Superb British Television Dramas

by MarleneMcFly | created - 16 May 2011 | updated - 11 Mar 2012 | Public
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1. Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1974 (2009 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 102 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A rookie Yorkshire journalist sets out to solve the case of a child murderer.

Director: Julian Jarrold | Stars: Andrew Garfield, David Morrissey, John Henshaw, Anthony Flanagan

Votes: 11,058

2. Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1980 (2009 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A team of investigators attempt to stop a serial killer known as the Yorkshire Ripper from claiming his next victim, but uncover something far more terrifying.

Director: James Marsh | Stars: Warren Clarke, Paddy Considine, James Fox, David Calder

Votes: 7,968 | Gross: $0.15M

3. Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1983 (2009 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

77 Metascore

Plagued by guilt, a corrupt police official attempts to solve the case of a missing schoolgirl after seeing connections between her disappearance and a rash of prior abductions.

Director: Anand Tucker | Stars: David Morrissey, Lisa Howard, Chris Walker, Shaun Dooley

Votes: 6,870

4. United (I) (2011)

PG-13 | 94 min | Drama, History, Sport

United is based on the true story of Manchester United's legendary "Busby Babes", the youngest side ever to win the Football League and the 1958 Munich Air Crash that claimed eight of the ... See full summary »

Director: James Strong | Stars: Dean Andrews, Kate Ashfield, Natalie Burt, David Calder

Votes: 10,295

5. The Woman in Black (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 100 min | Horror, Mystery

A lawyer travels to a small seaside town to settle the estate of a recently deceased woman, but soon becomes ensnared in something much more sinister.

Director: Herbert Wise | Stars: Adrian Rawlins, Bernard Hepton, David Daker, Pauline Moran

Votes: 4,297

Currently being remade for the big screen, this production terrified me as a child but it's almost impossible to get hold of a copy these days.

6. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (2011–2014)
Episode: The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: The Murder at Road Hill House (2011)

95 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Based on true events. Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Jack Whicher is sent to rural Wiltshire to investigate the horrific murder of a three-year-old boy.

Director: James Hawes | Stars: Paddy Considine, Peter Capaldi, Tom Georgeson, William Beck

Votes: 1,951

7. Boy A (2007)

R | 102 min | Drama

75 Metascore

The story of a young Jack, newly released from serving a prison sentence for a violent crime he committed as a child.

Director: John Crowley | Stars: Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan, Shaun Evans, Siobhan Finneran

Votes: 36,125 | Gross: $0.11M

Dealing with a really interesting subject matter, very thought provoking and superbly played by Andrew Garfield.

8. This Is England '86 (2010)

TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama

Shaun has just finished his final exams and he realizes he is no longer a kid. It's mid 80's England, and the gang are back, looking for a laugh, a job and something that resembles a future.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell, Danielle Watson

Votes: 10,659

A follow on from Shane Meadows earlier film. Whilst having moments of absolute hillarity from it's stand out characters this is harrowing, as you'd expect. It's still fantastic though, a must see.

9. Exile (2011)

180 min | Drama, Thriller

A father and son story, with a thriller motor. It explores a mystery from the past with a brutal and shocking revelation.

Stars: John Simm, Jim Broadbent, Olivia Colman, Nico Mirallegro

Votes: 1,524

Although I rate and admire John Simm it's Jim Broadbent's performance that really makes this drama what it is. The story itself is a little disappointing but the overall themes are well handled and interesting enough to sustain it.

10. Murder (2002 TV Movie)

200 min | Crime, Drama

Christopher Maurer (Jason Done) is killed the day after his twenty-first birthday and his grieving mother, Angela Maurer (Dame Julie Walters), is unable to come to grips with that fact. She... See full summary »

Director: Beeban Kidron | Stars: Jason Done, Julie Walters, Roland Manookian, Nicola Reynolds

Votes: 47

11. Lennon Naked (2010 TV Movie)

TV-MA | 82 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A profile of John Lennon in the late 1960s as the Beatles are set to fall apart.

Director: Edmund Coulthard | Stars: Christopher Eccleston, Christopher Fairbank, Allan Corduner, Andrew Scott

Votes: 1,006

12. Whitechapel (2009–2013)

180 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

A fast-tracked inspector, a hardened detective sergeant, and an expert in historical homicides investigate modern crimes with connections to the past in the Whitechapel district of London.

Stars: Rupert Penry-Jones, Phil Davis, Steve Pemberton, Sam Stockman

Votes: 10,354

The first series was very good. I didn't take to the second, however, and didn't really feel there was much call for it. This should have been left as a stand alone about a Jack the Ripper copy cat, all that Krays stuff was nonsense. Rupert Penry-Jones is fantastic though, and Steve Pemberton is as creepy as ever.

13. Five Daughters (2010)

60 min | Crime, Drama

Based on the personal testimonies of many of those most closely involved, Five Daughters recounts the final weeks in the lives of the five young women murdered in Ipswich in 2006.

Stars: Adam Kotz, Juliet Aubrey, Natalie Press, Ian Hart

Votes: 434

14. Sherlock (2010– )

TV-14 | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A modern update finds the famous sleuth and his doctor partner solving crime in 21st century London.

Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs, Rupert Graves

Votes: 746,401

15. Moses Jones (2009– )

180 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Police investigate a mutilated body found in the Thames which appears to be the product of a witchcraft killing.

