Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login
TV
Byrne Robotics > TV Page of 4 Next >>
Topic: Best of British TV Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 12 May 2018 at 12:01pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

A broad topic: What are the all-time best British TV series or even individual programs? Perhaps also what have you spent the most in buying copies/downloads for?

I might have to choose Foyle's War for my all-time personal favorite (and I have most of the seasons on DVD), although I lose a bit of interest after war's end.

The Lotus Eaters '70s series with Ian Hendry and Wanda Ventham set in Greece is another favorite, complete set stuff for me. Don't think it';s been on region 1 though.

I wish there were more of Peter Cook & Dudley Moore's various programmes in existence. What there is of Not Only... But Also is great to have and I've supplemented it with some of the LPs derived from their shows back then, plus a really treasured The Misty Mister Wisty of solo Cook.

I also have an assortment of vintage children's shows, most treasured being The Sooty Show with original puppeteer-magician Harry Corbett. You can see some of these on Youtube, they are a marvel! His son took it over in the '70s and it became a bit more anarchic. A third fellow who does it these days does a good job too. Probably an acquired taste situation but I am still mad for Sooty (and Sweep). I also love the original outer space situated The Clangers from Oliver Postgate who did many other original series such as Bagpuss, Americans may have seen the new William Shatner narrated Clangers which is definitely in the original spirit (well done). Hector's House, which is a bit like The Magic Roundabout, is another short and silly puppet series I'm as dotty as an old spoon for!

I think in terms of buying Doctor Who must rank easily the top as there have been so many releases over decades. Probably Emmerdale Farm/Emmerdale is my runner-up, a rural soap, having gone so far as to import the Finnish series of DVDs (now that's devotion). A sci-fi soap Jupiter Moon that ran on satellite services in the circa '89-'91 got to me enough I ended up buying all that came out on U.K. DVD... it's since shown up on region 1. I also have some vintage Coronation Street even though I gave up on the show for good in modern times.

For singe programmes there is the landmark Abigail's Party. I'd have to rate it first, but there was also The Flipside Of Dominick Hyde and Another Flip For Dominick, two of the best non-series science fiction pieces outside of individual Out Of The Unknowns.

I could really go on and on, but hopefully others will have some favorites to share that will overlap?

MY BF has complete runs of The Prisoner, UFO and Space:1999, plus some kind of  Monty Python big box and Policeman's Balls set, also 'All 'Allo. He's very keen on Steptoe & Son too but has LPs of their stories rather than the videos (they don't have region 1s I guess is why and I'm afraid to get him started on region 2s like I have. He has all The Black Adder and some Red Dwarf. I've got him interested in Upstairs Downstairs again too, luckily the set of this was region 1.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 12 May 2018 at 7:20pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I've only seen one Call The Midwife from start to finish and that's the first one, but it seems like the kind of series I really like (and it's fun to see Jenny Agutter in a habit). A Canadian channel started running it again from last night and I'm going to try to follow it properly this time around.

A somewhat similar show that doesn't seem to have gotten notice is WPC 56 about one of the first women's police constables in England (I actually had someone in my family who lived this in Yorkshire). These are based on some books, a bit like Heartbeat, but I found the first series very enjoyable but the second one not so much for a variety of reasons... mainly the actors had to change so a lot of the characters you get to know in the first series are lost for the second, and the sound for some reason was a lot muddioer if more realistic, something I really dislike. So series 1 is a must buy if you see it at a reasonable price I think.

The supernatural Afterlife series has run on some N. American channels but I bought the DVDs anyway. So far two seasons and I think it's great!

For newish comedy I think Vicious was a lot of fun; wonderfully eccentric characters headlined by Ian MacKellan and Derek Jacobi. Did Balthazar the dog ever move or make a noise? A bit like Ab Fab, darlings.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Matt Hawes
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14484
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 12:43am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

My faves (from what I've been able to watch... and, yes, I strongly favor the comedies):

STEPTOE & SON
MONTY PYTHON
ARE YOU BEING SERVED
FAWLTY TOWERS
THE YOUNG ONES
BEAN
IT CROWD
any version of ALAN PARTRIDGE
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Matt Reed
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Robotmod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Posts: 32777
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 1:26am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Not mentioned so far...

