It will be followed by a preview of the first episode of BAFTA winning Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill, and Burton and Taylor starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West.
The Musketeers will also be screened as double episodes across five Sunday nights from 10th August.
Natalie Edgar, Director of Television, BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand, said: “A Sunday launch gives us the chance to reach as many viewers as possible on our first day. We wanted to mark this exciting occasion with a very special line-up for viewers which gives them a real taste of the channel and delivers content to them in a way we know they like to enjoy it.
“We’re pleased to offer viewers the opportunity to watch all ten episodes of The Musketeers back to back, as well as give audiences a glimpse of the quality and breadth of drama on the channel which encompasses epic series to intimate one-offs, featuring top talent both in front of and behind the camera.
“Over the months ahead we will be offering viewers more opportunities to binge view by scheduling box sets of series and audiences will get the first chance to see premiere episodes of our biggest new programmes at 8.30pm.”
Latest acquisitions for the channel include the second series of Gillian Anderson’s The Fall, which will be shown in ‘quick succession’ to its UK broadcast, and The Honourable Woman, a thriller set against the Middle East peace process, government paranoia and espionage.
Brian Walsh, Foxtel Director of Television said, “The addition of BBC First cements our commitment to providing Foxtel customers with first-run, high quality international drama. The BBC is world-renowned for producing premium programming that is loved by Australian audiences, and BBC First delivers scripted drama with award-winning actors and compelling stories across varying genres such as comedy, thriller and historical.”
Titles which will be shown on the new Drama / Comedy channel in launch month include:
· The Musketeers –a thrilling world of action, adventure and romance inspired by Dumas’ legendary characters, starring Luke Pasqualino, Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera, Howard Charles and Peter Capaldi.
· Peaky Blinders – acclaimed epic gangster family saga set in the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham on the cusp of the 1920s, starring Cillian Murphy.
· The Politician’s Husband – a gripping drama about the shifting balance of power in a political marriage, starring David Tennant and Emily Watson and created by Paula Milne.
· Burton and Taylor – starring Helena Bonham Carter and Dominic West and telling the story of Hollywood’s original ‘it’ couple Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, acting together in Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’.
· Alan Partridge – his two new mockumentaries Welcome To The Places of My Life and On Open Books With Martin Bryce, starring Steve Coogan.
· The Fear – a bold edgy drama starring Peter Mullan as a former crime boss whose empire is brought to its knees by the disintegration of his criminal mind.
· Breathless – following the lives of a group of doctors and nurses working in a busy gynaecology unit in a London hospital in the 1960s.
BBC First joins existing BBC channels – UKTV, BBC Knowledge, CBeebies and BBC World News – on the Foxtel platform. It will also be available on Foxtel GO and in high definition. Drama and comedy fans will be able to check what’s coming up on BBC First via the programme page bbc.com/First.