The Movies Leaving BBC iPlayer in December: Catch Them Before They're Gone!


One of iPlayer’s newest features is a small rotating selection of feature films that have appeared on its channels. They can stick around for a long time in certain circumstances, but many are still bound to the same time limits that iPlayer’s TV offerings have. So here’s what’s leaving the service in the next two weeks.

The Battle of the River Plate - expires 18 December

A 1956 war film retelling the conflict between the German battleship Graf Spee and three Royal Navy ships off the shores of South America during the Second World War. Filmed on period-accurate vessels, it covers both the British’s valour and cunning in taking the fight to a far larger vessel, and the Germans’ trials in trying to escape a numerically superior force without the possibility of reinforcements.

David Brent: Life on the Road - expires 17 December

After a long hiatus, Ricky Gervais revives his memorable turn as the cringey but well meaning office worker to show us the next stage of his life - taking time off work to tour with his band. The tour plays out as you might expect with having Brent on stage, but there’s new music written by Gervais for the band, and the changes that have happened to the world since we last saw Brent in the early 2000s let us see some new sides to this decades old character.

Having You - expires 8 December

This 2013 drama follows Jack, a newly engaged arcade machine technician who suddenly finds his simple life threatened by the responsibility of fatherhood from both his fiancée and a partner from years ago who recently came back into his life to introduce him to his seven-year-old son. Conflict naturally ensues as he tries to balance all sides, and fails to do so. It’s a slow paced story, but one rooted in strong characters and the satisfaction of watching Jack’s development into a more mature and capable person.

The Red Shoes - expires 10 December

Victoria Page’s ambition is to become a prima ballerina, under the wing of her demanding troupe leader Lermontov. But she finds her attention also drawn to Julian, the composer of the ballet written to show off her dancing talent. Caught between her heart and her career plans, Victoria must make a decision and disappoint either her mentor or her sweetheart. A 1948 classic beautifully shot in Technicolor.

Testament of Youth - expires 11 December

Based on the memoir of the same name written by Vera Brittain, the film covers Vera’s life as a Oxford University undergraduate, and subsequently a volunteer nurse on the Western Front of the First World War. She follows her brother and his friends into the conflict, but the horrors of the battlefield change all of their lives.