Together with his partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, they take on the elite criminal underworld of Oxford, England, relying on Lewis' instinct and Hathaway's intellect. Based on the series of 12 novels by Winston Graham, Poldark stars Aidan Turner in the title role. Though their lives have seemingly moved on from these past crimes (and current partners or children may have no idea about it), scratch the surface and you’ll find the pain and angst over these tragedies still simmering underneath. —Amanda Schurr, Created by: Heidi Thomas Stars: Ed Stoppard, Keeley Hawes, Eileen Atkins, Claire Foy, Alex Kingston, Jean Marsh, Anne Reid, Adrian Acarborough, The original Upstairs, Downstairs is one of the most beloved series in Masterpiece history, so it makes sense that someone would eventually try to remake it. —Lacy Baugher, Created by: Sandy Welch Stars: Romola Garai, Jonny Lee Miller, Michael Gambon, Louise Dylan, Rupert Evans, Tamsin Greig, The most important aspect of any Emma adaptation is the chemistry between Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightly. PBS Masterpiece Mystery! Based on the popular novel by Evelyn Waugh, when middle-class freshman and aspiring artist Charles (Irons) arrives to Oxford, he is befriended by the rich, spoiled party boy Sebastian (Anthony Andrews) who soon falls in love with Charles and introduces him to his severely dysfunctional upper-class family living in the grand estate of Brideshead. The music bounces from scene to scene with curlicue youthfulness. But the real struggle comes from the siblings’ mother (Phoebe Nicholls) who is determined to guide her children into their proper places as Catholic royalty, much to the dismay of atheist Charles. His Poirot is a comprehensive character study, and a terrifically fun one at that. In the style of Bleak House which came before it, this miniseries has the time and space to explore all of Dickens many side characters and subplots, but the beating heart of the series is Foy’s Amy Dorrit. Overall, Cranford is a timeless, comforting, joyful watch for the whole family. But the series is truly an engrossing ensemble drama with a witty and charming sense of humor, as it tells the sprawling story of a now-blended Yorkshire family and their many personal conflicts (and reconciliations). She’s clever and canny, but it’s Cassie’s stillness and deep dedication to so… Below are 30 of our favorite PBS Masterpiece selections, in no particular order, grouped by where you can stream them. Lushly produced, it should not be mistaken for high art so much as engrossing melodrama. It gives you an expanded version of what you currently see on PBS, including full seasons of your favorite shows before they have aired weekly. Premiered: 2002 Shetland. were reformatted as Masterpiece. —Allison Keene, Created by: John Galsworthy, Stephen Mallatratt Stars: Damian Lewis, Rupert Graves, Gina McKee, Corin Redgrave, Ioan Gruffudd, Before Downton Abbey, there was The Forsyte Saga. If you have never experienced a Lucy Worsley history documentary well, get ready for full immersion (and eventually, obsession). And as the title implies, it’s all about misery, of a sort that’s difficult for most of us to imagine. (Durrells has a total of 26 episodes, which is not an insurmountable number even in Peak TV!) Weaving in a host of Indian characters’ stories with English socialites and politicians, Indian Summers actually has something interesting to say—even if it too often gets caught up in melodrama to say it as effectively as it should. Easily paired with the similarly themed, slightly later-set Jeremy Piven-starring series Mr. Selfridge, this story of a small-town girl who moves to London for a coveted retail job is definitely worth a look. —Allison Keene, Created by: Andrew Davies Stars: Denis Lawson, Anna Maxwell Martin, Patrick Kennedy, Carey Mulligan, Gillian Anderson, Charles Dance, Alun Armstrong, Timothy West, Burn Gorman, In the mid-aughts, the BBC decided to adapt (once again) a host of lesser-known works by Charles Dickens, starting with Bleak House. Full list of past and current PBS shows. In the fourth in a series of articles for Willow and Thatch about the cultural history of PBS Masterpiece, Nancy West looks at the birth of Mystery!, and how it became home to British sleuthing tele that Americans would love.. Masterpiece Mystery! —Allison Keene, Created by: Sally Wainwright Stars: Derek Jacobi, Anne Reid, Sarah Lancashire, Nicola Walker, On the surface, Last Tango in Halifax looks like a sweet but slight story of two British widowers who knew each other in