Other British shows to watch

(From left) Katherine Parkinson, Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd in The IT Crowd.
(From left) Katherine Parkinson, Richard Ayoade and Chris O'Dowd in The IT Crowd.PHOTO: STAR WORLD
(From left) John Lynch, Gillian Anderson and Michael Colgan in The Fall.
(From left) John Lynch, Gillian Anderson and Michael Colgan in The Fall.PHOTO: SINGTEL
(From left) Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey.
(From left) Laura Carmichael, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey.PHOTO: DIVA/NBC UNIVERSAL
Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman in Sherlock.
Benedict Cumberbatch (left) and Martin Freeman in Sherlock.PHOTO: 2010 HARTSWOOD FILMS
David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/BROADCHURCH
Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who.
Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who. PHOTO: BBC ENTERTAINMENT

The IT Crowd (2006-2013)

What: Set in the dreary IT department of an office building, this comedy follows the antics of socially awkward computer technicians Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and Moss (Richard Ayoade) as well as their techno-phobic "relationship manager" Jen (Katherine Parkinson).

Watch this because: Although often compared with American series The Big Bang Theory, this is more absurdist and wittier and contains no ridiculous romantic melodrama.

Watch it on: All four seasons are available on video streaming service Netflix.


The Fall (2013-present)

What: A serial killer (Jamie Dornan) is on the loose, attacking a string of young professional women in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Police superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is on the case. The show reveals the identity of the killer from the start, but Gibson's journey to track down the elusive killer is no less thrilling .

Watch this because: Before Dornan was lambasted for his wooden acting as sexy billionaire Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015), he had charmed viewers on The Fall despite playing a violent serial killer.

Watch it on: Both Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix.


Downton Abbey (2010-present)

What: The Brits have always been good at making period dramas, but this is the one that became a massive hit across the Atlantic and throughout the world. Set in the fictional Yorkshire country house of Downton Abbey, it follows the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants through World War I, the Spanish influenza outbreak and the sinking of the Titanic. The critically acclaimed series has won many awards, including an Emmy and Golden Globe for Best Miniseries.

Watch this because: The characters are nuanced and well fleshed out and never has a story of social hierarchy been this juicy.

Watch it on: Season 6 airs on Diva (StarHub TV Channel 513 and Singtel TV Channel 303) on Monday at 10.20pm.


Sherlock (2010-present)

What: Adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novels, this modern retelling puts the famous detective Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his sidekick John Watson (Martin Freeman) in modern-day London, where they solve crimes with 21st-century technology and know-how.

Watch this because: This is the show that shot Cumberbatch to global fame and heart-throb status. Its scripts are clever, intriguing and updated for a new generation of audiences, while remaining surprisingly faithful to the source material.

Watch it on: BBC Entertainment (StarHub TV Channel 521), various times


Broadchurch (2013-present)

 

What: Set in the small seaside town of Broadchurch, an 11-year-old boy has been found dead on the beach. Detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) set out to nail the killer, who could be anybody in the tiny town.

Watch this because:The town is so small that everyone suspects even their closest friends and family. The big reveal at the end of Season 1 is guaranteed to shock. According to reports, there was so much secrecy surrounding the killer on set that even the cast found out who the person was only hours before they received the scripts for the final episodes.

Skip the American remake of the show called Gracepoint, which has Tennant reprising his role with an American accent.

Watch it on: Season 1 is available on Netflix.


Doctor Who (1963-present)

What: This long-running series centres on the Doctor, who travels through time in what looks like a police telephone box to help stop crime, battle injustice and save humanity.

A dozen different actors have played the Doctor, who is able to regenerate his appearance. They include Matt Smith and David Tennant, with the latest being Peter Capaldi.

Watch this because: Since its debut more than 50 years ago, the show has become an icon of British pop culture and gained a cult following around the world. Through the decades, it has remained a hugely entertaining drama that takes viewers through all sorts of landscapes and time periods.

Watch it on: Season 9 airs on BBC Entertainment (StarHub TV Channel 521) on Sunday at 10am, with an encore at 8.15pm on the same day.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 07, 2015, with the headline 'Other British shows to watch'. Print Edition | Subscribe