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United Kingdom - TV SHOWS & MOVIES

Pauline

Forums Admin
#1
There are some great TV shows made in the United Kingdom, and others from Europe that are shown on UK channels.

If you are living outside of the United Kingdom, you can still watch British TV via your computer by using a VPN - Virtual Private Network. This is software that lets you log in to the internet through portals in other countries. Most "on demand" TV on the internet is restricted to people in the same country (e.g. you have to be in the UK to watch BBC iPlayer). Using the VPN, you make it look like you are in the UK. Read more about this on my blog.

Online on demand options are available for BBC (BBC iPlayer) and some of the commercial channels - Channel 4, ITV. Sky is our paid TV, like HBO in the US, and is not available online to non-subscribers.

Some of these programs come to the US on PBS or BBC America, or on DVD.

I will keep a master list in this first post, but please post your suggestions in this thread.

2016

BBC Two - Line of Duty. Season 3 starts March 2016. A drama about the investigations of AC12, a controversial Police Anti-Corruption Unit.

BBC One - The Night Manager. March 2016. Drama series based on the John le Carré novel. A hotel night manager is recruited by a government agent to infiltrate the inner circle of a ruthless arms dealer.

BBC One - Happy Valley - series 2. Another season of this excellent police drama starts in February.

BBC One - Shetland - season 3. Another great season of this murder mystery series set in Scotland. Parts of this season are set in Glasgow.

BBC One - War and Peace this week. It is six parts. I liked it - beautiful costumes and scenery.

BBC One - And Then There Were None which was shown recently. A good interpretation of an Agatha Christie mystery.

BBC One - Sherlock - The Abominable Bride. Just one show, but great.

2015

ITV - Downton Abbey. The final season (thank goodness).

BBC One - Luther, series 4. A very good detective show set in London, starring Idris Elba (who was in the US show The Wire).

London Spy on BBC Two. It stars Ben Whishaw who is Q in the new James Bond films, and was very good in The Hour. It is a gay love story and a spy story.

Series 3 of The Bridge on BBC Four has started. The first two series were very good and this one is starting out well.

River on BBC was shown in the fall. It is available on Netflix in the US now. This was an excellent police drama.

Poldark on BBC One, starting in March, a remake of Poldark, a romantic saga set in 18th-century Cornwall and based on the novels of Winston Graham, filmed in the south Cotswolds at Chavenage House in Tetbury (the setting for the Poldark family's Cornish home, Trenwith).

Indian Summers on Channel 4 started in February. Drama set in the summer of 1932 when India wants independence but the British are still in power.

The Casual Vacancy, on BBC One, based on the J.K. Rowling novel. Starts Feb 15. Starts in April on HBO in the US.

Broadchurch Season 2 on ITV started Jan 5 2015.

Wolf Hall on BBC Two and Masterpiece Theater on PBS - started Jan 2015.
Adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. "The six-part serial will follow the meteoric rise of Cromwell in the Tudor court, from his lowly start as the son of a blacksmith to becoming King Henry VIII’s closest advisor." Damien Lewis plays Henry VIII.

Mapp and Lucia on BBC1 (3 episodes) is great! The series stars Miranda Richardson and Anna Chancellor and is a "1930s comedy drama based on EF Benson's novels, about the rivalry between two women in a quaint village." It makes fun of village life, is well acted and very, very funny.

2014

The Missing on BBC One was a good series about a British child going missing when the family is on holiday in France. Most of it is set in France.

The Fall on BBC Two had two seasons this year, both were following the same story. Gillian Anderson played the lead police detective. Set in Belfast in Northern Ireland. This was an excellent show.

The Honourable Woman on BBC Two starring American actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. It is very slow moving (very slow!) but has built up to be a very complex story. Current too - about relations between Israel and Palestine.

The Trip to Italy on BBC Two - another "Trip" series from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. In the first series they toured the restaurants of northern England. In this series they go to Italy!

Jamaica Inn on BBC One, from Daphne du Maurier's book (see post below - sound issues with episode 1).

Hinterland on BBC Four, a Welsh crime drama with half of it in spoken Welsh with subtitles! But I don't recommend it. See post below (story was not good).

Prey on ITV, a 3 part crime thriller starring John Simms (from Life on Mars).

Line of Duty on BBC Two - Season 2 is showing now. This is a fabulous police drama. Season 1 was very good, season 2 is even better.

Shetland on BBC One - Season 2 starts Tuesday March 11. Detective series based on the Shetland books by Ann Cleeves. Very good and great Shetlands scenery.

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death on SKY is not quality TV but is funny and has great Cotswold scenes. Agatha is the hot-shot London business woman who sells her business and moves to the Cotswolds. Filmed on the southern outskirts of the Cotswolds, in Biddestone, Wiltshire, near Castle Combe.

