150+ British Dramas (& Period Dramas) You Can Watch for Free


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Last Updated on December 3, 2021 by Stefanie Hutson

Not everyone can afford to pay for all the different streaming services out there just to get their British TV fix – and even if you're among the lucky ones who can, there are some wonderful British TV shows that genuinely aren't available via any paid subscription services in the US right now. 

In this list, we'll take a look at a variety of British and British-adjacent (AU, CAN, etc.) dramas and period dramas you can watch on legal, free-with-ads streaming services. We do not include any of the sites with pirated shows people have stolen and uploaded. 

In case you're not familiar with some of the streaming services, we've included links for all of them here at the top:

Since our readership is almost exclusively American, these listings are based on availability in the US.

Want to watch more British TV shows for free? Check out our list of more than 600 British TV shows you can watch for free.

British Dramas (& Period Dramas) You Can Watch for Free Online


All SaintsAustralia – 1998 to 2009 – This long-running Australian medical series follows the staff of Ward 17 at the fictional All Saints Western General Hospital. Tubi, IMDb TV, Vudu

The Ambassador – 1998 – Pauline Collins stars as Ambassador Harriet Smith, British ambassador to Ireland. She’s a woman under constant pressure from all angles, and she still struggles with guilt about her husband’s death from a car bomb meant for her. Tubi

Anna Karenina – 1977 – Nicola Pagett (Upstairs Downstairs) stars as Anna Karenina in this retelling of Tolstoy’s classic tale of family passions in 1870s Russia. Pluto

Anzac GirlsAustralia – 2014 – Heroic women rise to the occasion during the war. Tubi

Archangel – 2006 – Daniel Craig stars as a middle-aged former Oxford historian whose studies in a Moscow Library lead him into the middle of a dark and dramatic plot. This series was produced by the BBC and also includes Gabriel Macht of Suits fame. Pluto, IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu

A Thing Called Love – 2004 – After a drunken night out and an episode of infidelity, a Nottingham man decides it’s time to settle down and focus on real love. IMDb TV

At Home With the Braithwaites

At Home With the Braithwaites – 2000 to 2003 – With an all-star cast that includes Amanda Redman, Peter Davison, and Julia Graham, this drama follows the life of Aliston Braithwaite and her family. She wins 38 million pounds in the lottery, only to hide it from her family in favour of setting up a secret charity to do good things with the money. IMDb TV, Tubi, Roku Channel, Vudu

Band of Gold – 1995 to 1997 – Geraldine James stars in this Bradford-based series about desperate streetwalkers trying to make their way through hard times in Northern England. IMDb TV

Being Human – 2008 to 2013 – A vampire, werewolf, and ghost try to coexist as roommates. IMDb TV, Tubi, Vudu, Roku Channel, Pluto, Crackle

The Bench – 2001 to 2002 – This legal drama takes place in a busy magistrates court in Wales. It follows the challenges they face in court, along with the general pressures of working on a high-profile legal team. IMDb TV, Tubi

Black HarbourCanada – 1997 to 1998- When her mother gets ill, Katherine and her husband Nick give up their prestigious careers in Los Angeles to move back home to Nova Scotia. IMDb TV, Roku Channel


Blackpool – 2004 – Shortly after Ripley Holden opens his arcade, a man is murdered. The investigation jeopardizes all his big plans. Pluto

The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff – 2012 – As proprietor of The Old Shop of Stuff, Jedrington Secret-Past sells all manner of unusual items. Unfortunately, Malifax Skulkingworm wants to make his life miserable. Robert Webb (Peep Show), Stephen Fry (Kingdom), and Katherine Parkison (The IT Crowd) star. Pluto

Bluestone 42 – 2013 to 2015 – This dark comedy follows the lives of British soldiers working in a bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan. Pluto

Body and Soul – 1993 – Kristin Scott Thomas stars as Sister Gabriel, a nun forced to leave the convent when her brother dies and her family needs her help to save their mill. This miniseries is based on Marcell Bernstein’s novel. IMDb TV

Bomb GirlsCanada – 2012 to 2013 – Set during World War II, BOMB GIRLS tells the remarkable stories of women who risked their lives in a munitions factory to make bombs for the Allied Forces. The series stars Meg Tilly (The Big Chill), Jodi Balfour (Quarry), Charlotte Hegele (When Calls the Heart) and Ali Liebert (Ten Days in the Valley). Pluto, IMDb TV, Filmrise, Vudu, Tubi, Roku Channel

The Book Group – 2002 to 2003 – When an American woman moves to Glasgow, she starts a book group to make friends. IMDb TV, Filmrise, Tubi, Roku Channel

Bramwell, 1995 – 98.

