• (L - R) 'The Handmaid's Tale', 'Mr Mercedes', 'Thin Ice' and 'Shadowplay'. (SBS)Source: SBS
The best dramas from all over the world are streaming free now at SBS On Demand. So what are you waiting for? Time to get streamin'.
By
SBS Guide

29 Apr 2021 - 6:56 PM  UPDATED 29 Apr 2021 - 6:56 PM

The Handmaid's Tale

It's been some time between seasons of The Handmaid's Tale, but the long awaited fourth season is finally here. In season 4, June (Elisabeth Moss) strikes back against Gilead as a fierce rebel leader, but the risks she takes bring unexpected and dangerous new challenges. Her quest for justice and revenge threatens to consume her and destroy her most cherished relationships. After years of being confined to the houses of Commanders Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), season 4 promises to be nomadic, and focuses on the uprising against the totalitarian rulers of Gilead... we can't wait.

With the show's return, award-winning SBS-produced The Handmaid's Tale companion podcast is also back. Eyes on Gilead offers an engrossing debrief about each premiere episode, and exclusive interviews with the stars and key talent behind the show. You can subscribe to Eyes On Gilead on your preferred podcast platform now, to ensure you don't miss an episode. 

Eyes On Gilead: A Handmaid's Tale Podcast
Join Fiona Williams, Haidee Ireland, Sana Qadar, and Natalie Hambly every week with SBS' award-winning The Handmaid's Tale companion podcast, Eyes on Gilead. There is a lot going on in this series and we think it helps to talk it out at the end of every episode. BEST ARTS & CULTURE PODCAST - BRONZE AWARD - 2020 Australian Podcast Awards BEST FANCAST - 2019 Australian Podcast Awards

A 'Handmaid's Tale' refresher to help you prepare for Season 4
It's been a long time between seasons of The Handmaid's Tale. Here's everything you need to remember about where we left off, when season 4 premieres this month.

The Handmaid's Tale season 4 premieres on Thursday 29 April 2021. The season is an Australian exclusive to SBS and SBS on Demand.

SBS will air the double-episode season premiere of The Handmaid's Tale at 8.30pm Thursday 29 April, with episodes 1–3 now streaming at SBS On Demand. A second double episode will air on SBS Thursday 6 May at 8.30pm, with weekly episodes to follow at 9.30pm. Episodes will be available to stream weekly at SBS On Demand. Stream season 4 episode 1 now:

 

Mr. Mercedes

Based on Stephen King's bestselling novel and adapted by David E. Kelley, Mr Mercedes stars Brendan Gleeson as retired police detective Bill Hodges. When a demented killer begins to taunt him with a series of lurid letters and emails, Hodges is forced to undertake a private and potentially felonious crusade to bring the killer to justice before he strikes again. Under The Dome's Jack Bender directs what NPR called an 'engaging cat-and-mouse thriller'.

Brendan Gleeson is the engine that drives 'Mr Mercedes'
Brendan Gleeson and Stephen King might not seem like a natural pairing, but in serial killer thriller 'Mr Mercedes' they put the pedal to the metal. Now streaming at SBS On Demand

Mr. Mercedes seasons 1 & 2 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Thin Ice

To add to your fix of Nordic Noir comes the new series Thin Ice. The attack of a Swedish oil research vessel and the kidnapping of its crew lead intelligence officer, Liv, to the small village of Tasiilaq to investigate. There, she discovers rising tensions among local officials, on the brink of signing a treaty to prevent harmful oil drilling in the Arctic. Phone and internet connections to the town have been cut, and witnesses are being killed, all, it seems, to prevent the treaty from being signed. Featuring Swedish and Danish languages, this series boasts a brilliant cast including Lena Endre (Kingsman: The Golden CircleWallander), Alexander Karim (The LawyerWe Got This), Iben Dorner, Angunnguaq Larsen, Nicolas Bro (DNA), Nukâka Coster-Waldau (The Killing), and Bianca Kronlöf (Underdog) as Liv.

