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British TV series—-not crime or detective

We have watched some detective shows (DCI Banks, Prime Suspect with Helen Mirren) from my previous post, but they are getting too dark for us. What other series are there, maybe drama or light comedy, or just good entertainment with a British theme? We have really enjoyed Downton Abbey, of course, and Foyle’s War (yes, a policeman, but not the dark crimes in the detective series). Also the first few seasons of Dark Martin, but the jokes became tired.

Thanks!

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885 posts

How about The Detectorists? It's a dramady but very British and shows some love countryside. It's about two friends who belong to a group of metal detectorists. It was on Netflix.

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1097 posts

For the next few days, the National Theatre are "streaming" on YouTube a recording of a performance of One Man, Two Guvnors. A very funny farce.

Not sure where you can view it, but if you can find This Country then it's a hilarious TV programme, I think there were 3 series. It's all about living in the Cotswolds, but not quite the chocolate-box Cotswolds of the guide books, although there is some pretty scenery.

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1700 posts

Hi Lola! I'm with you on the trying to avoid shows that are too dark - and boy, a lot of American ones are these days. Hopefully other posters will give BOTH of us some new ideas!

However, I have recently enjoyed these -
The IT Crowd - office shenanigans at a British company. Great comedic timing and starring Richard Ayoade, who is just brilliant.
Cuckoo - I almost didn't watch this because the premise sounds so silly. But Greg Davies stars as the father and he just brings a nice credibility to his role - hapless, earnest, well-intentioned and yet still fallible.

And this is Canadian, but maybe it will grab you:
Kim's Convenience - a Korean grocery store and the family who owns it. Canadian-born young adult children and immigrant Korean parents and all the clashes that come with that.

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5017 posts

Does it have to be new? If older stuff is acceptable, assuming you haven't seen them enough to have the bits all memorized word-for-word (like some people I know)...consider: Monty Python's Flying Circus, and Fawlty Towers. Finally learn why junk email is referred to as spam....

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325 posts

Husband and I enjoy watching Escape to the Country and Escape to the Continent (calm British versions of House Hunters) which also include a short segment on culture or local history. In Canada, it's shown on several channels, however, I believe it may be available on Netflix.

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446 posts

Well, we still love Doc Martin, and recently found the Detectorists, which is also great.

Have you tried Call the Midwife? It isn't comedy, but it is a truly great show

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5448 posts

Call the Midwife
https://weta.org/tv/program/call-midwife/history

How did the government improve people’s lives after World War II?

By creating what we have come to call the welfare state. Some forms of
“welfare” go back to the early twentieth century, but it is only after
World War II that a comprehensive set of programs were instituted to
provide a safety net for all—through such things as health care,
unemployment benefits, pensions, access to affordable housing and
education. Vision and reality may not have matched and there were
significant political disagreements over what people should be
entitled to. But the welfare state—in Britain and other West European
countries—became an essential aspect of postwar life. Americans think
of these programs as serving the poor—which they did, as they
should—but actually everyone benefitted. The National Health Service
(NHS) was used by all classes. Educational benefits, especially
increased access to higher education, which expanded greatly during
the 1960s and 70s, allowed some families to send their daughters and
sons to college for the first time. But middle-class people benefitted
as well, disproportionally in fact, from university grants. Pensions
helped everyone. As we see in the show, class divisions remained, but
these programs were welcome and popular. And there’s still a lot of
pride in these accomplishments, as was made clear in the opening
ceremonies of the recent London Olympics. Director Danny Boyle put on
a multi-media extravaganza recounting the history of the British
Isles; prominently featured was a loving depiction of the NHS,
complete with oversize dancing hospital beds!

And yes to Doc Martin
https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/doc-martin-cast-back-together-4005836

The cast of Doc Martin have gotten back together for a special project
to thank the NHS.
PC Penhale checks in on the inhabitants of Port Wenn during the Coronavirus crisis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7-tHqgOasA&feature=youtu.be

And if it counts a series, The Great British Baking Show. where all the contestants get along with no name calling.

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580 posts

Hi Lola -

If you can get past the fact that it’s Ron Weasley’s Dad in the title role, Father Brown (based on the GK Chesterton novels) is a period delight, filmed in and around the Cotswolds.

