big Ben Restored'

Originally aired in the U.K. at the end of 2022 when the scaffolding came off, Big Ben Restored is a documentary with rare access to the restoration work that took place on the iconic clock tower. The one-hour special dives into the social and cultural history that the world’s most famous clock tower represents, while charting the extraordinary craftsmanship of the people painstakingly bringing this grand monument back to life for future generations.

Big Ben Restored arrives on select PBS Passports on Wednesday, May 1, and will follow on some PBS linear stations that weekend on May 4, 2024. Check your local listings and streaming services.

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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian television mystery/drama series.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: show-poster2x3

'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' Season 2

April 1 brought the first season of Essie Davis' Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, and now May arrives with the second season of the Aussie mystery series. Like Season 1, this is a PBS Passport debut, as Season 2 only ever aired on local linear PBS stations in certain markets when it originally aired in the U.S. in 2014. It probably will not surprise anyone to learn that Season 3 will follow next month.

All 13 episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Season 2 arrive on select PBS Passports on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Again, check your local listings and streaming services.

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Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific

Host Martin Clunes continues his epic ocean wide adventure in search of the real Pacific.
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'Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific' Season 2

Since the end of Doc Martin, Martin Clunes has been pursuing passion projects and specials for television, including his love of dogs and travel. In the latter category, he's been island hopping, with his latest special, Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific, proved so popular that he's now made a second season. For Season 2, Clunes travels to three new locales, including Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and Micronesia.

All three episodes of Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific Season 2 debut on select PBS Passports on Wednesday, May 1, and debut on some PBS linear stations starting Friday, May 3, 2024. As always, check those local listings and streaming services.

'I Killed My Husband' (J'ai Tué Mon Mari)

Usually, when a Walter Present show has a title like I Killed My Husband, it's a good bet that's not the original title of the series. However, in the case of the six-part miniseries I Killed My Husband, the series title is J'ai Tué Mon Mari. The series aired on the French thriller network 13èmeRUE at the end of 2021 and stars Erika Sainte (Jeanne du Barry) as Anna, whose perfect life is flipped upside down when she admits to murdering her abusive husband. However, what Anna thinks happened that night may be more gaslighting.

All six episodes of I Killed My Husband (J'ai Tué Mon Mari) arrive on PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel on Friday, May 3, 2024.


Masterpiece's final series for Spring 2024 is the delayed premiere of MaryLand. It was initially supposed to debut at the beginning of April 2024 but was delayed a month to make way for Mr Bates vs The Post Office. The series, which is Suranne Jones' first crack at script writing, stars her and Eve Best as two estranged sisters who make peace when they discover the screwed-up secrets their late mother kept from them were way worse than anything they ever did to each other.

MaryLand debuts Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. ET on most PBS stations, the PBS app, and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel, and will stream with weekly episodes on all three platforms. PBS Passport members will get all three episodes on premiere day and be able to stream the series as a binge.

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MaryLand follows two estranged sisters as they unearth the truth about their mother.
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'The Sketch Artist' (Portrait-Robot) Season 1

Canadians who subscribe to the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel have been able to watch The Sketch Artist (Portrait-Robot) Season 1 since February. But for Americans, the French-Canadian police procedural set in Montreal, which debuted on Club Illico in April 2021, arrives this month. Rachel Graton stars as Eve Garance, a sketch artist with a gift for reading people who teams up with detectives to solve murder cases. The first two seasons are made up of five two-part cases, and a third season has already been ordered for 2024.

All ten episodes of The Sketch Artist (Portrait-Robot) Season 1 arrive on PBS Passport and the PBS Prime Video Channel on Friday, May 10, 2024.

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Great Performances

The world of classical performing arts is brought to the comfort of your living room.
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'Great Performances: Hamlet'

Great Performances is always good for at least one British title a season due to the series' long-running relationship with The Public Theater. The two have a deal to broadcast a filmed version of the yearly Free Shakespeare in the Park production that's held in Central Park's Delacorte Theater every summer, which is usually one of the final episodes of the Great Performances season. For 2024's Season 51, it's Episode 19, and the production is Hamlet. A contemporary, post-BLM American-set take on the family tale of lust and betrayal directed by Kenny Leon, it stars Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play) in the title role with Solea Pfeiffer (Hadestown) as Ophelia. 