Happy Valley on BBC One - Season one was very good (6 episodes), set in Yorkshire, a dark mystery with great characters. There will be a second season.

2013 AND EARLIER

The Tunnel on Sky is the British/French version of the Danish drama, The Bridge.

Death Comes to Pemberly on BBC One was very good. Based on the PD James novel, it continues the Pride and Prejudice story with Darcy and Elizabeth happily married, when a murder happens (and gets solved).

Sherlock on BBC One, a modern Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is big hit here and in the US.

Downton Abbey on ITV is at the point now where I think they are making it for the American audience. The first season was good, but now it seems to me like a period soap opera.

Doc Martin on ITV recommended by Kathy is in its fourth season.

Call the Midwife on BBC One recommended by Kathy is in its third season.

THE SCANDI DRAMAS
(Also listed in the Other Countries forums, since these are set in Scandinavia.) The Killing was the first Scandinavian drama that Brits became obsessed with, but more have come our way.

BBC Four - Follow the Money. Started March 2016. Danish crime thriller series set in the world of economic crime.

Trapped on BBC Four. Detective murder mystery set in northern Iceland in the winter. Snow! Very good.

The Killing on BBC Four had 3 very good seasons. This is a detective murder mystery set in Denmark. It was very good and was a big hit here.

The Bridge on BBC Four is a joint Swedish/Danish production, with English subtitles. There have been two seasons, and season 3 started in 2015. This was my favorite of the Scandi Dramas.

Borgen on BBC Four is from Denmark and sounds boring but was not. A very good political drama. The main character is the female leader of Denmark. There were 3 seasons and it is finished now.

The Legacy on Sky. A new Scandi Drama showed in the UK in 2014. There have been two seasons of this. Very good.

OLD FAVORITES

Upstairs, Downstairs
. A British television drama series originally produced by London Weekend Television and revived by the BBC. It ran on ITV in 68 episodes divided into five series from 1971 to 1975.

KEEPING THIS LIST UP TO DATE
I have missed many shows I think, but will add them as I think of them or as people suggest them.
 
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Pauline

Forums Admin
#2
US TV IN THE UK
The big US shows are popular here too, most showing on Sky Atlantic which specializes in US Dramas. We are in the middle of the first season of True Detective, the second season of The Following and the third season of Girls.

It seems like everyone has watched Breaking Bad and The Wire. We have also watched Treme and Boardwalk Empire. One odd note - the HBO shows have no commercials in the US, but when they show them on Sky Atlantic there are commercial breaks.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#8
We use witopia.net. You have to pay a yearly fee, but the setup and use is easy. It used to be very complicated - a very tricky install - but now it is simple. I have two Facebook friends who use it to watch British TV. And we use it for US things.

Kathy, I will add those to the list. They are both popular here, but I have not watched either of them.
 

Chris

100+ Posts
#9
I love Doc Martin. It's quirky and seems a little silly to start, but it really grows on you. Martin Clunes (who plays Doc Martin) was also in another series I liked called William and Mary.
 
#12
There are some great TV shows made in the United Kingdom, and others from Europe that are shown on UK channels.

If you are living outside of the United Kingdom, you can still watch British TV via your computer by using a VPN - Virtual Private Network. This is software that lets you log in to the internet through portals in other countries. Most "on demand" TV on the internet is restricted to people in the same country (e.g. you have to be in the UK to watch BBC iPlayer). Using the VPN, you make it look like you are in the UK. Read more about this on my blog.

Online on demand options are available for BBC (BBC iPlayer) and some of the commercial channels - Channel 4, ITV. Sky is our paid TV, like HBO in the US, and is not available online to non-subscribers.

Some of these programs come to the US on PBS or BBC America, or on DVD.

On the Slow Europe Facebook page I have been announcing when good new shows start in the UK (where I am living now). I am going to start listing them here so I can have my list in one place. I will keep a master list in this first post, but please post your suggestions in this thread.

APRIL 2014

The Trip to Italy on BBC Two - another "Trip" series from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. In the first series they toured the restaurants of northern England. In this series they go to Italy!

MARCH 2014

Line of Duty on BBC Two - Season 2 is showing now. This is a fabulous police drama. Season 1 was very good, season 2 is even better.

Shetland on BBC One - Season 2 starts Tuesday March 11. Detective series based on the Shetland books by Ann Cleeves. Very good and great Shetlands scenery.

2013 AND EARLIER

The Tunnel on Sky is the British/French version of the Danish drama, The Bridge.

Death Comes to Pemberly on BBC One was very good. Based on the PD James novel, it continues the Pride and Prejudice story with Darcy and Elizabeth happily married, when a murder happens (and gets solved).

Sherlock on BBC One, a modern Sherlock Holmes starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is big hit here and in the US.

