For this month’s Stan Streaming Club we are celebrating all things British as we select iconic shows from our friends across the globe.
When it comes to the small screen, we’ve long adopted UK national treasures as our own and put their unique programmes in primetime.
From enduring classics to some of the newer, edgier comedies and dramas on the block, here is the best of British streaming on Stan.
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One of the more distinctive shows to come out of the UK in the last decade, Misfits is a sci-fi comedy following five teens completing community service. When a freak storm hits, the group gain various superpowers and are forced to deal with the consequences of their secrets. The young cast make the show with their spot-on timing for comedy — in fact they went on to win a Bafta after the first series.
In celebration of his 90th birthday a couple of years ago, the legendary documentary maker reflected on the remarkable journeys he’s made over the decades and the unforgettable encounters with people and nature he’s had along the way. Featuring never-before-seen footage, this extraordinary retrospective charts Attenborough’s unparalleled career and features anecdotes from those who know him best, which only serve to cement his status as a beloved screen icon.
Created by a pre-superstardom James Corden and his writing partner Ruth Jones, this timeless comedy tells the tale of long-distance love between an Essex boy (Mathew Horne) and a Welsh girl (Joanna Page). We follow all the hilarious, and occasionally heartbreaking, mishaps their blossoming romance brings for them and their families as they hit all the milestones of young love. Gavin and Stacey is also notable for its loveable supporting characters who bring memorable catchphrases and brutal honesty that only family and friends could get away with.
The Happy Valley hype is real and this captivating series leads the pack of golden-age television drama coming out of the UK right now. Sarah Lancashire stars as a police sergeant struggling to come to terms with her daughter’s death and searching for the man she holds responsible. This Bafta-winning thriller will leave you in awe with its twists, turns and crazy subplots, heightened by the show’s gritty setting in dramatic landscapes.
Fresh from the global phenomenon that was The Office, Ricky Gervais played Andy, an aspiring actor working as an extra and desperate for his close-up. You should hate the characters, but it’s just impossible thanks to the wit and observation with which they were expertly crafted by Gervais. Special shoutouts required for Ashley Jensen who plays Andy’s loyal friend Maggie Jacobs, as well as the A-listers who send themselves up in the name of comedy, including Kate Winslet, Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Stewart.
Satire that, arguably, only the British could get away with, this comedy is set inside a bumbling government department run by an out-of-touch minister — sound familiar? Many of the plots mirror the unbelievable blunders that have actually happened in politics, which makes for enticing viewing. Creator Armando Iannucci went on to create Veep, inspired by his success with The Thick Of It.
The US teen shows may have mansions and models, but The Inbetweeners is a very British take on teenage life that probably more closely resembles your own awkward years. Will Mackenzie has changed schools and is faced with the very real struggle of making friends as an outsider. This coming-of-age series will make you cringe with its crude and awkward scenes of failed dating attempts and alcohol disasters — but that’s all part of the fun.
Praised by critics for its fresh spin on the ubiquitous police drama, New Blood follows junior investigators Stefan and Rash who unexpectedly find themselves working on the same case. Young, newcomer leads, a modern London setting and plots centred around mysterious crimes in the pharmaceutical industry result in a refreshing watch — New Blood by name, new blood by nature.
Starring comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb, this unassuming sitcom gained a cult following during its run, with a skill for turning the mundane realities of post-university life into brilliant comedic commentary. Mark and Jeremy find themselves sharing a flat out of circumstance rather than choice, and while their attempts at adult life are drastically different — sensible Mark is plodding along with the nine-to-five while overconfident Jez thinks he’s a musical genius — the outcomes are equally cringeworthy.