Now this is gonna be an hard one to do, there are so many great shows, here i choose my 10 based on storylines and how it kept me gripped. If i was to include other countries then BREAKING BAD would be my number 1 with GAME OF THRONES, X FILES and a few others in there, but us british make the best tv with the exception of BREAKING BAD.
THE YOU TUBE LINKS YOU MAY HAVE TO CLICK ON TO VIEW ON YOU TUBE…THX
10.. THE SWEENEY – 1975 TO 1978 – ITV THAMES TELEVISION is a 1970s British television police drama focusing on two members of the Flying Squad, a branch of the Metropolitan Police specialising in tackling armed robbery and violent crime in London. The programme’s title derives from Sweeney Todd, which is Cockney rhyming slang for “Flying Squad”. The programme was shot entirely on 16mm film by Thames Television‘s film division, Euston Films. It originally aired on ITV between 2 January 1975 and 28 December 1978 in the 21:00–22:00 weekday (usually Monday) slot with repeated showings at the same time until the early 1980s. It starred John Thaw as Detective Inspector Jack Regan, and Dennis Waterman as his partner Detective Sergeant George Carter. Such was its popularity in the UK that it spawned two theatrically released feature film spin-offs, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2.
09.. LOOKING AFTER JO JO – 1998 – BBC SCOTLAND – John Joseph (Jo Jo) McCann (Carlyle) has been a habitual criminal since childhood, when he pilfered cash boxes for his dad. He’s been in and out of prison ever since. He lives in a high rise council flat with his mother and sister. It is set in and around the North Sighthill housing estate. Looking After JoJo traces the career of a petty thief turned drug dealer in 1980’s Edinburgh. The title character is a pleasant if misguided young man surviving in a bleak housing estate and aspiring to the trappings of a successful criminal. Unfortunately for him, and for most of the other characters in the mini-series, it is a time of heroin addiction and AIDS. We watch JoJo become ensnared in the drugs scene and his deterioration is both painful to watch and very moving. Robert Carlyle’s performance is extraordinarily complex and textured. He is ably supported by Jenny McCrindle,Ewan Stewart and Trainspotting‘s Kevin McKidd. This isn’t the fast-moving MTV drug scene of Trainspotting but a more character-oriented, leisurely look at the human cost of drug addiction.
08.. ASHES TO ASHES – 2008 TO 2010 – BBC – The series tells the story of Alex Drake (played by Keeley Hawes), a policewoman in service with the London Metropolitan Police, who is shot in 2008 by a man called Arthur Layton, and inexplicably regains consciousness in 1981. The first episode of the series reveals that, in the present day, Drake has been studying records of the events seen in Life on Mars through reports made by Sam Tyler after he regained consciousness in the present. Upon waking in the past she is surprised to meet the returning characters of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) and Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster), all of whom she has learned of from her research, the trio having transferred from the Manchester setting of Life on Mars (Manchester and Salford Police) to London.
Tension between Drake and Hunt is built through the unsatisfactory explanation of Sam Tyler’s absence, and the perceived underhandedness and shoddy work of Hunt in contrast to the methodical, ethical and thoroughly modern Drake. Continuing the theme of Life on Mars, throughout the series it is ambiguous to both Drake and the audience whether the character is dead or alive in the present day and to what extent her actions influence future events.
07.. THE STREET – 2007 TO 2009 – BBC – The Street is a British television drama series created by Jimmy McGovern and produced by Granada Television for the BBC. The series follows the lives of various residents of an unnamed street in Manchester and features an all-star cast including Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Jane Horrocks, Bob Hoskins and David Thewlis.
The Street won both the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series and RTS Television Award for Drama Series twice, in 2007 and 2008. It also won two International Emmy Awards in November 2007 for Best Drama and Best Actor (Jim Broadbent). The second series was nominated for the Best Drama prize at the 2008 Rose d’Or ceremony. Though it did not win, it received Special Mention from the jury. In November 2010, the third series won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama and Best Actor (Bob Hoskins). The third series began airing on 13 July 2009 and concluded on 17 August 2009. This was the final series to be made due to cutbacks at ITV Studios in Manchester (ITV produced the series, although it is shown by the BBC).
06.. SPOOKS – 2002 TO 2011 – BBC – Spooks (known as MI-5 in some countries) is a British television drama series that originally aired on BBC One from 13 May 2002 to 23 October 2011, consisting of 10 series. The title is a popular colloquialism forspies, 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. It is notable for both its high production value, and its use of popular guest actors. In the United States, the show is broadcast under the title MI-5. In Canada, the programme originally aired as MI5 but now airs on BBC Canada as Spooks.
