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As we draw closer to Amazon's annual Prime Day event, there are loads of sales relevant to British TV fans – including a number of channel sales. This time, several channels are available for 99 cents/month for the first 2 months, allowing you to binge all you like until early December.
Below, we take a look at which ones are best for British TV fans, along with some show recommendations to check out while you're sampling the channels.
If you want to try a channel but you're on a tight budget and worried about remembering to cancel, there are two things you should know about subscribing to channels through Amazon:
- You can cancel easily online – and whenever you cancel, your subscription WILL continue until the end of the period, even if you cancel the day after you sign up.
- Most modern phones have alarms you can set for yourself. On an Android, you can go into the “clock” app and set an alarm name + time and date so you'll remember. I'm not an Apple person so I can't tell you exactly what to do on an iPhone, but I know they have a similar feature. If you don't have a smartphone, you can use something like Google Calendar to schedule an “event” that will send you a reminder on the appropriate date.
On to the Channel Sale…
Below, you can click on any of the channel names to be taken to the appropriate Amazon page for browsing and subscribing.
- PBS Documentaries – There's a lot of interesting content on this one, and it's not all British (there are loads of Ken Burns documentaries, for example), but since this is a British TV site, we'll focus on the British (or related) titles. It's also worth noting they offer a number of WW2 documentaries that aren't necessarily British but which may still be of interest.
- Civilisations – This 2018 art history documentary was produced by the BBC and PBS as a follow-up to the original 1969 series by Kenneth Clark.
- How Sherlock Changed the World – Narrated by British actor Andrew Lincoln, this two-part series features dramatised excerpts from some of Doyle's stories, along with commentary on how he shaped real investigative techniques.
- The Story of the Jews with Simon Schama – English historian Simon Schama takes a look at Jewish history from ancient times to present.
- Earth's Natural Wonders: Life at the Extremes – This series takes a look at some of the planet's greatest and most extreme natural wonders.
- Ireland's Wild Coast – Though technically not British, Ireland is part of the British Isles, so we're including this gorgeous two-part nature series.
- Life from Above – This BBC Earth/PBS series uses cameras in space to take a different sort of look at our planet.
- The English Surgeon – A British neurosurgeon travels to the Ukraine to provide specialised care to those who wouldn't normally be able to access it.
- After Stonehenge – This documentary takes a look at Bronze Age life in Britain.
- Ghosts of Stonehenge – This 2017 documentary takes a look at recent discoveries about Stonehenge and the people who built it.
- For Sama – This documentary tells the story of the troubles in Syria and one woman's fight to bring her daughter to safety. It made history by becoming the feature documentary to receive the most BAFTA nominations.
- Sundance Now – This popular streaming service focuses on independent and international programming, and it's a sort of “cousin” to Acorn TV (they're both owned by the same parent corporation). As a result, you'll see a bit of duplication between the two service – but plenty of original content you won't find elsewhere. Below, we highlight a few of their best British TV series, but you can view a longer list HERE or in our British TV Streaming Guide.
- A Discovery of Witches – When an Oxford historian and reluctant witch is able to access a book no one else can, it sets off a chain of events involving an eternal feud between witches and vampires. This one has been renewed for a second season, but there's no official date yet.
- The Split – A family of powerful female divorce attorneys deals with its fair share of family drama, particularly where their father is concerned. As of early 2020, an upcoming second series has been announced.
- Liar – After a seemingly pleasant date, a schoolteacher accuses a prominent local surgeon of rape. The situation continues to spiral out of control as more information comes to light. Season 2 was recently added.
- McMafia – James Norton (Grantchester) stars as the English-raised son of a Russian mafia figure who was exiled from his country. Though his family tried to correct course, a murder draws them back in. A second series is on the way, though we've yet to see a date for it.
- PBS Masterpiece – If you enjoy British mysteries and period dramas (as well as European dramas), this is one of the best streaming channels you can get. It's similar to PBS Passport in that it lets you stream nearly all of their recent dramas – but unlike PBS Passport, it doesn't vary according to your local market. Below, we've highlighted some of the best British TV shows on the service, but you can view more HERE or in the British TV Streaming Guide.
- Endeavour – Endeavour takes us to 1960s Oxford, where Inspector Morse is a young detective just starting out. Season 7 was recently added.
- Mrs. Wilson – Mrs. Wilson is fascinating because it's not just a true story, it's a true story about the grandmother of Ruth Wilson, the actress playing the title role. Alison Wilson was widowed in 1963, only to realize her husband had been leading a secret life. Iain Glen (Jack Taylor) plays her departed husband, a foreign intelligence officer with more than one “Mrs. Wilson” in his life. Miniseries.
- Grantchester – In the village of Grantchester, a clever vicar assists a local police detective with his investigations. James Norton stars as vicar Sidney Chambers, and Robson Green plays DI Geordie Keating. Sadly, as most British mystery fans will know, James Norton isn't able to stay on forever. Later in the series, Tom Brittany takes over for him in the role of Reverend Will Davenport, a former inner-city chaplain.
- Van der Valk – This British series is based in Amsterdam, and it's a modern re-boot of the classic 1970s detective series.
- Flesh & Blood – When a newly-widowed older woman is suddenly quite deeply involved with a new man, her adult children become suspicious. This 2020 thriller has only just begun airing on PBS Masterpiece, and more episodes will be coming soon.
- The Bletchley Circle – During World War II, a number of talented women worked as codebreakers at Bletchley Park. After the war, their services were no longer needed and some women found themselves mentally unstimulated and rather bored by normal housewife life. That's where we begin in The Bletchley Circle – and those unfulfilled women put themselves to work solving murders no one else can figure out.
- Epix – Relatively new to the streaming scene, Epix doesn't have an enormous number of British TV shows, but they do have some good ones.
- Belgravia – Created by Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame), this period drama follows London's newly-aristocratic Trenchard family as secrets emerge and threaten their status.
- Pennyworth – While not entirely British, this DC origin series follows Alfred Pennyworth's early years as he forms a security company in 1960s London and begins working with billionaire Thomas Wayne – father of Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman.
- Berlin Station – Though American, this series stars English actor Richard Armitage and Welsh actor Rhys Ifans. It follows Armitage (Daniel Miller in the show) after his arrival at the CIA station in Berlin. It's an action-filled thriller with spies, politics, and plenty of violence, if that's your kind of thing.
- Britannia – This epic drama re-enacts the Roman invasion of Britain.
Looking for More British TV Deals?
As we get closer to Prime Day, we'll be posting more on any British TV/film-related sales we spot. If you're not already on our email list, we welcome you to join so you can stay in the loop. We typically send 1-2 emails weekly (typically a longer weekly email on the weekends and sometimes a shorter email mid-week).
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After founding I Heart British TV in 2016 as a resource for her granny, Stefanie has grown I Heart British TV into a resource that serves millions of British TV fans every year. When not writing posts or editing contributions to the site, you can probably find her working on the latest print edition of the British TV Streaming Guide.