Television

10 British shows that tasted success in India

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MUMBAI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to improve Indo-Britain relationship is a great development. As Modi said, “UK and India were ‘two strong economies and two innovative societies’ and that both the societies need to aim at better and higher ambitions.”

It is a widely acknowledged fact that streaming services on television make for easier and zestier lives. But at the same time it is practically impossible to catch up with all the new shows that are aired or launched on all the diverse platforms that are available in the eco-system.

While Modi tries his best to build a more productive relationship with the UK, we at indiantelevision.com have made our own attempts to sate the binge viewers. These are people who might want to take a break from the oft discussed developments between the two nations, by discovering or going back to the massive bouquet of home-grown television shows from UK which were also visible on Indian television screens.

Here’s a list of a few TV shows from the UK which were successful in India.

1. Black Mirror

Black Mirror, Charlie Brooker’s ground breaking anthology series, is something well and truly out of this world, with the originality and potential to continue      for many years to come. Each episode has a different cast, a different setting, a different reality. But they're all about the way we live now – and the way we  might be living in 10 minutes' time if we were clumsy. The anthology shows the darker side of life and technology with each featuring a different social  commentary on society’s increased obsession with modern technology and social media. Black Mirror is just two series old with its inception in 2011. In  September 2015 Netflix decided to commission the third series with 12 episodes on its platform. 

2. The Jewel in the Crown

 The Jewel in the Crown is a television serial about the final days of the British Raj in India during World War II, based upon the Raj Quartet novels by British  author Paul Scott. The story begins with an unjust arrest for rape, and the consequences of this echo through the series. Questions of identity and personal  responsibility are explored against a background of war and personal intrigue. The series was first aired in 9 January 1984 and was on board till 3 April 1984.

3. Doctor Who

 Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC from 1963 to 2015. From the sound of the theme tune to the Dalek cries of  ‘Exterminate!’ the show has seen fifty years of rich history, mass appeal and a huge global fan base. The programme depicts the adventures of a Doctor, over  2,000 years old, travelling through time and space in a blue police box and is rarely seen without his companions. The revived series of Doctor Who began  airing in March of 2005, 42 years after the original series debuted, in 1963. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show, a special 3D episode, The Day of  the Doctor, was broadcasted in 2013. It is rumoured that the series will continue to air till 2020.

4. Downton Abbey

 The series depicts the lives of the Crawley family and their staff in the post-Edwardian era. The show has, over three series, incorporated historical events into  its stories such as the sinking of the Titanic, the Irish revolution and most notably, the Great War and its aftermath, all of which are shown to affect the family  in different ways. The series has won a plethora of awards and by the third series it claimed to be one of the widely watched TV series in the world. On 26  March 2015, Carnival Films and ITV announced that the sixth series would be the last and was expected to air in late 2015, with a final episode, serving as the  annual Christmas special, expected to air on 25 December 2015.

5. Mind your language

 The show was first aired in 1977 and it prevailed till 1986 on ITV. The comedy is set in an adult education college in London and focuses on English as a  foreign language class taught by Mr Jeremy Brown, portrayed by Barry Evans, who had to deal with a motley crew of foreign students. Three series were made  between the year 1977 to 1979 and the show was briefly revived in 1986 with six of the original cast. The plot shows Barry Evans playing a language teacher  who tries to make a living by teaching English to immigrants. With pupils from India, France, China, and many other countries, his lessons do not always go as  planned.

6. Mr Bean

 his 15 episodic starring Rowan Atkinson was launched in 1990 and ruled the comedy genre till 1995. Mr. Bean, a much loved and widely popular sitcom, is a  grown man who seems to have been literally born yesterday. He gets up to ingenious oddball nonsense every episode while all the time remaining silent. When  he does speak, it's with a croaky voice. Bean was revived in 2002 as an animated cartoon series. The series, which consists of 63 episodes, expanded the  number of additional characters, featuring Bean's unpleasant landlady, Mrs. Wicket, and her evil one-eyed cat, Scrapper. Mr Bean has won many awards in the  comedy and light entertainment genre.

7. Peep Show

 Peep Show is a sitcom starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. The longest running show on Channel 4 started in 2003 with 9 successful series. The plot lies  between the lives of two young-to-middle-aged men and a flat. Peep Show sounds unoriginal at first, but it is an enduring and eternally humorous show that  brings out the best in two of Britain’s finest comedic talents. The last series of the show was premiered on 11 November 2015.

8. Pride and Prejudice

 This show is adapted from Jane Austen’s 1813 novel with the same name. It is about the prejudice that occurred between the 19th century classes and the  pride which would keep lovers apart. The 6 episodic was flagged from 24 September to 29 October 1995 starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth  as Elizabeth  Bennet and Mr Darcy and was produced by Sue Birtwistle and directed by Simon Langton.

9. Sherlock

 Sherlock is a crime drama television series and a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven  Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. The first sires was aired in 2010  followed by the second series in 2012 and the widely viewed third series in 2014. Production of series 4 is expected to start in 2016 with a launch planned in  2017.

10. Top Gear

 This British television series is all about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is ranked as one of the most widely watched factual television programme in the  world. Top Gear began in 1977 as a conventional motoring magazine programme, but over time, and especially since a re-launch in 2002, it has developed a  quirky and humorous and sometimes controversial style. Top Gear started with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James Dawe talking about everything  car-related with each finely crafted episode with good cinematography, music, commentary and choice of subject matter. The twenty third series of Top  Gear will be hosted by Chris Evans and will go on floors in 2016.

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