Most of you will probably know that Doctor Who is my favourite show. However, there are plenty of other shows that I enjoy and love. All of these are comedy programs or sci-fi/fantasy shows, and I have fond memories of watching these shows when I was younger. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that these have all stopped, I’d probably like them just as much as Doctor Who, if not more-
Between 2008-2011, I watched Doctor Who in the spring and Merlin in the autumn. This show was a reimagining of the King Arthur legend, with Merlin as a young man working with Arthur, who is still a prince while his father, Uther, is King of Camelot. Also in the mix is the Great Dragon, played by the War Doctor himself John Hurt. Naturally, as a fan of fantasy, this show appealed to me immensly. My favourite episodes always focused on the monsters such as the Griffin, the Lamia, the Manticore, the Afanc and a skeletal army. The story arcs were also incredibly strong and captivating. One of my fondest memories of this show was being absolutely terrified by the Series 3 two part opener . I admittedly didn’t watch every episode but I did watch most and I enjoyed them all. Also, the title music is just brilliant-
The third high concept sci-fi/fantasy show that defined my childhood, Primeval was about creatures from the Earth’s past (and occasionally future) that entered the modern world through anomalies, while a team of scientists tried to stop them and solve the mysteries of the anomalies. As a fan of prehistoric life, this show appealed to me in every way. The first series I watched in full was Series 3, which is one of my favourite things ever. My favourite creatures from the show were the iconic Future Predators, the mosasaur, the giant worms, the Mer, the Fungus, the terror birds and the Spinosaurus(!). Every episode was defined by the creature that had gone through the anomaly and also whatever story arc was happening. I spent lots of time going through the episodes on DVD and I will go through them all again if I have the time.
My all time favourite comedy show, and my recent passion for history has made Blackadder even funnier than when I was younger. While I enjoy all 4 series (even the first one) I have to agree with popular opinion- Blackadder Goes Forth is just brilliant. That’s not to discredit Blackadder II or III though- I especially like the episode in III where the actors have to train George to perform a speech while Blackadder is just winding the actors up (Macbeth!). The fourth series is easily the most iconic though, and for good reason- every episode is fantastically funny. Blackadder himself is one of my all time favourite characters. He’s so sarcastic and cynical, yet so likeable. Rowan Atkinson would be a great Doctor. My other favourite character is General Melchett, played by Stephen Fry, who is so obnoxious, loud and stupid that he steals every scene he’s in. It’s hard to pick a favourite scene, but here’s one from the parrot episode-
- Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Another British comedy classic, Monty Python really needs no introduction. They are so ingrained into British pop culture that I was aware of them before I even saw the show. The sketches are so absurd yet done in a way that seems so normal. In the Monty Python universe, a cheese shop lacking cheese is as normal as asking for a fish license. My favourite sketches include the Parrot Sketch, the Cheese Shop sketch, the Argument Clinic, the silly job interview, the restaurant sketch and Spam. Quite why Monty Python works so well is hard to explain, but it’s something about the utterly ridiculous scenarios and characters that just make the whole thing work so well.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars
I’m willing to defend the Prequels, and I believe this show justifies the existence of them. Telling the story of the Clone Wars between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the series takes many controversial aspects of the Prequels and improves on them. There’s barely any politics, but there are massive battles, lightsaber duels and unique worlds. On top of making Prequel characters like Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Plo Koon and General Grievous (my favourite Star Wars character for the simple reason that he’s a cyborg) more fleshed out characters, the show also introduces great original characters such as Ahsoka, Ventrass, Savage Opress and the awesome Cad Bane. My favourite aspect of the show is how vast it makes the Star Wars universe and truly shows how global the war is. My favourite episodes involved the Zillo Beast, a giant monster accidentally unleashed on Coruscant, and the story arc involving a second war on Geonosis. Any episode with bounty hunter Cad Bane is also great.
There are many more shows that I loved when I was younger, including Deadly 60, all the David Attenborough programs and the Walking With series, but I wanted to focus on the non educational shows and talk about them. I still have a lot of TV to get through, so hopefully one day I will do an updated list.