childhood and who find each other again to rekindle a lost love. Unforgotten is less of a crime thriller and more a cerebral whodunnit, investigating the emotional lives of those defined by these old wounds. This is the quintessential British detective series. But like so much in the streaming world, just because we once saw these shows on PBS doesn’t mean you can find them there today (RIP forever the OG Anne of Green Gables miniseries). —Amanda Schurr, Created by: Andrew Davies Stars: Claire Foy, Matthew Macfadyen, Ton Courtenay, Andy Serkis, Eddie Marsan, Arthur Darvill, Most people discovered the exceptional talent of Claire Foy while watching The Crown, but those who watched the 2008 miniseries Little Dorrit (part of the BBC’s well-received run of adapting some lesser-known Dickens works by Andrew Davies) had an early heads-up. As easy as it is to get caught up in Ralph’s rakish charms, though, the real scene-stealer is Roshen Seth as Darius Dalal, the understanding and quietly content father of the always-on-edge Aafrin (Patel). Worsley’s intimate knowledge of the niche subject matter of each of her documentaries will leave you full of trivia facts, yes, but her illuminating the lives of women in particular during these eras gives essential context into how our own modern customs were formed. Early women’s lib-meets-whodunit in this intriguing ensemble drama, which contrasts the murder investigations with post-war gender roles. Apr 23, 2018 - Best thing on TV. The two solve Cases of the Week as vicar Sidney listens to jazz, questions his faith, and tries to stop being in love with his childhood friend Amanda, since they cannot marry. Led by an excellent cast (including, rather iconically, Gillian Anderson), this battle of wills (both literal and figurative) is long enough to be able to include the full measure of Dickens’ strange side characters and dizzying plot strands, all of which connect in one way or another and in fantastically satisfying ways. . Murder conviction? like Frontline, NOVA, Sesame Street, The Joy of Painting and Arthur, but it’s also full of great UK period pieces and crime series. The show stars Rowan Atkinson as the French Chief Inspector Jules Maigret. Last Tango in Halifax is an easy and comforting binge-watch. The ensemble series is extraordinarily well-acted (as evidenced by Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle all receiving Emmy nominations), and there’s perhaps no easier way to describe some of the plot twists than fucking nuts, a term we strongly feel the saucy Dowager Countess would approve of. Terms of Use: PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Initially, Masterpiece Classic aired in the winter and early spring, Masterpiece Mystery! Detective Geordie Keating meanwhile is a no-nonsense WWII veteran with a heart of gold and his own domestic issues, both of which give some extra dimension to the show’s procedural aspects. In this totally unique, slow burner mystery, DCI Stuart and DI Khan investigate core suspects whose lives have—until now—moved on from the sins of the past.Investigators: Detective duo DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil “Sunny” Khan are determined and, for the most part, demon-free. One of the interesting things about Unforgotten’s perspective is that it largely deals with people who are middle aged or even elderly. Taking place in the 1950s in the village of Cambridgeshire, the setup is familiar: there’s a young, handsome vicar who has an intuitive way with people, and a gruff, hardboiled detective with whom he improbably becomes friends. So it holds that Grantchester—a story about a murder mystery-solving vicar—would itself be grand. But more than anything, you feel like you’re being let it on the secrets your schoolbooks never shared with you. Around the same time the BBC started adapting lesser-known Dickens works into a miniseries format written by Andrew Davies, so too did it bring us some of the lesser-appreciated Jane Austen works (from Davies, naturally). The series is loosely based on the real story of the Durrells in a trilogy written by Louisa’s youngest son Gerry (portrayed in the series by Milo Parker). —Allison Keene, Created by: Andrew Davies Stars: Rose Williams, Theo James, Anne Reid, Kris Marshall, Jack Fox, Jane Austen wrote novels with romantic happily-ever-afters that she herself never even experienced. Thankfully, now, it’s just Masterpiece. —Bonnie Stiernberg, Created by: Chris Lang Stars: Nicola Walker, Sanjeev Bhaskar, In the compelling modern crime series Unforgotten, DCI Cassie Stuart (an always-excellent and recently