Readers Have Their Say: The 10 Greatest British TV Dramas of All-Time

4. Life On Mars (2006 – 2007)

As with The A-Team or, well, Green Acres, the opening credits of Life On Mars set up the show’s whole concept: police officer Sam Tyler (John Simm) gets hit by a car in 2006, waking up to find himself a member of the Manchester police force back in 1973. Gimmick? Hardly. What exactly has happened to Sam – is he hallucinating? time traveling? brain-damaged? – is a tantalizing, J.J. Abrams-esque mystery. And the writers used the retro setting to explore racism and sexism in ’70s England, as well as play some crackin’ tunes from Sweet and Slade. Philip Glenister‘s bigoted, explosive DCI Gene Hunt is one of the most memorable creations ever on television. (Own it on DVD.)

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Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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