The BEST BBC One shows of all time

Every BBC One show, ranked

We've compiled the average episode rating for every BBC One show to compile this list of best shows!

Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions
star
9.50
116 votes

#1 - Wallace & Gromit's Cracking Contraptions

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

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Life in the Undergrowth
star
9.39
238 votes

#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.

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Life Story
star
9.39
282 votes

#3 - 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.

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Planet Earth
star
9.31
9464 votes

#4 - Planet Earth

David Attenborough celebrates the amazing variety of the natural world in this epic documentary series, filmed over four years across 64 different countries.

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Messiah
star
9.30
238 votes

#5 - 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.

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All Creatures Great and Small
star
9.27
249 votes

#6 - 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.

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Chewin' the Fat
star
9.24
121 votes

#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.

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The Trials of Life
star
9.22
242 votes

#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).

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Life
star
9.20
3021 votes

#9 - 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.

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Only Fools and Horses
star
9.19
2270 votes

#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.

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Top Gear
star
9.18
21625 votes

#11 - 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.

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A History of Britain by Simon Schama
star
9.16
243 votes

#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.

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Blue Planet II
star
9.16
1133 votes

#13 - 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.

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Monty Python's Flying Circus
star
9.14
3833 votes

#14 - 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.

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The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
star
9.14
206 votes

#15 - 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.

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2point4 Children
star
9.14
117 votes

#16 - 2point4 Children

Bill and Ben seem at first sight to be a typical couple, married with children Jenny and David and unmarried man-loving family friend Rona. Further developments show, however, that they are prone to situations of an increasingly bizarre nature, belying the ironic implications of the show's title. Also involved periodically are Ben's assistant, the aggressive Christine, his sister Tina, a fluffy, fussy travesty of femininity, Bill's mother Bette and her sister Belle, Ben's father Frank, Rona's Auntie Pearl, Ben's arch enemy and plumber-trickster Jake the Klingon, snotty neighbors Dora and Leonard Grimes, and prospective in-laws Harry and Laura Carson.

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Doomwatch
star
9.13
56 votes

#17 - 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…

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Doctor Who
star
9.12
7631 votes

#18 - Doctor Who

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...

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The Hunt
star
9.12
340 votes

#19 - 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.

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Planet Earth II
star
9.10
3249 votes

#20 - Planet Earth II

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

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Africa (2013)
star
9.07
1019 votes

#21 - 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.

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Doctor Who (2005)
star
9.05
47160 votes

#22 - 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.

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Match of the Day
star
9.04
375 votes

#23 - 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.

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Sherlock
star
9.03
69198 votes

#24 - Sherlock

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

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dinnerladies
star
9.02
173 votes

#25 - 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.

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The Living Planet
star
8.99
121 votes

#26 - 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.

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Class of '92: Out of Their League
star
8.94
51 votes

#27 - Class of '92: Out of Their League

The ex-Manchester United stars known as the Class of '92 are going on a new adventure. They've bought a football club seven tiers down from the Premier League with a dream of taking it up to the top. This new series captures the humour and drama on and off the pitch as Ryan Giggs, Phil and Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt spend their first season in charge of Salford City F.C, a club run by volunteers with an average gate of 80. With intimate access to the Class of '92, the series captures the closeness of their friendship and their determination to succeed.

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The Animals of Farthing Wood
star
8.92
297 votes

#28 - 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.

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As Time Goes By
star
8.92
377 votes

#29 - 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.

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Paddington
star
8.92
121 votes

#30 - Paddington

Almost everyone knows that Paddington is a bear who usually wears a duffle coat, a rather shapeless hat and, on occasions, Wellington boots. Many people also know that his favourite food is marmalade and that he originally comes from Darkest Peru. Named for the train station where he was first found, Paddington was adopted by the Brown family (Father Henry, mother Mary, son Jonathan, and daughter Judy) and taken to their home at 32 Windsor Gardens, and his misadventures have delighted children since. Based on the books by Michael Bond.

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Spy in the Wild
star
8.92
59 votes

#31 - Spy in the Wild

Documentary series in which animatronic spy creatures infiltrate the animal world to explore their complex emotions.

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Blackadder
star
8.87
5923 votes

#32 - Blackadder

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

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Fake or Fortune?
star
8.86
88 votes

#33 - Fake or Fortune?

Journalist Fiona Bruce teams up with art expert Philip Mould to investigate mysteries behind paintings. It's a world of subterfuge and intrigue as they grapple with complex battles often unseen beneath the apparently genteel art establishment.

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Connections
star
8.85
364 votes

#34 - 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...

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Let Them Eat Cake
star
8.84
57 votes

#35 - Let Them Eat Cake

France, 1782, during the reign of Louis XVI and his Queen, Marie Antoinette. We find the Comtesse De Vache and her trusty maid, Lisette, up to no good amid the decadent splendour of the Palace of Versailles. The corrupt court is awash with sexual scandal and intrigue, most of it stirred up by the Comtesse in her schemes to get the better of her deadly rival, the man-eating Madame De Plonge.

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Steptoe and Son
star
8.83
172 votes

#36 - 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

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Seven Worlds, One Planet
star
8.80
258 votes

#37 - 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.

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Inspector George Gently
star
8.80
414 votes

#38 - 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.

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The Story of Tracy Beaker
star
8.78
89 votes

#39 - The Story of Tracy Beaker

Tracy Beaker is a 10 year old child, who was placed in a children's home. Tracy makes new friends along the way, and causes mischief where ever she goes.

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Our Zoo
star
8.78
127 votes

#40 - 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.

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The Green Planet
star
8.78
68 votes

#41 - The Green Planet

Dive into a world where a single life can last a thousand years, with David Attenborough. See things no eye has ever seen, and discover the dramatic, beautiful plant life of Earth.

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Lark Rise to Candleford
star
8.78
309 votes

#42 - 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.

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Spooks
star
8.76
2705 votes

#43 - 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.

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Human Planet
star
8.76
1317 votes

#44 - 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.

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Are You Being Served?
star
8.76
916 votes

#45 - Are You Being Served?

Are You Being Served? is a British Sitcom that ran from 1972-1985. The show revolved around "Grace Brothers Department Store" and in particular the goings on within the "Gentlemen's Ready-To-Wear" and "Ladies' Separates and Underwear" Departments. A store reorganization forced these two departments to share floor space, and the conflicts that this created set the tone for most episodes. Are You Being Served? showcases a bygone period of time in which the class structure was still very much alive. There was a strict hierarchy within Grace Brothers. Everyone knew their "places" and remained in them, unless, of course, there was a chance for advancement and then it was every man and woman for themselves. A spin-off series of Are You Being Served? was released, called Grace and Favour. Although in the U.S, it was named Are You Being Served? Again!

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Pride and Prejudice
star
8.76
2252 votes

#46 - 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.

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Broken
star
8.75
388 votes

#47 - 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.

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Porridge
star
8.74
412 votes

#48 - 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.

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Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention
star
8.74
173 votes

#49 - Wallace & Gromit's World of Invention

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

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Nature's Great Events
star
8.72
458 votes

#50 - 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.

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