ubiquitous Nicola Walker) and DI Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) doggedly pursue cold case murders and disappearances. Starring heartthrob Theo James as Sidney Parker and the beautiful Rose Williams as Charlotte Heyward, fans of Austen get to see Andrew Davies’ perception of how things end. —Matt Brennan, Created by: Sue Birtwistle, Susie Conklin Stars: Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Simon Woods, Michael Gambon, Lisa Dillon, Claudie Blakley, Based on three charming novels by Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford is a gentle, humorous, and warm-hearted chronicle of life in rural England in the 1840s. It sounds very posh, but in fact Louisa Durrell (the exceptionally charming Keeley Hawes) moved her four children from England after the death of her husband because they were struggling financially. The following is the list of Mystery! With a primary focus on the town’s single and widowed middle class women, the miniseries is filled not only with cozy settings and unforgettable characters (played by some of England’s best actors), but also provides a variety of romantic subplots and the quiet intrigues that bring a dash of spice to daily life. Gentle but determined, she works tirelessly to care for her father in debtors prison. When most of us think of PBS series, our minds go to what is actually under the Masterpiece banner. It can be very quiet, but once it has its hooks in you, you won’t be able to stop bingeing each of its three, six-episode seasons (with another on the way). Through it all, the spirit of the adaptation by Andrew Davies can be found in his describing it so: “Let’s have Elizabeth on a hillside seeing these two tasty blokes galloping along, and something about them makes her skip down the hill.” And, for the implicit back and forth that inspires (let alone what follows), we follow, too. Both feature young women being pushed very suddenly into a royal role they had not been expecting, facing difficulties living under constant public scrutiny, and fighting to command respect from men who do no think them up to the task. Watch on PBS Passport. Find show websites, online video, web extras, schedules and more for your favorite PBS shows. Mrs. Bradley Mysteries: The Complete Series DVD,Dame Diana Rigg stars as witty, glamorous divorcee Adela Bradley in this classic whodunit set in the 1920s. PBS TV Schedule 2021: Premieres, Dates & Times | Tonights.TV ... PBS Susan, Lucy, Millie and Jean reunite a decade later, in 1952, to track a serial killer. The reboot version, which launched in 2012 and ran for just two seasons (and only six total episodes), features a stacked ensemble that includes Keeley Hawes, Claire Foy, Alex Kingston, Eileen Aitkins, and original series cast member Jean Marsh. Enjoy! But the less known about the gentle twists the final season takes the better. The Durrells in Corfu. Currently, all three programs air at any time throughout the year, and on nearly half the Su… Wallander is a study in visual contrasts: saturated color schemes, dramatic plays of shadows and light, extreme changes in focus. Worsley usually dresses up in accurate period wear and includes herself as an observer in the reenactments of English life from centuries ago, paying homage to those whose working conditions were beyond horrid, never holding back in describing gory details. To put it another way: In Prime Suspect, Mirren delivers one of the most brilliant, influential performances in the history of the medium. Margaret and her siblings are on the forefront of changing social mores, sometimes controversially so, and it defines her relationship with an older, wealthy widower, Henry Wilcox (Matthew Macfadyen), whose conservative values clash with hers. It’s also a story where Dickens’ naming conventions are perhaps at an all-time high—Lady Dedlock, Mr. Jarndyce, Miss Flight, Snagsby, William Guppy, Krook, etc—and the adaptation leans into its strangeness. Masterpiece is aired as three different series. Among the politics there are also two beautiful love stories at the center of Victoria; a chaste one between the young queen and her first Prime Minister, “Lord M” (as she calls him), and the other between Victoria and her future husband Albert. It is, in some ways, a British version of Dynasty. Shetland is a BBC Scotland crime drama television series starring Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector... Agatha Christie's Poirot. Mystery at shop.pbs.org. Fans of sumptuous costume dramas will find plenty to love in the series’ lavish production design, while those seeking