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Perfect winter TV binges!

Perfect winter TV binges!

In the depths of winter, there’s nothing like a brilliant box set for keeping you warm and contented – so make the hot chocolate and settle down for some engrossing entertainment 

By Chris Miller, Writer

Rock band The Darkness once pleaded, “Christmas Time! Don’t let the bells end!” But the thing is, they do, every year. Suddenly it’s January, the turkey and pigs in blankets are just faint memories, and you’re staring at weeks of dark, chilly days when no one wants to do anything that involves leaving the house. There’s only one thing for it: time to crack into a box set.


And the good news is you can find plenty of superb series on your Virgin TV service that will keep you entertained long enough to forget about the bleak midwinter outside! Whether you’re a fan of sitcoms, crime thrillers, period dramas or fleet-footed superheroes, there’s something for everyone in our selection of bingeworthy shows available in on demand at any time…



Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Alibi

Idris Elba came to the world’s attention as Stringer Bell in The Wire, but it was playing Inspector John Luther that propelled him to stardom. Elba is simply mesmerising as a London detective who becomes consumed by the crimes he investigates, although nothing can top his overriding obsession with Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Is she a murderer? A saviour? A psychopath?

How many series? 5

How many episodes? 20

What’s the best one? Season 3, episode 3. A shocking death precedes an even more shocking revelation.


And Just Like That…

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

It’s hard to believe Sex And The City has been off the air since 2004 – with its groundbreaking frankness, it still seems like a breath of fresh TV air to us! And it’s absolutely the right show to bring back after all these years, as we get to see how the characters deal with changing roles and expectations in And Just Like That…. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) all return, and there’s an all-new supporting cast including Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy) and Nicole Ari Parker (Chicago P.D.).

How many series? 1

How many episodes? 10

What’s the best one? Episode 1. Although it takes a while to set the scene, the surprise ending changes everything and sets up the season beautifully.


The Flash

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Max

Barry “The Flash” Allen is without doubt the most fun of DC’s superheroes. He’s not a disaffected billionaire turned crimefighter or a tortured alien trying to understand his place in the world; he’s a guy who likes to save people while running really fast. Grant Gustin makes a likeable Flash in this long-running series which features some daring sci-fi concepts – changing history, time travel, parallel universes – and pulls them off with style. Because it’s part of DC’s Arrowverse, look out for appearances from other heroes such as Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Superman (Tyler Hoechlin).

How many series?
7 (so far)

How many episodes? 169

What’s the best one? Season 3, episode 17. Not every superhero show could get away with a musical episode but this works perfectly, as Flash and Supergirl get trapped in a world of showtunes.


The Great

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > STARZPLAY

Before she was Catherine the Great, she was, um, plain old Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg and, in part to advance her family’s standing, was married off to Tsar Peter III of Russia in 1745. In this wildly imaginative retelling of history, Sophie/Catherine (Elle Fanning) realises that if she doesn’t provide her selfish twonk of a husband (Nicholas Hoult) with an heir and he dies before her, she inherits an empire. That gives her an idea… Scheming, violence, affairs and intrigue abound in an uproarious series that makes very little attempt at historical accuracy, and is all the better for it.

How many series? 1 (so far)

How many episodes? 10

What’s the best one? Episode 8. Catherine’s quick thinking averts a conflict with Sweden, but her actions set cataclysmic events in motion…


House Of Lies

Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

Where Mad Men explored how advertisers rake in millions through manipulation, House Of Lies turns its gaze on unscrupulous management consultants who stop at nothing to strike the deals that make them rich. Yes, it’s a comedy! Usually a nice guy, Don Cheadle (the MCU’s “Rhodey” Rhodes, aka War Machine) plays against type as amoral Marty Kaan, who frequently addresses the camera to gleefully explain what awful things are going on and why. Entertainingly horrible and horribly entertaining, it also stars Kristen Bell (The Good Place), Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation) and Dawn Olivieri (The Hot Zone: Anthrax).

How many series? 5

How many episodes? 58

What’s the best one? Season 4, episode 12. With his finances in crisis, Marty is desperate to save the company, but more important matters intervene as Jeannie (Bell) goes into labour…



Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > Sky Comedy

The Thick Of It’s Chris Addison and Simon Blackwell created this sitcom alongside star Martin Freeman (Sherlock), basing much of it on their own parenting experiences. Paul (Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard, Back To Life) are struggling to deal with everyday life as parents – from school plays to childhood phobias – and cope via a variety of unhelpful techniques including sarcasm, alcohol and blind fury. Anyone who’s been through similar trials may have trouble finding the laughs, but they’ll undoubtedly recognise the sentiments… There’s great support from Alun Armstrong (New Tricks), Joanna Bacon (Him & Her) and Freeman’s The Office castmate Patrick Baladi.

How many series? 2 (so far)

How many episodes? 20

What’s the best one? Season 2, episode 4. “Sadcoms” like Breeders are often at their best when dealing with big, serious emotions – and this episode is no exception.


Find it in On Demand > Box Sets > STV

This adaptation of two of Mark Billingham’s best-selling crime novels, Sleepyhead and Scaredycat, casts David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) as dogged London detective Tom Thorne, investigating grisly murders that take him down some bizarre and dangerous paths. Morrissey got the part after reading an interview in which Billingham suggested he’d be perfect in the role, and the author was right – Morrissey’s unique mix of sensitivity and menace is expertly deployed in this bold, unpredictable series. Look out for recognisable faces in supporting roles, including Aidan Gillen (Game Of Thrones), O-T Fagbenle (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh.

How many series? 2

How many episodes? 6

What’s the best one? Season 1, episode 3. The extraordinary events of Sleepyhead, in which the perpetrator tries to leave his victims in a vegetative state, reach their tense conclusion.

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Image credits: Luther © BBC 2010