Ryan's British TV Show Reviews

An American's survival guide to over 1,200 UK TV shows that have run in England over the past twenty-one years

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New Reviews: December 5, 2014.

I produce a podcast called The British TV Podcast.  Visit the official site and download the 103rd episode.
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Updated: U.S. Remakes of British Series

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This by no means is a comprehensive list. See my links for sites with more information about British television. What I'm trying to do is provide some background and American context to shows and stars you might not have heard of.

Who am I and why am I qualified to do this?
I am a 53-year-old American living in Seattle. I have been a fan of British television since the Monty Python invasion of the early 1970s. In 1983 I got into Doctor Who, which colors a lot of my reviews. In 1993 I moved to London for a year just so I could see British television first-hand. Since moving back to the States twenty years ago I have continued to get tapes sent to me direct from the UK - to the tune of a dozen or more per month. I watch them in my spare time and write reviews for a zine I produce. I worked three years for About.com as their British TV Guide and have archived the articles I wrote for them during that time.

What won't you see?
Generally I avoid domestic sitcoms, game shows, soap operas, and costume dramas. And if you think Are You Being Served? or Benny Hill are the pinnacle of British television, you'll be in for a surprise!

I have tried to organize this as best I could. Follow links for specific actors I have singled out whom I think demand special attention. Remember, all reviews are strictly subjective and a reflection of my tastes, so don't get mad if my opinion disagrees with yours.

Why didn't I review your favorite series?
I haven't covered shows that have been well established in the United States where no introduction is necessary. For example: Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Blake's 7, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and Monty Python. All these shows are famous enough they each have their own USENET newsgroup, and dozens of websites dedicated to them.

How to see these shows
Some of these shows turn up on cable, often BBC America, Bravo, Comedy Central or even onHulu. Your best source is of course your local PBS Station. If you want to see a particular program in your area, support Public Television and ask them (nicely) what you want run. Tell them you saw it here!

If you live near Seattle, The Society of the Rusting TARDIS meets twice a month to screen the best videos from England. It's free!

I'm usually not in a position to trade personally, as dubbing is quite inconvenient for me. Plus I have an extremely obscure "want" list. Nevertheless, if you want to give it a try, you may. Don't be too disappointed though.

Let's get started!
Shows are listed alphabetically by first letter (except "The", "A", and "An"). Cross-referenced shows are linked together. The date listed with the title is when I reviewed the series. In some cases this can be months, even years after it ran in the UK. If a second date is listed it is for a re-review of the same series I did later. All contents (c)-2014 Ryan K. Johnson. Updates will appear every two months. Next one scheduled for February 2015.

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Written and maintained by Ryan K. Johnson (rkj@eskimo.com).
December 5, 2014