Sherlock, Doctor Who and hours of BBC classics to stream for free on BBC iPlayer this Christmas

Every regeneration episode of Doctor Who from 2005 will be made available to watch online this Christmas, plus dramas including Wolf Hall and Line of Duty, comedy Miranda and a host of family classics

(BBC, comp, JG)

The BBC is finally opening up its archive of TV treats this Christmas, making Doctor Who, Sherlock, Call the Midwife and classic David Attenborough series available to watch for free on BBC iPlayer.


From 16th December the BBC will make hours of box sets and classic Christmas episodes available to watch throughout the festive period, some of which are not available to watch anywhere else online.

To mark Peter Capaldi’s departure as the Doctor, iPlayer will stream every Doctor Who regeneration episode since 2005, including the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special.

Series three and four of Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch along with 2016 New Year special The Abominable Bride will also be available to watch on iPlayer, as will award winning dramas Wolf Hall, Line of Duty, Happy Valley and festive favourite Call the Midwife.

David Attenborough’s original 2001 series The Blue Planet will stream on iPlayer along with Planet Earth, Planet Earth II and Frozen Planet.

Comedy favourites including MirandaGavin & Stacey, Fleabag and The Mighty Boosh will be available alongside family specials including Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and Stick Man.

Five classic EastEnders Christmas specials, including the record breaking Den and Angie 1986 Christmas Day special, will be available to binge watch.

Dark Tom Hardy drama Taboo will return to BBC iPlayer, and all eight episodes of the brand new Bette Davis and Joan Crawford biopic Feud: Bette and Joan will be available to watch at once.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said it was “fantastic to give audiences a special gift on iPlayer to complement our schedules”, adding that the Christmas period was an ideal time to catch up with old favourites.

Sit back and indulge as we curate some of the most loved shows you may have missed first time round or favourites you want to watch again,” she said.

The BBC closed its digital download service BBC Store earlier this year after admitting that it failed to attract customers in the face of on demand subscription services.

Since then the BBC has increasingly moved to make more of its content available to stream on demand, including creating a new ‘From the Archive’ section on BBC iPlayer.

Earlier this November, BBC director general Tony Hall also revealed the BBC was looking at ways of launching a paid subscription service for viewers to access its back catalogue.

However, all the programmes listed below will be available to watch on iPlayer for free for all BBC licence fee payers. The programmes will be available from 16th December 2017.

Check out all the best TV shows to watch on BBC iPlayer this Christmas


  • Doctor Who (every regeneration episode since 2005)
  • Sherlock – Series 3, 4 and The Abominable Bride
  • Taboo
  • Line of Duty
  • Three Girls
  • Undercover
  • Happy Valley
  • Wolf Hall
  • Peaky Blinders
  • Feud
  • Clique
  • Thirteen

David Attenborough

  • Planet Earth I & II
  • Blue Planet I & II
  • Frozen Planet


  • Fleabag (Full series box-set)
  • Inside Number 9 (Full series box-set)
  • Josh – Series 2 & 3
  • Murder in Successville – Series 3
  • People Just Do Nothing – Series 4
  • Gavin & Stacey – Series 1 and Christmas Special
  • Cuckoo – Series 1, 2 & 3 and Christmas Special
  • This Country – Series 1
  • Bad Education – Series 2 and Christmas Special
  • Him and Her – Series 3 and Christmas Special
  • Bluestone 42 – Series 1 and Christmas Special
  • Uncle – Series 3
  • The Mighty Boosh – Series 1

Family specials

  • Room on the Broom
  • The Gruffalo
  • The Gruffalo’s Child
  • Stick Man
  • Gangsta Granny
  • The Boy in the Dress
  • Billionaire Boy
  • Mr Stink

EastEnders Christmas specials

  • Den and Angie’s divorce papers – 1986
  • Tiffany’s death – 1998
  • Kat and Alfie’s wedding – 2003
  • Max and Stacey’s affair – 2007
  • Archie’s murder – 2009