I would also recommend Detectorists, a lovely gentle comedy drama. Even the title tune is brilliant and the other worldly Unthanks contribute to the final series’ soundtrack - I think McKenzie Crook is a fan. His adaptation of children’s favourite Worzel Gummidge last Christmas on BBC was a similar delight.

If you are happy to laugh about the coming of the antichrist and the end of the world, then Good Omens, adapted by Neil Gaiman, from his own book with the late Terry Pratchett, is wonderful and has a stellar cast. It’s just six episodes - ‘one and done’ so to speak.

And if you are not put off by shows with a (loose) religious theme, Father Ted makes me laugh after all these years. It’s the same writers as The IT Crowd, but predates it. And is Irish- set. Some of the same writers are behind Motherland which is very funny and features the great Diane Morgan. Anna Maxwell Martin, who is also Lord Beelzebub in Good Omens, plays a stressed out Mum in one of the lead roles.

Happy viewing!

Ian

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11676 posts

Great ideas—-Thanks! And keep them coming.

David—-I saw the original airing of most of Monty Python’s Flying Circus when it was on PBS weekly, 1969-1974. It was a major event at our house, apart from the one year in Alaska when we had no TV. And my husband, whom I met in 2002, has a number of the episodes on DVDs, which we pull out and watch from time to time. We even practiced the Silly Walk the other day, for reasons I cannot recall . . . .

Have never watched Fawlty Towers but maybe we should give it a shot.

We have Amazon Prime, Video, BritBox, and Acorn if that helps with suggestions.

Has anyone heard of, or watched the series “Pie in the Sky”? Richard Griffith’s plays a retired police detective who follows his dream of opening a restaurant, but keeps getting pulled back in to police work by his old boss. For some reason we have the DVDs, unopened, and I am wondering what it is like.

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1791 posts

How about The Office, but the original British one!

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5017 posts

One of the channels on our sat receiver has been running Monty Python's Flying Circus, so I started recording them on the DVR. Watching the occasional episode again after so many years has been weird. Some are still hilarious. Others are utterly cringe-worthy, like many things that have not stood up well to the passage of time and changing societal norms. Still, worth a look (occasionally requiring some forgiveness) for those craving British Humor. With all the inside-time we have now, I've been recoding a lot of stuff I would have otherwise ignored, and have been giving our DVR a workout.

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1213 posts

A search for 'shows like The Detectorists' led us to Still Game, which is sitcom about two Glasgow retirees.

i could never get into Fleabag but thought Catastrophe had some really good moments.

Absolutely Fabulous? It can be really funny if you enjoy bawdy slapstick humor.

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3945 posts

Pie in the Sky is an easy watch, currently being repeated on a U.K. minor channel.

Comedies. Fawlty Towers is a must, as is Only Fools and Horses. Blackadder is another golden oldie. I also like Outnumbered. I can’t get into The Detectorists. Cold Feet has been brilliant over the years.

Can you get Judge John Deed or Inspector George Gently both staring Martin Shaw?

The Fall was excellent but a little dark. Happy Valley was also excellent.

Doc Martin has become tedious - one joke repeated for 9 series? No thanks.

There is the new offering from Julian Fellowes who wrote Downton Abbey called Belgravia, which is nowhere near as good. We are 3 episodes in here in the U.K. and I think it’s released in America later this month.

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375 posts

If you like gardens there are a number of programs hosted by Monty Don, the BBC's presenter for "Gardeners' World". A series I particularly liked was "Big Dreams Small Spaces". He also has done a series on Italian, French, American and Japanese gardens. On YouTube you can watch "Around the World in 80 Gardens".

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1400 posts

There is a new show starting tonight on PBS called World on Fire about WWII. Another new show starting I believe April 12 Is Belgravia, similar to Downton Abbey.

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4153 posts

Fawlty Towers is one of my all-time favorites, unfortunately only 12 episodes were made. I used to be a big Monty Python fan but was surprised to find it falling flat when I watched recently. Stars John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth.

See if you can find "Kingdom," starring Stephen Fry (aka Jeeves), a small-town lawyer in East Anglia with a lot of eccentric friends, relatives, and neighbors. There were three seasons, I think six episodes each. A little mystery, a little comedy, a lot of whimsy.

Speaking of which, the Lord Peter Wimsey detective stories should be easy to take -- though I won't guarantee that theyve held up over the years since it's been a long time since I saw them. Ian Carmichael stars.

