59 Scottish TV Shows & Where to Watch Them

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Monarch of the Glen

When people talk about British TV shows, it often seems like shows from a number of other countries are all tossed into the same bucket (or it is bouquet?). Scotland has given us a lot of great shows, though, so we wanted to take a moment to recognize some of the best TV shows from Scotland alone.

Note that there are a number of shows that were filmed mostly or entirely in Scotland, but because they weren’t intended to be set in Scotland, we’ve not included them on this list. For example, the fast food comedy Fried is said to be set in Croydon, but the storefront for Seriously Fried Chicken was actually a street in Glasgow.

Also,  many of these shows could be classified as rare, and not all are available on North American-encoded DVDs. Please double check the listings if you decide to buy DVDs and you don’t own a region-free DVD player. Some titles are only available on Amazon UK, which isn’t a problem for most countries. They can either convert the currency at checkout, or you can let your card do it automatically.

 

Scottish TV Shows, and TV Shows Primarily Set in Scotland

Outlander is set in Scotland
Outlander

Outlander – 2014 to 2018 – An English nurse mysteriously finds herself transported back to Scotland in the year 1743. This show was a joint British–American project, using creative talent from both sides of the pond. Streaming

Shetland -2013 to present – Murder and mystery in the Shetland islands, based on the popular Ann Cleeves novels. S1-3 Netflix | S1-3 Streaming | S4 Streaming

Monarch of the Glen – 2000 to 2005 – This classic Scottish drama takes us inside the McDonald family after son Archie comes back to help the failing family estate. Complete Collection DVD

Hamish MacBeth – 1995 to 1997 – In a small Scottish village, a police constable bends the rules and occasionally hides his true ability so he can stay in a place and job he loves. Streaming | DVD

Burnistoun – 2009 to 2012 – This sketch comedy is set in the fictional town of Burnistoun near Glasgow. DVD | Netflix

Taggart – 1983 to 2010 – On the crime-ridden streets of Glasgow, the Maryhill CID investigates murders. Streaming | DVD Set 1 | DVD Original 5 Set | 32 DVD Set

Rebus – 2000 to 2007 – This Edinburgh-based detective drama is based on the Rebus novels by Ian Rankin, and takes the viewer into some of the darkest corners of the city. Streaming

The Loch / Loch Ness – 2017 – When a murderer strikes in a small Highland town, local police and outside investigators scramble to get to the bottom of the case. Streaming

Scottish comedy Still Game
Still Game

Still Game – 1999, 2002 to present – In a fictional neighborhood of Glasgow, a couple of pensioners get into all sorts of interesting predicaments. Netflix

Rab C. Nesbitt – 1988 to 2014 – A lowlife in Scotland drinks, rants, and generally avoids being a productive member of society. DVD

Chewin’ the Fat – 1999 to 2005 – This oddball Scottish sketch comedy is primarily set in Glasgow. Netflix

River City – 2002 to present – This Scottish soap opera focuses on the lives of a group of people living in Glasgow. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US.

The Advocates – 1991 to 1992 – This Edinburgh-based legal drama has 2 seasons, with each one focusing on a single legal case. Series 2 includes appearances by Michael Kitchen and Rachel Weisz. DVD

Limmy’s Show – 2009 to 2013 – This Scottish sketch comedy is written, directed, and strared in by Brian Limond. DVD

Take the High Road – This long-running Scottish drama was set on the banks of Loch Lomond, and focuses on the lives of the people who live in Glendorrach, a small fictional village. Volume 1 DVD | Volume 2 DVD | See more DVDs (there are quite a lot of them)

The Tales of Para Handy – 1994 to 1995 – Based on the Para Handy books by Neil Munro, this comedy series gives us the adventures of the crew of The Vital Spark as they cruise around the western part of Scotland. Includes a special guest appearance by David Tennant. Complete Series DVD