Stars: Eamonn Walker, Shaun Parkes, Wunmi Mosaku, David Fishley

Votes: 194

16. The Turn of the Screw (2009 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A naive and sexually repressed young governess is haunted by the ghosts of previous occupants of a mansion.

Director: Tim Fywell | Stars: Michelle Dockery, Eva Sayer, Josef Lindsay, Dan Stevens

Votes: 1,013

This most recent adaption is not the best I've come across but it holds it's own none the less. With such strong story you could hardly go wrong but the casting here is particularly good.

17. Omnibus (1967–2003)
Episode: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968)

Not Rated | 42 min | Documentary, Biography, Music

A university professor, confident that everything which occurs in life has a rational explanation, finds his beliefs severely challenged when, during a vacation to a remote coastal village ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Miller | Stars: Michael Hordern, Ambrose Coghill, George Woodbridge, Nora Gordon

Votes: 983

18. Gormenghast (2000– )

Unrated | 232 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A villain threatens the rise of a new earl in an ancient kingdom.

Stars: Warren Mitchell, Celia Imrie, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, John Sessions

Votes: 2,768

19. The Lost Prince (2003 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 180 min | Biography, Drama

The true story of the British royal Prince locked away because of having epilepsy.

Director: Stephen Poliakoff | Stars: Daniel Williams, Matthew James Thomas, Brock Everitt-Elwick, Rollo Weeks

Votes: 1,800

20. Sex & Lies (2004 TV Movie)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A late night radio host receives a call from Kate, she reveals that she has been raped by a colleague. She tells the host what has happened, and how everybody around her, and Alex, the man ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremy Lovering | Stars: Keeley Hawes, James Hillier, Stuart Laing, Johann Myers

Votes: 20

21. The Street (2006–2009)

TV-MA | 60 min | Drama

Series of one-off dramas, each focusing on a different house within the same street.

Stars: Timothy Spall, Ger Ryan, Lee Ingleby, Christine Bottomley

Votes: 979

22. Garrow's Law (2009–2011)

Biography, Drama

Garrow's Law is the true tale of William Garrow, who acted as counsel for the accused, introducing the concept of 'innocent until proved guilty' at London's Old Bailey.

Stars: Andrew Buchan, Lyndsey Marshal, Rupert Graves, Aidan McArdle

Votes: 1,000

23. Cracker (1993–1996)

TV-MA | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald is a criminal psychologist. He is rather anti-social and obnoxious but he has a gift for solving crimes. Thus he is employed as a consultant by the Manchester Police.

Stars: Robbie Coltrane, Geraldine Somerville, Kieran O'Brien, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 5,229

24. The Sculptress (1996– )

180 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Olive Martin (Quirke), a heavily overweight young woman is convicted of killing and butchering her mother and sister and sentenced to life imprisonment. However, when she is assigned to ... See full summary »

Stars: Pauline Quirke, Caroline Goodall, Christopher Fulford, Sophie Stanton

Votes: 316

25. Afterlife (I) (2005–2006)

47 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

University lecturer Robert Bridge (Andrew Lincoln) becomes involved in a series of supernatural events surrounding medium Alison Mundy (Lesley Sharp) in this chilling TV series.

Stars: Lesley Sharp, Andrew Lincoln, Kate Duchêne, Anna Wilson-Jones

Votes: 1,846

26. Recovery (2007 TV Movie)

87 min | Drama

Alan Hamilton was a perfectly normal husband. He danced with his wife, went out with his friends and was a great father to his two children. Then, came the accident. Alan wakes up to a ... See full summary »

Director: Andy De Emmony | Stars: David Tennant, Sarah Parish, Harry Treadaway, Jacob Theato

Votes: 838

David Tennant, at the time, showing that he could do something other than just play The Doctor. At times upsetting but equally having moments of light-heartedness. A well balanced, nicely concieved, believeable piece of drama.

27. The Lakes (1997–1999)

374 min | Drama

Danny Kavanagh leaves Liverpool for the Lake District, finding work at a hotel and love with a local girl named Emma. Yet Danny remains an outsider in the close-knit community, and through ... See full summary »

Stars: John Simm, Elizabeth Bennett, Charles Dale, Mary Jo Randle

Votes: 805

28. Luther (2010– )

TV-MA | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

DCI John Luther is a near-genius murder detective whose brilliant mind can't always save him from the dangerous violence of his passions.

Stars: Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley, Warren Brown

Votes: 112,177

29. The Ice House (1997– )

TV-MA | 172 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

The peaceful, secluded, country hideaway of three diverse, lonely, supposedly lesbian, women is suddenly shattered when their gardener discovers a partially decomposed corpse in the old Ice... See full summary »

Stars: Frances Barber, Kitty Aldridge, Corin Redgrave, Penny Downie

Votes: 708

30. Case Histories (2011–2013)

60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Former soldier and policeman Jackson Brodie becomes a private investigator.

Stars: Jason Isaacs, Amanda Abbington, Zawe Ashton, Millie Innes

Votes: 3,149

31. This Is England '88 (2011)

TV-MA | 70 min | Crime, Drama

Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.

Stars: Andrew Ellis, Andrew Shim, Chanel Cresswell, Charlotte Tyree

Votes: 8,439



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