A List of BBC Dramas

BBC, how I love thee. Here’s a few reasons why.

  1. You gave me Sherlock Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch
  2. You gave me Doctor Who with David Tennant and Peter Capaldi
  3. You gave me most of my favorite historical dramas. Peter Capaldi Picture 19 - Doctor Who Screening

It’s only the third reason I really want to talk about today (although Sherlock, Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi’s eyebrows really do deserve their own post). I love historical BBC Dramas. Here’s why, and then I’ll give you my top three favorites.

  1. The plots are so intricate. Most BBC historical dramas are adaptations of older novels, like Charles Dickens and Elizabeth Gaskell and Jane Austen. This “complex plot” thing mostly applies to the Charles Dickens’ dramas, but when I watch the others I’m still blown away by the emotional and character layers that add to the plot. Often there are connections you don’t see coming (unless you practice at it like I do) and I love the guessing game.
  2. The actors stick around. I’ve never been good at learning actor names (it’s the whole ‘love the work not the person’ coming into play again) but I can definitely spot a few faces in BBC dramas. There are some actors I suspect don’t even leave the historical world, spending all their time dressed up in Regency or Victorian clothing and gasping “why sir!” at each other all the time. It’s awesome.
  3. The format. This one’s a big one, because while I like the episodic feel of cop shows and mystery series’, I don’t really care for it anywhere else. And so it’s nice that when adapting these books, BBC made them a bit like an English kdrama in that there are usually 4-16 episodes, each about 40 min-an hour long and with a cohesive plot. The real question is, since they’re historical does that make them English Saeguks?

I also want to give you my “I’ve watched” list, in particular order from most to least favorite.

  1. Bleak House
  2. North and South (oooh, I don’t know about making this one second. Let’s just call it a tie, shall we?)
  3. Little Dorrit
  4. Wives and Daughters
  5. Cranford
  6. Sense and Sensibility (the BBC one)
  7. Emma (and I don’t like the book, so it’s a wonder it’s on the list. BBC, you work magic.)
  8. Pride and Prejudice
  9. Death Comes to Pemberly

Hah, I never would have thought I’d put anything Jane Austen at the bottom of a list. But there you have it, folks, my little list of BBC dramas. If you have any suggestions on what I should watch next, I’d welcome them!



4 responses to “A List of BBC Dramas

  1. Ah, the BBC historicals, love ’em! I’ve seen all of the above too, North and South being one of my all time favourites.

    Other favourites… The Barchester Chronicles, The Mayor of Casterbridge and Persuasion (the 1995 version with Amanda Root and Ciàran Hinds). The Scarlet Pipmpernet was rather fun too, as well as an oldie from 1978, A Horseman Riding By (liked the R.F. Delderfield’s book it’s based on as well) and let’s not forget my beloved Horatio Hornblower series (I’ve been in the fandom for 10 years after all ^^)

    • Dear heaven! How could I forget Persuasion, Hornblower and the Scarlet Pimpernel! Especially as I absolutely adore the Scarlet Pimpernel, I have most of the book series. Jane Seymour… had quite the hair. But I loved the movie to bits. Definitely a favorite. I’ll look into the others!

  2. I spy North and South! Richard Armitage was hot as John Thornton and I loved his chemistry with Daniela Denby-Ashe. That kiss has got to be one of the best in all of TV history.

  3. Lovely list! I ADORE all of those BBC shows! I so agree that no one makes them as beautiful and awesome like BBC does. And yeah, I’ll go with “English Sagueks” hehe!

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