This week, we look at your TV highlights of the year. Brace yourself, there are some real surprises on the list…
From Doctor Foster to Doctor Who, to Ben Fogle and Beck, it’s been a sparkling year for television with plenty of unforgettable moments. We asked you to tell us your TV highlights of 2015 – the response was nothing short of fantastic. Take a look and see if your choice made the list.
Doctor Who (BBC One)
Under the guidance of showrunner Steven Moffat, Doctor Who has been pushed in brave new directions with daring storytelling throughout. The penultimate episode ‘Heaven Sent’ was gripping and full of surprises. While Peter Capaldi, in his second year with the show, gives the titular character a sense of aggression and passion not seen before.
Claire H: “Doctor who was great as always, looking forward to the Christmas day episode now.”
Fargo (Channel 4)
A show that’s as shocking as it is hilarious. Just like the first season, the show is littered with star names including Kirsten Dunst and Patrick Wilson. And while the second season saw a change in cast, those familiar themes remained: white landscapes, black humour, and lots (we mean ‘lots’) of blood spattered violence. Not for the faint hearted.
Kathy J: “Love Fargo.”
London Spy (BBC One)
Arguably the best TV drama to come out of the UK this year. Bold statement, we know. But a strong script and a stellar cast really made this an unforgettable show.
This five-part espionage thriller stars the brilliant Ben Whishaw as Danny, who discovers the body of his boyfriend Alex – who, as it turns out, worked for the Secret Intelligence Service. The death is suspicious to say the least, but Danny is determined to fight for the truth.
Danny A: “Thought London spy was really good even though it was hard to understand”.
Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)
One of the most watched shows of the year. Not everyone’s cup of tea, admittedly, but the numbers don’t lie; an average of 11 million people watched as The Wanted singer Jay McGuiness won this year’s final. Strictly boasted big numbers throughout, trouncing The X Factor in audience ratings, and with that, became the nation’s undisputed king of talent shows.
One of this year’s surprise hits. This brilliantly scripted crime drama is tough to tear your eyes from. The story begins with the discovery of a skeleton in the cellar of a building – a murder victim who has lain undetected for 40 years. The investigation, led by Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar, is helped with its inquiries by a cast that includes Trevor Eve and Tom Courtenay.
Trevor C: “Unforgotten was my highlight, closely followed by Beck”
Beck (BBC Four)
Another in a long line of brilliant ‘Scandi dramas’ which oozes menance. Based on the literary detective Martin Beck, this mini-series follows the tumultuous relationship between the title character and his partner Gunvald Larsson. The pair investigate the shocking death of a young woman strangled in a hotel room.
Detectorists (BBC Four)
Mackenzie Crook’s comedy starring himself and Toby Jones is a joyous celebration of men and their past times and the English countryside.
The sitcom, which follows a pair of metal-detecting enthusiasts (sorry, detectorists), is beautifully acted – a masterclass in understatement.
Lynne R: “Detectorists – great actors great writing.”
Ben Fogle’s New Lives in the Wild (Channel 5)
Ever wanted to escape the pressures of modern life? We’ve probably all thought about it. But as the famous saying goes, “doing and saying are two very different things”.
In this fascinating series, Ben Fogle meets several people who have packed up to start a new life in the wild. Emma Orbach has literally made her home out of mud in the Welsh wilderness, while former banker Jon Watkinson has swapped his big salary for a hut in Laos.
Debbie K: “Ben Fogle’s New lives in the wild!! Brilliant.”
Doctor Foster (BBC One)
Warning: for singletons and the happily married only. In all seriousness, this gripping psychological thriller made for uncomfortable viewing, tapping into some common insecurities.
This five-parter sees Suranne Jones put in a magnificent performance as a betrayed wife, doctor and mother, attempting to keep her family together after her husband’s infidelity.
The Last Kingdom (BBC Two)
Sorcery and dragons aside, it’s easy to see why The Last Kingdom has been compared to Game of Thrones – but this well-written historical drama deserves plenty of respect in its own right.
Set in England 872, a Saxon man raised by Danes must choose a side and play his part in the birth of a nation, alongside the man who would become King Alfred the Great.
Elaine H: “The Last Kingdom, fabulous!”
River (BBC One), Guy Martin: Last Flight of the Vulcan Bomber (Channel 4), Jekyll & Hyde (ITV), Last Tango in Halifax (BBC One), Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell (BBC One) and Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC One).
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