An all-star cast puts ‘Thin Ice’ on solid ground
Hot issues in a cold climate: ‘Thin Ice’ is Nordic Noir at the top of its game.

Thin Ice is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Shadowplay

Berlin, summer of 1946, the city’s in chaos – there are no laws, and everyone is either a criminal or a survivor. When American cop Max McLaughlin (Taylor Kitsch, WacoFriday Night Lights) arrives to help create a police force and take down the Al Capone of Berlin, Dr Werner 'Englemacher' Gladow, he is also on a private mission to track down his missing brother, who's been killing former Nazis in hiding.

From creator Måns Mårlind and co-director Björn Stein (both of Midnight Sun and The Bridge pedigree), and also starring German film star Nina Hoss (Barbara) and Michael C. Hall (Dexter), put this eight-part drama series on your watch-list. 

Måns Mårlind talks about finding light in the darkness of gritty series 'Shadowplay'
The creator of 'The Bridge' talks about his new series, inspiration and secrets.
'Shadowplay' creator Måns Mårlind selects his favourite shows at SBS On Demand
Seven series that deliver on how he judges a show: truth, challenge and "that unexplainable quality".

Shadowplay is now streaming at SBS On Demand (also available with Arabic and Simplified Chinese subtitles).

 

The Bureau

Right from the start, viewers could not get enough of this award-winning French series. Intricately plotted and based firmly on real-life events, The Bureau is one of the most realistic and addictive spy drama series ever. The series is based on real accounts from French spies, and reveals what life is like for the deep cover agents that put their lives on the line in the so-called 'Bureau of Legends' (a clandestine branch of the French secret service).

It features an all-star cast that's a who's who of French cinema including lead Mathieu Kassovitz (Amelie), Louis Garrel (Little Women), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Florence Loiret Caille (Spiral), and two episodes in season 5 are directed by Palme d'Or winning director Jacques Audiard (Dheepan). This spy thriller will hook you in with its tense storylines and world-class cinematic quality. If you speed through all five seasons, it may please you to know there are rumours of a possible sixth season or reboot. Fingers crossed.

5 reasons why you will love ‘The Bureau’
It's the French answer to Homeland, but with more subtlety and less cry face.

The Bureau seasons 1–5 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Spiral

Speaking of the best French series... Starting in 2005 Spiral is the award-winning series that follows a team of flawed but driven police officers and prosecutors as they contend with the most heinous crimes in modern-day France. Spiral covers both the investigative and legal elements of any given case, moving from catching the culprits to bringing them to justice in the courtroom. Think Law & Order, but darker, grittier and in Paris. The show has also been compared to The Wire, as it delves into the impact the work has on our heroes' personal lives and the systematic corruption they have to face. Spiral is one of the best cop shows around and with all eight seasons now streaming there is no better time to start watching.

Hit the mean streets of Paris with ‘Spiral’
Now in its seventh season, the most compelling crime series going around takes an unblinking look at the coalface of French law enforcement.
Is Spiral the Most Criminally Underrated Police Show of All-Time?
Looking for a program to see you through the summer? Consider Spiral – the Continental crime-series that deserves classic status.

Spiral seasons 1–8 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Gomorrah 

Based on the book by Roberto Saviano (whose later book ZeroZeroZero has also been adapted into a series, now streaming at SBS On Demand), this is a chilling inside look at the people and destinies behind the Neapolitan Camorra, the Italian crime organisation every bit as fierce and powerful – even more powerful, many contend – as the Mafia, its better known brother. The critics gave a thumbs up to its dark and deadly drama and the show has won multiple awards, including several for Marco D'Amore for his role as Ciro 'l'Immortale' (The Immortal) Di Marzio, but at the heart of this dark drama is chosen son Gennaro 'Genny' Savastano (Salvatore Esposito, who also plays Gaetano Fadda in the fourth season of Fargo). With power struggles, lies and shifting alliances, the Naples underworld is not an easy place to be. 

'Gomorrah' is a Mafia epic to end all others
The author of 'ZeroZeroZero'’s epic look at organised crime in Italy has come to SBS On Demand, and you’ll never look at the Mafia the same way.