Bramwell – 1995 to 1998 – In 1895, Dr. Eleanor Bramwell does her best to improve public health in Victorian London. IMDb TV, Tubi, Vudu, Crackle

Brideshead Revisited – 1981 – Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews star in this adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel by the same name. The Telegraph awarded it the top position in its list of greatest television adaptations of all time. Roku Channel, Tubi, Vudu, Crackle, Filmrise, IMDb TV

The Brief – 2004 to 2005 – This legal series comes from the creators of Inspector Morse and Kavanagh QC, and it stars Alan Davies (Jonathan Creek) as a criminal lawyer with a penchant for gambling in all areas of his life. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Pluto

Byron – 2003 – Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary) stars in this period drama about the life of Lord Byron. Pluto

Camomile Lawn – 1991 – Felicity Kendal (The Good Life) and Jennifer Ehle (Pride & Prejudice ‘95) star in this series about a family spending the summer of 1939 together, just as World War II begins. Tubi, Roku Channel

Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons – 1967 – This 1960s series followed an unkillable agent in charge of the fight against extraterrestrial terrorists. IMDb TV, Tubi


Capital – 2015 – Toby Jones and Rachael Stirling (both of Detectorists) star in this drama about residents on a fictional street who receive strange postcards that read: “We want what you have.” As the mystery unfolds, their interweaving stories will also play out. Crackle

Care – 2018 – Sheridan Smith (Gavin & Stacey) stars as a single mother struggling to raise her two children after a family tragedy. After her husband’s departure, she's fully reliant on the childcare her mother Mary (Alison Steadman, also from Gavin & Stacey) provides. That all changes when Mary suffers a devastating stroke and develops dementia. IMDb TV, Tubi

Chancer – 1990 to 1991 – Clive Owen plays Stephen Crane, a schemer who takes advantage of opportunities using manipulation and misdirection. As a young business analyst/con man in London, he's called in to help save a struggling motor company. IMDb TV, Tubi, Vudu

Class – 2016 – This Doctor Who spinoff follows the students of Coal Hill Academy, an unlucky bunch forced to contend with all the usual challenges of growing up…along with the possible end of existence. Tubi

The ClinicIreland – 2003 to 2009 – This prime-time medical drama follows the staff of the Clarence Street Clinic in an affluent Dublin neighbourhood. Long-time British TV fans will recognise a number of familiar faces, including Aidan Turner (Poldark), Amy Huberman (Finding Joy), Lorraine Pilkington (Monarch of the Glen), and Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd). Tubi

Clink – 2019 – This drama is set in the fictional BPS Bridewell women’s prison, and focuses on the women who live there, and the woman who runs the place. Many have compared it to British prison series Bad Girls, and at least one cast member, Alicya Eyo (who plays new Governor Dominique Darby), was also in Bad Girls. IMDb TV

Cold Feet

Cold Feet – 1998 to 2003 – This long-running dramedy follows the lives of six thirtysomething friends living in Manchester, England as they do their best to get their lives sorted. IMDb TV, Tubi, Filmrise, Roku Channel

Collision – 2009 – After a multi-car accident, a group of relative strangers see their secrets unfold around that single event that ties them together. This short series was written by Anthony Horowitz of Midsomer Murders fame, and Shetland fans will immediately notice Douglas Henshall as DI John Tolin. Crackle, Tubi, Roku Channel, IMDb TV, Filmrise

CrowniesAustralia – 2011 – Marta Dusseldorp (A Place to Call Home) stars in this series about young solicitors who act as primary points of contact for police, witnesses, and victims. IMDb TV, Tubi

Dancing on the Edge – 2013 – In early 1930s London, a black jazz group is coming up in the world. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes before they can fully appreciate their success. This six-episode series features a mixture of British high society and the much uglier underbelly of racism and poverty in London at the time. Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto

Danger Man, aka Secret Agent – 1961 to 1968 – Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner) stars as John Drake, a special operative for NATO specialising in security assignments involving threats to world peace. IMDb TV

