Four of My Favorite British Television Shows

Over the years, Bethany and I have developed a love for British drama and comedy. My absolute favorite British comedy is Doc Martin. It’s set in the fictional town of Portwenn (actually filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall), a small Cornish village England. Dr. Martin Ellingham enjoyed a career as a highly successful vascular surgeon, but he develops a blood phobia and must stop performing surgeries. He moves to Portwenn to embark on a new career as a general practitioner (GP). Martin is highly intelligent but utterly socially inept. He is way outside his comfort zone in the small coastal village. It’s a hilarious show. Louisa Glasson (Caroline Catz), Portwenn’s head mistress, is a great actress who demonstrates fantastic chemistry alongside Doc Martin (Martin Clunes). Season 1 debuted in 2004. The tenth season is slated for 2020 or later.

Caroline Catz and Martin Clunes have induced laughter in audiences for nearly 16 years
Doc Martin is filmed in the beautiful Cornish village of Port Isaac

Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) is a brilliant young detective solving mysteries in 1960s Oxford. His mentor is Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), and together the two detectives make a dynamic duo. Endeavour is the prequel to the popular Inspector Morse series that aired between 1987-2000 and is arguably the greatest British crime series of all-time. The pilot debuted in 2012. Season 8 of Endeavour is scheduled to air in the United States in August on PBS’ Masterpiece. I love the character development of Endeavour, and I also appreciate the realistic depiction of the era (1960s Britain).

Roger Allam (Fred Thursday) and Shaun Evans (Endeavour Morse) shine in this period detective drama

The English Game is a Netflix series (aired in 2020) that depicts the rise of soccer in Great Britain in the 1870s. Julian Fellowes (creator of Downton Abbey) brilliantly writes a series that demonstrates the tension between upper and working class Britons and how they view the sport and its future. It’s beautifully crafted and captivating drama. It was very difficult not to binge watch this series. There’s a possibility a season two will occur. Fellowes is a busy man, and is currently working on his series The Gilded Age, a prequel to Downton Abbey for HBO.

Foyle’s War is a British detective series set during World War 2 and immediately after it. Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is an extraordinary gentlemen and widower charged with hunting criminals attempting to take advantage of the war situation (profiteering, black market, murder). This series also has extraordinary character development, and I was sad when the series ended in 2015. It spanned 13 years, launching in 2002 and the historical backdrop began in May 1940 and ended in January 1947 as the Cold War began heating up.

Honeysuckle Weeks and Michael Kitchen as Samantha Stewart and Christopher Foyle in Foyle’s War

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