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Great British Television
#1
What are some good shows or miniseries that were made in Britain or aired originally on the BBC?

The reason I asked is that I finally paid off my TLA video fine and got the first volume of the "Sharpe" series starring Sean motherfuckin' Bean..and it's hardcore.
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#2
If you're into laughs then look out for Alan Partridge in "The Day Today", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", and "I'm Alan Partridge".

Personally I'm not a Sean Bean fan, but from what you've said I have a hunch you'll like "Bravo Two Zero" (Badass factor is rather high)
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#3
It all begins and ends with the greatest sitcom ever made, Fawlty Towers. I'd place it even above Flying Circus.
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#4
Quote:

Poxy Von Sinister:
It all begins and ends with the greatest sitcom ever made, Fawlty Towers. I'd place it even above Flying Circus.

Agreed. This DVD collection (there were only 12 episodes) is one of my favorites and over the summer, it got constant play.
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#5
If you liked Sharpe then you'd probably like <a href="http://us.imdb.com/Title?0086791" target="_blank">Robin of Sherwood</a> .

<img src="http://www.networkvideos.co.uk/graphics/news%20items/ros1.jpg" alt="" />

Made in the 80s, it's still the grittiest and most believable version of the Robin Hood story, and one that Hollywood obviously studied for Kevin Costner's cardboard cut-out turn in the role.

The first two series are the ones to go for - after that the role of Robin was taken over by Jason Connery, and his blond boyishness didn't have the same edge as Michael Praed's brooding woodsman. It also features a young Ray Winstone as a brutish Will Scarlet. The series also introduced elements of pagan magic and ritual into the Robin legend, with the spirit of Herne the Hunter acting as a sort of Yoda/Gandalf figure.

Although it was broadcast early Saturday evenings, it's astonishingly violent (the death of Robin's father in episode one gave me nightmares - and also hooked me on the series) and remains a cult favourite in the UK as one of the few 80s shows that actually improves with age.
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#6
What about "Gormenghast" and "Upstairs, Downstairs?" Are those any good?
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#7
I found Gormenghast slightly disappointing. All I know about Upstairs, Downstairs is that my Mum used to watch it.

You should also seek out the BBC adaptation of The Lost World, with Bob Hoskins in the lead. That was pretty cool.
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#8
Fawlty Towers
Father Ted

Alan Partridge
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#9
Two words: RED DWARF.
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#10
Black Adder - My fave

Is Sharpe on DVD?
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#11
Quote:

Fett:
Two words: RED DWARF.

The first series, possibly. I never saw a sitcom go so badly off-course so quickly, and then last for so long after it jumped the shark.
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#12
Sharpe is only available on UK region 2 DVD
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#13
I watched 5 minutes of Red Dwarf on BBC America, and thought it was painfully bad. But maybe I should give it another chance.

THE PRISONER. Surrealist spy drama. Amazing show.
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#14
I never liked Red Dwarf myself.

Dark Star did it 100x better.

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#15
There's a classic British sitcom called "Porridge" set in a prison. The first series of Red Dwarf was very similar (clashing personalities trapped in a confined space) and it was very much a character comedy which happened to have a sci-fi setting.

Trouble was, it gained a cult audience very quickly and soon became a sci-fi series that was supposed to be funny. They introduced loads more characters, had them travelling to all these different places, and it just completely deflated everything that made it work in the first place. It ended up being too ambitious for a comedy, but still far too cheap to work as a decent sci-fi show.

The last series was painfully bad, but apparently they're working on a movie, just in case the dead horse needs a bit more flogging.
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#16
Inspector Morse.

Taggart.

The Goodies.
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#17
I've heard alot about this show called "Spaced". Anyone seen it?
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#18
What about Dr. Who, or do I need to start a whole separate post for that?
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#19
Depends on which Doctor. When I was a kid, we had PBS reruns of the John Pertwee version (which to me is still definitive), then high school brought us the Tom Baker version (which I enjoy but think gets a little too wrapped in Baker sometimes). The rest, eh, especially the post-Baker dead zone.
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#20
When I spent my junior year abroad in England (this was '91), there was a comedy/variety/weird little show that was pretty popular. I think it was called "The Vic Reeves Programme" or something like that (I may have got the name wrong...it was certainly "Vic"Wink. Anyway, it wasn't for everyone, very weird sense of humor even by British standards ( ), but I dug the hell out of it. Anybody else know what I'm talking about?

I also rather enjoyed the "Harry Enfield Program" (name? It's been too many years), but it was kind of standard sketch comedy.
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#21
CHEF!
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#22
Ditto on Father Ted. The Young Ones.
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#23
Quote:

The Kronos Report:
CHEF!