The Darling Buds of May – 1991 to 1993 – Based on the 1958 H.E. Bates novel of the same name, this series is set in rural 1950s Kent and follows the Larkin family as they go about their daily lives. This early 90s dramedy was a breakout role for Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. IMDb TV, Tubi, Roku Channel, Pluto

Deep Water – 2019 – Anna Friel (Marcella) stars in this miniseries about three mothers struggling with challenging moral and ethical problems. Pluto

The Delivery Man

The Delivery Man – 2015 – Former police officer Matthew begins work as a midwife. He’s the first male midwife to hit the unit, and he hopes his new career will give him more satisfaction than his previous work. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Filmrise

Desi Rascals – 2015 – This reality series follows young adult members of the British-Asian community. IMDb TV, Filmrise

The Devil's Mistress – 2008 – During the English Civil War, a young woman exploits a country in crisis for her own self-preservation. The follow-up to this series is called New Worlds. IMDb TV, Tubi, Pluto, Crackle, Roku Channel

The Diplomat, aka False Witness – 2009 – When a British diplomat attempts to stop a terrorist trade, he finds himself caught up in a larger plot involving the Scotland Yard and the Russian mafia. Pluto, Tubi, Crackle

Emmerdale – 1972 to present – Originally known as Emmerdale Farm, this series was originally set in a village called Beckindale. In the 90s, the show rebranded and began to focus on the entire village of Emmerdale. Now, storylines are bigger, sexier, and more dramatic than ever. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi

Enemy at the Door – 1978 – This drama focuses on life in the British Channel Islands during the German occupation in WWII. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Filmrise

Eternal Law

Eternal Law – 2012 – In Eternal Law, angels live among us and help humans when they're at their most desperate – in this case, the angels are lawyers in the lovely and historic city of York. IMDb TV, Vudu, Tubi

A Family At War – 1970 – In this classic family saga, we follow the daily life of the Ashtons, a working-class family in Liverpool during the time of WWII. IMDb TV, Tubi

Flickers – 1980 – During the early days of silent film, a lovable Cockney tries to make his fortune in the industry. IMDb TV

Flood – 2008 – An engineer must rush to save millions of Londoners when floods threaten the city. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto, Filmrise

The Fortunes & Misfortunes of Moll Flanders – Daniel Craig stars in this miniseries adaptation of the classic Daniel Defoe novel. Tubi, IMDb TV

The Fragile Heart – 1996 – Nigel Hawthorne (Yes Minister) stars as a brilliant and successful surgeon whose work heading a medical delegation in China forces him into a serious ethical dilemma. Tubi, Filmrise, IMDb TV

Go GirlsNew Zealand – 2009 to 2013 – Three twentysomething women realize they've made little progress towards their life goals, and vow to achieve their respective goals of being married, rich, and famous within a year. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Filmrise, Tubi


Grafters – 1998 to 1999 – Robson Green (Grantchester) and Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks) star in this series about two brothers who work together as builders and have terribly dysfunctional family lives. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi

The Grand – 1997 to 1998 – This period drama was written by Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and takes place in 1920s Manchester. It follows the Bannerman family as they re-open The Grand after WWI. IMDb TV, Roku Channel

The Great Fire – 2015 – This four-part series is a dramatisation of 1666’s Great Fire of London. The fire went on for four days, leaving nearly 90% of the city’s population homeless. Tubi, Roku Channel, Pluto

The Guilty – 1992 – Michael Kitchen (Foyle’s War) and Caroline Catz (Doc Martin) star in this miniseries in which a young man gets in over his head during a search for his real father. IMDb TV

Hearts & Bones – 2000 to 2001 – This drama follows a group of 20 and 30-something friends who move to London and transition into proper adult lives. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudi, Tubi, Pluto


Heartbeat – 1992 to 2010 – This Yorkshire-based period crime drama ran for 18 seasons and 372 episodes, focusing on the lives of characters in a small village. Initially, it focused on a central couple, PC Nick Rowan and Dr. Kate Rowan, but as time went on, it branched out to include storylines all over the village. The series is based on the “Constable” novels written by Peter N. Walker under the pseudonym Nicholas Rhea. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi, Filmrise

Hollyoaks – 1995 to present – This young adult soap opera is set in the fictional village of Hollyoaks, a suburb of Chester. As a youth-oriented programme, it frequently covers topics considered taboo. Tubi

Homefront – 2012 – This dramatic miniseries follows the lives of the wives and girlfriends of soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Tubi, Roku Channel, IMDb TV

The Hour.