Downton Abbey on ITV is at the point now where I think they are making it for the American audience. The first season was good, but now it seems to me like a period soap opera.

Doc Martin on ITV recommended by Kathy is in its fourth season.

Call the Midwife on BBC One recommended by Kathy is in its third season.

THE SCANDI DRAMAS
The Killing was the first Scandinavian drama that Brits became obsessed with, but more have come our way.

The Killing on BBC Four had 3 very good seasons. This is a detective murder mystery set in Denmark. It was very good and was a big hit here.

The Bridge on BBC Four is a joint Swedish/Danish production, with English subtitles. There have been two seasons, and another one is expected. This was my favorite of the Scandi Dramas.

Borgen on BBC Four is from Denmark and sounds boring but was not. A very good political drama. The main character is the female leader of Denmark. There were 3 seasons and it is finished now.

I have missed many shows I think, but will add them as I think of them or as people suggest them.
Thanks for this, Pauline. I'm really looking forward to British TV. I've managed to see some shows on utube and other places but with great difficulty. A couple I can recommend are: Scott and Bailey about 2 female detectives in a large city in the UK. I can't remember which. Birmingham? Manchester? I just finished watching Broadchurch. Pretty good. And have started on season 6 of Foyle's War. It brings us up to the 1950s and The Cold War.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#13
Jamaica Inn from Daphne du Maurier's book was shown last week. There have been several articles about the sound of the first episode. Either they were all mumbling with heavy accents or there were technical problems. I read that it was only the first of the 3 episodes with the problem. I recorded it and we have not watched it yet.

BBC News - Jamaica Inn ends with 2,200 complaints about mumbling

We are watching The Trip to Italy with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (more info in the top of the thread) and enjoying it. Great scenery as they drive through Piedmont and Liguria. Not your usual travel program as they spend most of their time doing impressions and jokes. Pretty funny.
 
#14
Broadchurch is being Americanized. The Fox Studios film crew are here in Victoria, BC and surrounds creating their version of Broadchurch called Gracepoint supposedly taking place in California. Interesting to see the Grace County police cars here and there, along with the State Troopers (extras) Unfortunately have not been able to get up close to any of the filming sessions. Would dearly love to, just to actually see how it all works. David Tennant from the original English series is the lead in this version as well. Even Nick Nolte has a role as an aging surfer!

The production crew that we've managed to speak with tell us the series will be aired in October. It will be very interesting to see how it compares with the original version.

Will keep "star watching"! Filming is supposed to finish by the end of May.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#16
Last night was episode one of Hinterland (BBC Four), a Welsh crime drama with half of it in spoken Welsh with subtitles! The filming was lovely - set on the coast in Aberystwyth (and it was always raining) - and the story was great until about 2/3 of the way through, then it got really heavy handed and overdone. I don't recommend it. Too bad - I liked listening to the Welsh.
 
#17
Will do Pauline. Imagine a Scot with not only an American accent, but a Californian one to boot. But, he must be good with accents as he starred in an Aussie film called The Escape Artist - a 3 part series.
 
#18
A major upcoming TV event is a 6-part adaptation of the blockbuster historical novels "Wolf Hall" and sequel "Bring Up the Bodies", filming during April in Wiltshire to air in 2015 on BBC2 and in the US on PBS. The mini-series deals with the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII. Mark Rylance stars as Cromwell, fresh from his New York performances as Richard II and as Olivia in the all-male production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" and just twice-nominated for Tony awards as best actor in both roles.

The novels by Hillary Mantel have sold a combined 1.2 million copies in the UK and 650,000 in the US (not counting E-books). Each novel was separately adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company this winter to much acclaim, and the two productions move to London's Aldwych Theatre for a limited run May 1-Sept. 6.

The National Trust's Great Chalfield Hall near Bath stands in for the Seymour family's Wolf Hall in the TV version. We visited Great Chalfield early in the day to see as much of the house as possible before filming began, so we saw lots of crew set-up but none of the cast. We were impressed by the quality of the props used, such as wonderfully recreated wall hangings throughout the house which one had to closely examine to see they were painted and not authentic medieval tapestries.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
#19
I have heard rumors about this, but had not heard the details. Thanks for posting!

I still have not read Wolf Hall, but it has been on my Kindle for years. I love these kind of historic novels, and especially ones about Henry VIII, and don't know why I have not read it - except some people say it is "difficult". But everyone loves it.

We haven't been to Great Chalfield Hall but I will try to get there soon.

Great Chalfield Manor
National Trust - Great Chalfield Manor and Garden

And Damien Lewis (the Brit actor who plays an American in Homeland) is going to be Henry VIII!!

Variety - Damian Lewis Set to Star as Henry VIII in ‘Wolf Hall’
 

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