THE OFFICE - The original is far superior to the American remake.  I love how short it is and the finale gets me every time.  

LIFE ON MARS - It's fantastic.  We didn't ever get ASHES TO ASHES (at least to my knowledge, maybe I missed it), but I think it would be equally memorable.

THE AVENGERS - Particularly the Peel years.

PRIME SUSPECT - Genre defining.

THE FALL - Still have to catch up with it, but that first season was amazing.  Couldn't do half of what it did on network television.

KILLING EVE - Can we include BBC America?  If so, this recent entry immediately jumps to the top.  Stylish.  Cunning.  Subversive.  Excellent television.  

DOWNTON ABBEY - Those first three seasons were dramatic gold.  

BLACK MIRROR - The first worthy successor to THE TWILIGHT ZONE.  Compelling one-and-done stories that continue to make you think long after you've turned your TV off for the night.  

THE PRISONER - Mentioned in an off-hand way, but I think it deserves a full-on acknowledgement.  No matter what you think of the finale (that's a discussion for another thread entirely) the series itself is phenomenal.  

Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 5:25am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

My list:

DOCTOR WHO
THE PRISONER
SPACE: 1999
UFO (I liked the surreptitious nature of the invasion)
THE BILL
LONDON'S BURNING
TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED 

So many one could name! 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 11:55am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I've never even heard of The Black Mirror! Exciting to know there's still something to find out about. Definitely sounds like my kind of show too.

Prime Suspect and The Bill were great as well, I'm a bit like that old Elvis Costello song, I watch the detectives... just started a new series of Happy Valley the Seattle PBS station is airing, not sure if it's series 2 or 3 though actually. I recognize various faces from itv soaps in this one (besides the lead). Wherever they are there are some accents like on my grandad's side. Bradford was mentioned once so I guess around there (Bramley, West Leeds has that side of the family's names on a bunch of streets).

I did like Broadchurch 1 & 2, but it might be too influential as there seem to be a lot of things in that style coming out, like Mayday. I could get tired of that like all the Downton Abbey type programmes (I bailed on Downton and Mr. Selfridge after a couple series each).

I'll have to finally give Alan Partridge a try, I've known about it for awhile. There was a great comedy titled simply Hippies with Simon Pegg (of Spaced) set in late '60s Notting Hill Gate which I absolutely loved, but only one series of it as Pegg became very very busy.

I had a thing for watching It Ain't Half Hot Mum for awhile, seems to be along the broad lines of Are You Being Served and Dad's Army, but I think they won't ever show it in America because it's sort of politically incorrect/dated seeming, though I think it's fine as the minorities in the far east in the past are generally smarter than the white soldier types. Hi De Hi won't get shown because they never had these budget holiday camps here I don't think. Open All Hours is another old favorite though dated, and at least they have run it here a few times.
Back to Top profile | search
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4706
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Matt, you didn’t get AHES TO ASHES? Oh man, you really missed out. Do you know what happened? No spoilers but what was interesting for me was that the last episode aired the same weekend as the last episode of LOST. 

One was atrocious & one was a brilliant pay off. Ashes won by a country mile.
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
John Byrne
Avatar
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 113328
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 5:13pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

No order....

BLACK ADDER (All of them)

THE AVENGERS (Mrs Peel)

DOCTOR WHO (Selected)

MONTY PYTHON

FAWLTY TOWERS

QUATERMASS AND THE PIT

UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS

I, CLAUDIUS

YES, MINISTER/PRIME MINISTER

HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR

THE HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY

GETTING ON

THE OFFICE

THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII

ELIZABETH R

So many more!

Back to Top profile | search
 
Wallace Sellars
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 May 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 15821
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 6:41pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I was hooked on EASTENDERS for a while. I also own the complete ARE YOU
BEING SERVED.
Back to Top profile | search | www
 
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 8:41pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I avidly watched I, Claudius and Yes Minister/Prime Minister so long now I'd almost forgotten about them; they deserve to be among the roll of the very best. I, Claudius would've been the first place I saw Patrick Stewart, who could have imagined he'd become the Charles Xavier back then! Then again, who could imagine not just one but several X-Men movies...