The Hour – 2011 – This period drama takes us behind the scenes during the launch of a new London news programme during the mid-1950s. Ben Whishaw (Spectre), Romola Garai (Emma), Dominic West (The Affair), and Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) are among the cast members. Pluto, Tubi

The House that Dripped Blood – This anthology series tells four stories about a haunted home in the UK. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are featured. Tubi, Pluto

The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant – 2007 – After stealing a woman's picnic, starving Mary Broad is convicted to death. Before realizing that fate, however, she's granted mercy and allowed to live out her life on a penal colony in New South Wales, Australia. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Pluto, Filmrise

Inside Men – 2012 – This miniseries tells the story of three employees who plan and execute a major heist. Pluto

Island at War – 2004 – This miniseries depicts life under Nazi occupation on St. Gregory Island (a fictionalized version of the Channel Islands – see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Netflix for something similar). IMDb TV, Roku Channel

Jackson's WharfNew Zealand – 1999 to 2000 – Set in a fictional coastal town, this series revolves around the rivalry between two brothers: cop Frank and lawyer Ben. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi

Jason and the ArgonautsUnited States – 2000 – Though this was a Turkish-American co-production, you’ll likely spot a number of familiar British faces in this adaptation of the classic mythological story of Jason and the Argonauts. Derek Jacobi (Cadfael, Last Tango in Halifax) stars alongside Angus Macfadyen (Braveheart), Ciarán Hinds (Above Suspicion), Adrian Lester (Hustle), and Olivia Williams (Emma). Tubi, Pluto, Vudu, Roku Channel

Jekyll & Hyde

Jekyll & Hyde – 2015 – Set in 1930s London, this variation of the classic story sees Robert Jekyll living in London, a sensitive young man trying to find his way independent of his foster family. Unfortunately, be begins to feel the influence of a powerful darkness that's outside his control – and he realises his parents had been trying to protect him all along. Young Robert has inherited his grandfather's curse, and he's soon drawn into Hyde's dark and unsavoury world. Tom Bateman stars as Dr. Robert Jekyll. Tubi, Roku Channel, Pluto

Jessica Australia – 2003 – In Australia, a young girl is placed in an asylum on false pretenses, and her only hope is a less-than-promising lawyer. IMDb TV, Roku Channel

Joe 90 – 1968 – Another marionette-based programme, this one follows the adventures of a pre-teen secret agent who can almost instantly have any skills loaded into his brain. IMDb TV, Tubi

K-9 – 2009 – This Doctor Who spin-off follows the robot dog companion K-9. Pluto

The Last Place on Earth – 1985 – This seven-part serial is based on the book Scott & Amundsen by Roland Huntford, and it follows the expeditions of Captain Robert F. Scott and his Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen. Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto, Filmrise

Lillie – 1978 – This period drama tells the story of Lillie Langtry, a beautiful woman who managed to woo tons of wealthy men and become a well-known actress. Francesca Annis (Reckless) and Peter Egan (Downton Abbey) star. IMDb TV, Roku Channel

Lip Service

Lip Service – 2010 to 2012 – This serial drama takes a look at the lives of a group of lesbian women living in Glasgow, Scotland. Pluto, Tubi, Roku Channel

Little Dorrit – 2008 – Claire Foy and Matthew Macfayden star in this adaptation of Dickens' story of struggle in 1820s London. Pluto

Liverpool 1 – 1998 to 1999 – This gritty, Liverpool-based police drama dives into the city's underworld. We follow the vice squad at Bridewell as they fight drug dealers, paeodophiles, pimps, and porn peddlers in this rough-around-the-edges port city. Samantha Womack stars as DC Isobel de Pauli. IMDb TV, Tubi

London’s Burning – 1988 to 2002 – This series about a London fire brigade began as a TV movie and evolved into a long-running drama series. IMDb TV

Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen – 2008 – A bored young Pride and Prejudice fan is changed forever when Elizabeth Bennet stumbles into her modern bathroom. This miniseries includes Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) as Mr. Bennet, Morven Christie (Grantchester) as Jane Bennet, and Jemima Rooper (Gold Digger) as lead Amanda Price. Tubi

Love/Hate – 2010 to 2014 – When a young man returns to Dublin after a year away, he wants to stay clean, but circumstances drag him into the world of Irish gangs. IMDb TV