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2365 posts

A forum friend who has Acorn told me about Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages programs.
You can also watch some of them on YouTube, but I'm sure there are more of them on Acorn.
She gives a tour of different parts of England. One episode is on the Cotswolds, another on Devon and Cornwall, another on Wessex, another on North Yorkshire, one on coastal villages, etc.
Very peaceful, beautiful scenery, and no murders or detectives.

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552 posts

A domestic comedy that you might like is Outnumbered. It is set in South London and is about two parents and their three children. The two parents are played by Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner, oth well=known faces on British TV. Another older series which is quintessentially British was Dinnerladies written and starring Victoria Wood, but with many other well-known actors like Julie Walters, Celia Imrie and Maxine Peake. It is a bitter-sweet comedy set in a factory canteen. Victoria Wood died before her time, and is one of the great lost talents of the comic scene. For an example of her musical and performing skill, look for a performance of "The ballad of Barry and Freda".

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1400 posts

If you really want to go back, Are You Being Served? Is one of our favorites. My dad, us, my daughters, we all loved it.

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506 posts

I like Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served? Both comedies that you can find on BritBox.

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837 posts

More of a resource than a specific show...
WETA, one of the Washington DC region’s PBS stations, has a dedicated WETA UK channel that’s all British all the time. There’s an associated website & blog called WETA Tellyvisions that covers old, current, and upcoming shows and movies. It’s a fun resource.

Speaking of the NHS, Doctor Finlay is set in Scotland in the early days of the NHS. Reminded me of an All Creatures with GPs instead of veterinarians. Enjoyed the series—it was made in the 1990s.

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685 posts

I have enjoyed these: Endeavor, Upstart Crow, Spaced, Green Wing, Black Books, Great British Sewing Bee, The Vicar of Dibley, Miranda, Would I Lie to You, as well as many listed above.

Not British, but look for Rosehaven. A sweet Australian series.

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11389 posts

Call the Midwife ( series ) 👍👍👍👍👍
Keeping up Appearances ( sitcom )👍👍👍
On the Buses ( sitcom ) 👍👍

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447 posts

Lots of good suggestions here. I love the Great British takeoff and noticed some episodes on YouTube this week. I love that everyone is soooo nice (except Paul Hollywood) - very little of the fake reality tv drama.

On Acorn, for travel fun French Fields which was a spin off from Fresh Fields. A bit dated (1980s) but funny. Currently watching Mount Pleasant -sort of soap opera-ish but funny. Pie in the Sky is police but funny and foodie. Boomers too.

Just added Britbox so we're catching up with Shetland, Vera, etc but finding some good comedies, old BBC favorites and interesting documentaries. They even have some Mary Berry shows.

I figure Acorn and Britbox are cheaper than a matinee movie ticket and I get a lot more use out of.

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375 posts

Just thought of another show: Derry Girls. It's on Netflix. I have to turn on the subtitles or I miss a lot of the jokes.

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580 posts

If we are going waaaaaay back, then how about the daddy of them all, ‘Dad’s Army’? Still showing on the BBC after all these years. Very British, perhaps too much so, but you could say the same about ‘Are You Being Served?’

I see a mention for Green Wing, which I loved, although it has to be said it is as mad as a box of frogs!

I’d be interested to know if U.S. viewers of ‘Still Game’ can decipher a) the heavy Glaswegian accent and b) the slang and dialect. It’s another great programme, the final moments of the final episode will have you reaching for the tissues!

Ian

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943 posts

Last Tango in Halifax!!
Fleabag is the best show on TV in years (the writing and narrative structure ... and the acting). That said, I could only get 15 minutes into the first episode when I tried it the first time. One year later, I was desperate for British programming (because yep, Ive watched it ALL), so I persevered. It blew me away. And every friend Ive recommended it to had the same response. BUT, there is an awkward period of maybe 1 ½ episodes -- not that the show loses the awkwardness (basically you are so embarrassed and uncomfortable for/with the main character that its hard to watch) but that you come to understand how her painful behavior is a mask for something else -- and once you start to see the story building, the discomfort becomes part of the emotional impact by the end.
Flowers (I think that's what its called, maybe Netflix). This is a long shot, because it is SO weird. But it is so funny. Strangely, and touchingly, it's about depression, but wrapped in the most quixotic, hysterical family. Olivia Coleman is the mom, and as usual, she is a gem (just watch any Youtube video of her on the Graham Norton show!)
Also love Escape to the Country and Escape to the Continent, for the ... escape ;p
Those are the few that come to mind that haven't been mentioned

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17 posts

The Durrells in Corfu. A family goes from England to Corfu in the 1930s. Based on the book My Family and Other Animals. Great fun! It was on PBS but now is on Amazon or iTunes.

