First for BBC drama as The Living And The Dead will premiere exclusively on iPlayer as a box set ahead of TV transmission


The Living And The Dead will be the first primetime BBC drama to be made available to watch entirely on iPlayer before airing on television.

All six episodes of the supernatural thriller starring Colin Morgan (Humans, Merlin) and Charlotte Spencer (Glue) will go live on BBC iPlayer from Friday June 17. Episode one will then premiere on BBC One at 9pm on Tuesday June 28.

Speaking at a press screening for the first episode at the BFI in central London on Tuesday evening, Controller of BBC One Charlotte Moore said: "Part of my mission at the BBC is to grow iPlayer into the future, and I will be exploring more premieres like this. But it's fantastic to be doing this with The Living And The Dead."

The Living and the Dead (BBC Pictures)

Asked whether he was excited that the box set would be available on iPlayer ahead of transmission, actor Morgan added: "Absolutely. It's how I watch TV and how I watch drama. I watch it as and when, as most people do. It's a new thing for the BBC but it's not a new thing.

"Shows going up on Netflix, Amazon... it's all there for you to watch as and when you want. I think what's great also is that we're not forgetting about the people who want to watch it week by week because it is airing on TV as well."

Executive producer Katie McAleese explained: "I think it's really, really exciting. And I think it's completely right that we're thinking about the way people watch TV now.

"You think about iPlayer and it's not really a catch-up service. It's a sort of a fitting in with your life service. It's how you watch things. So I think it's completely right that we embrace that and that we give people the choice so that if you want to watch it and keep watching, you can do that."

The Living and the Dead (Sophie Mutevelian)

Screenwriter Ashley Pharoah, best-known for being the co-creator of BBC's Life On Mars and Case Histories, and creator of ITV's Wild At Heart, has penned the drama.

The Living And The Dead is set in Somerset in 1894, with Morgan playing the lead of Nathan Appleby. Spencer stars as his wife Charlotte, and the young couple are put under enormous pressure when they inherit a farm.

Despite searching for a fresh start, their presence on the land seems to unleash some strange supernatural phenomena that threaten their relationship.

Asked whether he would like to make a second series of The Living And The Dead, Pharoah said of the two leads: "I've got unfinished business with these two, I think."

The Living And The Dead (Robert Viglasky)

Earlier this month, Anthony Horowitz drama New Blood became the first drama series on the BBC to make episodes available online before it aired on television.

The first three episodes of the seven-part investigative drama were made available to watch on iPlayer before the first episode was broadcast in a primetime 9pm slot on BBC One.

Meanwhile, Bafta-winning comedy Peter Kay's Car Share previously became the first BBC programme to premiere exclusively on iPlayer.

The Living And The Dead has been co-produced with BBC America and will be distributed globally by BBC Worldwide.