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Top 10 British Shows That Need to Return

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Written by Aaron Cameron Bring back these Brit hits! Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Shows that need to Return. For this list, we look at British shows which were prematurely cancelled, as well as those which have already enjoyed a reasonable run. These programs were either so popular while airing that we’d unanimously welcome them back, or they went under the radar on initial release and only gained a small, cult following before they were scrapped. Special thanks to our user Ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Shows That Need to Return


Bring back these Brit hits! Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 British Shows that need to Return.

For this list, we look at British shows which were prematurely cancelled, as well as those which have already enjoyed a reasonable run. These programs were either so popular while airing that we’d unanimously welcome them back, or they went under the radar on initial release and only gained a small, cult following before they were scrapped.

#10: “The IT Crowd” (2006-13)

A pioneer for nerd comedy and geek chic, this four-series sitcom proved wildly popular with millennials, especially. Creator Graham Linehan blended tech-themed humor with old-fashioned farce as Moss, Roy and Jen trudge through their daily lives at Reyhnolm Industries. Despite multiple BAFTA wins and higher-than-average ratings, a commissioned fifth season was cancelled by Linehan who felt the show had run its course. We did get a one-off special in 2013, but with its stars moving on to bigger projects, it’ll be tough to lure them back to the basement again.

#9: “Dream Team” (1997-2007)

Essentially a soap opera about football, “Dream Team” won big audiences in its heyday. A ten-season run saw the fortunes of Harchester United became a staple of Sunday night programming, playing into the public’s fascination for what goes on behind the scenes at a football club. Unlike its rival, “Footballers’ Wives”, this drama emphasized the football itself, while cameos from actual players alongside Karl Fletcher and co. added a degree of believability. The series ended in fiery circumstances, but this potent recipe for football-drama would surely still win The Dragons plenty of supporters.

#8: “Limmy’s Show!” (2010-13)

Brian Limond’s sketch show offers some of the most absurd and inspired comedy you’ll ever see. While the series wasn’t to everyone’s taste, it only ever aired on BBC Scotland so there are huge audiences who haven’t even met the likes of Falconhoof (the host of a fantasy call-in game) or Dee Dee (an over-analytical lay-a-bout). A unique show, it ran for three seasons and explored all of life’s big questions in an entirely original way. You can find the original series on Netflix, but dammit we want more unbridled Scottish peculiarity. Please.

#7: “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” (2004)

Introducing the self-proclaimed dream-weaver, Garth Marenghi. After an elaborate marketing campaign, this surreal spoof of 1980s TV was only ever aired late at night, so Marenghi’s genius may have been missed by lots of us. Fans of the show still appreciate the skill it takes to make something so deliberately inept (but still entertaining), and co-creators Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade now boast a dedicated following for their famously farcical production. In the end, Channel 4 ditched Darkplace after one season, and Dean Learner’s spinoff chat show didn’t fare any better. Anyone for a reboot?

#6: “The Peter Serafinowicz Show” (2007-08)

What’s better than watching TV? Watching someone take the mick out of TV. That’s the aim for Peter Serafinowicz’s sketch show, with parodies of anything from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, to “Big Brother” or those cringeworthy shopping channels. A cutting combo of astute observations and scarily accurate impressions brought an average of one million viewers per episode in 2007; a decent return for risky material! But the BBC quietly axed Serafinowicz after just one season, much to the disappointment of the show’s fledgling fan base. Here’s hoping the Brian Butterfield film comes off…

#5: “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” (1967-68)

A sci-fi puppet series following the adventures of its eponymous and indestructible Spectrum captain there’s a constant clamoring for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s Captain Scarlet to return. Earth’s war with the Mysterons – a race of sentient computers from Mars – isn’t finished yet, so there’s plenty of opportunity for next gen puppeteers to place Scarlet into more high tension, sacrificial situations. While writers might need to address criticisms over the show’s apparent lack of humour, a potential next series could exploit new puppet technology to succeed where the 2005 CGI reboot failed.

#4: “Spaced” (1999-2001)

A cult sitcom written by Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson, “Spaced” sees mismatched roommates Tim and Daisy juggle their frequent flights of questionable fancy with the daily (often dull) demands of adult life. Edgar Wright’s innovative and cinematic style brings Pegg and Stevenson’s razor sharp writing to life, for a combination to transform typically benign everyday situations into first-class entertainment. A third series is nearly impossible due to its creators’ Hollywood success, but the “Spaced” influence is all over the Cornetto Trilogy, should you ever need another fix.

#3: “I’m Alan Partridge” (1997-2002)

Following on from his train wreck chat show “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, this sitcom sees Partridge desperately try to revive his failing TV career while managing the deterioration of his own mental state. A pioneer in cringe comedy, each episode revolves around Alan humiliating himself in some way, in front of an excellent supporting cast of characters who are routinely bemused by his delusional, nonsensical ramblings about owls, James Bond or Gladiators. While other shows and films have followed, this was peak Partridge, and a surprisingly deep examination of one man’s midlife crisis.

#2: “Blackadder” (1983-89)

Penned by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, this sitcom spans four historical periods, with the writing cleverly adjusted for each era. Each season follows a descendant of the original Edmund Blackadder, who grows increasingly cynical about life, especially while in the company of incompetent elites, played by Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and others. Rowan Atkinson exudes Blackadder’s dry wit throughout, culminating in a darkly hilarious look at World War One. The poignant conclusion an inevitable fate even with Baldrick’s cunning plans, we wish the show could be brought back but it’s difficult to see how.

#1: “Utopia” (2013-14)

With gnawing questions still unanswered, the lack of a third season of “Utopia” is TV torture. With an ever-changing narrative, and despite its striking color palette, the whole show feels like an uncomfortably bleak but feasible vision of what the future of humanity looks like. Its presentation of violence did draw criticism, but Channel 4 were also praised for risking a concept which his since been compared to the internationally successful, “Black Mirror”. So, when 4 prematurely pulled the plug, viewers were up in arms and unfinished storylines were left forever tangled. For sanity’s sake, bring it back!
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