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59 posts

Thanks for starting this post. I love British TV and we need all the light entertainment we can get right now! On Britbox, we've been watching the comedy Mum with Lesley Manville. It was only made for three seasons, but both my husband and I think it is really good = funny but also touching and very well acted. My husband is also enjoying As Time Goes By. For extremely light entertainment, I watch Gavin and Stacey, but I can't say my husband likes that one as much. The Vicar of Dibley is a funny show (from the '90's I believe) about a female vicar.

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1213 posts

I’d be interested to know if U.S. viewers of ‘Still Game’ can decipher a) the heavy Glaswegian accent and b) the slang and dialect.

There were times early on we turned on closed captioning for the show and it really helped learning to decipher the accents. And then seemed to pick up on the slang and such over the course of the series.

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16591 posts

"Pie in the Sky" is light watching, though the star (a chef) is a retired police detective, so there's a crime hook.

I'd add "Mum", a nicely-written 30-minute comedy series about family relationships and middle-aged romance starring the wonderful Lesley Manville.

"Cold Feet" is an ensemble comedy that began in 1997. It has now been updated, beginning in 2016.

"Delicious" is a comedy-drama about a fancy restaurant/hotel, set in Cornwall.

"The Heart Guy" is an Australian series (original title: "Doctor Doctor") focusing on a heart surgeon relegated to working in his small hometown for disciplinary reasons.

The British series "W1A" and the Australian series "Dreamland" are similar in subject matter and tone; both are comedies set in large organizations (the BBC and a government ministry) where absurdity sometimes rules. These are 30-minute shows. I think opinion on these shows would probably be divided, as is often the case with pure comedies.

I assume you're aware of "The Durrells in Corfu" and "Poldark" (Cornwall).

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1213 posts

James May's Toy Stories is fun in a Rube Goldberg sort of way and we also enjoyed his Man in Japan series.

And while I'm not a Jeremy Clarkson fan for certain reasons, Gran Tour definitely has its moments.

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1533 posts

I loved Monarch of the Glen a Scottish light comedy series filmed in the early 2000’s.
I enjoy almost all of the shows mentioned.

Did anyone mention Midsomer Murders, it’s mostly light drama. About 20 years worth of shows. Very popular.

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1436 posts

I liked “Waiting for God” acerbic wit about a senior living facility. I know that “Kingdom” is on Netflix. I also enjoy The Graham Norton Show” which is OnDemand if you have Comcast/Xfinity. Just know going in he is not a Trump fan, but that only comes up in the beginning of the show. It’s talk show with alcohol and lots of research, so he really gets his guests to open up.

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849 posts

"Man Down" starring Greg Davies and Roisin Conaty, with one or two appearances by Mark Hamill.

"Father Ted" -- British-adjacent and hilarious

"Black Adder"

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5163 posts

French and Saunders, AbFab, The Detectorists, Grantchester, House of Cards (this was the Original series) Dr Who ( you’ll either love it or hate it but must start from the beginning) Bletchley Circle, Broadchurch, Miranda, Gavin and Stacey, Keeping Up Appearances, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Cold Feet, Peaky Blinders, Shameless, Penelope Keith’s Coastal Villages of England, Monarch of the Glen, Last Tango In Halifax, Extras, Mr Bean, and the original Upstairs Downstairs to name a few.....

EDIT: took out the crime and detective recommends.

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20 posts

Two of my all-time favorites are “Yes, Minister” and “Yes, Prime Minister.” The best (comedic) treatment of civil service life, even for an erstwhile, and proud, American civil servant. From the 90s, I think, and I have no idea where they’re currently available.

Also, Blackadder and Mr. Bean -two Rowan Atkinson series gems. He had another one set in a police station (though very little crime was involved). I don’t recall its name.

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303 posts

Another vote for Monarch of the Glen (with Julian Fellowes in the cast). I would add Lark Rise to Candleford. Sweet and Lovely. You'll recognize many of the actors in the cast.

