One of the biggest perks of streaming content online is having a wealth of great TV shows right at our fingertips. From family-friendly sitcoms to binge-worthy Latinx titles, the options are endless. But have you ever considered exploring shows from across the pond, like Luther, Downton Abbey and The Crown? If not, then it’s time to hop on board. Here are some of the best British TV shows you can stream on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more.
Inspired by Ann Cleeves's bestselling Vera Stanhope novels, this suspenseful series follows Detective Chief Inspector Vera (Brenda Blethyn), an incredibly skilled and meticulous detective who’d probably give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money. While the suspense keeps you on your toes, Blethyn simply shines as Vera, a layered and nuanced character who’s deeply passionate about her job despite her inner demons and ill-tempered manner.
2. ‘Downton Abbey’
The Emmy Award-winning period drama chronicles the everyday lives of the Crawleys, an aristocratic family who lives through a number of historical events while living in their Yorkshire country estate during the post-Edwardian era. Aside from the gorgeous costume designs and wry humor, this series tackles a number of issues, from racism and classism to abortion.
Five teenage criminals are sentenced to community service, but their lives are turned upside down when they gain supernatural powers during an electrical storm. Plus, there are evil forces on the loose and they all must fight to protect their town. Being a teenager just got ten times more complicated.
Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (Idris Elba) is one of the most dedicated officers you will ever meet. In his ongoing pursuit of justice, Luther often gets consumed by his most troubling cases, even resorting to violence on some occasions. But can he continue on this path without falling into darkness?
5. ‘The Crown’
The hit series centers on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the drama surrounding her family during the 20th century. Sure, not everything is historically accurate (the royal family even requested the addition of a disclaimer because of this), but still, the regal decor, the opulent ensembles and the soap opera-esque plotlines make for some really good TV.
6. ‘Call the Midwife’
Set in the poverty-stricken East End of London during the 1950s, Call the Midwife depicts the everyday lives of a group of midwives at a nursing convent. Inspired by the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, who worked as a nurse during this time period, the show will take you on an emotional roller-coaster, from bitter anger to heartbreak to relief.
7. ‘Scott & Bailey’
Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones are detective constables Janet Scott and Rachel Bailey, both of whom serve as part of the Manchester Major Incident Team. Throughout the series, both ladies prove that balancing hard cases with their personal struggles is no easy feat.
8. ‘Foyle’s War’
Set in England during World War II, the series centers on Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen), who has a knack for catching sly criminals who try to capitalize on the chaos created by the war. (Fun fact: Foyle’s War was canceled after four seasons, but the uproar from disappointed fans led ITV to revive the series for four more years.)
Margaret Wells, a former sex worker, is determined to grow her brothel business in 18th century London. But when her rival, Lydia Quigley, threatens her success, Margaret risks everything to fight back.
10. ‘The Miniaturist'
Set in 17th-century Netherlands, The Miniaturist follows Petronella Oortman (Anya Taylor-Joy), who moves to Amsterdam and hires a local miniaturist to help her decorate her doll house. But in time, she discovers that there’s more to her lifelike miniatures that meets the eye.
11. ‘DCI Banks’
Based on Peter Robinson's Inspector Alan Banks books, this popular crime drama follows Detective Chief Inspector Banks (Stephen Tompkinson) and his assistants as they solve a series of murder mysteries in Yorkshire. Watch for captivating storylines and stellar acting.
12. ‘Penny Dreadful’
Set in 19th century London, this dark, mind-bending horror follows Vanessa Ives (Eva Green), who teams up with explorer Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) to rescue his daughter from a mythical creature, but not without the help of Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). She also finds herself in a love triangle with the ageless Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney) and Lucifer, who wishes to make her his queen.
13. ‘Line of Duty’
When Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), a firearms officer, refuses to cover up a shooting that leads to the death of a civilian, he gets transferred to Anti-Corruption Unit 12, where he works with Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure). It's only a matter of time before they discover that there are corrupt officers in their midst.
14. ‘The IT Crowd’
In this cross between Better Off Ted, Arrested Development and The Office, a trio of office misfits bond as they get through their monotonous work days, but not without getting entangled in some of the most bizarre situations.
15. ‘Pride & Prejudice’
Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth are Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in this popular adaptation of Jane Austen's 1813 novel. Set in 19th century England, the unlikely duo find themselves falling in love with one another in spite of Elizabeth’s strong-willed character and Mr. Darcy’s pompous attitude.
16. ‘Gavin & Stacey’
Before he became the face of Carpool Karaoke, James Corden starred in this beloved British sitcom alongside Mathew Horne, Joanna Page and Ruth Jones. The series follows the ups and downs of Gavin (Horne) and Stacey's (Page) romantic relationship, which gets complicated when their families become involved.
Although Skins received mixed reviews from critics, it’s still considered one of the U.K.’s most groundbreaking teen dramas. The show depicts the lives of several teens who reside in Bristol, South West England. It tackles many relevant issues, from bullying and substance abuse to mental illness and sexuality.
This classic British soap opera, which debuted in 1972, follows the lives of a group of families who navigate a series of unfortunate events in the fictional village of the Yorkshire Dales. The show earned a number of awards, including three British Academy Television Awards and 47 (yes, 47) British Soap Awards.
19. ‘The Great Pottery Throw Down’
Very few things are as satisfying as watching contestants mold and design their mesmerizing creations on this show. Think The Great British Bake Off, but with pottery rather than tasty food.
20. ‘Doctor Who’
Of course, we couldn’t forget this iconic series that spawned an entire franchise. The sci-fi show follows an extraterrestrial Time Lord who goes by the nickname “The Doctor” and takes on different forms. Step inside the TARDIS and join the Doctor as he visits different time periods and fights to protect civilization.