The BEST BBC One Shows

The top 50 shows on BBC One

The Trials of Life

#1 - 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 9.25
23 votes
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Monty Python's Flying Circus

#2 - Monty Python's Flying Circus

And now for something completely different: Monty Python's Flying Circus was simply the most influential comedy program television has ever seen. Five Englishmen, all working under the constraints of conventional TV shows such as The Frost Report (for which the five Englishmen wrote), gathered together with an expatriate American in the spring of 1969 to break the rules. The result, first airing on BBC-1 on October 5, 1969, has influenced countless future men and women in the media and comedy since.

star 9.23
3,364 votes
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Blue Planet II

#3 - 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 9.23
521 votes
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Planet Earth

#4 - 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 9.21
4,269 votes
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Planet Earth II

#5 - 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 9.17
1,787 votes
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Africa (2013)

#6 - 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 9.12
914 votes
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Sherlock

#7 - Sherlock

Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson's adventures in 21st Century London. A thrilling, funny, fast-paced contemporary reimagining of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic

star 9.07
39,510 votes
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You Rang, M'Lord?

#8 - You Rang, M'Lord?

Alf Stokes (Paul Shane) and James Twelvetrees (Jeffrey Holland) first meet as soldiers in the trenches in France during the First World War. They find the body of an officer and, assuming that he's dead, Alf robs him of his valuables. Then they find that the officer, the Honourable Teddy Meldrum (Michael Knowles), is still alive so they carry him off to a field hospital. Ten years later, James is working in the household of Teddy's brother, Lord Meldrum (Donald Hewlett). Alf suddenly turns up and is taken on as the new butler, against James' wishes. Alf's daughter, Ivy (Su Pollard) also starts working in the household as a parlour maid. Her relationship to Alf is kept secret. Many of the original cast followed on to this Upstairs Downstairs take-off which was set in a stately home in 1927, and the social differences between the servants and their rich employers. Paul Shane and Su Pollard starred again, and were joined by Donald Hewlett as the rich Lord Meldrum.

star 9.04
57 votes
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Connections

#9 - 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 9.03
69 votes
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Life

#10 - 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 9.00
1,011 votes
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Human Planet

#11 - 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 8.89
564 votes
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The Life of Mammals

#12 - The Life of Mammals

David Attenborough looks at why mammals are the most successful creatures on the planet.

star 8.85
65 votes
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Only Fools and Horses

#13 - Only Fools and Horses

For over two decades, brothers Derek 'Del Boy' and Rodney Trotter of 'Trotters Independent Traders PLC' entertained us both with Del's extreme optimism and scams and, quite simply, Rodney's facial expressions upon hearing those scams. Moving from straight comedy into comedy-drama in its later years, taking head-on the challenges of life and death in its cast and characters - 'Only Fools' became one of Britain's most loved programmes, regularly topping critics and public popularity polls and spawning not only a spin-off comedy series ('The Green Green Grass'), but also a set of prequel dramas ('Rock & Chips').

star 8.84
719 votes
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Frozen Planet

#14 - 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 8.82
671 votes
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Doctor Who (2005)

#15 - 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 8.78
19,435 votes
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Peaky Blinders

#16 - Peaky Blinders

A gangster family epic set in 1919 Birmingham, England and centered on a gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps, and their fierce boss Tommy Shelby, who means to move up in the world.

star 8.75
6,666 votes
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Blackadder

#17 - Blackadder

Through four series and a few specials, Edmund Blackadder and his greasy sidekick Baldrick conjure up cunning plans as Edmund tries to take advantage of desperate times. These situation tragedies had obvious parallels from the Dark Ages to Elizabethan times, the rule of mad George III, and The Great War.

star 8.69
2,120 votes
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Doctor Who

#18 - Doctor Who

Doctor Who is the longest-running science fiction TV series in history, airing initially from 1963 to 1989. Doctor Who is about ideas. It pioneered sophisticated mixed-level storytelling. Its format was the key to its longevity: the Doctor, a mysterious traveller in space and time, travels in his ship, the TARDIS. The TARDIS can take him and his companions anywhere in time and space. Inevitably he finds evil at work wherever he goes...