Ditto...I got hooked on that cantankerous fucker.
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#24
Quote:

Z-Man:
I've heard alot about this show called "Spaced". Anyone seen it?

Brilliant. A very surreal sitcom indeed, but very funny.

CHUD folk would love it - it's stuffed full of movie, comics and TV references that only "we" would get.
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#25
I love some of Spaced... and some of it is excellently funny... but for me, it gets a bit too 'we're so clever because we're referential'.
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#26
Quote:

Scott Standridge Screams in Italian:
When I spent my junior year abroad in England (this was '91), there was a comedy/variety/weird little show that was pretty popular. I think it was called "The Vic Reeves Programme" or something like that (I may have got the name wrong...it was certainly "Vic"Wink. Anyway, it wasn't for everyone, very weird sense of humor even by British standards ( ), but I dug the hell out of it. Anybody else know what I'm talking about?

That would be "Vic Reeves Big Night Out", a very very strange variety show presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. They're still going strong, presenting an even stranger celebrity quiz show called "Shooting Stars", which currently features a round in which guests have to pick questions from a giant talking sweaty fox who descends from the ceiling and is obsessed with gin.

I think they're hilarious, but their humour is definitely a "love it or hate it" thing.
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#27
Links to some shows you guys might like:

<a href="http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Network/8023/3Frames.html" target="_blank">Spaced</a>
<a href="http://www.limpfish.com/rm/" target="_blank">Reeves & Mortimer</a>
<a href="http://www.leagueofgentlemen.co.uk/" target="_blank">League of Gentlemen</a>
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/" target="_blank">The Office</a>
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#28
Never watched Spaced but I understand the same people are now making a (comedy?) zombie movie.
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#29
Cracker!
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#30
Yeah, "Shaun Of The Dead", about a guy who's trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend when the dead rise from the grave.

Also, try this:

<a href="http://www.rethink.demon.co.uk/laugh.html" target="_blank">Chris Morris</a> - this guy is a fucking comedy genius. He has a way of twisting words and language in a way that reminds me of our very own Mr Nunziata, and a seriously dark streak of satire.

He recently did a controversial spoof documentary lampooning the British media's obsession with paedophilia, in which parents were warned that child molesters dress up as schools to catch kids. He also gets publicity hungry celebs to support insane causes, including British TV arse Noel Edmonds warning viewers about a new drug called "Cake" which affects "the part of the brain called Shatner's Bassoon".

He "presented" The Day Today, a razor-sharp spoof of graphics-obsessed TV news, and followed it up with Brass Eye, a series of shows focussing on issues like Drugs, Sex and Animals. He is hardcore, but just about the funniest British satirist since Peter Cook.

He comes in for a lot of hate from the media for being in bad taste, but that's because he's usually taking the piss out of their rabid kneejerk reactions to an issue, not the issue itself.

Chris Morris also introduced the world to the wonder of <a href="http://www.alanattack.co.uk/" target="_blank">Alan Partridge</a>, the pathetic, embittered minor TV celebrity desperate to make it big.
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#31
Quote:

Dan Whitehead:
Links to some shows you guys might like:

<a href="http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Network/8023/3Frames.html" target="_blank">Spaced</a>
<a href="http://www.limpfish.com/rm/" target="_blank">Reeves & Mortimer</a>
<a href="http://www.leagueofgentlemen.co.uk/" target="_blank">League of Gentlemen</a>
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/theoffice/" target="_blank">The Office</a>

Thanks for that, Dan--I loved the Big Night Out. Why does it not surprise me that you liked it too?

"Vic...Vic...I've fallen, Vic..."
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#32
The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer was even better. They also recently turned to acting in a hit-and-miss remake of the 60's show "Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)"
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#33
A Bit of Fry and Laurie. I miss the PBS reruns of this show an awful lot, and would love it if the whole thing was put on DVD.

The humor these two guys share is just totally unique. Very wordy, very stoic, and very funny. An example of this (which works better spoken in a british accent, so read it out loud) was when Stephen Fry is sitting at a table, eating his corn flakes with a knife and fork, and telling a story to the camera. He says something to the effect of, "I stooped to pick a buttercup, and it occurred to me that it was very strange for someone to have left a buttock lying around." I told you, it works better spoken.

I have only one episode on tape that I know of, and that's because it's the one where Hugh Laurie sings Hey Jude. He's very calm and serious, alone on a stage playing the piano. Then he begins the song in this ridiculous chipmunk voice. He sings the whole thing like that, and it's just the funniest thing I've ever seen. Painfully so.
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#34
My favorite BBC mini series aired was Nevewhere based off the novel by the same name written by Neil Gaiman.
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#35
Benny Hill
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