The 8 Best BBC TV Series Everyone Should Watch Once

The British Broadcasting Channel (BBC) has been producing some of the most successful television, television films, and even fully-fledged films in cinemas in the United Kingdom and beyond, reaching fans as far as the United States. With multiple networks and different forms of entertainment for each, BBC is famous for its reality television shows and fantastic sci-fi productions that are ever-so-popular in England.

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While many Americans may not have access to the BBC channel and other subchannels from the UK, simple subscription plans can solve the problem. Additionally, many of the shows listed are available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video and generally work in partnership with those streaming hubs. Regardless, a small dose of well-done British series is essential for any TV guru.



The well-loved and well-known character Sherlock Holmes returns in a modern, contemporary setting in BBC’s adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novels. Available on Prime Video, Sherlock follows dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), who has just returned home from Afghanistan, where he served. He meets the eccentric yet sharp Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) through an ad for a roommate.

As soon as Dr. Watson moves into the Baker Street apartment, he becomes entangled in mysteries and acquainted with Sherlock’s nemesis, Moriarty, who seems to have a hand in everything. Sherlock is a beloved show and even has its own fandom. The show is worth watching, especially if you are a fan of Cumberbatch and Freeman.

‘Doctor Who’

The fan favorite British show, Doctor Who (available to stream on HBO Max), continues to entertain the world as it has done for almost 60 years. Doctor Who is a science fiction show that follows the many adventures of a Time Lord called “The Doctor,” who is a borderline immortal extraterrestrial being who appears as human and has a vast array of knowledge. The Doctor explores the Universe and its many fascinating (and chilling) wonders, phenomena, and creatures in a spaceship that appears to be a police booth called the TARDIS. Every few seasons, a new Doctor is reinstated as the extraterrestrial being needs to regenerate.

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doctorWho is so popular for a reason; The show not only is so well-written but is ridiculously gripping as the Doctor and their friends have to navigate difficult situations across a multitude of universes. Also, many famous British actors the world now knows and loves (David Tennant, Matt Smith, for example) had their time playing The Doctor. Most recently, it was announced the Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor.


Along comes another fantasy theme! Streaming on Netflix, Merlin is the story of the young wizard Merlin (Colin Morgan) from the land of Camelot, along with the famous King Arthur (Bradley James). Merlin is a servant to a young Prince Arthur, and as the two grow close, Merlin must hide the fact that he is a mighty sorcerer so he can stay alive. The two experience adventures, defeat foes, and work together to stop the evil Morgana until Arthur becomes the King he was destined to be.

Merlin ran from 2008 to 2012 and gained even more traction after the series ended, developing a cult following. For fans looking for a storybook adventure series with a twist, witty dialogue, and even some queer-coded characters, Merlin is a perfect choice.


Luther follows DCI John Luther, a genius murder detective who must make cases against criminals and use his brilliant mind to solve the murders. The cases often involve serial killers, and John Luther has a bit of a complicated relationship with a certain killer named Morgan. Idris Elba stars in Luther as the titular character and takes on difficult and high-stakes cases for the good of the world.

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Streaming on Hulu and Roku, Luther ran for five seasons between the years 2010 and 2019 and was very successful. Luther has more of a serious tone to the show compared to the other choices on this list, so it is most definitely for mature audiences.

‘flea bag’

Fleabag is an award-winning dark comedy series based on the stageplay of the same name. write by Phoebe Waller Bridge (who also stars as the unnamed main character, just known as “Fleabag”), the show follows a dry-witted, angry, and free-spirited young woman who has no filter as she navigates through a tumultuous time in her life. She lives in London and attempts to deal with love and life as a sexually active woman and cope with personal tragedy.

She also tends to break the fourth wall, which is absolutely fascinating and keeps the viewers hooked. Streaming on Prime Video, Fleabag is heartfelt, hilarious, and equally raw and is a stunning view of a British woman’s life in the 21st century.

‘The Office (UK)’

The Office is the renowned workplace comedy of the generation, completely changing the game of how comedy series is written, filmed, and developed. However, The Office that Americans know and love is actually not the original idea. The Office (UK) was the original office but only ran for two seasons (the American version was a bit more successful with the US audience base).

Nevertheless, both series are equally hilarious in their own way, and it is apparent why the show has grown so popular worldwide. For fans of the American The Officethe UK’s version (streaming on Hulu and Prime Video) is worth watching for a good laugh.

‘The Great British Bake Off’

The Great British Bake Off is a classic British show. While it may sound boring at first and similar to any other baking show available to stream in the US, the main difference is that The Great British Bake Off makes American baking shows seem like Roman gladiator pits.

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Available on Netflix, The Great British Bake Off is effortlessly lighthearted and arguably funny as a group of amateur bakers competes against each other, attempting to impress a group of judges. This show is light and fluffy, like a good sponge cake.

‘Normal People’

Streaming on Hulu, Normal People is a drama series based on the book of the same name. The series follows Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) from different backgrounds but in the same small town in Ireland, as they are constantly weaving between each other’s romantic lives.

The show has been praised for its acting, writing, directing, and filmography and has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards for just the first season. For any hopeless romantics wanting some slow-burn, dramatic content, this show is the best pick.

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