If you’re in America over the festive season, you may find yourself gagging for some quality U.K. telly to help pass the time between gobbling turkey and rowing with your family over Skype. Alas, you won’t be able to view this year’s Christmas specials as they air in the U.K., but there are plenty of places online to binge watch the best British shows – from old favorites to last week’s Corrie.
You may not realize it but this subscription site is stuffed with current and classic U.K. TV. If you missed Ricky Gervais’s Derek, you can catch all thirteen episodes on Netflix. Other British TV treats include the grimy historical crime drama, Peaky Blinders and season one of The Fall staring Gillian Anderson. There’s vintage comedy available too, including Fawlty Towers and all four seasons of Black Adder. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check Netflix DVD rental service. Sign up and you can request everything from Jonathan Creek to Upstairs Downstairs.
New users get a free 30 day trial, then plans start at $7.99 a month.
In 2013, this on-demand streaming service bought thousands of episodes from the BBC for its subscription site, Hulu Plus, making it one of the best places to watch British TV in the U.S. Head to Hulu.com/plus to watch Doctor Who, Top Gear, Luther and Sherlock. If you don’t want to pay a monthly fee, Hulu also offers a stack of Brit shows for free, including Misfits, Rev and The Thick of It, and British soaps like Coronation Street and Hollyoaks – although your viewing will be regularly interrupted by adverts. (This is also true of Hulu Plus.)
You get a free week, then Hulu Plus is $7.99 a month. But, as we mention, much of Hulu content is available for free (with commercial interruptions, of course).
The retail giant refuses to be outdone by its online rivals, so keeps a vast collection of British programs in its Instant Video library. If you have Amazon Prime membership then you’ll have access to wealth of shows at no extra cost. Amazon scores major points by having exclusive U.S. on-demand rights to Downton Abbey, up to and including Season 5, which premieres in the U.S. in January. You can generally watch episodes the day after they’re aired.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime – which currently costs $79.99 a year after your free 30-day trial – or a show isn’t covered by Prime membership, per episode prices start at $1.99.
U.K. TV specialist Acorn TV has become a favorite online destination for British expats and Anglophiles, with a whole section devoted to popular U.K. shows (many of them, oddly, starring Martin Clunes) that you can only watch via their site. Sample everything from Time Team to Rosemary and Thyme.
You get a free month when you sign up, then it’s a monthly $4.99 fee.
The Apple media player and library is stocked to the virtual gills with British TV, including 11 “lost” Doctor Who episodes (divided into two mini-series), to which it currently boasts exclusive access.
The recently recovered Doctor Who serials are priced at $9.99. Individual episodes of this and everything else start at $1.99.
The world’s leading search engine also has an online store with an impressive catalogue of British shows. Titles include The Paradise, Inspector Lewis and Twenty Twelve.
Episodes are competitively priced, starting at $1.99.
Our sister site, Anglophenia, can get you started with binge-worthy series and films here.
What are you going to binge on this holiday season?
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