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Every now and then, we like a good game. That's why we created the British TV Variety Puzzle book (GET IT: Our Shop | Amazon). Today, we thought it would be fun to see how easy it is to identify popular British TV shows from the very first frame of their first episodes.
Some shows do begin with the opening credits rather than an intro scene – and in those cases, we skip ahead to the first actual scene of the episode.
Below, we've grabbed the opening shot for 26 popular British TV shows – and at the end, we include the answers and details on where you can stream each of them. If that sounds like fun, grab a pen and paper and let's see how you do! Some are surprisingly difficult.
1 | An older woman rides her bicycle through an idyllic village
2 | The rocky English coastline…
3 | A quiet country churchyard…
4 | A man behind a hotel desk answers the phone
5 | An old car drives through the pouring rain
6 | The sun shines through a field
7 | An isolated landscape at night
8 | An ambulance is loaded
9 | The camera pans up along a skyscraper
10 | A quiet city street at night…
11 | We see a young woman on the viewfinder of a camera
12 | An urban industrial scene from days gone by
13 | Close view of a fern…
14 | A telegraph transmission key/knob
15 | The dark ocean…
Since that shot of the ocean gives you almost nothing to go on, we'll give you one more hint – the second shot, a town scene.
16 | Dramatic mountain scenery
17 | Plants sway in the foreground, rocky cliffs peek out of the background
18 | A bathroom, seen through the crack of a door
19 | We see the night sky and a quarter moon
20 | A horse races across a field…
21 | A man enters a restaurant
22 | A vicar exits the churchyard
23 | The camera pans over a young woman's face
24 | A sunny coastal scene…
25 | A young woman sits on a mostly empty bus
26 | A lovely country home…
And Now, the Answers…
Ready to tally up your score? Here are the answers – along with the current streaming details for each show.
1 | Midsomer Murders – Acorn TV (all seasons),
2 | Doc Martin – Acorn TV
3 | Vicar of Dibley – BritBox
4 | Fawlty Towers – BritBox
5 | Endeavour – PBS Masterpiece
6 | Detectorists – Acorn TV, Tubi, Filmrise, Roku Channel
7 | Shetland – BritBox
8 | Keeping Up Appearances – BritBox
9 | The IT Crowd – Netflix
10 | Mr. Bean – BritBox
11 | CB Strike – HBO Max
12 | Call the Midwife – Netflix
13 | Poldark – PBS Masterpiece
14 | Downton Abbey – BritBox, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock
15 | Broadchurch – Netflix
16 | Outlander – Starz
17 | Foyle's War – Acorn TV
18 | The Crown – Netflix
19 | Doctor Who (New) – HBO Max
20 | Pride & Prejudice (1995) – BritBox
21 | As Time Goes By – BritBox
22 | To the Manor Born – BritBox
23 | Father Brown – BritBox
24 | Death in Paradise – BritBox
25 | Vera – Episodes are divided up over Acorn TV and BritBox
26 | Monarch of the Glen – IMDb TV
How did you do? Some were incredibly tough, so don't feel bad if you didn't score 26/26. I'm not sure any of us here would have, and we watch British TV for a living!
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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.