Love Lies Bleeding – 2006 – A self-made millionaire finds himself caught up in a strange and deadly conspiracy after an old friend shows up. IMDb TV

Love My WayAustralia – 2004 to 2007 – This Australian drama follows a thirtysomething woman as she attempts to juggle her desires for a rewarding career, a good relationship, and a healthy family life. Claudia Karvan (Newton's Law) stars. IMDb TV

Married Single Other – 2010 – Set in Leeds, this series follows a group of young friends trying to figure out their love lives. IMDb TV

McLeod’s Daughters – 2002 to 2009 – Two sisters separated as children are reunited when they jointly inherit a ranch in the Australian bush: the independent Claire McLeod (Lisa Chappell, Gloss) and her estranged half-sister, Tess (Bridie Carter, 800 Words), a stubborn city girl with a drive to change the world. Together, they build an all-female workforce and commit to life at Drovers Run. Nearby, the men of the Ryan family help keep things interesting. IMDb TV, Vudu, Roku Channel, Pluto, Tubi


Merlin – 2009 to 2013 – Colin Morgan (The Fall) stars as a young Merlin in his days as a mere servant to Prince Arthur of Camelot. In this version of Camelot, magic is banned and Merlin is forced to keep his talent hidden away. Pluto, Tubi, Filmrise

Merlin’s ApprenticeUnited States/Canada – 2005 – This miniseries is a follow-up to the 1998 NBC miniseries called Merlin, not the longer-running British TV show Merlin. The series features British actress Miranda Richardson (Blackadder) as The Lady of the Lake, and much of the rest of the cast is from the Commonwealth. Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi, Pluto, Filmrise, IMDb TV

The Mill – 2013 to 2014 – This period drama is based on the real stories of textile mill workers in 1830s England. Set in Cheshire, it depicts the harsh realities of the Industrial Revolution that transformed England. Tubi

Misfits – 2009 to 2013 – A group of young offenders develops superpowers when they're struck by lightning. Tubi, IMDb TV

The Mixer – 1992 – Though technically a French and German production, this series is set in 1930s London. It focuses on a penniless nobleman who robs thieves of their stolen property with the help of his trusty valet. IMDb TV

Mobile – 2007 – Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War) appears in this miniseries about a fictional mobile phone conglomerate and a conspiracy tied into a gangland shooting. IMDb TV

Moby Dick – 2011 – This British, Australian, and American co-production tells Herman Melville's story of Captain Ahab and the great white whale, Moby Dick. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Vudu

Monarch of the Glen

Monarch of the Glen – 2000 to 2005 – Young Archie MacDonald returns home to the Scottish Highlands to take his place as laird and save the family estate. Tubi, Pluto, IMDb TV

Monroe – 2011 to 2012 – James Nesbitt (Cold Feet) stars in this medical drama about a brilliant but quirky neurosurgeon and the talented doctors who work with him. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Filmrise

Mount RoyalCanada – 1988 – This drama brings to mind shows like Dallas or Dynasty, but it's set against the cosmopolitan backdrop of 1980s Montreal. IMDb TV, Roku Channel

The Musketeers – 2014 to 2016 – This modern retelling of the classic Dumas novel includes appearances by Peter Capaldi, Tom Burke, and Rupert Everett. Tubi, Pluto

My Uncle Silas – 2001 to 2003 – Based on stories by H.E. Bates, this series follows a boisterous Bedfordshire uncle as he cares for his nephew over the summer in turn-of-the-century England. Stars Sue Johnston and Albert Finney. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi


Neverland – 2011 – In turn-of-the-century London, a couple of pickpockets discover a portal to Neverland. IMDb TV

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere – 1996 – Based on Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, this miniseries follows Scotsman Richard Mayhew after he encounters an injured girl named Door on the streets of London. Against his fiancee’s wishes, he decides to help the girl, following her into “London Below” and ceasing to exist on the surface. Pluto

Nero: The Obscure Face of Power – 2004 – John Simm (Life on Mars), Liz Smith (Lark Rise to Candleford), and Ian Richardson (House of Cards) are among the British actors that appear in this epic British-Italian miniseries about the Roman empire. Tubi

The New TomorrowNew Zealand – 2005 – After a virus kills all the adults, kids are left to take care of themselves. IMDb TV, Vudu, Tubi, Pluto