star 8.69
2,113 votes
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The Blue Planet

#19 - 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 8.68
641 votes
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Match of the Day

#20 - 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 8.68
93 votes
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Pride and Prejudice

#21 - 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 8.66
1,009 votes
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Still Game

#22 - Still Game

Still Game is a comedy based around the lives of pensioner pals Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade. It's set in and around a fictional part of Glasgow called Craiglang, and Jack and Victor's home in Osprey Heights. Focusing on the ironies and comedy of old age with humour, tenderness and pathos, these OAPS prove they're still game for anything the world can throw at them.

star 8.59
345 votes
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Luther

#23 - Luther

A dark psychological crime drama starring Idris Elba as Luther, a man struggling with his own terrible demons, who might be as dangerous as the depraved murderers he hunts.

star 8.55
6,465 votes
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Nature's Great Events

#24 - 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 8.55
82 votes
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Spooks

#25 - 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 8.54
715 votes
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The Animals of Farthing Wood

#26 - 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 8.53
72 votes
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Line of Duty

#27 - Line of Duty

A drama about the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police anticorruption unit.

star 8.48
955 votes
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Horrible Histories (2009)

#28 - Horrible Histories (2009)

Sketches, cartoons and quizzes liberally splattered with blood and gore, based on the books published by Scholastic.

star 8.46
81 votes
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A Bit of Fry and Laurie

#29 - A Bit of Fry and Laurie

A Bit Of Fry And Laurie was witty and sophisticated entertainment of consistently high quality, with an old-fashioned revue-type atmosphere and oddly 'British' sketches that rejoiced in literary turns of phrase and elaborate wordplay. The delicate innuendos, coupled with Fry's ability to suggest hidden meanings in everyday phrases, gave the impression that bubbling below the innocent surface were lewd undercurrents threatening to burst through, although they never did. To add to this mix, Hugh Laurie demonstrated his keyboard talents with parodies of musical genres.

star 8.45
428 votes
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All Creatures Great and Small

#30 - 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 8.45
59 votes
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Life on Mars

#31 - Life on Mars

A detective chief inspector from 2006 is investigating a serial killer when he is knocked over by a speeding car. Waking up, he finds himself mysteriously transported back in time to 1973. Initially struggling to come to terms with his situation, he has to come to terms with the old-fashioned technology and attitude of the day, while figuring out how he came to be trapped in the past. The actor John Simm described the show as "a cross between Back to the Future and The Sweeney", and it makes effective use of the disorientation of the unwitting time traveller while taking a post-modern romp through 1970s fashions and technologies, with due tribute paid to the classic police dramas of the day to fashion a truly unique programme.

star 8.43
1,240 votes
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Hustle

#32 - Hustle

From the makers of Spooks and acclaimed writer Tony Jordan comes a slick and stylish new drama. An action-packed blend of humour and intrigue, following the fortunes of a gang of expert cons on the loose in London. They are specialists in the way of the grifter and all are keen to liberate cash from the amoral and undeserving. From faking film sets and expensive paintings to double-crossing the duplicitous head of a bank's security system... THE CON IS ON.

star 8.40
1,074 votes
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Inspector George Gently

#33 - 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 8.40
133 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 8.39
99 votes
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'Allo 'Allo!

#35 - 'Allo 'Allo!

In this spoof of World War II, René Artois runs a café in German-occupied France. He always seems to have his hands full: He's having affairs with most of his waitresses, he's keeping his wife happy, he's trying to please the German soldiers who frequent his café, and he's running a major underground operation for the Resistance.

star 8.35
844 votes
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Years and Years

#36 - Years and Years

Years And Years follows the Lyons, a busy Manchester family. Daniel’s getting married to Ralph, Stephen and Celeste worry about their kids, Rosie’s chasing a new fella and Edith hasn’t been home for years. Presiding over them all is Gran, the imperial Muriel. But when their lives all converge on one crucial night in 2019, the story accelerates into the future, following the lives and loves of the Lyons over the next 15 years.

star 8.35
455 votes
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House of Cards

