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The best British TV shows of 2024

The best British TV shows of 2024


This time, huh? Whatever time of year you read this, this question makes sense in Britain. Whether it's the endless rain of April or the hesitant sun of May, it's currently hot outside the windows of these offices! it's always good to have a show on the go if you live in the UK.

Luckily, we make some really good ones. It's like the TV and weather gods planned this. Here are some of the best deals, and this list will be updated throughout the year.

You can read our list of the best shows of 2024 here.

Doctor Who

The 15th Doctor (played by Ncuti Gatwa) kicked off the British giant's latest series in style, although it remains to be seen whether the show's direction this season is right. Either way, fans will watch it to either complain or praise, while the rest of us can listen to it without the burden of decades of fandom.

Doctor Who is available on iPlayer and Disney+ and airs weekly


A Rebus reboot is upon us. This time, the titular detective, created by Ian Rankin, is young! He will be played by Richard Rankin (and before you cry nepotism, he is not related to the author) while Brian Ferguson will play the brother of the young detective sergeant, Michael, a former soldier who has become a dangerous enemies. It might not surprise you that Rebus also has matters of the heart to attend to.

All episodes are available on BBC iPlayer. It will be broadcast on BBC One from May 18.


Benedict Cumberbatch arrives in New York in the 80s! And he has an imaginary friend! Doesn’t that sound like fun? Well, her nine-year-old is missing, so it's not all bright lights and shoulder pads. Cumberbatch's character, Vincent, a puppeteer in a children's show, descends into madness after the disappearance of his son, Edgar. As you would expect. Less anticipated is the Imaginary Friend, a seven-foot blue and purple monster puppet, although the series was created by Abi Morgan (Time) so that this flair isn't too much of a surprise.

Eric will be available on Netflix from May 30


listeners,kyle ollie west, claire rebecca hall, first look, element images, des willie

From Willie

A noise that you find unbearable but which does not pose a problem to anyone else? This is what I think about podcasts! But it's also the premise of this drama, in which Rebecca Hall plays Clare, the teacher, who begins to hear a low buzzing sound that no one else can hear. Except for a boy in her class, Kyle (Ollie West), with whom she forms an unlikely relationship. Based on the book of the same name by Jordan Tannahill, it will reportedly explore the human search for the transcendent and the rise of conspiracy culture in the West. I'll probably watch it on mute with subtitles.

The Listeners comes to BBC and iPlayer later this year

Play nice

James Norton returns to ITV for a four-part psychological thriller with a premise that will surely haunt parents everywhere (and provide good content for would-you-rather games for everyone). Two couples discover that their children were switched at birth following a hospital error. Do they trade them now or keep the children they raised? Once they agree on a solution, their ulterior motives are revealed. We would be disappointed if they weren't.

Filming is currently in Cornwall, so expect a release date later this year.

Black doves

Keira Knightley as Helen Webb


Keira Knightley makes her way onto the list (hooray!) but it's not a period drama (weird!). Instead, it's a spy thriller. GOOD! Knightley plays Helen, both mother and spy. You can be both now. She sells her politician husband's secrets to his employees (the Black Doves), but that stops when he is assassinated. His boss sends an old friend to ensure his security: Sam Young, an assassin played by Paddington Ben Whishaw, who should be an Oscar winner. As Helen searches for her husband's killer, Sam's job to protect her becomes increasingly complicated. I hate when this happens!

Black Doves is coming to Netflix later this year, and the series is set at Christmas, so let's just assume it'll be a winter release.


ludwig,10 01 2024,john ludwig taylor david mitchell,first look,big talk studios,colin hutton

Colin Hutton//BBC

I just can't imagine a more fun place than the room where they came up with crime shows for the BBC (although maybe that room is just a writer's overly caffeinated head). Anyway, let's imagine a murder mystery but with identical twins! After Ludwig's brother James disappears, Ludwig takes on his identity to try to find him (maybe this makes more sense in the series!). The only problem, the biggest problem with this scheme, is that James was a DCI who helped bring the Cambridge criminals to justice. It's a good thing Ludwig is a puzzle designer! Did we mention David Mitchell plays Ludwig? And that it's a drama of the week? Sign us up.

Filming began in January, so we're hoping for a release date later this year.

King and Conqueror

The BBC's words 'period drama' stir something in the soul of the nation. Anyway, this one stars James Norton as Harold, Earl of Wessex and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (one of the most attractive actors in Game Of Thrones) like William, Duke of Normandy. I don't know how much history you learned from school but these two fought a pretty famous battle in Hastings! In 1066! which marked our country over the following centuries. It is written and produced by Michael Robert Johnson (he wrote 2009's Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr.) which will hopefully bring some of that humor to this eight-parter.

King & Conqueror is filming this year, so expect a late 2024 or early 2025 release date.

Did you enjoy this? Register for Spam, our mercilessly edited weekly roundup of the best the entertainment industry has to offer. Every Friday at noon, the Esquire team will recommend a small selection of movies, books, TV shows, music, theater and more that we think are definitely worth your attention.

Portrait of Henry Wong

Henry Wong is a senior culture editor at Esquire, working across digital and print. He covers film, television, books and art for the magazine and also writes profiles.




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