Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In the bleak midwinter (or dreary midautumn) - watch a British TV series!

[Foyle's War - one of the best!]
Yesterday I posted this update on my Facebook page:

During the months when it's too cold to walk my little dogs, I ride an exercise bike planted in front of my TV. I love watching long British TV series while I pedal: Upstairs, Downstairs, Doc Martin, As Time Goes By. I just finished Foyle's War. Any suggestions for what I should watch next?

The response was amazing - more than 70 comments to date. I decided to make a list for future reference, and I thought you might like to see it too.

First, to keep the list focused, I weeded out Irish, Australian, and American productions as well as stand-alone films, though some good ones were recommended. Then I added links for all the series that made the cut. As I was doing this, I remembered more UK series I've enjoyed--Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Miss Marple, the House of Cards trilogy with Ian Richardson, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Fawlty Towers (of course), Inspector Morse, Cadfael ... and the names keep coming.

Here are the British TV series my Facebook pals recommended. Ones I've watched and enjoyed are in bold.

Seven friends recommended Call the Midwife. I started watching once but forgot to continue. Tonight I re-watched the first episode, and this time I'll persist. It won't be hard. I read Jennifer Worth's first book last year and enjoyed it very much (see my review here).

Four friends recommended Prime Suspect. Yes! One of my all-time favorites. Helen Mirren is fantastic.

Three each suggested Lark Rise to Candleford, Miranda, and Rev. Winter in Illinois is long. I'm glad to have these to look forward to.

Two each mentioned Ballykissangel, The Bletchley Circle, Broadchurch, Downton Abbey, Dr Who, The Inbetweeners, Inspector Lewis, Luther, Monarch of the Glen, and Sherlock. I watched the first episode of The Bletchley Circle tonight. A bit grisly in places, but promising.

These made the list too:

At Home with the Braithwaites, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, Black Adder, Bleak House, Brideshead Revisited, Cranford, Father Brown, The Grand, The House of Eliott, Hustle, Inspector George Gently, Jeeves & Wooster, Kingdom, Land Girls, Little Dorrit, Lovejoy, Misfits, Mr Bean, New Tricks, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Our Mutual Friend, Parade’s End, The Promise, Rosemary & Thyme, Rumpole of the Bailey, The Sandbaggers, Seven Up (a film series, really, but close enough), Sharpe, To the Manor Born, The Tudors, Vera, The Vicar of Dibley, The White Queen, Wives & Daughters, A Year in Provence.

And then there are the wonderful Adam Dalgleish series starring Roy Marsden, based on mysteries by P.D. James, and the Inspector Lynley series based on Elizabeth George's sprawling novels, and ... well, there are just too many to name. They almost make me want to ride my stationary bike--or at least sit in the recliner in front of the TV.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

North & South (2004 BBC miniseries, based on Elizabeth Gaskell book; http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/northandsouth/)& The Forsythe Saga (2002) - Thanks for reminding us of some fabulous British TV!