25 best British TV shows of all time

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

This romantic drama, bright detectives and witty Comedy is worth a look for everyone.

1. Doctor Who

Doctor Who

  • UK, 1963 — present.
  • Science fiction, drama.
  • Duration: 37 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,6.

A time Lord named the Doctor from the planet Gallifrey travels through space and time on a space ship the TARDIS, which looks like a blue police box. Hero saves whole worlds regularly.

During his more than half-century history of the legendary series still loved by the fans (although lately he don’t go smoothly). First “Doctor Who” was conceived as an educational TV show for children. But the concept quickly changed and the project has turned into space fantasy, filled with crazy adventures. And from season to season the outside of the Doctor and his companions changes with the idea that a time Lord instead of death, can regenerate into a new body.

2. Monty Python: Flying circus

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

  • UK, 1969-1974.
  • Black Comedy.
  • Duration: 4 season.
  • IMDb: 8,9.

The stage Comedy troupe “Monty Python” started from the sketch show “Flying circus”, which immediately made a real revolution in the genre. In his comic scenes, the actors often break the “fourth wall”, refused the final funny phrases (of punchline), and a special relish for the project was given a psychedelic animated video of Terry Gilliam.

“Monty Python”, which had such a strong influence on Comedy as The Beatles of musicians. The troupe was inspired by the authors of “Mr. bean”, “show of fry and Laurie”, “the Simpsons” and “South Park.” “Pythons” is no longer just a symbol of English humor — they have become part of the cultural code of the country: questions about the works of Monty Python were updated tests for those wishing to obtain British citizenship.

3. The Hotel “Fawlty Towers”

Fawlty Towers

  • United Kingdom, 1975-1979.
  • Sitcom.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,7.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Still from the TV series “Hotel “Fawlty towers””

The sitcom talks about hotel “Fawlty towers” English Riviera and its owner Basil Fawlty. The owner is very poorly understood how to manage a hotel, and his lack of professionalism and an aversion to guests to serve as perpetual sources of trouble. With it, the hotel can support his wife gall sheepish waiter and the maid business.

The cast was headed by John Cleese of “Monty Python” (the project was born a few years after his departure from the legendary troupe), besides the series incredibly well and cleverly written. So for years the “Hotel “Fawlty towers”” deservedly remains one of the most popular comedies in the UK.

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4. Fools are lucky

Only Fools and Horses

  • UK, 1981-2003 years.
  • Sitcom.
  • Duration: 9 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,9.

The main plot revolves around stupid ideas of the Trotter brothers, who decided to become millionaires. To achieve the goal they drive around in a yellow three-wheeled van selling useless and usually stolen goods.

British sitcom-survivor still enjoys immense popularity in England. The show was closed in 1996, but returned after a five year hiatus and has continued occasionally to indulge the audience with a festive specifically.

5. Black Viper

The Black Adder

  • United Kingdom, 1982-1989.
  • Black Comedy, historical.
  • Duration: 4 season.
  • IMDb: 8,1.

The action series is set in different times — from the middle Ages to the First world war. Hilarious Rowan Atkinson plays first stupid and cowardly Prince Edmund, nicknamed the Viper, and in the remaining three seasons of his descendants, who are involved in important historical events. Every time the characters find themselves in the wrong place, otherwise harm others and put themselves and others in awkward situations.

Reviews from critics the first season were mixed, and the great success the series had. But the sequel brought in “the Black adder” the incredible love of the audience. Even after years the show has not lost its cultural value thanks to a great script, deep dialogues and brilliant acting. And the ending of the final season is still considered one of the best in the history of British television.

6. Poirot Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

  • UK, 1989-2013 years.
  • Detective, Comedy, drama.
  • Duration: 13 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,6.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Scene from the serial “Poirot Agatha Christie”

Reference adapted from the classic Agatha Christie dedicated to the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This meticulous detective is famous for his passion for order and is able to unravel even the most complicated case.

