The BEST BBC One Shows

The top 50 shows on BBC One

Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions

#1 - Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions

Wallace and Gromit try out a number of their latest inventions which rarely work as planned.

star 9.50
116 votes
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Life in the Undergrowth

#2 - Life in the Undergrowth

Invertebrates had been largely ignored by filmmakers in the past, due to the difficulties in filming them, but advances in lens and camera technology gave the makers an opportunity to film the creatures at their level. The series features a balance of everyday European invertebrates such as the wolf spider and housefly and more exotic varieties such as the redback spider of Australia and venomous centipedes of the Amazon. This was the first time that such animals had been photographed at such a high level of detail for television, and provided not only casual viewers but also scientists with a new understanding of certain species' behaviour.

star 9.48
232 votes
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Doomwatch

#3 - Doomwatch

Doomwatch is the code name of a semi-secret government department set up to keep an eye on, and try to contain, potentially hazardous scientific research. A highly independent team, headed by the incorruptible Dr Quist, observe the scientists while MI6 observe them. Projecting what could happen if a particular experiment or technology got out of hand, this exciting 1970s drama series is anchored in scientific fact and is frightingly close to reality…

star 9.44
54 votes
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Life Story

#4 - Life Story

Life Story is BBC One’s new landmark series from the award-winning Natural History Unit. Presented by David Attenborough, it tells the remarkable and often perilous story of the journey through life. It is a story that unites each of us with every animal on the planet, because we all set out on this journey from the moment we are born. For animals there is just one goal in life – to continue their bloodline in the form of offspring. This series follows that journey through its six crucial stages: first steps, growing up, finding a home, gaining power, winning a mate and succeeding as a parent.

star 9.40
276 votes
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All Creatures Great and Small

#5 - All Creatures Great and Small

In the mid-1930s James Herriot, who recently graduated from the veterinary college in Glasgow, finds work in the rustic Yorkshire Dales of Northern England. This heartwarming drama chronicles his encounters with the locals and the animals they depend on. Based on the semi-autobiographical novels of James Alfred Wight, OBE, who wrote under the pseudonym James Herriot.

star 9.36
235 votes
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Planet Earth

#6 - Planet Earth

Planet Earth is a 2006 television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Five years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC and was described by its makers as "the definitive look at the diversity of our planet". Each 50 minute episode features a global overview of a different biome or habitat on Earth, followed by a ten-minute featurette which takes a behind-the-scenes look.

star 9.32
9,168 votes
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Chewin' the Fat

#7 - Chewin' the Fat

Chewin' the Fat is a Scottish comedy sketch show, first started as a radio series on BBC Radio Scotland, that went on to run for four series. It gave rise to the spin-off show Still Game, a sitcom focusing on the two elderly friends, Jack and Victor. The series was mostly filmed in and around Glasgow and occasionally West Dunbartonshire.

star 9.29
118 votes
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The Trials of Life

#8 - The Trials of Life

A study in animal behaviour, it was the third in a trilogy of major series (beginning with Life on Earth) that took a broad overview of nature, rather than the more specialised surveys of Attenborough's later productions. Each of the twelve 50-minute episodes features a different aspect of the journey through life, from birth to adulthood and continuation of the species through reproduction. The series was produced in conjunction with the Australian Broadcasting Service and Turner Broadcasting System Inc. The executive producer was Peter Jones and the music was composed by George Fenton. Part of David Attenborough's 'Life' series, it was preceded by The Living Planet (1984) and followed by Life in the Freezer (1993).

star 9.26
239 votes
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The Hunt

#9 - The Hunt

This major landmark series looks in detail at the fascinating relationship between predators and their prey. Rather than concentrating on ‘the blood and guts’ of predation, the series looks in unprecedented detail at the strategies predators use to catch their food and prey use to escape death. Sir David Attenborough narrates.

star 9.23
307 votes
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Only Fools and Horses

#10 - Only Fools and Horses

Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals and search for the big score that'll make them millionaires.

