Top 10 British Netflix Originals
Bring on the binge-worthy brilliance! Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Netflix Originals.
For this list, we’ve looked at British shows that are wholly or partly created by Netflix. Be prepared to add these to your ‘to watch’ list!
#10: “The Last Kingdom” (2015-)
Historical fiction is huge right now, so when “The Last Kingdom” brings a dark and gritty show centred on the Saxons, it’s sure to succeed. Netflix picked it up in its second series, and there are plans to proceed with series three, exclusive to the streaming service. Essentially, if you’re a “Game of Thrones” fan, this should be right up your street. Offering similarly tense and sinister elements, what sets this apart is its grounding in historical fact – rather than fantasy fiction. You should suspend your disbelief for some scenes, though.
#9: “James Acaster: Repertoire” (2018)
Netflix is creaking with cracking comedy specials and there’s plenty of British comedians to choose from. Featuring the likes of Russell Howard and Ricky Gervais, they sure know how to pick them. But James Acaster’s “Repertoire” is a particular highlight. Rather than just one special, it’s a series of four, each one just as hilarious as the last. James is lesser known than some Brit-based stand-ups out there, but his unique, slightly awkward but definitely endearing style is sure to gain him an ardent following soon. The guy’s a story-spinning sensation.
#8: “Lovesick” (2014-)
Set in Glasgow, “Lovesick” follows the everyday exploits of Dylan who, after contracting an STD, needs to contact all of his previous partners. Awkward, right? The show originally aired on Channel 4 in the UK, but was moved to Netflix shortly after – and they commissioned two further series to officially make it a Netflix Original. Fun fact for all you sitcom fans out there: Before Netflix snapped it up, the series was called ‘Scrotal Recall’. The name change probably helped it hit a wider audience, but the ungainly play on words has to be admired.
#7: “Crazyhead” (2016)
Following self-made seers Amy and Raquel as they battle with demons throughout society, this horror-comedy show was another joint project between Channel 4 and Netflix – receiving widespread awards, positive reviews and achieving a cult following. Written by “Misfits” creator Howard Overman, it offers up a typically zany, unpredictable and individual style, as characters encounter increasingly outlandish situations… And, though it was sadly cancelled before a second series could be made, fans remain hopeful that Netflix will revive the weirdness soon. Demons, beware.
#6: “Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father” (2017-)
Jack Whitehall is no stranger to Netflix, having made plenty of appearances on the platform as well as boasting his own comedy special. But this show, centring on his adventures with his Dad, deserves particular praise. Seeing as he supposedly never took an actual gap year, Jack decides to finally embark on one as an older fellow – and his often not-so-proud parent tags along too. The peculiar pair travel to South East Asia, where Whitehall senior soon becomes the star – thanks largely to the long list of bugbears he has about being on the road. He likes his home comforts, that chap.
#5: “Collateral” (2018)
Another co-production for Netflix, this one was in partnership with the BBC, originally airing on BBC2 in the UK before going onto Netflix a couple of months later. Starring Carey Mulligan, “Collateral” follows the investigation into the death of a pizza delivery man, which ultimately becomes far more complicated than anyone could’ve ever expected. Told over four episodes, the show was praised for dealing with real life issues, with critical kudos coming from all corners. It’s not your standard police programme, but if you’ve a craving for crime mysteries, make time to watch this one!
#4: “Safe” (2018-)
A straight-up Netflix Original from the outset, this Brit drama was actually created by an American – the crime novelist Harlan Coben. It follows Michael C. Hall’s Tom Delaney, who’s trying to uncover the truth about his missing daughter – before discovering much more than he’d bargained for. Though it takes a while to get used to Hall playing the victim for a change, instead of the eponymous serial killer in “Dexter”, his lead performance is not one to be missed. The actor brings an engrossing plot together, and you may just wind up watching all eight episodes in one sitting!
#3: “The Crown” (2016 -)
For various reasons, the British Royal Family are a pretty big deal – all around the world. So, this big budget biographical series about Queen Elizabeth II was always likely to work. Though making the show is an international affair, the series boasts a British writer, production company and predominantly British cast. Not to mention it’s obviously British subject matter. With the first series charting Elizabeth’s inheritance of the throne, and the various familial and social pressures which that brought… The second season focuses more on Princess Margaret’s problematic relationships, and Prince Philip’s apparent unruliness. All in, it’s proven a royal winner!
#2: “Black Mirror” (2011-)
Similar to many of today’s entries, Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror” started out on Channel 4 before being bought by Netflix, after two seasons. Giving a dark and twisted take on science and technology, and the more sinister routes our apparent advancement could take, a typical episode is equally terrifying and fascinating. But, no matter how uneasy it makes you feel, you just can’t stop watching. Each instalment feels like something that actually could become a reality one day – which is where its genius lies. Featuring some supremely talented actors as well, it’s binge-watch 101.
#1: “The End of the F***ing World” (2017-)
Again made by Channel 4 and Netflix, this truly unique series gained some traction while on British TV, but really caught attention once it was released to international audiences. Based on Charles Forsman’s graphic novel, the story is perhaps predictably pretty dark, following two teens on a bit of a road trip. Except... one’s a runaway and the other is a potential psychopath. With Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden starring as the unusual twosome, the show has certainly proven a springboard for their careers – and rightly so. As original, enthralling and occasionally disturbing a series as you’re ever likely to see, if you haven’t watched it yet – watch it next.