Actor David Suchet embody brilliant detective Hercule Poirot for almost 25 years. He created so accurate and reliable way that it is difficult to imagine in this role of someone else. For this Land read all the books about the detective, studied the history of Belgium and was trying to copy the accent of his character.

7. Jeeves and Wooster

Jeeves and Wooster

  • UK, 1990-1993.
  • Sitcom.
  • Duration: 4 season.
  • IMDb: 8,4.

The hapless aristocrat Bertie Wooster is constantly embroiled in troubles and adventures, but all-knowing and witty Valet Jeeves pulls out the owner of the most delicate situations. And does it easily and calmly.

The brilliant Duo Hugh Laurie and Stephen fry can rightly be called a British national treasure. Before that artists had already managed to win the hearts of the audience with his witty “show of fry and Laurie”. But the acknowledged masters of Comedy they did exactly a brilliant adaptation of novels by British author Palama of Grenville Woodhouse about aristocrat klutz and his refined Butler.

8. Method Cracker


  • UK, 1993-1996.
  • Detective, drama.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,4.

Dr. Fitzgerald nicknamed Fitz successfully “splits” of criminals, helping the police to solve the most complex and bloody deeds. Yet he is full of problems and shortcomings, for example, he smokes a lot and drinks, suffering from addiction to gambling and regularly unfaithful to his wife. But still extremely charismatic.

Show different innovative approach. For example, here trying to understand what is happening in the mind of the person committing the crime. The villain may well be a hostage of circumstances, and ambiguous main character (starring Robbie Coltrane, known for playing Hagrid in the “Harry Potter”) is not always possible to empathize.

9. Pride and prejudice

Pride and Prejudice

  • UK, 1995.
  • Costume melodrama.
  • Duration: 1 season.
  • IMDb: 8,9.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Frame from the series “Pride and prejudice”

Heritage home of English novelist Jane Austen filmed very often. And best of all it was the BBC, whose mini-series superbly recreated the atmosphere of the XIX century and conveyed the true spirit of great Britain. In the story in the mansion of the family of Bennet visited by the rich bachelor Mr. Bingley and his best friend Mr. Darcy. The acquaintance soon turns into a tangled and turbulent history of love and hate.

Colin Firth at first flatly refused to play the role of Mr. Darcy. But in the end they acknowledged as canonical, and the scene where his character out of the water, even called one of the most recognizable in the entire history of British television. Most interesting is that in a few years, the actor starred as Mark Darcy in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, where he portrayed a modernized version of the character.

10. Bookstore black

Black Books

  • UK, 2000-2004.
  • Sitcom, black Comedy.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,5.

Bookshop owner Bernard black wakes up every morning in a bad mood, does not believe in the use polite customer service, and the need for attention to them at all. He just sits behind the counter, reads, drinks, smokes, rude to everyone and, whenever possible, rushes to the pub with friends.

Important here is not so much the plot as the funny scenes and great quotes (“you Know, the salary is not much, but the work is hard, Find work and rebuild their personal lives you out anytime, the pub closes in five hours”, “the Book is disgusting, but it ends quickly”). Unfortunately, the show lasted only three seasons.

11. Peep show

Peep Show

  • UK 2003-2015.
  • Sitcom.
  • Duration: 9 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,6.

The plot revolves around the relationship between two eccentric friends, removing one apartment: a clerk with low self-esteem Mark Corrigan and disorderly beginner musician Jeremy Osborne.

The name of the series, which literally translates as “the show with voyeurism”, alludes to the special camera work: each frame is taken from the point of view of one of the characters. So the viewer sees exactly what I’m looking at the characters. The project got on the air for nine years, and has become a national treasure, and phrases from it went to the people.

12. Mighty Bush

The Mighty Boosh

  • UK, 2003-2007.
  • Black Comedy.
  • Duration: 3 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,3.