The Nightmare Worlds of HG Wells – 2016 – This four-part series dramatizes several of Wells' short stories. IMDb TV

Northanger Abbey – 1987 – Katharine Schlesinger (Doctor Who) stars in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic parody of Gothic fiction. She plays seventeen-year-old tomboy Catherine Morland, a young woman with a wild imagination and love of Gothic novels. Robert Hardy (All Creatures Great & Small) and Peter Firth (Spooks) are also among the cast members. Pluto

Nothing TrivialNew Zealand – 2011 to 2014 – For one group of thirtysomething friends, a weekly trivia night is the only thing that's constant in their lives. IMDb TV, Roku Channel

NY-LON – 2004 – This drama follows a transatlantic romance between New York record shop worker Edie (Rashida Jones) and London stock broker Michael (Stephen Moyer). Filming took place in both cities. IMDb TV, Tubi, Vudu, Roku Channel, Filmrise

The Other Wife – 2012 – This two-part drama tells the story of a woman who finds out about her husband’s secret life after he dies in a plane crash. Rupert Everett (Parade’s End), John Hannah (McCallum), Natalia Wörner (Berlin Station), and Phyllida Law (Kingdom) star. Tubi

Lacey Turner in Our Girl.

Our Girl – 2013 to present – This series follows a young woman from East London as she embarks on her career as an army medic. Lacey Turner (EastEnders) stars as Molly Dawes, with Michelle Keegan (Brassic) entering later as Georgie Lane. Tubi, Pluto

Outrageous FortuneNew Zealand – 2005 to 2010 – A colourful family of criminals tries to clean up their act. IMDb TV, Tubi, Roku Channel

The Palace – 2008 – A fictional British royal family deals with all manner of upper class problems. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Filmrise

Party Tricks Australia – 2014 – This Australian series follows Kate Ballard (Asher Keddie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), a woman facing her first election for State Premier. Victory seems guaranteed until the opposition brings in a new shock candidate – David McLeod (Rodger Corser, The Heart Guy). McLeod is a popular media figure, but more concerning is the fact that she had a secret affair with him years earlier. IMDb TV, Tubi

Peak Practice

Peak Practice – 1993 to 2002 – This drama takes place in and around a GP surgery in the fictional town of Cardale in Derbyshire’s Peak District (mostly filmed in the real-life village of Crich, also in Derbyshire). The series was popular during its run, lasting for 12 series and 147 episodes. Fair warning, though: it ends on a cliffhanger. Cast members over the years included Kevin Whately (Lewis), Amanda Burton (Silent Witness), Clive Swift (Keeping Up Appearances), and Sarah Parish (Bancroft). IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi, Pluto, Crackle

Pinocchio – 2008 – Robbie Kay plays Pinocchio alongside Bob Hoskins as Geppetto. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi

Porterhouse Blue – 1987 – This British comedy classic takes place at the fictional Porterhouse College at Cambridge, where everyone is rich and male and stuck in the past. When the old headmaster dies and a new one comes to power, he attempts to make changes. Roku Channel, Tubi

Primeval – 2008 to 2011 – When strange things start happening around England, a professor and his team are forced to capture a variety of unusual creatures from other time periods. Includes Ben Miller (of Death in Paradise). Pluto, Tubi

The Prisoner –1967 – Patrick McGoohan stars in this surprisingly well-aged series about a secret agent who's abducted and taken to a mysterious prison dressed up as an idyllic seaside village. IMDb TV, Tubi, Pluto

Prisoners’ Wives – 2012 to 2013 – In South Yorkshire, four different women struggle to deal with life after men in their lives go to prison. Iain Glen (Jack Taylor) fans will be delighted to see him opposite Polly Walker (Age Before Beauty). Tubi, IMDb TV


ProofIreland – 2004 to 2005 – Orla Brady (The South Westerlies) stars alongside Finbar Lynch (Mind Games) in this thriller about human smuggling and corrupt European politicians and financiers. IMDb TV

QB VIIUnited States – 1974 – Welshman Sir Anthony Hopkins stars in this miniseries about a Polish doctor who escapes from a concentration camp, only to later face accusations of war crimes. Roku Channel

Queens: The Virgin & the Martyr – 2017 – This costume drama explores the rivalry between Queens Mary Stuart of Scotland and Elizabeth I of England. Tubi