05.. CRACKER – 1993 TO 1995 PLUS SPECIALS – ITV GRANADA – Fitz is a classic antihero, alcoholic, a chain smoker, obese, sedentary, addicted to gambling, manic, foul-mouthed and sarcastic, and yet cerebral and brilliant. He is a genius in his speciality: criminal psychology. As Fitz confesses in “Brotherly Love”: “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.” Each case spanned several episodes and cliffhangers were quite often used, but it was not until the end of the second series that a cliffhanger was employed to tie off the series. Some of the plotlines in the cases took as their starting point real events such as the Hillsborough disaster, while others were purely fictional with only tangential ties to actual events.
Several different psychotic types were explored during the run of the show with increasingly complex psychological motivations that, as the series entered the middle of the second series, began to expand beyond the criminals being investigated to the regular cast members. As the series moved forward the storylines became as much about the interactions of the regulars as it was about the crimes. In many later episodes, in fact, the crimes often became background to intense, provocative explorations of the police officers’ reactions to the crimes they investigated. To emphasise how fine a line the police (and Fitz) walk in their close association with criminals, all three series featured several stories in which the police themselves commit criminal acts or become victims of crime.
04.. THE BLACK STUFF / BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF – 1982 – BBC – The series Boys from the Blackstuff follows the stories of the five now-unemployed men who lost their jobs due to the events of the original play The Blackstuff. Set in Bleasdale’s home city of Liverpool, and reflecting many of his own experiences of life in the city, each episode focuses on a different member of the group. The series was highly acclaimed for its powerful and emotional depiction of the desperation wrought by high unemployment and a subsequent lack of social support. The series is and was noted by many reviewers as a critique of the Margaret Thatcher era, which was seen as being responsible for the fate of many of the unemployed lower and working classes, particularly in the North of England (and in fact fuelling the North-South divide). By early 1982, unemployment had reached 3 million (some one in eight of the workforce) as a result of economic recession and restructuring of industry.
Indeed the most memorable and poignant of the characters was Yosser Hughes, a man driven to the edge of his sanity by the loss of his job, his wife, the authorities’ continued attempts to take his children away from him and his constant attempts at salvaging his male pride (often being the main give-away of his insecurity). His catchphrases, “Gizza’ job!” (“give us a job”) and “I can do that!” became part of the popular consciousness of the Eighties, summing up the mood of many who sought desperately for work during the era. Hughes was played by Bernard Hill, who uses his obvious Mancunian accent, with slight Scouse vocal mannerisms. He subsequently went on to find fame acting in various films and television series, such as a lead role in the 1988 film Drowning By Numbers and including appearances in the blockbuster movies Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Ringstrilogy (2001–03).
03.. LIFE ON MARS – 2006 TO 2007 – BBC – Life on Mars tells the fictional story of Sam Tyler (John Simm), a policeman in service with the Greater Manchester Police. After being hit by a car in 2006, Tyler awakens in 1973 to find himself working for the predecessor of the GMP, the Manchester and Salford Police, at the same station and location as in 2006. “My name is Sam Tyler, I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home…” Early on in the series, it becomes apparent to Tyler that he awakes as a Detective Inspector, one rank lower than his 2006 rank of Detective Chief Inspector. As part of the Criminal Investigation Department, Tyler finds himself working under the command of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). Throughout the two series, the plot centres on the ambiguity concerning Tyler’s predicament of it being unclear to both the audience and the character whether he has died, gone mad or into a coma, or has actually travelled back in time.
02..LUTHER – 2010 TO 2013 – BBC – John Luther is a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) working for the Serious Crime Unit in series one, and the new Serious and Serial Crime Unit in series two and three. A dedicated police officer, Luther is obsessive, possessed, and sometimes dangerous in the violence of his fixations. However, Luther has paid a heavy price for his dedication; he has never been able to prevent himself from being consumed by the darkness of the crimes with which he deals. For Luther, the job always comes first. His dedication is a curse and a blessing, both for him and those close to him. He is unable to arrest Alice Morgan, the murderer in the first episode, and for the rest of the first series she becomes his confidante, giving him an insight into the motivations of other criminals.
01.. THIS IS ENGLAND `86 AND `88 – 2010 TO 2011 – CHANNEL 4 – This Is England ’86 is a 2010 British drama miniseries written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne. A spin-off from the 2006 film This Is England, and set three years later, it focuses on the mod revival scene rather than the skinhead subculture. Like the film, This Is England ’86 stars Thomas Turgoose as Shaun, although Lol (Vicky McClure) and Woody (Joe Gilgun) play even more central roles.
The story takes place during the 1986 FIFA World Cup. As Shaun completes his last school exam, he realises he will have to find his way in the world. His friends, who include Woody, Lol, Smell, Gadget and Meggy, are still around, looking for love, entertainment and employment.
`88 Is set during Christmas 1988, Lol is haunted by the devastating events that took place two and a half years before. She and Woody both find themselves struggling to cope with their lives without each other after he leaves the gang. Lol is carrying the burden of her guilt, whilst Woody is trying to build a domestic life with a new girlfriend and a potential promotion at work. Shaun has started drama college and, although still in a relationship with Smell, he has grown close to a girl performing in his Christmas play.