Gomorrah seasons 1–4 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

The Killing

While Thin Ice is bringing us new Nordic Noir, you can't go past an absolute classic. Running for just three seasons, The Killing certainly left its mark as one of the best Nordic Noir series ever.

Season 1 takes place over 20 gripping episodes and 20 days in Copenhagen. On what is supposed to be her last day in the homicide department, Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl) is thrown into the murder investigation of teenager Rosie Larsen. The Larsen family and their friends struggle to cope with the loss. Meanwhile a top politician, Troels Hartmann (Lars Mikkelsen, brother of Mads) is involved in a ruthless but promising election campaign. As the investigation unfolds, Copenhagen opens up like a Chinese box, full of secrets and power struggles and everyone becomes a part of the same story as the police follow the leads. 

Know your Noir: Your definitive guide to the crime genre that's gripped the world
Slow-burn mysteries, red herrings, complex characters and twists you don't see coming. We can't get enough of all the TV noir from around the world at SBS On Demand.

The Killing seasons 1–3 are now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Deadwater Fell

Starring Cush Jumbo (The Good Fight) and David Tennant (Doctor WhoBroadchurch), this four-part crime drama is set in the fictional Scottish town of Kirkdarroch and follows two families in the aftermath of a horrific crime. One night the community is drawn to Tom's (Tennant) home in the forest by the flicker of flames and the smell of smoke. Amid the confusion Tom's wife Kate (Anne Madeley) and their three children are found dead while Tom is rushed to hospital. As the fingers of suspicion point first to Tom, then to others as more details of that night emerge, Jess (Jumbo) becomes desperate to understand what could have caused such a tragedy, and what secrets lie at the root of this terrible act.

Deadwater Fell premieres on SBS at 9:30pm Wednesday 21 April, airing weekly. Episodes will be available at SBS On Demand the same day they go to air.

 

Safe Harbour

The 2018 four-part drama Safe Harbour is a bold psychological thriller. On a yachting holiday from Darwin to Indonesia, five Australians come across a broken-down fishing boat, full of desperate asylum seekers. The Australians decide to help, towing the refugees, but when they wake the next morning the fishing boat is gone.

Five years later they meet some of the refugees again and learn the truth. Someone cut the rope between the two boats and, as a result, seven people died when the fishing boat sank. The revelation drives a wedge of mistrust between the Australians, as they grapple with protecting themselves and doing the right thing. The refugees struggle with their desire for justice and, possibly, revenge. Old secrets come to light, relationships are shattered and lives are put in danger. And one question hangs over it all – who cut the rope? 

The Goggleboxers are hooked on 'Safe Harbour' and everybody wants to know, Who cut the rope?
The moral dilemma a the heart of 'Safe Harbour' sparks conversation on the couches of 'Gogglebox'.

Safe Harbour is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

Hernan

This series, shot on location in Spain and Mexico, charts a pivotal moment of history: The Spanish 'Conquistador' Hernan Cortes arrives on the shores of what today is Mexico and faces challenges from both the locals and some who've sailed with him. The big-budget drama shows the impact of his arrival by portraying events from the viewpoint of a different character in each episode; they include the warrior prince Xicotencatl, the religious Moctezuma and Cortes's youngest captain, the impetuous Gonzalo de Sandoval. 

Hernan is now streaming at SBS On Demand.

 

MORE FROM THE GUIDE
The Playlist 142 - Sci fi relationship dramas 'Made for Love', 'Soulmates' & 'The One' / Harry Macqueen, director of 'Supernova' with Colin Firth & Stanley Tucci / 'Deadwater Fell' / 'Support the Girls'

This episode we’re in a technologically designated mood for love, as we discuss a trio of shows imagining the next step in relationships - 'Made For Love' (Stan/HBO Max), along with 'Soulmates' (Amazon Prime/AMC) and 'The One' (Netflix). Fiona also speaks to Harry Macqueen the director of a new melancholy relationship road movie starring Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth - 'Supernova'. And we offer up our SBS On Demand Picks: 'Deadwater Fell' and 'Support the Girls'.

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