#37 - House of Cards

The PM made a deadly mistake when he passed over Francis Urquhart. With his recent dire performance in the general election, he's going to need all the friends he can get. But Urquhart won't be ignored by anyone and now he's out for revenge. As the trusted Chief Whip, he has his hands on every grubby little secret in politics, and with innocent journalist Mattie Storin unwittingly drawn into his web, he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants. A black tale of greed, corruption and burning ambition. Based on the best selling novel by Michael Dobbs, a former aide to Margaret Thatcher.

star 8.35
470 votes
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Miranda

#38 - Miranda

Sitcom starring Miranda Hart. It doesn't matter what Miranda attempts in life, whether it's dating or simply dealing with her overbearing mother, she always seems to fall flat, quite literally.

star 8.33
766 votes
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Happy Valley

#39 - Happy Valley

Happy Valley is a dark, funny, multi-layered thriller revolving around the personal and professional life of Catherine, a dedicated, experienced, hard-working copper. She is also a bereaved mother who looks after her orphaned grandchild.

star 8.32
1,045 votes
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As Time Goes By

#40 - 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 8.30
76 votes
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Ashes to Ashes

#41 - Ashes to Ashes

DCI Alex Drake of the Metropolitan Police is shot in the head and wakes to find herself apparently thrown back in time to 1981. She soon recognises DCI Gene Hunt and his team from detailed reports made by DCI Sam Tyler about his own trip to 1973. Alex, a modern, no-nonsense woman, soon clashes with her sexist colleagues but both DCIs have to learn to adjust while she tries to find a way back to 2008.

star 8.28
1,862 votes
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Chef!

#42 - Chef!

Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry) is a master chef with an obsessive drive for culinary perfection, with no friends or outside interests other than his wife Janice, (Caroline Lee-Johnson) and remarkable verbal talents used primarily to creatively abuse his unfortunate staff of assistant cooks, although he is perfectly prepared to give the same treatment to waiters, management, suppliers, bankers, and, occasionally, customers.

star 8.26
51 votes
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Taboo (2017)

#43 - Taboo (2017)

James Keziah Delaney has been to the ends of the earth and comes back irrevocably changed. Believed to be long dead, he returns home to London from Africa to inherit what is left of his father's shipping empire and rebuild a life for himself. But his father's legacy is a poisoned chalice, and with enemies lurking in every dark corner, James must navigate increasingly complex territories to avoid his own death sentence. Encircled by conspiracy, murder and betrayal, a dark family mystery unfolds in a combustible tale of love and treachery.

star 8.23
3,929 votes
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Walking with Beasts

#44 - Walking with Beasts

Walking with Beasts takes up the story where Walking with Dinosaurs left off. Broadcast in 2001, it told the story of life on Earth from the death of the dinosaurs to the dawn of the age of man. Weird and wonderful creatures, from Woolly Mammoths to birds that ate horses, pushed special effects teams to the limit.

star 8.22
69 votes
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Would I Lie to You?

#45 - Would I Lie to You?

A comedy panel show featuring team captains, Lee Mack and David Mitchell plus two guests per team. Each team member is tasked with revealing embarrassing facts and outrageous lies, and it's up to the opposing team to sort out the tall tales from fantastic facts.

star 8.22
365 votes
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Case Histories

#46 - Case Histories

An unusual take on the detective genre featuring Jackson Brodie, who has served with the army and the police, and is now a private investigator.

star 8.22
312 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 8.21
261 votes
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Absolutely Fabulous

#48 - 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 8.20
617 votes
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Shetland

#49 - Shetland

Set against the stark backdrop of Scotland's rugged coastline, DI Jimmy Perez and his team investigate murders in the small island community of Shetland.

star 8.18
316 votes
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Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

#50 - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Set at the beginning of the 19th-century, England no longer believes in practical magic. The reclusive Mr Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey stuns the city of York when he causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move. With a little persuasion and help from his man of business Childermass, he goes to London to help the government in the war against Napoleon. It is there Norrell summons a fairy to bring Lady Pole back from the dead, opening a whole can of worms…

star 8.17
1,004 votes
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