Great Performances: Hamlet debuts on most PBS stations on Friday, May 10, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET and streams on the PBS app and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel. It will be available on PBS Passport for members only after June 9, 2024. As always, check your local listings and streamers.

'COBRA' Season 3

The unintentionally hilarious contemporary political drama COBRA was never one that could quite be taken as seriously as some of the other Sunday night British fare that it ran with during its first two seasons. However, it's a bit of an insult to Robert Sutherland's cabinet of crises to shove its third (and most likely final) season to Thursday nights in July, the night that no local station has bothered to follow the national schedule for since Mystery! ended in 2008. Lucky for those who must watch David Haig dine on the set of Number 10, Season 3 is getting an early PBS Passport binge release this month so that you can watch it on Sunday nights in May instead of that godawful Guilt Season 3 Masterpiece is determined to inflict on us.

All six episodes of COBRA Season 3 land on PBS Passport as an early binge for members on Sunday, May 13, 2024. The series will debut on linear, the PBS app, and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel as a weekly release starting Thursday, July 25, 2024. However, none of your local stations will probably air it on Thursdays, so for goddess' sake, check your local listings.

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Follow the British government committee COBRA as it overcomes a major national crisis.
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'Disturbing Disappearances' (Disparition Inquiétante) Season 1

Disturbing Disappearances (Disparition Inquiétante) originally began in 2019 as a TV movie, which was called Disparition Inquiétante: L'Évaporation, about a young police commissioner desperately searching for nine students kidnapped during a school field trip. It proved so popular that it was expanded into an anthology miniseries, with two more feature-length installments released in 2021 and another in 2022, with the uniting thread of the trauma suffered by those tasked with solving these high-pressure cases. These four make up "Season 1," even though the original network, France 2, lists the show as an ongoing miniseries, with six episodes broadcast and at least one to two more in production. (One assumes those next four will arrive as "Season 2" down the line.)

Disturbing Disappearances (Disparition Inquiétante) Season 1 arrives on PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel on Friday, May 17, 2024. 

'Bellefond' Season 1

TV5MONDE's new hit police procedural, Bellefond, debuted its first season in October 2022. The series stars Stéphane Bern, who is a bit like the Graham Norton of French Television, as famous prosecutor Antoine Bellefond with Anne Caillon (who Walter Presents fans will recognize from other French series) as his girlfriend/partner in crime solving, Audrey Passereau. (Those who watched Murder in Provence will recall that their justice system is odd; judges and prosecutors solve their cases like detectives.) Anyway, due to Bern's extremely busy television presenter schedule, Season 1 was only two feature-length episodes long, but Season 2 was commissioned right away and broadcast in 2023, so there's more to come.

Both episodes of Bellefond Season 1 arrive on Friday, May 24, 2024, on PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel.

'Seaside Hotel' (Badehotellet) Season 10

Walter Present's first and biggest hit to date, Seaside Hotel (Badehotellet), returns for Season 10 only weeks after it concluded airing on TV2 over in Denmark. (The sheer speed of turnaround in getting the new season here this fast speaks volumes of how popular this show has become with American audiences. The fact that most PBS stations will also air the series on linear as well as PBS Passport is downright remarkable.) For those who have not followed along at home, the war (World War II, that is) is over; it is the summer of 1946. The world is starting to change and fast, and the hotel guests and staff are doing everything they can to cope. But even as things change, some things never do...

All nine episodes of Seaside Hotel (Badehotellet) Season 10 arrive on Friday, May 31, 2024, on PBS Passport and the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel. Season 10 will come to PBS linear stations in June to follow at local station discretion, so please, check your local listings. 

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Seaside Hotel

Seaside Hotel is a story about the guests and staff at a beach hotel by the North Sea.
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Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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