The BBC has just put its first two box sets up on iPlayer. Users can watch every episode of Tom Hardy drama Taboo and psychological thriller Apple Tree Yard until 30 days after the last episode has aired.
The Netflix-ification of the iPlayer was announced last month, when BBC Director General Tony Hall revealed plans to revamp the long-standing catch up service. One suggestion was that rather than putting episodes up as they air, the Beeb would put a whole series up at once. That way, people could binge-watch a whole series.
Taboo and Apple Tree Yard are the first two shows to receive this treatment. In Taboo, Tom Hardy plays James Delaney, a man who disappeared in Africa but has reappeared many years later. The drama has some big talent behind the scenes too, including Hardy himself, Ridley Scott and Steven Knight, and that class is very much reflected on screen.
Apple Tree Yard adapts Louise Doughty's novel, and stars Emily Watson as a geneticist who starts an affair with a man without knowing his true identity.
Both shows have already seen success on the catch-up service. Taboo was requested more than 3 million times, and received consolidated viewing figures of 7 million. Apply Tree Yard's opener was streamed 2 million times online, and also watched by 7 million.
Dan Taylor-Watt, the man in charge of BBC iPlayer says: "Taboo and Apple Tree Yard have both been huge hits on TV and on BBC iPlayer. Now viewers will be able to enjoy them as full box sets - and we want to do the same for more shows in the future. It's giving viewers what they want - and it's just the start of what we can do to ensure BBC iPlayer is the UK's number one online TV service."