star 9.21
2,221 votes
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Life

#11 - Life

"Life" is a spectacular new nature documentary series produced by the BBC. Ten chapters filmed in HD pursuing an ambitious goal: to be the definitive exploration of the diversity of the animal world. Throughout the series we will watch all kinds of amazing behaviours that defy our concept of other beings who inhabit this planet. For four years, the multi-Natural History Unit of the BBC has visited all the continents and types of environments in search of the most amazing stories about the continuing struggle for animal survival.

star 9.20
2,965 votes
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A History of Britain by Simon Schama

#12 - A History of Britain by Simon Schama

Stretching from the Stone Age to the year 2000, Simon Schama's Complete History of Britain does not pretend to be a definitive chronicle of the turbulent events which buffeted and shaped the British Isles. What Schama does do, however, is tell the story in vivid and gripping narrative terms, free of the fustiness of traditional academe, personalising key historical events by examining the major characters at the centre of them. Not all historians would approve of the history depicted here as shaped principally by the actions of great men and women rather than by more abstract developments, but Schama's way of telling it is a good deal more enthralling as a result. Schama successfully gives lie to the idea that the history of Britain has been moderate and temperate, passing down the generations as stately as a galleon, taking on board sensible ideas but steering clear of sillier, revolutionary ones. Nonsense. Schama retells British history the way it was--as bloody, convulsive, precarious, hot-blooded and several times within an inch of haring off onto an entirely different course. Schama seems almost to delight in the goriness of history. Themes returned to repeatedly include the wars between the Scots and the Irish and the Catholic/Protestant conflicts--only the Irish question remains unresolved by the new millennium. As Britain becomes a constitutional monarchy, Schama talks less of Kings and Queens but of poets and idea-makers like Orwell. Still, with his pungent, direct manner and against an evocative visual and aural backdrop, Schama makes history seem as though it happened yesterday, the bloodstains not yet dry.

star 9.20
241 votes
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The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

#13 - The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin

Disillusioned after a long career at Sunshine Desserts, Perrin goes through a mid-life crisis and fakes his own death. Returning in disguise after various attempts at finding a 'new life', he gets his old job back and finds nothing has changed. He is eventually found out, and in the second series has success with a chain of shops selling useless junk. That becomes so successful that he feels he has created a monster and decides to destroy it. In the third and final series he has a dream of forming a commune which his long suffering colleagues help bring to reality. Unfortunately that also fails and he finds himself back in a job not unlike the one he originally had at Sunshine Desserts.

star 9.20
204 votes
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Blue Planet II

#14 - Blue Planet II

World-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough returns to present this landmark seven-part series about our planet’s oceans. Blue Planet II explores the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, from icy-white polar seas to vibrant blues of the coral atolls, from the storm-tossed green Atlantic coastline to the black depths of the alien deep.

star 9.19
1,015 votes
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Top Gear

#15 - Top Gear

Tests whether cars, both mundane and extraordinary, live up to their manufacturers' claims. Travels to locations around the world, performing extreme stunts and challenges to see what the featured cars are capable of doing. Celebrity guests appear on some episodes to help test the vehicles. Things don't always go as planned, though, with broken bones and mechanical mishaps sometimes part of the experiments.

star 9.19
21,435 votes
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Planet Earth II

#16 - Planet Earth II

David Attenborough presents a documentary series exploring how animals meet the challenges of surviving in the most iconic habitats on earth.

star 9.13
3,047 votes
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Africa (2013)

#17 - Africa (2013)

Africa is a 2013 television series co-produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and the Discovery Channel. It focuses on wildlife and wild habitats in Africa, and has been four years in the making.

star 9.10
994 votes
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dinnerladies