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1042 posts

There have been many great suggestions, but here are my thoughts.

Dr Who. A classic, and something you have to watch. While it is not everyone's cup of tea, you should at least give it a try. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMY8gBUwHEU

Fawlty Towers. I agree about this one. John Cleese plays hotel owner Basil Fawlty that runs a small hotel in Torqauy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAHuOvfK2PQ

Blackadder. Another excellent suggestion with Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder as well as Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and other actors. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h--HR7PWfp0

Little Britain. A newer British comedy series, aired in the early 00's. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJQ3TM-p2QI

The Hairy Bikers. Not a bad choice for light entertainment. A cooking show with two bikers travelling around the world, cooking and trying all kinds of food. Is more entertaining than it sounds like, and it might give you a few ideas for new dishes to try. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdv4scj5oZc

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316 posts

Another vote for Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. So well acted and great humour.

There's lots of quirky stuff out there worth a look to see if it appeals.

For slight travel themes - there was a programme called Coast a few years ago that travelled round the UK coastline and did short reports about local interest. Think one of the TV chefs has done some programmes going round the UK - James Martin (I have just seen a new show starting today, Islands to Highlands, which reminded me there is some earlier stuff.)

As I'm trying to learn Italian, I like watching Inspector Montalbano - lovely Sicilian settings.

Of recent comedies my favourite was Outnumbered - a family with 3 children - my only recent must watch comedy.

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552 posts

As well as W1A, at the time of the Olympic Games in London, many of the same people were in "2012", the series which preceded it. Hugh Bonneville is the main lead, while there is a strong performance by Olivia Coleman as his P.A. with longings for him. There are several other notable characters, who you will soon get to know, if not love.

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257 posts

I really enjoyed Upstart Crow, which is a sitcom about William Shakespeare.

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274 posts

Last of the Summer Wine is good as well as Mulberry.
And Jeeves and Wooster.

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3904 posts

I tend not to watch much TV anymore however I did thoroughly enjoy I'm Alan Partridge when I was younger. You will need to appreciate the condescending and cliched nature of local radio hosts, my wife hated it but my firends and I enjoyed it.

If I'm going to watch something it will typically be a documentary and usually something travel related. Anything fronted by Simon Reeve is usually excellent along with the Levison Wood programmes where he walks the length of the Nile, followed by a journey across the length of the Himalayas, then a journey from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula to Colombia followed by a trip from Russia to Iran and finally a circumnavigation of the Arabian Peninsulan.

A few years ago there was a series fronted by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman where they embarked on a quest to travel via motorbike from London to New York, going east through Europe, Asia and then to Alaska. A lot of humour and unexpected troubles and mishaps along the way. There is a sequel, The Long Way Down where they attempt the same from John O'Groats, through Europe and Africa to Cape Town.

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12 posts

Shows our age but "She who must be obeyed" insisted that I add "Rumpole of the Bailey" (if you can find it). Stared Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole a very untidy London barrister who defends in criminal cases. Series ran in the late 70's and early 80's. Leo McKern also had a stint as Number 2 in The Prisoner.

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1213 posts

Yeah, if you haven't yet discovered the charm of the extended version of Long Way Round, track it down immediately. (Though do note it drag a little until they actually get on the road) Dinner with the gangsters, Ewan seeming to grow a third eye, the Road of Bones, Claudio the vaguely competent camera guy... all good stuff.

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11676 posts

JC, do you recall the title of the Ewan McGregor journey series? I cannot find it.

I am particularly curious how they made the crossing from Siberia or elsewhere in Asia to Alaska. Recently there was a post in the Alaska forum on TripAdvisor from two Italians who were making a similar journey, but by small car, not motorbike. They were trying to find transport for their car across the Pacific to Anchorage. Don't know if they ever sorted it out.

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375 posts

Lola, Selkie posted at the same time as you and noted that The show is Long Way Round. It was steaming on Netflix several years ago. There’s a sequel, Long Way Down which isn’t as good.

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2365 posts

Not a series, just one program.
"Lost Gold of the Dark Ages: Treasure Hoard", on National Geographic Channel, produced by the BBC. The story of the Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire Hoard found on a farm in the Midlands of England. Just watched it for about the fifth time. Absolutely fascinating.
Includes the treasure experts at the British Museum cleaning/preserving the objects, cataloguing them, and placing a value on them in partnership with an appraiser from Bonham's.
National Geographic Channel has been repeating this program a couple of times a week.
Excellent program.

