British Horror, SF, Supernatural, Cult TV from the 60s, 70s and 80s

by wank-herod | created - 02 Jan 2018 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

The golden era for this type of TV was undoubtedly the 70s, but the 60s and 80s also had their fair share of classics. Some of these have never been released on DVD, some not even on VHS, but all are available if you know where to look.

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1. Hammer House of Horror (1980)

54 min | Horror

This British anthology series, which was produced by England's leading exporters of horror films, told tales of haunted houses, demons, ghosts, and other supernatural wonders.

Stars: Nicholas Ball, Anna Calder-Marshall, Christopher Cazenove, Peter Cushing

Votes: 1,324

2. Fox Mystery Theater (1984)

70 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

An anthology series of chilling tales with a twist.

Stars: Dirk Benedict, Barbi Benton, David Carradine, Mary Crosby

Votes: 289

3. Beasts (1976– )

60 min | Horror, Mystery

An anthology series concerning bestial horror created by Nigel Kneale.

Stars: Pamela Moiseiwitsch, Bernard Horsfall, Patrick Magee, Pauline Quirke

Votes: 169

4. The Frighteners (1972– )

26 min | Thriller

A horror anthology series, with each episode featuring a different eerie tale.

Stars: Tom Bell, Alison Fiske, Jack Hedley, Ian Hendry

Votes: 26

5. Shadows of Fear (1970–1973)

60 min | Thriller

Anthology series in which characters find themselves in weird and scary situations. Not evoked by the supernatural but by other people.

Stars: Ray Smith, Michael Craig, Ian Bannen, Peter Barkworth

Votes: 34

6. Mystery and Imagination (1966–1970)

75 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A British anthology series based on classic ghost stories and chillers from M. R. James, Poe, Algernon Blackwood, Sheridan Le Fanu and others; later branching into feature-length teleplays ... See full summary »

Stars: David Buck, Freddie Jones, Robert Hunter, Mark Moss

Votes: 57

7. Ace of Wands (1970–1972)

30 min | Family, Fantasy

Telepathic stage magician, Tarot, and his two assistants solve mysteries and crimes of a bizarre or magical nature, and battle against villains with various powers.

Stars: Michael MacKenzie, Tony Selby, Judy Loe, Roy Holder

Votes: 85

8. Armchair Thriller (1978–1981)

25 min | Drama, Thriller

Suspense and mystery-themed anthology series.

Stars: Frank Duncan, Maria Aitken, James Bolam, Zena Walker

Votes: 149

9. Children of the Stones (1977– )

30 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

Scientist Adam Brake and his son Matthew arrive in the sleepy English village of Milbury to find it under the grip of weird psychic powers unleashed by the sinister village squire, Hendrick... See full summary »

Stars: Gareth Thomas, Veronica Strong, Peter Demin, Ruth Dunning

Votes: 537

10. Dead of Night (1972)

50 min | Horror

A horror anthology series of chilling tales.

Stars: Peter Barkworth, John Castle, Anna Cropper, Bernard Brown

Votes: 82

11. Escape Into Night (1972– )

25 min | Family, Fantasy, Horror

This serial is an adaptation of Catherine Storr's novel "Marianne Dreams", which is about a young girl, Marianne, whose drawings become her dreams.

Stars: Sonia Graham, Patricia Maynard, Edmund Pegge, Vikki Chambers

Votes: 106

12. Frankenstein: The True Story (1973 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 185 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

When the brilliant but unorthodox scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein rejects the artificial man that he has created, the Creature escapes and later swears revenge.

Director: Jack Smight | Stars: James Mason, Leonard Whiting, David McCallum, Jane Seymour

Votes: 1,262

13. Journey to the Unknown (1968– )

60 min | Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A British anthology series about everyday people finding themselves put into unusual circumstances...many of them supernatural in nature.

Stars: Michael Callan, Joseph Cotten, Brandon De Wilde, Julie Harris

Votes: 142

14. Haunted: The Ferryman (1974 TV Movie)

49 min | Horror

A horror novelist and his wife go to a house in the country for a short vacation. However, they soon find that one of his novels is coming true when they are haunted by the ghost of a drowned ferryman.

Director: John Irvin | Stars: Jeremy Brett, Natasha Parry, Geoffrey Chater, Lesley Dunlop

Votes: 83

15. Leap in the Dark (1973–1980)

45 min | Fantasy, Thriller

Anthology series of supernatural tales.

Stars: Linda Blandford, Gordon Snell, Colin Wilson, Anita Gregory

Votes: 12

17. Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982)

30 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A special force of interdimensional operatives protect the universe from evil forces trying to gain a foothold by disrupting the timeline. The strange energy beings are assigned to cases, ... See full summary »

Stars: David McCallum, Joanna Lumley, David Collings, Gerald James

Votes: 1,187

18. Scorpion Tales (1978– )

60 min | Mystery

Anthology series of stories "with a sting in the tail."

