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Old 04-24-2009, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
The Sexual Intellectual
 
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Default Urban Presents : 30 Great British TV Dramas

I wanted to do something a little different so I decided to use my knowledge (or lack of it) of something else that I love, Cult Television.

So here will be a list of my favourite 30 British TV dramas. I only have two rules.

1. They must be either a British TV serial or series
2. No sitcoms

I could have included sitcoms but I didn't feel like making this another 100 list , and a lot of people here know all about British sitcoms already anyway. I will be including comedy drama's however.

Anyway , No. 30 will be up shortly.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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30. Takin' Over The Asylum (BBC 1994)

Starring
Ken Stott as Eddie McKenna
David Tennant as Campbell
Katy Murphy as Francine
Angus MacFadyen as Fergus
Ruth McCabe as Rosalie


Takin' Over The Asylum was a 6 part series made by BBC Scotland in 1994 and was the big break that launched the careers of Ken Stott (The Vice, Messiah, Rebus) & David Tennant (Blackpool, Casanova, Doctor Who). It won best serial in the 1995 BAFTA awards.

Eddie McKenna (Ken Stott) is a frustrated alcoholic double glazing salesman who hates his job and who lives with his overbearing Lithuanian grandmother who's sole aim in life is to finally get rid of him by marrying him off , even though it's Eddie's flat she lives in. His biggest passion in life is when he gets to present his radio show once a week at the local hospital. However even that is cut short when he is told that his services are no longer required. He is told about another hospital radio job going in another hospital called St Jude's , A mental hospital.

On arriving at St Jude's he is met by Campbell (David Tennant) a manic depressive patient who helps him fix up the radio station which hasn't been used in decades. Along the way he is also helped by other patients in the hospital such as Fergus (Angus MacFadyen) a schizophrenic electronics genius with a particular talent for escapology and Rosalie (Ruth McCabe) A housewife suffering from OCD.

With the station up & running (After Fergus sabotages the TV so they have no choice but to listen to the radio station) he starts to notice a shy & retiring self harming patient called Francine (Katy Murphy) whom gets closer to and builds up a relationship with. The five of them then go out & find ways of finding funds for the station.

Each episode deals with each of the patients problems as well as Eddie's. Campbell's parents want him to leave the hospital and apply pressure on him to stop coming up with nonsensical ideas and grow up and be responsible. Fergus is frustrated at being passed over for jobs because of his illness. In the series most shocking scene Fergus commits suicide after he applies for his dream job only to discover that his new specialist doctor wants to use him for research for the next 3 years and won't allow him to leave her care. Rosalie is desperate to be reunited with her husband who placed her in the hospital when her OCD became too much for him to cope with. It turns out the catalyst for her OCD was the death of her son and that she wants everywhere to be free of germs because that's what she thinks killed him. Francine gradually opens up to Eddie about her childhood abuse after Eddie spots a pregnant cat in the hospital grounds & Francine refuses to acknowledge that it is pregnant and is 'just fat' to the point of hysteria.

Eddie himself has to deal with his boss who's only obsession is selling double glazing and who runs his company like a military operation. After fluking out a deal with a little old lady who just so happens to own a huge mansion in need of double glazing and then fluking out again on a lucrative tender with the local council Eddie comes under even more pressure as his boss's 'star man' and the jealously of his co-workers.

What really makes this a great series is that it doesn't use the patients illnesses for comic relief. They make fun of each other occasionally but you are laughing with them rather than at them. It can have you laughing one minute & teary eyed the next. Campbell is full of silly ideas and when he manages to pull them off you feel like cheering for him. Like his suggestion for getting a truck loaded with a PA system so they can broadcast the radio station outside during a fund-raiser and get Spike Milligan to do a personal appearance. Eddie tells him not to be so stupid and wonders how they can get these things at a days notice. Campbell promptly shows up the next day with a PA system & Spike Milligan. Eddie's growing relationship with Francine is the most wonderful part of the series. His Grandmother wants to live out her last days in Lithuania so Eddie & Francine pretend to be a couple so that she leaves happy. They want to be together but her illness and the scars from the abuse she suffered gets in the way of it.

The series ends on a mixed note with the station being closed down to make more room at the hospital. Campbell gets his dream job , but Eddie is jobless and has no radio station , but still has his friendship with Francine.

This is a wonderful life affirming drama , and if you're into early rock n roll a great soundtrack too. A good mix of comedy & tragedy that deserves a much bigger audience.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I look forward to this definitely. Are you going to include Comedy Drama like Auf wiederesehen , Pet or is it strictly Drama?
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh yeah , comedy dramas will be on it. It's really just sitcoms i'll be leaving out.

I wanted to include Auf Wiedersehen Pet but I don't think i've seen it since it originally aired. Maybe if I get the DVD set between now & the end of it I will include it. It's only really the top 5 that are going to be in any sort of order.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It still holds up really well I have to say. Did you ever catch Common As Muck in the mid 90's about a bunch of northern binmen? That was class too. I might do a Sitcom one myself as this is a top idea.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to love that series. Shame it's never come out on DVD.

I really wanted to include Our Friends In The North on this as well but I don't fancy paying £200 for a used box set
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Old 04-24-2009, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope you're going to include Roughnecks and Lock Stock to the list.

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hmmm I know a fair bit about Britcoms but dramas are an unexplored area for me. I'll keep an eye on this thread.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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(https://www.musicbanter.com/games-li...litz-game.html)

What a click-bait title this thread has!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seltzer View Post
Hmmm I know a fair bit about Britcoms but dramas are an unexplored area for me. I'll keep an eye on this thread.
^ Poor Seltzer has waited in vain until today, and given the unlikelihood of Urban returning to complete this thread, I though we remaining members might post our own suggestions for what Urban should've included here.

What are your fave Brit TV dramas?
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisnaholic View Post
(https://www.musicbanter.com/games-li...litz-game.html)

What a click-bait title this thread has!



^ Poor Seltzer has waited in vain until today, and given the unlikelihood of Urban returning to complete this thread, I though we remaining members might post our own suggestions for what Urban should've included here.

What are your fave Brit TV dramas?
I previously posted this in B&B game thread - this was before the convo got started here.

'The problem with that is UH excluded sitcoms which I would know more about. I would add Father Brown (2013) and The Prisoner (1967) other than that I really don't know any. The Avengers (1961) is another favorite but that is more action than drama. The Prisoner could be considered a dystopian drama. The Black Mirror could be thought of as a sci-fi drama I guess. Hmm too bad he never finished.'
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