5 New And Returning British Series That Will Get Your DVR's Knickers In A Twist
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5 New And Returning British Series That Will Get Your DVR's Knickers In A Twist

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | October 31, 2013 | Comments ()


1. Vicious: First the great news. PBS has locked down the delightful Ian McKellan/Derek Jacobi comedy about a bickering older couple who have lived together for 50 years. It’s basically the sassiest premise you’ve ever seen. Imagine the brothers Crane but gayer and British-er. Added bonus, Game Of Thrones and Misfits fans, Iwan Rheon aka Ramsay Snow aka SAVE ME BARRY co-stars. No word yet on the exact release date, but they say “some time next year.” Let the sly grins commence.

2. Sherlock: Of course PBS already has their sticky, tote bag toting fingers all over Sherock Series 3. It will return to PBS Masterpiece on Jan. 19 at 10 p.m. with an all-new villain, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Weirdly, the BBC hasn’t announced when they will be airing Sherlock. Could it be that we Yanks won’t have to wait? Could we all be getting our scarf porn and Watson staches at the same time?
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3. Downton Abbey: Can your Anglophilic hearts bear it? Sherlock will be airing back to back with Downton Abbey Series 4. That’s rather blowing your Anglo wad, isn’t it, PBS? Regardless, the Brits are already elbow deep in Series 4 of Downton Abbey and have weathered a large kerfuffle over a certain plot point that we shan’t spoil here. No, no, it’s not the new black character. Who on earth would object to this?

4. Black Mirror: This news is a little trickier and very frustrating. The British horror anthology originally aired in 2012. We’re FINALLY getting it on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 9 p.m. But, um, it’s on a channel most of us don’t have. Unless, do you have DirectTV’s Audience Network? No? Thought not. So cozy up to someone with satellite if you want to get the bejeesus scared out of you by Agent Peggy Carter here.

5. Secret State: DirecTV’s Audience channel is also the only place you can see Gabriel Byrne’s Secret State, also premiering on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 10 p.m. The contemporary spy thriller also co-stars Charles Dance. You know, TYWIN LANNISTER. Why don’t I get to see this on PBS or the Sundance Chanel? Why do I have to make nice with someone with satellite? It’s like the late seasons of Friday Night Lights all over again.

6. Peaky Blinders: I said “five” in the headline and I meant “five.” There’s been no announcement of when we’ll get Peaky Blinders here in the states, but it’s all anyone can talk about. Can you blame them? British Boardwalk Empire, you say? Sons Of Anarchy cast members you say? Cillian Murphy and his rapey-eyed smiles, you say?! I want it. I want it now.

So which of those five are you most excited for? I know I should say Sherlock, but who can resist this smile?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • bcarter3

    You would think that "Vicious", starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as an old gay couple, with Frances de la Tour as their best friend, would be an instant classic. Nope. Godawful mess, w/miserably unfunny writing and a laugh track right out of some ghastly 70s sitcom.

    Huge disappointment.

  • Spyro

    Vicious is terrible and for the talent involved actually pretty disgraceful. It's basically a load of unfunny gay stereotypes sniping at each other with a laughter track. There's some potential there but its real lowest-common-denominator stuff.

    However, I greatly enjoyed secret state with Gabriel Byrne. It's a slow burn but worth sticking with.

  • Danny

    Another great British show airing here recently is A Young Doctor's Notebook. I think it's airing on Ovation Network, though I've never actually heard of the channel until recently. The show stars Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm as the younger and older versions of a Russian doctor, yet they share plenty of scenes. It's a very decent comedy with some darkness mixed in.

  • Emm82

    Yes! I saw this last year,and loved it - it is dark though. Very dark. Although when Jon Hamm started his english accent it always cheered me up no end - it was atrocious! I have seen an advert for a second series, so hoping for good news.

  • Why don't they just go ahead and call him 'Charles Augustus Milverton' and be done with it? You've got two thirds of the name there already and you're even using the same initial for the third name. Just use the whole damn original name and stop being so fucking coy and pretending like you've invented a new character and that the success of 'Sherlock' isn't 90% Doyle's writings and 10% whatever framework has been temporarily constructed around them.

  • sooze

    Hate to break it to you, but Vicious was pretty terrible, and I say that as a massive McKellan and Jacobi fan. It was like a time warp to a dated pre-Office era. On the other hand, looking forward to Secret State though. Charles Dance is a regular in my local, though I've yet to actually pluck up the courage to speak to Mr Tulkinghorn myself.

  • I have DirectTV, which means I have the Audience channel, so you're all invited over to watch with me.

  • tarqueeny

    Vicious is pretty bad. The gay stereotypical portrayals quickly wear thin and it really isn't that good. It's shameless waste of the talent involved.

  • mrsdalgliesh

    I was certain this post would include "Ripper Street." Sherlock is in its own league, of course, but of all the shows on the next level, RS is the one I'm waiting for most eagerly.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Series 2 has just started. The first episode is one of the best TV episodes I've seen this year. That includes Game of Thrones and Justified.

  • sooze

    Meh, I just can't get into Ripper Street. I watched the series opener, but something about it just leaves me cold.

  • mrsdalgliesh

    The US doesn't get it until January! AAUUGGHH. :-)

  • BELIEVEland

    Misfits series 5 just started.