I keep meaning to get the original Quatermass tv series DVD set to go with the A For Andromeda and Adam Adamant Lives sets; I've only seen the Hammer film versions. Creator Nigel Kneale  later did a short anthology series titled simply Beasts that I found and enjoyed a lot.

I also forgot another fave of the BF's, The Avengers, but not the Diana Rigg ones at all, he has a thing for the Honor Blackman seasons. I'm pretty sure he has all of those years on A&E region 1 sets.

I also got into a British series circa 1969-1970 called The Strange Report which is a little along the lines of Kolchak The Night Stalker if he'd had former Who companion Anneke Wills as a next door neighbour/artist/assistant. Again, one of the best. I've only watched two from a Doom Watch set so far but it's also quite good weird/cult tv.

There were also weird teenage type sci-fi shows I like a lot... maybe the best is The Owl Service, but also Children Of the Stones (both a bit Wicker Man-ish). The Phoenix And The Carpet was an Edwardian set fantasy series I watched in the late '70s, it hasn't been on video, but a feature length version which is very similar has and is easy to find and afford. Great metallic bird puppet. Another best of the best series was Timeslip about two time traveling children, but one unfortunate thing is that the colour versions were mostly wiped so most of it is b&w, but still worth seeking out. I think it was one of the first sf comic serials in Look-In magazine.


Edited by Rebecca Jansen on 13 May 2018 at 8:44pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4706
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 11:23pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

BLAKE’S 7 was an interesting show in that it killed main characters, destroyed its ship & lost the titular character. & then it had an ending to end all endings
Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
James Woodcock
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 21 September 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4706
Posted: 13 May 2018 at 11:30pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I’m going to dip in & out of this thread as memories pop up.

We had some seriously demented children’s programmes when I was a kid & many of these I have fond memories of. I’m pretty sure the people that created the shows were on drugs though.

PIPKINS had the most demented rabbit that was pretty aggressive to everyone
IVOR THE ENGINE was about a steam train that had a dragon inside its fire pit
OSCAR THE RABBIT was about a rabbit that fell through a dustbin into another dimension & fought against a dragon called Gnashes (hard G as in Gnue)

Loved every one of those

Back to Top profile | search e-mail
 
Bob Simko
Byrne Robotics Security
Avatar
Negative Mod

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5659
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

LIFE ON MARS - It's fantastic. We didn't ever get ASHES TO ASHES (at least
to my knowledge, maybe I missed it), but I think it would be equally
memorable.
*************************

I'll drop you a line about this later today!
Back to Top profile | search | www e-mail
 
Rebecca Jansen
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 12 February 2018
Location: Canada
Posts: 1198
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 9:58am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I enjoyed Blake's 7 once I got to see it from the first episode. Earlier I'd tried to make sense of it from a much later season with no Blake and with a sort of budget spaceship.Like The Tomorrow People there were some excellent episodes and then some really average to even plain bad ones. I did like the later Star Cops show a lot that didn't last very long, but I almost never gave it a chance because the title sounded pretty naff.

I've seen a few bits of Pipkins only, very strange, a sort of edgier Rainbow even! :^) Ivor was a Postage/Firmin production I think and had some interesting Welsh music. I'd love to see Oscar The Rabbit though, never even heard of that one! I am kind of haunted by Nobody's House, a Tyne Tees '70s kids show about a Dickensian orphan child ghost haunting an old house two modern kids and their parents have moved into. Brian Blessed even makes an appearance as a Fagin sort of ghost! There's a sort of trailer for it on Youtube here: https://youtu.be/J67Y9QvtREU

In a similar vein was Ghosts Of Motley Hall, from the same creator as Catweazel, and it had Arthur English who was in Are You Being Served as one of the ghosts. Catweazel was another great series enjoyable to adults and children, with a time-travelling druid sort of eccentric character (not sure how best to sum him up, you'd know him if you smelled him I suppose) thouigh the first season was by far the best.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Phil Kreisel
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 February 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1587
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Rebecca - Black Mirror episodes are on Netflix
Back to Top profile | search
 
Phil Kreisel
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 03 February 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1587
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

My British List:

Mostly comedies, though there is the occasional drama (in no particular order)
  • The Avengers (primarily the Peel years, though I like the others as well)
  • Black Mirror
  • Monty Python
  • Jason King
  • The Saint
  • The Persuaders
  • Man about the House
  • Robin's Nest (sequel to Man about the House)
  • Fawlty Towers
  • The IT Crowd
  • Miranda
  • Stanley Baxter's Big Picture Show
  • Up Pompeii
  • Prime Suspect
  • Spaced (though I've only watched a couple of episodes)
  • Black Books (very funny - if you like the IT crowd, you'll like Black Books)
  • Coupling
  • Grownups (very funny, but hard to find)
  • Two pints of Lager and a packet of Crisps (only seen a couple of episodes)
  • Smack the Pony

Back to Top profile | search
 
Kevin Brown
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 31 May 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7649
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

So many great series!  I tend to gravitate more to the criminal dramas of late.

I second Foyle's War.  I'm also a huge fan of Midsomer Murders and Father Brown.

Of course, there's The Avengers as well.
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 97
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 11:35am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Comedies
Blackadder (but not so much the first series. Although it's good, but not as good as what came after).
Fawlty Towers
Monty Python (with Cleese)
The Office
Only Fools and Horses (not so much the later Xmas specials)
Red Dwarf (particularly series 3-5)
Yes, Minister/Yes Prime Minister

Drama (and yes, I know I've loosely defined it!)
Doctor Who (especially the Baker/Hinchcliffe years)
Elizabeth R
Fall Of Eagles
I, Claudius
Miss Marple with Joan Hickson
Poirot with David Suchet
The Six Wives of Henry VIII

Documentaries
Ascent Of Man
The Great War
Kenneth Clark's Civilisation
The World At War

It's a bit depressing to realise that there's not an awful lot of recent stuff on the list.

Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11165
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 12:44pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Let me agree with all those who have said Blackadder, The Office, Fawlty Towers, The World at War, The Young Ones, Doctor Who, Only Fools and Horses, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Blake's 7.

Ones that haven't been said that I might add would be:
GBH
Sapphire and Steel
Planet Earth
University Challenge
Bod (mainly because of Derek Griffiths' music) 


Edited by Peter Martin on 14 May 2018 at 12:49pm
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

No, don't like UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE. Jeremy Paxman is too aggressive as a host. Lighten up, Paxman! 

Incidentally, autocorrect tries to change Paxman to "Taxman" or "Panama".
Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Sullivan
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 163
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 1:39pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Smiley’s People” the most amazing drama series along with “Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister” the best comedy series.


Cheers, Peter

Back to Top profile | search
 
Peter Martin
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 11165
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 2:14pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Paxman just doesn't suffer fools gladly, or time-wasters. You lose 10 points, Parry, for buzzing in incorrectly. 
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Parry
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 17 June 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12187
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 2:29pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

In all seriousness, I do like it, I learn a lot from it. I love the music rounds, too.

Regarding British quiz/game shows, you cannot beat the original CATCHPHRASE!
Back to Top profile | search
 
Steven Brake
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar

Joined: 01 January 2016
Posts: 97
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 3:05pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

HOW did I forget Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?
Back to Top profile | search
 
Robbie Moubert
Byrne Robotics Member
Avatar
Evertonian

Joined: 16 April 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1215
Posted: 14 May 2018 at 4:56pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Rebecca, I must point out that Hector's House was actually a French series (La Maison de Toutou) with new voices provided by the BBC (just like The Magic Roundabout which it replaced in the 5:40 slot just before the evening news on BBC 1). Sorry, I'm just a great big pedantic old Hector! 

There used to be an urban myth in the UK that Zsa Zsa the cat was voiced by Joanna Lumley. This was in fact just a joke made in the 80s by presenter Danny Baker but it got repeated as fact for years afterwards.

You're correct about Timeslip being one of the strips in Look-in when it started. The first six months were beautifully done in full-colour by Mike Noble and can be seen on the Timeslip website.


Edited by Robbie Moubert on 14 May 2018 at 5:16pm
Back to Top profile | search | www
 

Page of 4 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

 Active Topics | Member List | Search | Help | Register | Login