Scotch & Wry – 1978 to 1992 – This Scottish sketch comedy show initially ran for a couple years, with occasional specials afterwards. Complete Collection DVD | Best of DVD

Gary: Tank Commander – 2009 to 2012 – This comedy focuses on the daily life of a Scottish tank commander and his crew. S1-2 DVD | S3 DVD

Alan Cumming stars in The High Life Scottish Comedy
The High Life

The High Life – 1994 to 1995 – Alan Cumming stars in this Scottish sitcom about life in the fictional Prestwick Airport. DVD

Naked Video – 1986 to 1991 – This is the Scottish sketch comedy that introduced the world to Rab C. Nesbitt. S1 DVD | S2 DVD | S3 DVD

Clique – 2017 – Two childhood friends are pulled apart when they go to university in Edinburgh and one falls in with an enticing upscale social scene. DVD

Punchdrunk – 1993 – This Glasgow-based boxing comedy didn’t last long, but it did feature Diana Hardcastle (Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) in an early role. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US.

Atletico Partick – 1995 to 1996 – When Karen’s husband Jack is more interested in football than her, she finds solace with Ally, a man more interested in sex than football. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US.

Takin’ Over the Asylum – 1994 – An employee in a mental hospital begins to run a radio station within the hospital. Stars Ken Stott and David Tennant. DVD | UK DVD (Both require a region-free DVD player, but one may be cheaper than the other).

The Field of Blood – 2011 to 2013  – In the early 80s, a young female journalist in Glasgow helps solves a crime in an overwhelmingly male-dominated industry. S1-2 Streaming

Lovesick /  Scrotal Recall – 2016 to 2018 – After learning he has an STD, a young Glaswegian man must contact all his former lovers. Netflix | Streaming

Empty – This short-lived Scottish comedy explores what happens when the Greater Glasgow Building Services comes to your home. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US. It was on Netflix at one point.

where to watch dear green place
Dear Green Place

Dear Green Place – 2007 to 2008 – This Scottish comedy is set in a park in Glasgow, with episodes focusing on various issues in park maintenance. S1 DVD | S2 DVD

Lip Service – 2010 to 2012 – This Scottish drama peeks into the lives of lipstick lesbians in Glasgow.  S1 – 2 Streaming |

Case Histories – 2011 to 2013 – Jason Isaacs plays a former soldier who becomes a PI in Edinburgh. S1 Streaming | S2 Streaming | Complete S1-2 DVD

Life of Riley – 2009 to 2011 – When a newly blended family comes together, dysfunction reigns. Includes Caroline Quentin and Neil Dudgeon. DVD

One of Us / Retribution – 2016 – In this miniseries, two rural Scottish families are thrown into upheaval after a local murder.  NetflixDVD

Doctor Finlay – 1993 to 1996 – After WWII, a doctor returns to practice at Arden House, just before the creation of the NHS. Streaming

Dr. Finlay’s Casebook – 1962 to 1971 – In the late 1920s, Dr. Finlay practices medicine in a small Scottish town. s1 DVD | S2 DVD | S3-4 DVD | S5-7 DVD | S1-8 Complete Collection DVD

The Vital Spark – 1965 to 1974 – This classic Scottish comedy takes place on a tugboat that travels up and down the Argyll coast, and offers a great opportunity to see some of the canals before they became what they are today. Most episodes have been lost in the archives, but a handful have been released on DVD. DVD

Only An Excuse? – 1995 to present – This Scottish comedy is shown once yearly on New Year’s Eve. 2007 Ultimate Collection DVD | 2017 Best of DVD

The Omega Factor – 1979 – A secret branch of British intelligence investigates the supernatural. DVD

Scottish TV Show Stonemouth
Stonemouth

Stonemouth – 2015 – This two-part miniseries is based on the Iain Banks novel of the same name. When a man returns to his home village for the funeral of a friend, he’s drawn into a number of old conflicts, along with new information that there might be more to his friend’s suicide. DVD

Tutti Frutti – 1987 – Robbie Coltrane stars as an aging rock and roll star, Scotland’s “Kings of Rock”.  DVD

Trust  Me – 2017 – Jodie Whittaker stars as a nurse and single mother who loses her job after whistle blowing. When she uses fake credentials to start over in Scotland, life gets complicated quickly. DVD

Scot Squad – 2014 to present – This mockumentary follows Glasgow police officers as they encounter a variety of interesting scenarios. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US.

