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While cities like London and Manchester are probably best known as locations for British TV shows, the city of Bristol has a remarkably active film scene for its size. In addition to being the home of western England’s largest film studio (Bottle Yard Studios), Bristol also has a dedicated film office. For decades, the city has been both the setting and the filming location for numerous TV programs.
You could probably fill a book talking about all the productions that were tied to Bristol in some way. Instead of listing every show that ever had a single frame shot in Bristol, we’ve highlighted productions where Bristol played a significant role.
Crazyhead – 2016 – Two twentysomethings navigate adult life while also killing demons. Streaming
The Young Ones – 1982 to 1984 – In this highly unusual show, a group of college students get into strange predicaments during the early 1980s – Thatcher-era England. S1-2 Streaming | Complete Series DVD
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries – 2014 – This miniseries is a dramatised version of what happened when retired schoolteacher and landlord Christopher Jeffries was briefly accused of having involvement in the murder of one of his tenants. He was exonerated, but harassed even afterwards due to his personal eccentricities. Streaming
Aquila – 1997 to 1998 – In this young adult series, two boys find the remains of a Roman centurion, accompanied by a magical pod-like flying machine. Complete Series DVD
The House of Eliott – 1991 to 1994 – Two uneducated sisters find themselves in a bit of a pickle after their father dies and leaves them with nothing but debt. Their passion for dressmaking helps propel them forward. Complete Series DVD
Being Human – 2008 to 2013 – A werewolf, vampire, and ghost live as roommates in modern day England. S1-5 Streaming
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – 2008 – In this miniseries based on the Thomas Hardy work, Tess Durbeyfield is a poor country girl with connections to nobility. Streaming
The Casual Vacancy – 2015 – After a member of the local parish council dies, townspeople fight for the position. This miniseries is based on the novel by JK Rowling. Streaming
The Sparticle Mystery – 2011 to 2015 – When all the adults on earth vanish, there’s no one left over the age of 15. Series 1 & 2 DVD
Blott on the Landscape – 1985 – David Suchet stars in this miniseries about an MP who attempts to get a motorway built through his wife’s ancestral home. Complete Series DVD
The Changes – 1975 – After an apocalyptic event, everyone in England has reverted back to a pre-Industrial Revolution lifestyle. When one woman tries to figure out why, she is persecuted. Complete Series DVD
Thirteen – 2016 – After 13 years of being held captive, Ivy Moxam steps out onto the street. Streaming
Casualty – 1986 to present – Casualty centers around the lives of those who work at Holby City Hospital. Streaming
Afterlife – Before The Walking Dead, Andrew Lincoln starred alongside Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, Paranoid) in this British series about a university lecturer who is skeptical about the paranormal until he meets a medium who changes his mind. DVD on Amazon
Without Motive – 2000 to present – A detective attempts to solve a series of murders that seemingly lack motive. The series is set in Bristol, but for the most part, the actors don’t seem to have adjusted their accents accordingly. S1-2 Streaming (Complete)
Kiri – 2018 – This 2018 miniseries features Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) as a social worker overseeing the case of Kiri, a young black girl who’s abducted just before her adoption by a white family. Complete Series DVD
Inside Men – 2012 – This four-part miniseries follows an armed robbery at a secure counting house in Bristol. Streaming
The Silence – 2010 – When a young deaf girl witnesses a murder, her testimony helps her uncle, DCI Jim Edwards, to discover a web of police corruption. Though this series is set in Bristol, it was filmed in Dublin. Complete Series DVD
Skins – 2007 to 2013 – This hit drama series explores the lives on teenagers in Bristol as they deal with serious issues like mental illness, sexuality, and severely screwed up families. Series 1 DVD | Complete Series DVD
The Clifton House Mystery – 1978 – When a family moves into an old home in Bristol, they discover a secret room with a skeleton. Peter Sallis (Wallace & Gromit, Last of the Summer Wine) appears as a ghost hunter hired to get rid of the spirits in this fun 1970s TV miniseries. DVD on Amazon | DVD on Amazon UK
Shadow of the Noose – 1989 – This late 80s miniseries focuses on the work of Edward Marshall Hall, a prominent Victorian barrister. Complete Series DVD
Teachers – 2001 to 2004 – This early 2000s series focuses on the exploits of teachers both in and out of the classroom. It focused heavily on Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) early on, but later developed into a well-rounded ensemble dramedy. Complete Series DVD
Only Fools and Horses – 1981 to 2003 – Though set in Peckham (Southeast London), this show about a couple of dodgy guys always out for the big score was actually filmed in West London and Bristol. Today, you can even take a tour of the show’s most famous Bristol locations. S1-9 Streaming
What’s Your Favorite Bristol-Based Series?
Have you seen any of the shows above? What’s your favorite Bristol-based series? Did you find anything new to watch? Let us know in the comments!