Queer as Folk – 1999 to 2000 – This groundbreaking drama followed the lives and loves of a group of young gay men in Manchester. Roku Channel, Tubi, IMDb TV

Robin Hood – 2006 – After fighting in the Crusades, Robin Hood returns home to find a corrupt, changed Nottingham. Pluto, Tubi

Robin of Sherwood – 1984 to 1986 – This period adventure has been described by historian Stephen Knight as “the most innovative and influential version of the myth in recent times”. Though originally advertised as “family friendly”, some conservative groups argued that there was too much violence for children. IMDb TV

Rosamund Pilcher’s Nancherrow – 1999 – Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous) and Susan Hampshire (Monarch of the Glen) appear in this romantic drama about a colonel’s daughter’s fight to keep her family home. Crackle

Rosamund Pilcher’s September – 1996 – In a Highland village, a young woman causes a stir when she returns after once leaving under a cloud of suspicion. Tubi

The Royal

The Royal – 2003 to 2011 – This Heartbeat spinoff is set in the 1960s and focuses on an NHS hospital serving the seaside Yorkshire town of Elsinby. IMDb TV, Tubi, Roku Channel

The Saint – 1962 to 1969 – Roger Moore stars as Simon Templar, a wealthy adventurer who travels the world solving crimes and engaging in all manner of secret agent hijinks. Though the settings are occasionally exotic, nearly every episode was filmed at a studio in Hertfordshire using “blue-screen” technology. The series was based on the Simon Templar novels by Leslie Charteris. IMDb TV, Tubi, Crackle

Sapphire and Steel – 1979 to 1982 – Interdimensional operatives save the world from evil forces on a regular basis. Stars Joanna Lumley and David McCallum. IMDb TV, Tubi

Sara DaneAustralia – 1982 – This miniseries follows a young woman banished from England to Australia for a crime she didn’t commit. IMDb TV

Secret Diary of a Call Girl – 2007 to 2011 – Billie Piper (Doctor Who) stars as a high-end London call girl. Tubi

Secret Smile

Secret Smile – 2005 – David Tennant stars as a smooth and manipulative spurned lover seeking revenge. IMDb TV

Secret State – 2012 – In a miniseries that will reassure you that the US isn't the only place where government and big business are way too close, Secret State shows a Deputy Prime Minister entangled in an international conspiracy. Roku Channel, Tubi

Sense and Sensibility – 1981 – This seven-part adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1811 novel follows the newly widowed and destitute Mrs. Dashwood as she attempts to survive and marry off her three daughters. This adaptation is unique in that it omits the character of Margaret Dashwood. Pluto

Shameless – 2004 to 2013 – Before he created No Offence, Paul Abbott created Shameless – the story of a rough-around-the-edges family living in a Manchester housing estate. It was later adapted into an American series starring William H. Macy. This one contains some strong language and sexual content, so it’s not for everyone. Pluto, Filmrise, Tubi, Vudu, Roku Channel, Crackle

Soldier Soldier – 1991 to 1997 – Robson Green and Jerome Flynn star in this military drama about soldiers in the King's Own Fusiliers regiment. IMDb TV, Tubi, Vudu, Roku Channel

Space: 1999 – 1975 to 1977 – This British-Italian sci-fi series begins when nuclear waste on the far side of the moon explodes, sending both it and its inhabitants out of orbit and into space. At the time it was produced, Space: 1999 was the most expensive British television series ever produced. Married American actors Martin Landau and Barbara Bain starred. Vudu, Tubi, Pluto, IMDb TV

Stingray – 1964 – This 1960s marionette-based series focused on the missions of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol. IMDb TV, Tubi

The Street – 2009 – This drama features a number of familiar faces as they go on about their lives in a rough-around-the-edges Northern English town. IMDb TV

Sword of Honour – 2001 – This two-part TV movie sees a young man coming face to face with the realities of British Army life. Daniel Craig stars. Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto

The Syndicate – 2013 – Each season of this series looks at what happens after a group of people wins the lottery. IMDb TV

The Take – 2009 – Shaun Evans (Endeavour) and Tom Hardy (Peaky Blinders) star in this four-part 2009 miniseries about a man newly released from prison (Hardy) who learns his cousin (Evans) is trying to build a criminal reputation on the back of his reputation. Fun fact: Tom Hardy met Charlotte Riley (Press) while filming this series, and the two later married. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Filmrise

