From Tiger King to Icarus, documentaries have proven in recent years to be just as captivating and popular as dramas and comedies. So popular in fact, that Sky has created a whole new channel dedicated to the nonfiction genre.
Sky Documentaries, set to launch on 27th May, will house brand new feature-length content, including the biographies of legendary public figures, sports documentaries and deeper looks into the world of music, fraudulent conglomerates and environmental disasters.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new channel…
What is Sky Documentaries?
Sky Documentaries is a brand new channel focused on documentary programming, part of their new factual line-up along with Sky Nature and Sky HISTORY.
The channel will feature a mix of feature-length documentaries and docuseries on everything from sport and politics to real-life controversies. Available as both a live channel and on demand, Sky Documentaries will include shows from US services HBO, Showtime and Hulu as well as original programming.
When does Sky Documentaries launch in the UK?
Sky Documentaries will launch on Wednesday 27th May alongside Sky Nature and Sky HISTORY.
The new channel will replace SYFY on the EPG, and will be available on channel 114 for Sky UK users.
Sci-fi fans have no need to worry however – SYFY will simply move to channel 152.
NOW TV customers will also have access to Sky Documentaries content.
What new shows are coming to Sky Documentaries?
Sky Documentaries will have over 100 documentaries on-demand at launch, with new titles available over the first few weeks – highlights include:
A Sky original documentary, Hawking looks at the life of one of the most iconic physicists to date. This 90-minute film dives into the late Professor Stephen Hawking’s private family archive, which includes footage, stills and interviews with his family, friends and colleagues.
The author of A Brief History of Time passed away in March 2018 at the age of 76.
McQueen: The Lost Movie
To commemorate what would have been Hollywood icon Steven McQueen’s 90th birthday, Sky is releasing McQueen: The Lost Movie – a look at footage, thought to be long-lost, from one of The Great Escape actor’s films he never completed.
Sky teases: “The full behind-the-scenes story – which plays like something out of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood – will have to be seen to be believed.”
Produced by the Oscar-winning filmmakers behind Undefeated and Searching for Sugar Man, Tina Turner looks at the singer’s “road to global superstardom” and features exclusive access to the Grammy Award winner herself.
The United Way
A one-off feature documentary, The United Way tells the story of Manchester United – arguably the most successful English football team in history.
The 100-minute Sky original film uses unseen footage and untold anecdotes to retell Man U’s meteoric rise to sporting excellence, presented by French football legend Eric Cantona.
Produced by Workerbee, Tyson Bruno looks at the highs and lows of “the world’s most iconic black sportsmen”: America’s Mike Tyson and British Frank Bruno.
The 90-minute feature documentary follows the boxers’ relationship and how “their lives remained connected like two sides of the same coin”.
Part of the Spitfire World War II trilogy, Lancaster tells the story of the Dambusters bomber, known for the night raids against Nazi Germany.
Produced by Tall Boy Films, the film commemorates the fighter aircraft and acts as a “testimony to the bravery and resilience” of the service men and women who flew it.
Credit: Melanie Nissen
About the all-female punk band in the ’80s, The Go-Go’s features interviews with the the band members, who look at how the group “changed perceptions, broke down barriers and made history”.
The Go-Go’s takes viewers on a journey through the history of the girl group and its rise to fame.
Look Away sheds light on the darker side of rock and roll – statutory rape. The 90-minute documentary features interviews with women who were groomed in their early teenage years as they open up about their experiences and how the music industry went to great lengths to “protect its own”.
The Plastic Nile
A Sky News documentary, this eye-opening investigation examines the dire impact of plastic pollution on the world’s longest river. Hosted by award-winning news presenter Alex Crawford, this series shows not only the environmental impacts of single-use plastic on the river, but the economic impact of the millions who depend on the Nile for survival.
Available from 1st June
A portrait of the former Senator, Secretary of State and presidential candidate, who has become one of the most admired and vilified women in the world. Including interviews with Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Clinton herself, as well as unseen footage from her 2016 presidential campaign, this four-part series looks to be remarkably intimate and personal.
Available from 11th June
McMillions covers the infamous McDonald’s Monopoly game scam, which lasted over a decade and netted $24million fraudulent earnings. Executive produced by Mark Wahlberg of all people, this stranger-than-fiction story involves interviews with the FBI Agents who untangled this criminal web involving McDonald’s, monopoly and even the mafia.
Ali vs Cavett
A Muhammad Ali doc with a difference – this feature-length documentary explores the life of the boxing legend through his friendship with talk show host Dick Cavett, using Ali’s many appearances on Cavett’s talk show. Discussing not only Ali’s boxing prowess but also race relations and the Vietnam War, the interactions between these two charismatic men created not only TV gold but a fascinating time capsule.
Available from 29th May
Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men
Created for the group’s 25th anniversary, this documentary combines new interviews with the nine surviving members with archival footage for an intimate and reflective look at their rise to fame. Overcoming an upbringing of poverty and violence thanks to their shared musical talents, the group discuss the difficulties and importance of maintaining their brotherhood through highs and lows.
Available from 24th June
Tiger Woods: Back
A Sky original, this documentary charts one of the greatest comebacks in recent sporting history. After four back surgeries and his career on the line, it took an incredible display at Augusta for Tiger Woods to win his fifth Masters, 15th Major and prove all his critics wrong.
Shutdown: The Virus That Changed The World
A timely Sky News documentary, this charts the coronavirus pandemic from the first outbreak in China all the way to the global shutdown. Featuring heartrending testimony and interviews with award-winning correspondents, the documentary charts life – and death – in a pandemic and examines the decisions taken by Number 10.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine
Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney looks at the man, the myth, the legend Steve Jobs, an enigma of a man who continues to fascinate long after his death. Probing and unflinching, this documentary looks at the life of the brilliant and occasionally ruthless man, whose impact on Silicon Valey is still being felt today.
Ice on Fire
Produced by famed environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio, Ice On Fire looks at some of the lesser-known emerging solutions to our climate crisis. A rare optimistic environmental documentary, this film looks to the future with the hope that the worst effects of global warming can actually be averted.
How can I get Sky Documentaries?
If you’re already a Sky customer, you’ll have access to the new channel at no extra cost, both live and on demand. If not you can find out more about getting Sky here.
And all the content from the channel will also be available through a NOW TV entertainment pass, which is currently available for £7.99 a month – or a seven-day free trial if you want to give it a go before committing.
You will be able to find Sky Documentaries and more on our TV Guide.