#18 - dinnerladies

Dinnerladies chronicles the antics of a group of workers in a canteen in the north of England. Bren tries to maintain a semblance of order in amongst the chaos, while dealing with the canteen supervisor, slightly sex-obsessed cancer sufferer Tony. Dolly and Jean are the bickering menopausal older women, always at odds but best friends beneath it all. Then there's thick-as-two-short-planks Anita, and the terminally uninterested Twinkle, more concerned with having a good time than anything else. Making up the motley crew are military man handyman Stan, all rules and regulations, and ditzy Philippa, who never seems to get anything right.

star 9.09
166 votes
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Match of the Day

#19 - Match of the Day

Match of the Day (often abbreviated as MOTD) is the BBC's main football television programme. Typically, it is shown on BBC One on Saturday evenings during the English football season, showing highlights of the day's matches in the Barclays Premier League. It is one of the BBC's longest-running shows, having been on air since 1964, though it has not always been aired regularly. The 'Match of the Day' brand is also often used for live football coverage on the BBC. They run a competition called Goal of the Month, choosing the best goal each month, where the winner from there will then be entered into a goal of the season award.

star 9.07
367 votes
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Doctor Who (2005)

#20 - Doctor Who (2005)

The Doctor is an alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who travels through all of time and space in the TARDIS. The Doctor has a long list of friends and companions who have shared journeys along the way. Instead of dying, the Doctor is able to “regenerate” into a new body, taking on a new personality with each regeneration.

star 9.06
46,420 votes
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The Living Planet

#21 - The Living Planet

David Attenborough examines the various environments of the planet Earth on which life has produced amazing solutions to the problems it encounter while trying to survive. Filmed in 63 countries, on all 7 continents and over 3 years, this is the second part in David Attenborough's trilogy of programmes on the Earth and it's inhabitants.

star 9.06
118 votes
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Messiah

#22 - Messiah

Critically acclaimed Ken Stott (The Vice, The Singing Detective) stars as Detective Chief Inspector Red Metcalfe, a brilliant detective who once turned in his own brother for murder. Ten years later, Red has earned a reputation for his impressive ability to get into the minds of killers, but two disturbing murders on the same day spark the most baffling and damaging case of his career. Both killings bear the murderer's trademark–as do the grisly deaths that follow–the victim's tongue is cut out and a silver spoon is inserted in their mouth. As the killings mount up, Red is taunted by the fact that he can find no motive, no pattern–nothing to connect the victims apart from the killer's grisly trademark.

star 9.05
278 votes
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Sherlock

#23 - Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson solve crimes in 21st century London.

star 9.05
66,224 votes
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The Animals of Farthing Wood

#24 - The Animals of Farthing Wood

This animated series is based on the books by Colin Dann. It follows a group of animals who are forced to leave their home in Farthing Wood as it is being destroyed by humans and journey to a wildlife sanctuary called White Deer Park. With the long and dangerous journey ahead of them the animals take the Oath of Protection. This means that they must protect and help one another and most importantly not eat one another. Following their guide Toad and their leader Fox, the animals consisting of predators like Owl, Kestrel, Badger and Adder and smaller animals like Rabbits, Hares and Mice take off on a journey that will not only make them legends but friends as well.

star 9.02
282 votes
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As Time Goes By

#25 - As Time Goes By

Army officer Lionel Hardcastle and nurse Jean Pargeter had a three-month affair in 1953. After Lionel is posted to Korea, the two lose touch when Lionel's letter to Jean fails to get delivered. Thirty-eight years later, they meet again. A sweetly charming situation comedy that ran for nine seasons. Best enjoyed with your feet up and with a cup of tea and some custard tarts at your side.

star 8.96
371 votes
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Steptoe and Son