Looking After Jojo – 1998 – Robert Carlyle starred as an Edinburgh drug dealer on a council estate in the 1980s. DVD

Rosamunde Pilcher’s Shades of Love – Long-kept family secrets start to come out, disturbing the otherwise peaceful existence of a Scottish laird.

The Crow Road – 1996 – This BAFTA-nominated Scottish miniseries is based on the Iain Banks novel of the same name, and focuses on events in the life of a young history student. Includes Peter Capaldi. DVD

Rockface – 2002 to 2003 – This Scottish drama revolves around the lives and work of a Highlands mountain rescue team. DVD

The Book Group is a Scottish TV Show
The Book Group

The Book Group – 2002 to 2003 – When an American woman moves to Glasgow, she starts a book group to help get to know people. Streaming

Roughnecks – 1994 to 1995 – This drama focuses on the lives of the crew on an oil rig in the North Sea. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US.

Two Doors Down – 2013 to present –  This engaging sitcom features a group of often crazy neighbors in Glasgow. S1 DVD | S2 DVD | S3 DVD

City Lights – 1986 to 1991 – In this Scottish comedy, a Glasgow bank teller with dreams of writing finds himself constantly held back by the people in his life. Billy Connolly makes a guest appearance in one episode. **Though episodes can be found, we’re not currently aware of any legal way to watch this in the US other than some old DVDs you can find floating around on eBay and Amazon.

The Steamie – 1988 – This dramedy is about 1950s Glasgow women who wash their clothing at the same washhouse. DVD

Badults – 2013 to 2014 – In a shared flat in Glasgow, young adults fail to transition into proper adults. DVD

The Replacement – 2017 – This three-part miniseries was filmed in Glasgow. A woman selects another female architect to cover her while she’s on maternity leave, only to find her replacement taking over more and more of her life. DVD

Sea of Souls – 2004 to 2007 – At a Glasgow university, Dr. Douglas Monaghan leads studies on the paranormal. Includes Dawn Steele (Lexi from Monarch of the Glen). S1 DVD | S2 DVD

Terri McIntyre – 2003 to 2004 – This Scottish comedy stars Simon Carlyle as the cross-dressing Terri McIntyre, owner of a Glasgow tanning salon. Series 2 includes David Tennant. A YouTube user mentions having permission from the BBC to post Series 1, but not Series 2. You can find them here.

Where to watch hope springs
Hope Springs

Hope Springs – 2009 – Four English thieves hope to get out of the country, but instead end up in a small Scottish town. DVD

Tinsel Town – 2000 to 2001 – Dawn Steele (Monarch of the Glen) appears in this BBC drama that takes place in the Glasgow club scene. Complete Series Set

Bob Servant Independent – 2013 – When a highly unqualified and self-absorbed man wins a local political election, the area doesn’t know what hit it. His inability to think before speaking causes all sorts of interesting trouble. DVD

Legit – 2006 to 2007 – Two Scottish men sell illegally pirated DVDs and computer games in a Glasgow market. DVD

 

Which Scottish TV Show is Your Favorite?

Did we miss any great Scottish shows? Which are your favorite TV shows set in Scotland? Let us know in the comments!

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6 Comments

    • Hi Traci – We got Hamish MacBeth (#4), but you’re right about McCallum. It was made by STV (Scottish Television), but since it’s set in the East End of London, we didn’t include it. It’s a good one, though, and John Hannah is definitely Scottish!

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