the images of esteemed European actors bouncing off each other will also have a lot to savor. And/or, you can choose to pay for the Britbox add on (additional $6.99/month) for access to still another great list of BBC shows. In less capable hands, these stories would’ve likely flown off the rails and veered into the completely ridiculous, but the talented cast of Downton Abbey manage to always handle it with aplomb. Amnesia? It deviates a little from typical Austen narratives with its spooky trappings, but it still gives us an incredibly sweet romance (hindered initially by money, of course) and a host of charming performances from a young Felicity Jones, Carey Mulligan, and JJ Field. Taking place in the twilight of the British Raj circa 1932, Indian Summers is (thankfully) not sympathetic or nostalgic for this fraught time in history. The Durrells in Corfu just completed its fourth and final season in the U.S., where we say goodbye to this English family living in Greece in the 1930s, just before the dawn of a new war. Wolf Hall’s primary strength, however, lies in depicting the fascinating machinations of 16th century politics, the importance of religious freedom and reform, and how a few choice whispers can so drastically influence the progression of history. Sally Wainwright’s series can take soapy twists and turns, but it’s always anchored by outstanding performances from the four leads and a cozy sense of home (home meaning either the posh side of the family or the farmer side, depending). This list does not include any rebroadcasts of series, including those previously shown on Masterpiece Theatre or Mystery! Beatie Edney, Jack Farthing, Heida Reed, Kyle Soller, Richard Harrington, Phil Davis, Warren Clarke, Lovers of sweeping, romantic sagas will delight at this Masterpiece presentation, which takes viewers back to the late 1700s following the American Revolutionary War. logo, courtesy PBS Maigret is a British adaptation of the books by Georges Simenon. Fun mystery/crime show with a crew of handpicked detectives forming a special mystery-solving [cold case] unit; in tenth series and still going [as of 08/13]. You can also choose to pay for the PBS Masterpiece add-on via Amazon Prime (additional $5.99/month), which gives you another host of great options. It’s also a good mix of what you can find on Amazon/Britbox/Masterpiece services below (Passport links are found throughout this list), and includes Sherlock, which is not included with those other services. Watch on PBS Passport, Mr. Selfridge is the Masterpiece series for those who thought Downton Abbey didn’t feature enough sex, gangsters, or Americans. This page uses the page-series.php template. —Evan Fleischer, Created by: Richard Cottan, Peter Harness, Richard McBrien Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Sarah Smart, Tom Hiddlestone, Ricahrd McCabe, David Warner, Saskia Reeves, Watch on Amazon via Britbox And you will be the one urging people to get past the strange names of the title (which will no longer be strange to you) and give this wonderful show a chance. If series about the scandals and foibles of the uppercrust appeal to you, you cannot go wrong with Forsyte. Suffice it to say that the family continue to have their adventures, but the feeling of things winding down is acute in these last episodes. Ahead of the premiere of the British mystery series, the cast talks filming in Italy, the devoted fandom, and when they'll be ready to call it a day. A beautifully engrossing soap opera filled with a higher caste of desperate souls, Brideshead is always worth revisiting. Do not miss! A lovely, simmering humor is felt throughout, which helps soften some of its occasional sorrow. Though uneven at the best of times, Indian Summers makes a case for itself thanks to excellent performances from Nikesh Patel, Jemima West, Aysha Kala, and Alyy Khan in particular. had been losing audiences for some time. Watch on PBS Passport While the cast and setting is thoroughly lovely, there is definite creative license taken to what Austen fans will expect. An anthology series featuring various predominately British mystery stories. But Sanditon, a book with no ending, was given life as a PBS miniseries. Oh, big-time. —Keri Lumm, Created by: Andrew Davies Stars: Dominic West, David Oyelowo, Lily Collins, Adeel Akhtar, Johnny Flynn, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Written by Victor Hugo and published in 1862, Les Misérables is known as one of the great novels of the 19th century. What more could you want? Anchored by outstanding performances, the series shines in its