#26 - Steptoe and Son

After creating the supreme comedy that was Hancock's Half Hour, many wondered where else writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson could go when the eponymous Mr H dispensed with their services. Their answer was another sitcom tour-de-force, Steptoe & Son. Steptoe was born from a one-off comic play, "The Offer" commissioned by the BBC in 1962 as part of Comedy Playhouse, a series of short plays all written by Galton and Simpson. From the outset it broke the mould of British comedy. Where previous sitcoms relied on slapstick, gags and farce, Steptoe and Son introduced a note of gritty realism: its characters were resolutely working-class, down-at-heel rag-and-bone men scraping a living by spotting gems among other people's junk. Father and son used earthy language and swore like troopers (at least as much as the BBC would allow them to) and both were given an added reality by being played by "straight" actors (Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett) rather than comedians. Where other comedies revolved around interfering mothers-in-law and the sudden failure of the hero's braces the moment his boss came round, Steptoe's focus was on the inter-generational conflict that marked out the 60s. While father Albert Steptoe was - as his son often reminded him - a "dirty old man", set in his grimy and grasping ways, middle-aged son Harold was filled with social aspirations, not to say pretensions. Many episodes saw Harold attempting to attract a posh "bird" (this was still the sixties and early seventies) with his literary erudition, love of classical music or amateur dramatic skills, only to have a single leer from his gargoyle-like dad put the kybosh on the whole affair. Despite the advantage of Harold's relative youth, the audience always knew who was master in the Steptoe household. Albert, convinced his work in years (long) gone by entitled him to live off his son's hard graft, used every weapon from blood-curdling threats to pathetic wheedling to kee

star 8.93
167 votes
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Blackadder

#27 - Blackadder

Cunning plans and cutting comedy as the Blackadder dynasty plot their way through British history.

star 8.90
5,779 votes
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Our Zoo

#28 - Our Zoo

Our Zoo' follows the story of George, who is frustrated by memories of fighting in the great war and living with his extended family, he wants to bring more beauty into the world. When he comes across a camel and monkey that are about to be abandoned, he embarks on a plan to set up a zoo.

star 8.87
123 votes
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Connections

#29 - Connections

The original ten volume series was made in 1978. The popular success of the series led to two sequels, Connections 2 (sometimes written Connections2) in 1994, and Connections 3 (or Connections3) in 1997, both produced for TLC. By turning science into a detective story James Burke creates a series that will fascinate students and adults alike. This interdisciplinary approach has never before been applied to history or science and it succeeds tremendously. Winner of the Red Ribbon in the American Film Festival, the scope of the series covers 19 countries and 150 locations, requiring over 14 months of filming. As the Sherlock Holmes of science, Burke tracks through 12,000 years of history for the clues that lead us to eight great life changing inventions-the atom bomb, telecommunications, the computer, the production line, jet aircraft, plastics, rocketry and television. Burke postulates that such changes occur in response to factors he calls "triggers," some of them seemingly unrelated. These have their own triggering effects, causing change in totally unrelated fields as well. And so the connections begin...

star 8.86
359 votes
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Inspector George Gently

#30 - Inspector George Gently

A British crime drama adapted from the George Gently novels by Alan Hunt and set in the 1960s. Inspector George Gently is an old-school detective trying to come to terms with a time when the lines between the police and criminals have become blurred. After the murder of his wife the solemn Inspector arrives in Northumberland in pursuit of the gang boss who killed her and decides to stay. He is joined by the young and not always entirely helpful Detective Sargent John Bacchus. Together the mild mannered older detective and his cheerful younger sidekick plough through cases of murder and deceit, rape and corruption in 60s Britain.

star 8.84
403 votes
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Seven Worlds, One Planet

#31 - Seven Worlds, One Planet

Millions of years ago, incredible forces ripped apart the Earth’s crust creating seven extraordinary continents. This documentary series reveals how each distinct continent has shaped the unique animal life found there.

star 8.82
224 votes
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Broken

#32 - Broken

Father Michael, a Catholic priest presiding over a Northern urban parish who is Modern, maverick, and reassuringly flawed; must be confidante, counselor and confessor to a congregation struggling to reconcile its beliefs with the challenges of daily life.

star 8.82
372 votes
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Lark Rise to Candleford