British comedian group “the mighty Bush” inheriting the tradition of “Monty Python”, started with Comedy performances and shows for radio and later released a series. The latter tells the adventures of friends Vince Noir and Howard moon. They often fall into various scrapes, which usually themselves to blame.

The content of the series to retell pointless, they are too surreal. However, the show quickly acquired fans who fell in love with bright scenery, musical numbers and extravagant costumes of the characters.

13. The action

The Thick of It

  • United Kingdom, 2005-2012.
  • Political satire.
  • Duration: 4 season.
  • IMDb: 8,7.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Scene from the TV series “action”

The plot tells about the difficult and very nerve-wracking routine of the officials of the British government. The Central character acts as the press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Malcolm Tucker, whose job is to yell at others in hopes to avoid another failure.

Satirical procedural COP show with Peter Capaldi in the title role allows you to look behind the scenes of British politics. Viewers will be able to take note of sophisticated English swearing: swearing in the “Thick of things” is really a lot.

14. Scum


  • United Kingdom, 2009-2013.
  • Fiction, black Comedy, drama.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,2.

Five bullies, which for petty crimes were sent for public works, fall in a storm. Lightning gives them superpowers: the ability to rewind time back to telepathy. But with their new talents the characters constantly get into trouble.

Very funny and gross series about teenagers from the lower strata of society removed for mere pennies and virtually no special effects. But nevertheless he had an enormous influence on modern popular culture.

15. Luther


  • UK, 2010 — present.
  • Thriller, mystery, drama.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,5.

Tough and shrewd investigator John Luther of the London police are able to unravel any complex case. However, his methods are too brutal, which often creates a very controversial situation.

That is the controversial image of the main character played by Idris Elba makes the psychological confrontation between the detective and the villain is doubly interesting.

16. Sherlock


  • UK, US, 2010 — present.
  • Thriller, drama, crime, detective.
  • Duration: 90 minutes.
  • IMDb: 9,1.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Scene from the TV series “Sherlock”

War veteran John Watson meets a brilliant, but strange detective Sherlock Holmes. Together partners unravel the complex case and come into confrontation with the king of the underworld Moriarty.

A modern version of works of Arthur Conan Doyle said Steven Moffat, for several years head of another famous British project “Doctor Who”. Because the action takes place in our day, Sherlock started to use advanced technology, has got Asperger’s syndrome and high functioning sociopath. But the focus still remained deductive method of Holmes. The project received a BAFTA award in the category “Best drama series”, and he has an army of fans.

17. Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

  • UK, 2010-2015.
  • Drama, romance.
  • Duration: 6 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,7.

The series tells about the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family, their friends and servants. The fictional story of an old manor Downton imposed on the fabric of real historical events of the early twentieth century.

Show don’t just appreciate the fine English speaking and first-class acting. The project also shows how slowly blurring the line between nobles and common people, and the world is changing before our eyes. Not to mention the fact that “Downton Abbey” from beginning to end filled with British wisdom, elegance and sense of humor.

18. Black mirror

Black Mirror

  • UK, 2011 — present.
  • Fiction, Thriller, drama.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,8.

Anthology of Charlie Brooker “Black mirror” at first, was more a show for her, but gradually became one of the biggest hits of TV fiction of our time. The creators are constantly experimenting with genres: in the series you can find echoes of horror (Metalhead, Playtest), detective (The Entire History of You) and even teenage comedies (Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too). There is even experimental interactive episode Bandersnatch, in which the fate of the hero depends on the choice of the viewer.

But all series have one thing in common: they paint a grim picture of the technological future (after all, even the title of the show alludes to the black screen of smartphone or computer).

19. On duty

Line of Duty

  • UK, 2012 — present.
  • Crime drama, detective.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,6.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Frame from the series “On duty”

After a failed anti-terrorist operation that resulted in the death of an innocent man young DS Steve Arnott refused to cover their colleagues. However, he was not fired, only transferred to the Department for the fight against corruption. There he is surprised to learn about the corruption of many police officers and their ties to organized crime.