  • foolsage

    Holy shit. I had not heard of "Vicious". McKellen and Jacobi? I am SO THERE.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Look out for "By Any Means", a new drama series with Warren Brown (of Luther Fame) as lead. It's about a team of specialists loosely attached to the police dealing with criminals who slipped through the gaps of the system. The show keeps a good balance between the light-hearted banter within the team and the dark stuff they have to deal with. It's like a small-scale Mission Impossible.

  • Andrew J

    Black mirror seems cool as when British horror works it works wonder... But it rarely works. So let's see!

  • BWeaves

    I've loved Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi forever, and since they are both gay in real life, I have high hopes that they'll bring a realness to the comedy that transcends stereotypes. I will watch the hell out this.

    Ugh, I clicked the link on Vicious.
    " The show was given a second-season order by ITV in August and Shine America has been exploring a U.S. version."

    NO NO NO. The whole point of the show is that it stars Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi.

  • emmalita

    I'm not watching an American remake.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    What if it had....George C. Wolfe and David Hyde Pierce? why can't I think of more elder American gay actors? John Glover is coming to mind, but not a whole lot else. And they really aren't even that old.

  • PDamian

    How about David Ogden Stiers (M*A*S*H, Disney's Beauty and the Beast)? He came out only a few years ago.

  • mc-rox

    or how about David and George Takei (Mr. Sulu). I would watch the sh*t out of that because George is awesome. :)

  • Emm82

    I would watch David & George read the phone book. It would be better than Vicious. I say that with a heavy heart and a sad face :(

  • emmalita

    Maybe in a couple of decades. I've watched a lot of British TV lately and they can say things we can't. There's still a lot of stigma and prudery to be overcome before we could have a great Vicious Old Queens. Or Kelsey Grammer and John Travolta could be cast.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I feel like I will enjoy Vicious Old Queens when I come across it, but I wonder if it would actually be engaging on a regular basis. Like AbFab for me.

    I hope the two old queens from Slings & Arrow get to make a cameo and sing a song.

  • Guest

    You forgot Misfits, which actually started last week on E4. Yeah I know, it has tailed off significantly ever since Robert Sheehan left (to be a big star in nothing apparently) but it is the final season.

    I'm watching it mostly for Rudy (Joe Gilgun, who's terrific and more than capable replacement for Sheehan) and Jess (the gorgeous Karla Crome).

  • Nicholas

    You've left me with nothing to say....

  • I didn't realize the new season had started, so thanks for alerting me!

  • foolsage

    For some reason, Hulu Plus isn't carrying the new season of Misfits yet. Avast, me mateys, tis time to seek my viewing fortunes on the high seas, it seems. Arrrr.

  • Guest

    Yeah, up here in Canada we don't have access to Hulu so DLs, Project Free TV, or waiting for it to appear on Netflix are the only options for watching the show.

  • foolsage

    Ohh, timing is everything. Both episodes from this season just showed up on Hulu Plus today. :D

  • ceebee_eebee

    Peaky Blinders is so amazing it might actually kill you with its awesome.

  • John W

    Thanks for the heads up I hope I have room in my DVR for all of it.

    I can't wait to see Ian McKellen in a comedic role.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Also, you realize we're on countdown to the Sherlockalypse, right? Because when it premieres, the entire internet will be hell on earth.

  • Allijo

    If by "hell" you mean "really the real reason the internet was created," then yes. One way ticket please.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    No, I mean "if you like it, you'll get spoiled, if you don't like it, you'll still get spoiled, and everything inbetween is going to have CumberFreeman to the point of intense nausea."

  • My love for Sherlock is strong, but damn if Vicious doesn't sound like everything I want on TV.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I couldn't help myself and watched Vicious. The season finale is one of the best season finales of all time, and you'll know why when you see it.

  • fluff_fluff


  • Guest

    I was so happy when Peter Capaldi was chosen as the new Doctor after learning Rory Kinnear was the front runner. I don't think I could have handled Kinnear in the role after Black Mirror.

  • I watched this last winter, it was a good show overall. Some episodes are better than others. My mom had just died, so the one with woman and her husband damn near killed me.

    I'm almost certain I found out about the show from Pajiba, so it's about time it's (legally) available here!

  • fluff_fluff

    Yeah, the quality varies, but it's so excitingly weird and appeals to my short attention span for ponderous plotting these days.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • fluff_fluff

    Too many conflicting emotions to articulate my feelings, caps will have to do.

  • emmalita

    I will hunt down Vicious Old Queens relentlessly until it appears on my tv (or ipad, whatever).

  • PDamian

    Y'know, I'd be a lot happier if I could see some of this stuff on my iPad, anyways. If I can't have it on a widescreen TV (my preferred format), I'll settle for the ol' tablet. I don't mind, as long as I get my fix.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    In my head, Vicious Old Queens has been airing since I saw the photos of Ian and his BFF touring NYC. Somehow, I still want to believe that Sir Patrick and Sir Ian are a couple...don't ruin my fantasy.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Have you seen the movie Jeffrey? That's Stewart doing vicious queen.

  • PDamian

    Love that film. Especially Bryan Batt as Darius (and who was also magnificent in Mad Men.).

    "Yes, I am in 'Cats' ... The way I see it, I was too young for Chorus Line, and too "happy" [strikes a fabulous pose] for 'Les Mis.' I never did get that show. It's about a guy who steals a loaf of bread, and then suffers for the rest of his life. For toast! Get over it!"

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    YES. And it is how I prefer my Stewart.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    with a cape, naturally

  • PDamian

    Even if it does make him look like a gay superhero.

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