#33 - Lark Rise to Candleford

Set in the small hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town, Candleford, the series chronicles the daily lives of farm-workers, craftsmen and gentry at the end of the 19th Century. Lark Rise to Candleford is a love letter to a vanished corner of rural England and a heart-warming drama series teeming with wit, wisdom and romance.

star 8.82
302 votes
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Porridge

#34 - Porridge

"Fletch", sentenced to a five year stretch at HM Prison Slade in darkest Cumbria, is determined to keep his head down, do his time and not let the b******s grind him down. But it's not so simple when you're an old lag. His naive cell-mate Lenny Godber needs to learn the ropes, skives and scams; evil Prison Officer Mackay can't be allowed to run things his own way and warden Barrowclough is just too weak-willed not to have his good-nature exploited... Starring Ronnie Barker, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsdale and Brian Wilde.

star 8.80
402 votes
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Pride and Prejudice

#35 - Pride and Prejudice

While the arrival of wealthy gentlemen sends her marriage-minded mother into a frenzy, willful and opinionated Elizabeth Bennet matches wits with haughty Mr. Darcy.

star 8.79
2,066 votes
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Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention

#36 - Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention

Wallace & Gromit showcase mind-boggling machines and inventions from around the world.

star 8.78
172 votes
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Life in the Freezer

#37 - Life in the Freezer

Over the course of the series, the seasonal effect on the continent is explored, from one of the harshest winters on the planet to the arrival of spring, which welcomes a population of ocean travelers returning to breed. Then, in the summer, creatures such as seals and penguins struggle to raise their young before winter once again sets in. At this point, the ice sheet doubles and animals must leave to find food. David Attenborough accompanied a 20-strong crew to Antarctica and spent three years filming the series. They had to contend with monolithic glaciers and extreme weather conditions, including mountainous seas, 160 km/h blizzards and harsh temperatures. Once again, following on from The Trials of Life, the team used the latest camera technology and techniques, and had to travel into territory that had been previously inaccessible to filmmakers.[1] For example, to photograph the wildlife of the sea, boats, divers, suspended capsules and remotely controlled cameras mounted on inflatables were used. Particularly dangerous to divers were leopard seals and other predators, so some underwater sequences necessitated the use of cages for safety. The team also used a small, steel-hulled yacht, the Damien II. It had a retractable keel, which enabled the vessel to venture into shallow bays and land camera crews on to remote islands, where they could remain in contact via radio. A steadicam was used to obtain close-ups of fighting fur seals, with another person carrying a pair of wooden poles close by, in case one of the creatures attacked the human visitors.

star 8.78
95 votes
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Human Planet

#38 - Human Planet

Following in the footsteps of Planet Earth and Life, this epic eight-part blockbuster is a breathtaking celebration of the amazing, complex, profound and sometimes challenging relationship between humankind and nature. Humans are the ultimate animals – the most successful species on the planet. From the frozen Arctic to steamy rainforests, from tiny islands in vast oceans to parched deserts, people have found remarkable ways to adapt and survive in the harshest environments imaginable. We’ve done this by harnessing our immense courage and ingenuity; learning to live with and utilise the other creatures that share these wild places. Human Planet weaves together eighty inspiring stories, many never told before on television, set to a globally influenced soundtrack by award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney. Each episode focuses on a particular habitat and reveals how its people have created astonishing solutions in the face of extreme adversity. Finally we visit the urban jungle, where most of us now live, and discover why the connection between humanity and nature in our cities is the most vital of all. Human Planet is brought to you by BBC Earth, creator of 50 years of outstanding natural history content.

star 8.78
1,283 votes
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Spooks

#39 - Spooks

Tense drama series about the different challenges faced by the British Security Service as they work against the clock to safeguard the nation. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, and the series follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service's Thames House headquarters, in a highly secure suite of offices known as The Grid.

star 8.77
2,678 votes
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Nature's Great Events