Stars: Heronimo Sehmi, Anthony Bate, Tony Britton, Lynn Farleigh

Votes: 12

19. Shades of Darkness (1983–1986)

60 min | Drama, Horror

An anthology of short mysterious dramas, each with a supernatural twist.

Stars: Norma West, Annette Wilkie-Miller, Francesca Annis, Eileen Atkins

Votes: 215

20. Shadows (1975–1978)

Family, Horror

Anthology series of scary stories for children.

Stars: Neville Barber, Gwyneth Strong, George Waring, Jenny Agutter

Votes: 84

21. Supernatural (1977)

50 min | Horror

Chilling anthology series where membership to the secret society, The Club of the Damned, is granted through telling horror stories.

Stars: Andre Van Gyseghem, Billie Whitelaw, Ian Hendry, Charles Kay

Votes: 100

22. Tales of the Unexpected (1979–1988)

25 min | Comedy, Drama, Horror

Dramatizations of many Roald Dahl short stories.

Stars: Roald Dahl, Andrew Ray, Forbes Collins, Richard Johnson

Votes: 1,346

23. Tales of Unease (1970– )

Horror

British series adapted from a trio of horror-story anthologies which were edited by John Burke and published between 1960 and 1969. The television installments used the cream of Burke's crop.

Stars: Anthony Jackson, Ronald Lewis, Ursula Mohan, Larry Dann

Votes: 9

24. The Nightmare Man (1981– )

30 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A lonely Scottish island is stalked by a brutal killer who may be from another world...

Stars: James Warwick, Celia Imrie, Maurice Roëves, Jonathan Newth

Votes: 153

25. The Omega Factor (1979– )

50 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A covert branch of British Intelligence is assigned to investigate the strange, the supernatural, the...'Omega Factor'.

Stars: James Hazeldine, Louise Jameson, John Carlisle, Brown Derby

Votes: 134

26. The Owl Service (1969– )

30 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

Three teenagers discover a mysterious set of owl and flower-patterned dinner plates in the attic and the magical ancient legend of the "Mabinogion" comes to life once again in their Welsh valley.

Stars: Dorothy Edwards, Gillian Hills, Michael Holden, Francis Wallis

Votes: 121

27. The Quatermass Conclusion (1979)

102 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A separate screenplay by Nigel Kneale for theaters, parallel to the 1979 Quatermass four part mini-series. The story set in the near future involves influences from outer space that are possessing people. Professor Quatermass must save his granddaughter from the clutches of a popular and sinister cult "Planet People" that "performs raptures".

Director: Piers Haggard | Stars: John Mills, Simon MacCorkindale, Barbara Kellerman, Margaret Tyzack

Votes: 183

29. Thriller (1973–1976)

65 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

Anthology series of self-contained episodes with the genres ranging from murder mystery to suspense to psychological and supernatural horror.

Stars: Donna Mills, Gary Collins, Michael Jayston, Robert Powell

Votes: 490

30. Wessex Tales (1973– )

Drama

BBC drama series based on short stories written by Thomas Hardy.

Stars: Nick Brimble, John Hurt, Billie Whitelaw, Yvonne Antrobus

Votes: 25

31. West Country Tales (1982–1983)

25 min | Horror

West Country Tales was an early 1980s supernatural drama series based on real-life experiences sent in by viewers in response to a BBC appeal. Of the hundreds of letters received, 13 stories were selected and turned into TV scripts.

Stars: Keith Barron, Jack Watson, Brian Jennings, Martyn Townsend

Votes: 32

32. Worlds Beyond (1986– )

Horror

A half-hour supernatural anthology series adapted from real cases of the Society for Psychical Research.

Stars: Paul Freeman, Darren McGavin, Karen Black, Judi Bowker

Votes: 18

33. Play for Today (1970–1984)
Episode: Robin Redbreast (1970)

76 min | Comedy, Drama

After the break-up of a long-term relationship, urban sophisticate Norah seeks refuge in a remote house in the country. The locals are friendly, if eccentric, and she toys with the idea of ... See full summary »

Director: James MacTaggart | Stars: Anna Cropper, Amanda Walker, Julian Holloway, Freda Bamford

Votes: 154

34. Play for Today (1970–1984)
Episode: Penda's Fen (1974)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

Through a series of real and imagined encounters with angels, demons, and England's pagan past, a pastor's son begins to question his religion and politics, and comes to terms with his sexuality.

