S3 BRAND – NEW BBC PRIMETIME BLOCK

In an ongoing partnership between S3 and BBC, the channel announces the titles set to broadcast from the 6th of June 2024.

The shows form part of the new offering from a hand-picked selection of award-winning dramas, factual entertainment and documentaries.

S3 viewers can look forward to more intense drama in Critical, featuring award-winning actor and screenwriter Lennie James starring alongside Catherine Walker, Sheri Sadd, Peter Sullivan and Kimberley Nixon in this thirteen-part series set in a gleaming new Major Trauma Centre that only deals with the most serious cases. Critical will broadcast on Mondays to Wednesdays at 21:00 from the 11th of June 2024.

Lennie James is Glen Boyle, a trauma surgeon with a background in combat medicine called by Fiona Lomas, a middle-level emergency doctor, to a beautiful modern hospital to save its ultra high-tech but malfunctioning trauma unit.  Critical is an emotional roller-coaster ride as an emergency medical team battles through the vital first hour of care to save lives that hang in the balance. Glen and Fiona are challenged across the series to weld a disparate bunch of personalities into a crack life-saving team against the opposition of senior doctor Clive Archerfield. Their task is hugely complicated. Glen and Fiona are on the verge of marriage to a senior obstetrician in the hospital and have a dark and secret romantic past.

On Thursdays at 21:00, the channel continues with its BBC Prime documentaries, Men For Sale: Life Of A Male Escort on the 6th, following an exposé on the unseen world of male escorts, where wealthy single women pay younger men for companionship and sexual relations. Meet the young men vying for the attention of well-off women online. It is a competitive arena where women promise to lavish their male escorts with expensive gifts and lots of money in return for intercourse, dates and devotion. Some of the men seem to be in control of the power dynamic. Others are just desperate to pay their bills. How binding are the contracts these young men sign; what happens if an escort cheats on his ‘sugar mummy,’ is there any room for romance?

This World: Frat Boys on Thursday the 13th looks into America’s college fraternities that are notorious for hard drinking and hard partying but also being accused of fostering a culture of brutality and sexual assault. During one term at the University of Central Florida, the programme follows the life of a group of frat boys as they embark on the pledging process when recruits have to prove themselves before they can become fraternity brothers. Most are joining because fraternities provide access to an influential network of alumnus throughout the US. But each year, students die or get injured in barbaric initiation rituals, known as hazing, and some argue that the fraternity system allows sexual assaults to occur during drunken campus parties.

On the 20th of June, the documentary The Abercrombie Guys: The Dark Side Of Cool investigates allegations of exploitation and abuse at the top of one of America’s big fashion brands. Former CEO Mike Jeffries transformed Abercrombie and Fitch from a failing retail chain to a multi-billion-dollar empire and the epitome of cool. Now, after months of painstaking investigation, Panorama speaks to men on being recruited into a dark world, created to satisfy the sexual fantasies of Jeffries and his British partner Matthew Smith. Silenced for years by the fear of breaking non-disclosure agreements, these men describe feeling exploited and traumatised by their experiences. One high-profile American lawyer has called for prosecutors to investigate.

Nigeria’s Female Suicide Bombers explores one of the world’s deadliest terrorist groups, Boko Haram. Its shocking tactics include the mass kidnapping of schoolgirls and the use of female suicide bombers. In North East Nigeria, Stacey Dooley meets a woman kidnapped by Boko Haram at the age of 13 and forced to marry three times before being sent on a bombing mission. Astonishingly, she escaped to tell her painful story. Another believed in Boko Haram’s ideology and volunteered for a suicide-bombing mission. Fate intervened, and she survived. Now separated from Boko Haram, she is trying to re-integrate into a society of people she was once willing to kill.

The second block of  BBC Primetime every Thursday at 22:00 will close off with award-winning filmmaker Louis Theroux’s series of investigative features.

In Louis Theroux: Selling Sex on the 6th of June, Louis Theroux interviews women legally providing sexual services in exchange for money. Louis looks at how they use technology to share photos, make bookings and vet potential clients – making the exchange more accessible and, some argue, safer than the illegal alternatives. Many still believe selling sex is exploitative and damaging. Others feel it can be a valid, empowering choice. In this film, Louis explores whether selling sexual act can ever be a healthy way to make money.

Louis Theroux: Life On The Edge takes viewers through 25 years of documentary-making with this candid and fascinating retrospective. The documentary will revisit the best and strangest moments in Louis Theroux’s celebrated TV career. Utilising his own home movie footage and news archives, Louis also tracks past contributors to find out whether their lives have settled down – or spiralled off in even more surprising directions. And for the very first time, Louis puts himself in the spotlight. With his trademark wit, the famous filmmaker discusses the unique challenges of documentary making and the invaluable lessons he’s learned about human psychology.

S3 viewers will embark on a trip of a lifetime, as the BBC’s acclaimed Natural History Unit takes us on a spectacular polar expedition into a breathtaking landscape most humans will never experience in Frozen Planet on Sundays at 18:30 from the 9th of June 2024. Ambitious and epic in scale, this landmark series is the ultimate portrait of the great wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic before they change forever. Narrated by world renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Frozen Planet has taken new technology to the most extreme and remote parts of our planet, capturing groundbreaking imagery as camera teams go deep under the ice into a magical world of giants, plunge into the heart of an erupting polar volcano and fly to the South Pole across the Antarctic ice cap. Get closer than ever before to the lives of charismatic animal characters and witness extraordinary examples of survival against the odds.

Channel your inner detective with the new BBC Primetime content block on S3 weekdays.