A Tale of Two Cities – 1980 – Chris Sarandon and Peter Cushing star in this classic Dickens story of love and sacrifice amidst the French Revolution. IMDb TV, Tubi

Tales of the Unexpected – 1979 to 1988 – This anthology series features terrifying tales and a variety of well-known Brits, including Roald Dahl and Timothy West (Great Canal Journeys). Tubi, IMDb TV


Teachers – 2001 to 2004 – This dramedy follows the teachers and students in one British school. Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead) stars, but it’s also one of James Corden’s earliest appearances. You’ll also spot a young Shaun Evans (Endeavour) and Mathew Horne (Gavin & Stacey) in this series. IMDb TV, Tubi, Crackle

Then There Were Giants – 1994 – John Lithgow, Michael Caine, and Bob Hoskins star in this miniseries about how Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin navigated the events of World War II. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi

Thriller – 1973 to 1976 – This long-running 1970s anthology series includes a few supernatural tales, but mostly a lot of suspense and mystery. It also includes a surprising number of American guest stars. Tubi, Pluto, IMDb TV

Thunderbirds – 1966 – This 1960s TV series used marionettes to tell the story of the 21st century Tracy family, who operated a private emergency response service. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Crackle

To the Ends of the Earth – 2005 – This BBC series is based on William Golding's novels of a sea journey to Australia from England in 1812-13. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) stars. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Vudu, Pluto, Filmrise

Treasure Island – 2012 – Eddie Izzard stars as Long John Silver in this retelling of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story. Pluto, Tubi

The TribeNew Zealand – 1999 – In a world where all the adults were killed off by a virus, a group of young people try to stay alive. IMDb TV, Vudu, Tubi

Truckers – 2013 – Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks) stars in this drama about a group of truck drivers in Nottinghamshire. IMDb TV, Tubi, Pluto, Filmrise

2000 Acres of Sky 

Two Thousand Acres of Sky – 2001 – Michelle Collins (EastEnders) and Paul Kaye (After Life) star in this series about two young Londoners who pretend to be married so they can relocate to a Scottish island in need of a young family to keep the local school open. IMDb TV

A Very British Coup – 1988 – When a radical Labour Party politician becomes Prime Minister, he quickly finds he has a lot of enemies. Tubi

The Village – 2013 to 2014 – Written by Peter Moffat (Cambridge Spies), this series is set in a Derbyshire village between 1914 and the mid-1920s. Though originally envisioned as a 42-hour epic televised drama, it lasted just two seasons. It tells the story of life and history through the eyes of Bert Middleton and his fellow villagers. Roku Channel, Tubi

We'll Meet Again – 1982 – Set in 1943, this series shows us what happens in a small East Anglian town when war-weary Brits play host to American troops. IMDb TV

Where the Heart Is – 1997 to 2004 – Pam Ferris and Sarah Lancashire star in this Yorkshire-based UK drama. It follows a group of dedicated nurses and their community. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi, Pluto

Wild at Heart – 2006 to 2013 – Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks, Ballykissangel) stars in this series about a British veterinarian who takes his family along to South Africa to release an animal back into the wild. When he sees the area and meets pretty game reserve owner Caroline (Hayley Mills), he ultimately decides to stay. IMDb TV

The Wild RosesCanada – 2009 – In Alberta, a woman and her daughters own the land an oil firm sits on. IMDb TV, Tubi

William & Mary – 2003 to 2005 – Martin Clunes and Julie Graham star in this dramedy about an odd couple – a woman who welcomes people into the world, and a man who guides them out of it. IMDb TV, Filmrise


Wired – 2008 – Jodie Whittaker stars alongside Riz Ahmed, Laurence Fox, Charlie Brooks, and Toby Stephens in this suspenseful London-based thriller about a young woman whose high-profile promotion carries unexpected costs. She's quickly pushed into a criminal underworld she had no desire to be a part of. IMDb TV, Vudu, Tubi, Pluto, Filmrise

Wonderland Australia – 2014 to 2015 – This relationship drama takes place in a Sydney apartment building where most of the characters live. IMDb TV, Roku Channel, Tubi


Did We Miss Any Free-to-Stream British TV Dramas?

What's your favourite of the lot? Did we miss any that should be added? Don't hesitate to let us know in the comments!


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Free British Dramas & Period Dramas You Can Stream Online

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