The BEST BBC One Shows
The top 50 shows on BBC One
#1 - 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.
#2 - 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.
#3 - 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.
#4 - 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…
#5 - 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.
#6 - 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).
#7 - The Hunt (2015)
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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#10 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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...
#13 - Planet Earth II
David Attenborough presents a documentary series exploring how animals meet the challenges of surviving in the most iconic habitats on earth.
#14 - 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.
#15 - 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.
#16 - 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.
#17 - 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.
#18 - Sherlock
Sherlock Holmes and his partner Dr. John Watson solve crimes in 21st century London.
#19 - 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.
#20 - 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.
#21 - 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.
#22 - 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.
#23 - 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.
#24 - 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.
#25 - Broken (2017)
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.
#26 - The Syndicate
Five members of a betting syndicate win the lottery. Each series follows a different syndicate. In the first series, it is set in a Leeds supermarket, in the second, a public hospital in Bradford, and the third, a crumbly stately home near Scarborough.
#27 - 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.
#28 - 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...
#29 - 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.
#30 - 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.
#31 - 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.
#32 - Walking with Cavemen
Ground-breaking special effects illustrate the drama of human evolution in Professor Robert Winston's four-part new series.Series examining the world of the prehistoric ancestors of modern-day humans.
#33 - 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.
#34 - 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.
#35 - 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.
#36 - 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.
#37 - 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...
#38 - 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...
#39 - 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.
#40 - Jonathan Creek
Jonathan Creek (Alan Davies) invents magic tricks for a living. His brilliantly lateral mind helps him to solve mysteries he encounters, primarily because of his friend Madeline Magellan (Caroline Quentin), an investigative journalist.
#41 - 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.
#42 - By Any Means
By Any Means follows a clandestine unit living on the edge and playing the criminal elite at their own game, existing in the grey area between the letter of the law and true justice. Led by the sharp and elusive Jack Quinn, alongside straight-talking Jessica Jones and digital whizz-kid TomTom Tomkins, this brilliant team will stop at nothing to catch the criminals. Receiving their target from the mysterious Helen, they weave a web of cunning and deception to deliver their unwary targets into the arms of justice.
#43 - The Good Life (1975)
The Good Life stars Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal as Tom and Barbara Good, a middle class suburban couple who on Tom's 40th birthday decide to turn their Surbiton home into a self sufficient allotment. They grow their own food, keep farm animals and have sold or bartered all of their electrical appliances as they have no electricity. This creates friction with their best friends and next door neighbours, the Leadbetters (Jerry and Margo) played by Paul Eddington and Penelope Keith. But even though the Goods have lowered the tone of the neighbourhood in the Leadbetters eyes they still can't help but be best of friends. The show was known as Good Neighbors when it aired in the US.
#44 - 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.
#45 - 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.
#46 - Have I Got News for You
Based on the week's news, Have I Got News For You is fronted by guest hosts and features two regular team captains, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop. Each week the show invites two guests to cast a jaundiced eye over the week's news, resulting in a fast flow of anarchic, spontaneous and hugely entertaining wit and humour. Guests typically represent the world of politics, comedy, show-business and journalism, and are often themselves particularly newsworthy participants. The final touches of Have I Got News For You are put together only hours before recording, allowing guests to comment on the late-breaking news stories of the day.
#47 - Criminal Justice
Thriller by Peter Moffat about the challenges and politics of the criminal justice system seen through the eyes of the accused.
#48 - 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.
#49 - Planet Dinosaur
An astonishing six-part series that brings to life the most incredible creatures that ever existed. From Spinosaurus, the biggest killer to ever walk the Earth, to the immense sea-monster Predator X, and the deadly cannibalistic Majunasaurus - dinosaurs were more monstrous, more horrific and bizarre than ever before imagined. Combining a 3D graphic world, incredible CGI and stunning photo-real fight scenes, this is a whole new perspective on dinosaurs.
#50 - Mrs Brown's Boys
Mrs Brown's Boys is an award winning sitcom created by and starring Irish writer and performer Brendan O'Carroll about a meddling market stall holder. With three of her six children still living at home, the foul-mouthed matriarch still finds time to interfere in their lives. The show is based on O'Carroll's stage plays about the character Agnes Browne, which were developed from books and straight-to-DVD films. After the original 7 films debuted in Ireland by Irish broadcaster RTÉ, the BBC produced further programmes in a revised, longer running series with a punchier format.