In this show the police do not show their best side. British law enforcement authorities have refused to advise the authors of the project. So the creative team had to work with the stories of retired officers and carefully study professional forums.

20. Peaky blinders

Peaky Blinders

  • United Kingdom, 2013 — present.
  • Crime historical drama.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,8.

Returning to his native Birmingham after the First world war, the brothers Shelby to dominate the streets. They are becoming increasingly influential because of its brutality. But the life of the band poison the machinations of the police and competitors.

A historical drama about group of gangsters who had the habit to sew into the peaks of their caps of a straight razor, you need to watch definitely. Will not leave anyone indifferent stylish costumes, the interiors and the vivid characters, embodied by Killian Murphy, Tom hardy, and other talented actors.

21. Inside the ninth room

Inside No. 9

  • UK, 2014 — present.
  • Black Comedy.
  • Duration: 5 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,5.

Each episode is a standalone story remains unchanged, only the scene: the room or the house at number nine.

A show imbued with the spirit of the English tetraparetic and can be both dramatic and comedic, but the plot every time keeps in suspense until the last second.

22. Disaster


  • United Kingdom, 2015-2019.
  • Comedy, romance.
  • Duration: 4 season.
  • IMDb: 8,2.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Frame from the series “Catastrophe”

American Rob arrives in England on a business trip and meets in a bar with witty teacher Sharon. At first the heroes believe that their brief affair would not lead to anything serious. But it soon turns out that she is pregnant.

Performers of the main roles (and part of the creators of the show) Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney have built a story around their own experiences and even gave the heroes their names. Perhaps that is why between the characters felt a special chemistry, but their relationship seem to be extremely convincing and believable.

23. Stuff


  • UK, 2016-2019.
  • Drama, Comedy.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,7.

The nameless heroine runs a cafe on the verge of ruin, sleeping with everyone, is too awful to her boyfriend and family to communicate and have not learned. At first glance, the girl looks irresponsible and cheerful. But in reality, trying to cope with depression and a terrible feeling of guilt.

Author’s TV project Phoebe Waller‑bridge has grown from her own solo performance. In a few hours the series manages to laugh and make you cry. A second season of the “Stuff” was even better than the first. Waller‑bridge immediately called the main writer of our time, and called to finish the dialogue in a new film about James bond.

Heroine Waller‑bridge is far from perfect and remind us that we are all living people, and that’s fine.

24. The end ***of the world

The End of The F***ing World

  • UK, 2017-2019.
  • Black Comedy, drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,1.

Unsociable teenager James considers himself a psychopath and going to kill their classmate Alyssa. However, the girl suddenly offers him together to escape the city. The guy agrees, intending to kill a companion later, but more and more difficult to do it. Because the characters gradually fall in love with each other.

The history of the modern Bonnie and Clyde talks about the scars not healing over the years, teenage nihilism and futile attempts to escape from the problems. On the wave of popularity of the first season the creators have released a second, equally beautiful and stylish where revealed themes of toxic relationships and unhealthy attachment.

25. Sex education

Sex Education

  • UK, 2019 — present.
  • Comedy, school drama.
  • Duration: 2 seasons.
  • IMDb: 8,3.

25 лучших английских сериалов всех времён

Frame from the TV series “Sex education”

Teenager Otis well versed in matters of sex education, which is not surprising, because his mother works as a sex therapist. At the same time he is extremely shy, and his personal life does not add up. At school the hero with a rebel Maeve opens the underground “psychological study”, where the money helps classmates to solve sexual problems. And did not notice how falls in love with his accomplice who sees him purely as a friend.

The show, though, and plays all imaginable stereotypes of school life, teaches sex primarily as a way to understand yourself. The characters are faced with problems equally relevant to any age: selfharm, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even sexual violence.

Of course, all good TV shows shot in Britain, it is impossible to fit in such a short list. What other standing watching English shows it is possible to add here?

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