Director: Alan Clarke | Stars: Spencer Banks, John Atkinson, Georgine Anderson, Ron Smerczak

Votes: 345

35. Play for Today (1970–1984)
Episode: Red Shift (1978)

Comedy, Drama

Three men at three different times in history come to Mow Cop Hill in search of sanctuary from their troubles: a Roman soldier, an English Civil War rebel and a 1970s teenager. Somehow they... See full summary »

Director: John Mackenzie | Stars: Stephen Petcher, Lesley Dunlop, Stella Tanner, Bernard Gallagher

Votes: 52

36. Play for Today (1970–1984)
Episode: The Flipside of Dominick Hide (1980)

90 min | Comedy, Drama

Dominick Hide, a time traveller from the year 2130, is studying the London transport system of 1980. Time travellers are supposed to be observers, and are strictly forbidden to land their ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Gibson | Stars: Peter Firth, Caroline Langrishe, Pippa Guard, Patrick Magee

Votes: 268

37. Sky (1975– )

30 min | Family, Sci-Fi

A young time-traveller with superhuman powers is stranded on Earth after running into a Black Hole. Pursued by the evil Goodchild, Sky is helped on his quest to find a way home by three ... See full summary »

Stars: Marc Harrison, Stuart Lock, Cherrald Butterfield, Richard Speight

Votes: 81

38. The Invisible Man (1975–1976)

60 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

The weekly adventures of Dr. Daniel Westin, an invisible scientist working as an agent for a private thinktank.

Stars: David McCallum, Melinda O. Fee, Craig Stevens, Paul Kent

Votes: 654

39. Blake's 7 (1978–1981)

Not Rated | 50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

A group of convicts and outcasts fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from a highly advanced alien spaceship.

Stars: Michael Keating, Paul Darrow, Peter Tuddenham, Jan Chappell

Votes: 2,982

40. Chocky (1984)

30 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

The strange friendship between a young boy from Earth and an extraterrestrial.

Stars: James Hazeldine, Carol Drinkwater, Andrew Ellams, Glynis Brooks

Votes: 283

41. The Day of the Triffids (1981– )

50 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

When a comet blinds nearly everyone in the world, a genetically-engineered species of plant takes over.

Stars: John Duttine, Emma Relph, Maurice Colbourne, Jonathan Newth

Votes: 1,802

42. Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV-PG | 45 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

The adventures in time and space of the Doctor, a Time Lord who changes appearance and personality by regenerating when near death, and is joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.

Stars: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker

Votes: 33,532

43. Doomwatch (1970–2016)

50 min | Sci-Fi, Drama

Doomwatch is the nickname for the Department of Measurement of Scientific Work. Under the leadership of Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Spencer Quist, the Doomwatch team struggled, for ... See full summary »

Stars: John Paul, Joby Blanshard, Simon Oates, Vivien Sherrard

Votes: 119

44. Play for Tomorrow (1982– )

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

An anthology of six science fiction plays ; In "Crimes", a psychologist tries to cope with marital problems while working on the problem of prison overcrowding in 2002. In "Bright Eyes", ... See full summary »

Stars: Gavin Campbell, Tracey Childs, Robin Ellis, Denys Hawthorne

Votes: 15

45. Moonbase 3 (1973– )

50 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

The adventures of David Caulder and his crew stationed on Moonbase 3 on the moon's surface. In 2003, representatives of many of the world's governments live in bases on the moon. Moonbase 3... See full summary »

Stars: Donald Houston, Ralph Bates, Fiona Gaunt, Barry Lowe

Votes: 115

46. Out of the Unknown (1965–1971)

60 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

A classic anthology science fiction series which features adaptations of stories by famous authors including Isaac Asimov, J.G. Ballard, Frederik Pohl and John Wyndham.

Stars: John Gabriel, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Erik Chitty, Peter Copley

Votes: 77

47. Sapphire & Steel (1979–1982)

30 min | Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A special force of interdimensional operatives protect the universe from evil forces trying to gain a foothold by disrupting the timeline. The strange energy beings are assigned to cases, ... See full summary »

Stars: David McCallum, Joanna Lumley, David Collings, Gerald James

Votes: 1,187

48. Space: 1999 (1975–1977)

50 min | Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

The crew of Moonbase Alpha must struggle to survive when a massive explosion throws the Moon from orbit into deep space.

Stars: Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Nick Tate, Zienia Merton

Votes: 6,446

49. Star Cops (1987– )

55 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The adventures of the International Space Police Force, led by Nathan Spring, in 2027. The Star Cops are made up of officers from all over the world: the British Colin Devis, the Australian... See full summary »

Stars: David Calder, Erick Ray Evans, Trevor Cooper, Linda Newton

Votes: 160

50. Star Maidens (1976– )

30 min | Sci-Fi