#40 - Nature's Great Events

This fantastic series from the BBC's renowned Natural History Unit combines the epic scale of Planet Earth and the intimate, emotional stories of charismatic animals as they struggle to survive. Using state of the art HD technology, these amazing programmes capture the Earth's most dramatic and epic wildlife spectacles and the intimate stories of the animals caught up in them. Every year, around the world, seasonal changes transform entire landscapes and draw in millions of creatures as these great events unfold.

star 8.75
447 votes
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Young Dracula

#41 - Young Dracula

Single father, Count Dracula, moves to London from Transylvania with his two kids, Vlad and Ingrid. The story revolves around Vlad wanting to fit in with his classmates in his new school rather than sucking their blood as his father wants him to. Vlad befriends another outsider named Robin who wants to become less like the popular crowd and preferably more vampiric.

star 8.75
105 votes
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Frozen Planet

#42 - Frozen Planet

Frozen Planet takes you on the ultimate polar expedition. This landmark series brings to the screen the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic as you have never seen them before, and may never see them again...

star 8.73
1,632 votes
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The Blue Planet

#43 - The Blue Planet

The BBC spent five years and $10 million to produce this landmark exploration of the ocean, a world we know less about than the moon. We go further out and deeper down to show you things that have never been seen before. The Blue Planet: Seas of Life reveals the sea and its communities at their most fearsome and alluring. Until now, we've only touched the surface...

star 8.73
1,317 votes
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A Perfect Planet

#44 - A Perfect Planet

Exploring the great forces of nature that support, drive and enable life on Earth.

star 8.73
104 votes
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The Detectives

#45 - The Detectives

The Detectives began life as a regular sketch on Jasper Carrott's 'Canned Carrott' series. Jasper, and his long time friend Robert Powell (As Jasper said 'He was once Jesus Christ and now I've got him down to my level), play Bob Louis and Dave Briggs, two detective constables so happless, it is inconcievable that they ever graduated from Hendon police school. Their boss 'the super' although worn out by their inabillities within police work, always had a special bond for them, and partook in a love-hate relationship with them. The Super, Frank Cottom, was played by veteran London actor George Sewell. There are subtle differences from the sketch to the TV series. For instance, in the sketches, Dave Briggs was married, yet both Bob and Dave are single in the series, and it is made clear that they both lack in romantic experience.

star 8.73
123 votes
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Pointless

#46 - Pointless

Pointless is a game show hosted by Alexander Armstrong. Players have to try to score as little points as possible by using the depths of their general knowledge to come up with the answers nobody else would think of using.

star 8.71
104 votes
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State of Play

#47 - State of Play

State of Play was one of the BBC's most innovative conspiracy dramas. The storyline and pacey dialogue kept the viewers riveted right till the end. This very contemporary drama was set in modern day Westminster. In 2004 the show was nominated for a Bafta award for Best Drama Serial. David Morrissey was nominated for a Bafta for Best Actor. Bill Nighy won the Best actor Bafta for his role as Cameron Foster.

star 8.70
650 votes
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Dynasties (2018)

#48 - Dynasties (2018)

Follow the true stories of five of the world's most celebrated, yet endangered animals; penguins, chimpanzees, lions, painted wolves and tigers. Each in a heroic struggle against rivals and against the forces of nature, these families fight for their own survival and for the future of their dynasties.

star 8.70
215 votes
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Absolutely Fabulous

#49 - Absolutely Fabulous

In this satirical British sitcom, which became a cult hit on American cable, a grotesquely self-centered fashion victim chain-smokes, swills champagne, abuses drugs, munches caviar, terrorizes her daughter, and tries in vain to mingle with the beautiful people -- all in the company of her sleek, slutty, boozed-up best friend.

star 8.67
2,308 votes
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Jonathan Creek

#50 - Jonathan Creek

Jonathan Creek invents magic tricks for a living. His brilliantly lateral mind helps him to solve mysteries he encounters, primarily because of his friend Madeline Magellan, an investigative journalist.

star 8.65
900 votes
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