Posted by
139 posts

These are terrific suggestions! Some I've enjoyed already and now I've got new ones to try.

How about Shakespeare and Hathaway? It's a light detective series.

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3904 posts

@Lola, sorry...I forgot to add the title! It was The Long Way Round. As for reaching Alaska they had little choice but to fly.

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5817 posts

I’ve always been a total TV addict. So much good stuff to enjoy, even the bad stuff.
Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister are still relevant. They published the scripts as books and they were key texts for my politics A level. Brilliant at explaining how the political system works. I absolutely loved The Thick of It, about modern politics, but be aware if you have an issue with “bad” language. It makes swearing an art form. The film, In the Loop, written by the same team is nowhere near as good.

I enjoyed the first season of Fleabag, but the second season was much better. Oh the hot priest.... A much more family friendly female driven comedy show is Miranda. Silly but kind and you might recognise her love interest from Lucifer.

Friday night dinner is a lovely sitcom. A slow burner, brilliantly written.

A repeat vote for This Country. Another slow burner but worth sticking with even if you do need subtitles.

For something completely different I highly recommend Taskmaster if you can find it. 5 comedians compete to complete ridiculous tasks over the course of the series. Laugh out loud funny at times, presented by Greg Davies.

I’m really enjoying Sex Education on Netflix at the moment. The title will give you an idea of what it’s about but set in a slightly weird John Hughes 80s movie inspired UK. Worth watching for Gillian Anderson’s wardrobe alone and some of the scenery ( welsh borders) is gorgeous
Gogglebox if you want to see a wide range of real British people chatting whilst watching TV. It can be surprisingly emotional at times,

If you are into podcasts “In Our Time” is worth hunting out. It’s been running for decades on Radio 4. 100s of episodes on any topic you can think of.

Another one I’ve recently discovered is Fortunately with Fi and Jane. Two radio 4 presenters chat with different presenters every week. It’s about the media but it’s really about two middle aged women chatting how women “really” chat. Very funny and thought provoking.

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123 posts

I like Benidorm on BritBox for sheer escapism and silliness. And I also like This Farming Life which is a reality program following farming families in Scotland and Northern Ireland with all their troubles and triumphs. As for The IT Crowd, it’s one of my all time escape favs....some of the episodes I’ve watched several times. Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd make the show a hit.

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2365 posts

"Shakespeare Uncovered", a series produced by the BBC, has been showing on our local PBS station. I assume this series has also aired in the UK. Each show is an analysis of a different play. I most recently watched "Richard III" hosted by British actor Antony Sher. It's not the dry version you'd expect. Quite interesting. He tells the story, takes us on a tour around London, including the exterior of the Tower of London by night, and to the Globe Theatre. He shows film clips of different actors performing key scenes in the play (including himself), then discusses what is the true meaning of the scene and dialogue. He explains the subtle puns and references to things that would have had meaning to playgoers back in Shakespeare's time, but would be lost on us today. (Such as: a woman who wears a green dress.)
He takes us to the exact location of the old Globe Theatre, not the Globe replica of today.

Other plays or episodes of the series include:
Hamlet
Macbeth
Romeo and Juliet
Othello
Measure For Measure
The Winter's Tale
Julius Caesar
Much Ado About Nothing

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3904 posts

For sheer brilliant imagination but very dark then the Black Mirror series cannot be beaten. I'm not a binge watcher but I can make an exception for this series.

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11676 posts

Here is where a good search function would be useful. Has any mentioned “Last of the Summer Wine”, filed in Scotland? A venerable, long-running sitcom. It was mentioned in the “pass the story” thread. Shall we try to find that?

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580 posts

Lola -

Do you mean ‘filmed’ in Scotland? If so, it’s actually filmed in and around Holmfirth, Yorkshire, although fairly close to the Lancashire/Greater Manchester area too. The moorland areas and ‘back to back’ terraces of Holmfirth feature heavily.

It’s a little bit same-y in terms of plot, so seen one, seen most of them. From the pen of Roy Clarke (I believe) who also wrote ‘Keeping Up Appearances’. Onslow (‘Oh, nice....’) from KUA is one of my favourite sitcom characters ever!

