British TV gave birth to some exciting character-motivated dramas from the 50s to the 70s.by alexanderdavies-99382 | created - 28 Jul 2019 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Amongst the talent involved when British TV was at its most creative, were the following actors: Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Alan Bates, Robert Shaw, Ian Hendry, Patrick McGoohan, Stanley Baker, Billie Whitelaw, Barry Foster, Ian Holm, Michael Caine, Vivien Merchant, Diana Rigg. In addition, writers by the likes of Harold Pinter, Terence Rattigan and John Osborne would play a crucial role during this period of evolution, whose influence lasts to this day.
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Armchair Theatre (1956–1974)
60 min | Drama
This show was a British television drama anthology series of single plays that ran on the ITV network from 1956 to 1974. It was originally produced by Associated British Corporation, and later by Thames Television from mid 1968.
A landmark series for British television, covering a wide number of genres. The acting and writing are exceptional.
3. BBC Sunday-Night Theatre (1950–1959)
Series of television plays performed live.
"1984" with Peter Cushing is a classic.
7. Callan (1967–1972)
60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
David Callan is the top agent/assassin for the Security Service (British counterintelligence), but he is an embittered man who performs his duties "for Queen and country" under duress. This... See full summary »
The greatest Spy TV show, crackling with tension.
8. Public Eye (1965–1975)
60 min | Crime, Drama
Cynical, dour and world-weary, private eye Frank Marker is frequently the unwitting stooge in bigger criminal wheels in his attempts to make a tenuous living on the outskirts of London.
Alfred Burke made the leading character his own. A fine series that represents real life as it tends to be.
9. Gazette (1968– )
60 min | Drama
London millionaire playboy, James Hadleigh, returns to his Yorkshire birthplace and buys a local newspaper his father founded decided on turning it into a relevant force for change against the wishes of its plodding editor, Frank Walters.
An introduction to the character of Hadleigh.
11. Softly Softly: Task Force (1969– )
50 min | Crime, Drama
1970s BBC police drama with experienced cop DCS Charlie Barlow and DS John Watt who lead a task force charged with tackling the toughest chases Thamesford has to offer.
12. 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 »
The existing episodes are great, full marks for writing and acting.
13. Special Branch (1969–1974)
60 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Groundbreaking British police drama series following the exploits of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police. An elite group of officers tasked with protecting London from spies, terrorists, and subversives.
Early episodes are very good. The later ones are a bit chequered.
14. The Sweeney (1974–1978)
TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Jack Regan and George Carter are hard-edged detectives in the Flying Squad of London's Metropolitan Police. They pursue villains by methods which are underhanded and often illegal, frequently violent and - more often than not - successful.
The series that gave British TV a brand new look. Still the number 1 Police series.
15. Armchair Cinema (1973– )
90 min | Drama
British television drama anthology series of single plays.
No surprise that "Regan" was the only one to become a series.
16. Armchair Mystery Theatre (1960– )
60 min | Drama, Mystery
Armchair Mystery Theatre is a 60-minute United Kingdom television anthology mystery series. Thirty-four episodes aired from 1960-65. It was hosted by Donald Pleasence and produced by Leonard White.
18. Scotland Yard (1960– )
Each episode is based on a true crime case with the names changed.
Actually, this programme was first broadcast in 1953.
20. 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 »
21. The Wednesday Play (1964–1970)
75 min | Drama
Series of one-off plays made by BBC television, which gave breaks to a wide range of writers and directors in the late 1960s, such as Dennis Potter, Ken Loach, David Mercer, and John ... See full summary »
23. The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes (1971–1973)
50 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Adaptations of mystery stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's contemporary rivals in the genre.
Holmes himself would be flattered.
25. Patrol Car (1954–1956)
30 min | Crime, Drama
Dramatization of murder investigations and other criminal cases that Detective Superintendent Robert Fabian, a real-life Scotland Yard Inspector and the host of the show, worked on.
31. Hamlet at Elsinore (1964 TV Movie)
170 min | Drama
Hamlet suspects his uncle has murdered his father to claim the throne of Denmark and the hand of Hamlet's mother, but the Prince cannot decide whether or not he should take vengeance.
34. Dixon of Dock Green (1955–1976)
45 min | Crime, Drama
Constable George Dixon and his colleagues at the Dock Green police station in the East End of London deal with petty crime, successfully controlling it through common sense and human understanding.
35. Wings (1977–1978)
50 min | Drama, War
A young Englishman born into a blacksmith's family wants to be a flier in one of the new fangled flying machines. He struggles to show a man of his class deserves a chance to be a pilot and... See full summary »
37. Colditz (1972–1974)
50 min | Drama, History, War
The prisoners in Colditz Castle make many attempts to escape captivity from the arrival of the first British prisoners after Dunkirk in 1940 until the liberation of the castle by the ... See full summary »
42. 1990 (1977–1978)
55 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
In a dystopian future, Britain is under the grip of the Home Office's Public Control Department (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population's civil liberties.
43. The Gold Robbers (1969– )
60 min | Crime
Tough cop Detective Chief Superintendent Cradock is assigned to track down and bring to justice the criminals behind the daring theft of five and half million pounds worth of gold bullion from an airfield in the South of England.
Gripping and exciting.
44. Budgie (1971–1972)
60 min | Drama
Chirpy Cockney petty crook Ronald "Budgie" Bird is the main character in this British television series. Budgie was the eternal failure, with every scam, and every attempt to make his ... See full summary »
45. Big Breadwinner Hog (1969– )
60 min | Crime, Drama
The rise of a vicious young thief, Hog, to the top of the London criminal fraternity
Brutal and unyielding.
46. Microbes and Men (1974– )
60 min | Drama