What’s on the Telly

What’s on the Telly

I’m not ashamed of it. I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it proud:  I love watching English television!

I grew up in the ‘70s watching Doctor Who. We didn’t have BBC America back then. I had to catch when I could on the local PBS station. I was hooked--really hooked. The idea of a quirky alien with an English accent flying through the galaxy in a blue police box was fascinating to me. Yes, the special effects were hokey, but the stories were fun and exciting, and if you listened closely there was plenty of social commentary. The show was discontinued in the mid-‘80s, but was revised 10 years ago in an effort to reach out to a whole new generation. I confess that I’m still a Doctor Who junkie and I always will be.

Like so many others, I was caught up in all of the hoopla over Downton Abbey. It’s a little odd, really, that Americans were drawn to a show about English aristocrats. But the characters were well developed and there was always plenty of drama. As a lawyer, I took a special interest in things like the “entail” -- the conveyance that left the Crawley girls without any inheritance rights and created all of the chaos in the first season. We learn so many things in law school that have faded into history. It’s nice to see some of these legal concepts not only mentioned, but also playing a major part in the storyline.

It was only a few years ago that I discovered Call of the Midwife. This series is set in London in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and follows the exploits of a group of midwives who worked closely with a nunnery. Here again the Brits have a handle on good characters and good storytelling. To be honest, the stories can be heartbreaking. There’s plenty of poverty, death and difficult medical issues that are simply beyond the technology of the day. But if you’re like me, you come to admire these young women and their determination in the face of constant hardship. 

I can’t possibly write a blog about English television without mentioning the new Sherlock series. The concept is simple enough: take the heart and soul of the Sherlock Holmes character and transplant him into a modern setting. I’ve got to tell you, it’s one of the most thrilling and engaging shows I’ve ever watched. Benedict Cumberbatch is a wonderful, award-winning actor, but he’s at his best creating this contemporary version of Sherlock.  Watch it for yourself. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

What about you? Have you been swept up by television from across the pond? What’s your favorite?  I would love to hear from you!


I�m not ashamed of it. I�ll say it loud and I�ll say it proud: I love watching English television! I grew up in the �70s watching Doctor Who. We didn�t have BBC America back then. I had to catch when I could on the local PBS station. I was hooked--really hooked. The idea of a quirky alien with an English accent flying through the galaxy in a blue police box was fascinating to me. Yes, the special effects were hokey, but the stories were fun and exciting, and if you listened closely there was plenty of social commentary. The show was discontinued in the mid-�80s, but was revised 10 years ago in an effort to reach out to a whole new generation. I confess that I�m still a Doctor Who junkie and I always will be.