Ian

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5817 posts

My brother lives in Holmfirth, well the delightfully named suburb of Upper Thong. The actor who played Compo in Last of the Summer Wine is buried in Upper Thong parish church
It’s a great little town with a real community spirit. They still get some tourist trade from fans of the series but there is much more than that going on in the area. Some very good pubs and restaurants and a great venue in the Picturedrome. Holmfirth was the home of British cinema before World War One. Surrounding by lots of nice countryside it’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

I enjoyed Last of the Summer wine when I was kid but I’m not sure it really warranted running for 40+ years!

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580 posts

Emma -

A lot of the tourism will have diverted to the Halifax area - ‘Last Tango in Halifax’, ‘Happy Valley’, and notably ‘Gentleman Jack’. I couldn’t watch ‘Happy Valley’ because I was just playing ‘spot the location’ all the time - ‘Ooh, nice shot of the Wainhouse Tower...’. Our friends who live in the area gave us a guided tour one day! They also live near to ‘Gentleman Jack’s’ Shibden Hall. Last year they said the Bank Holiday visitors the year previous were about 120 over the weekend compared with about 5000 a day in 2019. The church where Anne Lister is buried has also jumped on the bandwagon a little, but it is worth a visit in its own right.

I used to work weekends as a lad in Halifax many years ago in the inappropriately named ‘Paradise Street’. I couldn’t even find it on a recent visit, much of the area having being either demolished or redeveloped.

Ian

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760 posts

I have become hooked on Escape to the Country. Over 200 episodes are available free on YouTube, but my over-the-air channel, DABL, plays them weekdays from 4-7 and then 11-2 (2 AM). I am lucky to be working from home, but by 4, I am ready to kick back and start planning my evening and maybe open a bottle of cider. Cheers!

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23257 posts

When you go to see Compo‘s grave in Upper Thong notice that Cleggie is buried practically next door.

Bill Owen, Peter Sallis

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4857 posts

Wow! lots of great suggestions here, and I thought I was pretty much in tune with all the Brit show offerings. I am afraid however, with staying-at-home and watching more TV, I am starting to resemble Onslow more and more.

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580 posts

Stan -

Save for not watching TV in my vest (too chilly) I’ve resembled Onslow for years....😂😂

Ian

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2365 posts

No one has yet mentioned Antiques Roadshow, the British version. Many episodes are hosted by Fiona Bruce.

The big draw for me is that each episode is filmed at a historic location, such as Durham Cathedral, Pembroke Castle, Castle Howard, etc., and we are first given a tour and the history of each place. Then the people that have gathered have their objects appraised, which also is very interesting.

This show is on BBC America in my area. Highly recommend it.

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5817 posts

Ian, I loved Gentleman Jack so I am sure the tourists have moved over there from. I always find it distracting when series are filmed in locations you know. Coming from Chester when I was a teenager and watching Hollyoaks it was always irritating when one half of a conversation was on one side of the city and the other 3 miles away.
Nigel I didn’t know Peter Sallis was also buried in Upper Thong. I must admit I’ve never visited the church yard but I have regularly visited “ Compo’s Chip Shop” at the bottom of the hill. V good chips!!

Another couple of recommendations, Escape to the Chateau and Salvage Hunters.

Escape to the Chateau, a very creative British couple renovate a French chateau and slowly turn it into a wedding venue. It’s a real favorite of mine ( and slightly bizarrely my 17 year old nephew). Nothing too bad happens, lovely things are made, everyone is nice but not annoying. There is another version called Escape to the Chateau DIY where they go to other chateaus being renovated.

Salvage Hunters. Drew Pritchard, the owner of a Conwy based salvage/antiques business travels around the country, and into Europe buying stock from markets, country houses, old factories etc to resell. Just an easy watch looking at lovely things. Salvage Hunters The Professionals you watch real master craftsmen and women renovate the stock. So interesting and I have a major crush on Alex the French polisher. Thinking about it I also have a thing for Will the carpenter on the Repair Shop so there is a trend there!

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760 posts

Emma, I love Escape to the Chateau. I can watch it here via YouTube. I am saving it for a particularly rainy, cozy weekend.

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29 posts

A second vote for Poldark! I also enjoyed Victoria, The Crown, and Dr. Thorne (3-part miniseries). Of course there's always Outlander, if you're into Scottish history with a love story woven in (or is it a love story with Scottish history woven in?)