quiet moments of personal fortitude and in confronting one’s own biases in endlessly intriguing ways. Both are unique in their own ways, especially in how the show allows Victoria and Albert to settle into both domestic bliss and the natural scuffles all couples face (augmented, of course, by their positions). The British mystery is my favorite genre – from cozies to traditional to police procedurals. If you aren’t already supporting your local PBS station, why not? —Allison Keene, Created by: Andrew Davies Stars: Jeremy Piven, Frances O’Connor, Aisling Loftus, Ron Cook, Tom Goodman-Hill, Amanda Abbington, Amy Beth Hayes, Watch on Amazon via Masterpiece The show truly blossoms in its second season, and continues from there to be an emotional and surprisingly cozy portrayal of the royal household, the people it employs, and a nation Victoria and Albert seek to modernize. Life is (or was, at this time) cheap in Corfu, where the family takes up residence in a wonderfully ramshackle and remote house right on the water—which also lacks electricity or other modern conveniences. Brideshead Revisited (1981) The Paradise. It is also thoroughly middle-class, a group of people Downton never really deigned to discuss. Some of those alternate viewing destinations are included below. Though this round at 165 Eaton Place is positively bursting with soapy drama—scandals, intra-family affairs, and even a Nazi spy in the household—most of the characters are fairly unsympathetic and difficult to like. Like all good TV families, their interactions are full of love, bickering, and insults. The miniseries is able to expand on the film adaptations in important ways, allowing Emma to have a little more shading than just the spoiled girl with nothing to vex her and who likes to run everyone’s lives. As their relationship grows so does Charles’ infatuation with Sebastian’s sister Julia (Diana Quick). No matter what route you choose, you can rest assured that everything featured on PBS Masterpiece is good. Dabbling in psychoanalysis, toxicology, pre-feminism, and sleuthing, she gets the lowdown on the upper crust. Though it could have used more time in which to spin its intriguing tale, the uniqueness of the setting and storyline, especially given its elements of gothic drama and unexpected humor (not to mention the immensity of Taylor-Joy’s talent), make it both a surprising and worthy watch. And in doing so, Durrells has made itself an essential watch.—Allison Keene, Created by: Debbie Horsfield Stars: Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ruby Bentall. Featuring four young stars on the rise as the unforgettable March girls, Emily Watson as their mother, Marmee, and the 92-year-old Angela Lansbury in an astoundingly good turn as Aunt March, Little Women—adapted by Heidi Thomas (Call the Midwife) and directed by Vanessa Caswill—has all the makings of a new beloved viewing tradition. —Allison Keene, Created by: Peter Straughan Stars: Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, Claire Foy, Bernard Hill, Anton Lesser, Mark Gatiss, Based on the best-selling historical novel series by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall stars Mark Rylance (everyone’s favorite award-winning, poetry-spouting thespian) as Thomas Cromwell, the lawyer and statesman who ended up rising through the ranks (via a combination of sheer intelligence and Machiavellian manipulation) to become the right-hand man of King Henry VIII. in the late spring and summer, and Masterpiece Contemporary in the fall. See more ideas about midsomer murders, british tv, pbs. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking® and Raymond James, with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The Masterpiece Trust, created to help ensure the series' future. © 2021 Paste Media Group. As the heroic Poldark, he vows to sets things to right even as the odds seem insurmountable. And yet she etched in our memories a uniquely compelling, damaged character, one to whom every detective to appear on TV since bears no small debt. Branagh gives an aptly measured, introspective performance, a man who observes everything, but can’t make sense of anything anymore, the very least of which is himself. Watch on HBO Max, Kenneth Branagh is marvelous in this moody procedural based on the novels of Henning Mankell, and the original Swedish film adaptations. The gentle twists the final season takes the better Masterpiece Subscription i have watched PBS ’ only... Of fury of so many current dramas, Hulu, and most of its history, the slot. 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