British telly

Although our television has been unceremoniously relegated to the spare room, I find myself watching television on my computer via BBC iPlayer. British television runs differently than American television: seasons (or series) run at various points during the year, and most shows don’t have more than six episodes in a season. Especially since I have begun knitting and crocheting again I find myself watching more television. So what British television have I been watching? Here are the shows I’ve watched since moving to the UK:

Doctor Who: Time travel, space travel, bigger on the inside, aliens, robots, quirky, scary, fun, a madman with a box. I started watching Doctor Who with the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith. Bowties are cool. (Summer 2010, 2011)

Downton Abbey: Period drama, early twentieth century, wit, subtext, upstairs and downstairs, Maggie Smith. I’ve spent the last week catching up on the first series because the second series is showing now. (Autumn 2010, 2011)

The Hour: 1950s, BBC, journalism, news, Soviet spies, MI6, Egypt, crossword puzzles, dissent. An example of a one-off show, with a total of six episodes. Good enough that I watched it twice. (Summer 2011)

Merlin: Arthurian legend, magic, fantasy, humour, young Arthur, young Merlin, great costumes, castles. Although this show is not accurate at all regarding traditional Arthurian legend, it’s really fun to watch. (Think Hercules and Xena and Greek myth and you’ll know what I mean.) (Autumn 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)

Outcasts: Space colonisation, Carpathia, invisible aliens, intrigue, secrets, sympathetic characters. A sci-fi show that had potential but ultimately bit off more than it could chew in its first eight episodes, and sadly will not be coming back for a second series. (Spring 2011)

Rev: Church humour, London, Church of England, a country vicar in London, urban issues, comedy. Another example of a one-off show with six episodes shown (with the slight possibility it might return for a second series), Archbishop Rowan Williams approved of this comedy. (Summer 2010)

Sherlock: London, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson, mysteries, archnemesis, modern. Three ninety-minute episodes of modern-day Sherlock Holmes, and the world is eagerly awaiting the second series this autumn. (Summer 2010)

Torchwood: Miracle Day: Aliens, saving the planet, CIA, conspiracy theory, plot twists. I was told that if I liked Doctor Who I would also like Torchwood. I was not terribly impressed and only made it to the end of the series because I wanted to know who the bad guys were. Not sure if I will bother with any future instalments. (Summer 2011)

Usually only one show is showing at a time — so far only Doctor Who and Downton Abbey have run concurrently. So don’t think I spend all of my time watching the telly…

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