Fans of BBC shows on Netflix have been on a bit of a ride lately.
First, there was the possibility that the licensing agreement between the two companies was going to expire January 31. And then everyone freaked out because WHAT ABOUT DOCTOR WHO? But then last week, the two sides reached a deal, so now all of the Who fans can go back to talking about how great the Doctor’s companion Rose is, even though Romana and Ace were way better, you guys.
But the sci-fi fan favorite isn’t the only program that’s getting a new lease in your streambox. Here are three other BBC shows that you should definitely check out now that you have plenty of time.
Torchwood (2006 – 2011)
A darker, more brooding The Empire Strikes Back to Doctor Who‘s A New Hope-esque space romp, this spinoff centers on a secret government organization charged with cleaning up the space junk that falls out of a nearby interdimensional rift. But it also has a lot of graphic violence and sex in case the sci-fi hook isn’t enough for you.
Episodes like “Random Shoes” and “Fragments” provide some good standalone stories, but if you want something more long-form, check out the “Children of Earth” storyline that takes up Season 3. It’s pretty bleak, but it’s creative and interesting, and it even features current Doctor Who lead Peter Capaldi as a bumbling government bureaucrat.
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House of Cards (1990 – 1995)
Don’t worry — Kevin Spacey’s conniving Frank Underwood will be back to and manipulate and crush his foes on February 27. But if you want to see the BBC’s take on Michael Dobbs’ novel of political chicanery, check out this 12-part saga starring Ian Richardson (Dark City) as Francis Urquhart, a spurned politician who swears intriguing and proper revenge.
This was a close runner-up in our collection of bite-sized TV shows, so you’ll probably just want to pick a Saturday, start at the beginning, and let it ride. 12 hours later, you’ll be fully prepared to taunt fans of the updated version with your knowledge of the future.
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Luther (2010 – 2013)
This police procedural stars Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) as John Luther, a police detective who is as good at solving murders as he is bad at life. He has some psychological problems which only get worse from his daily exposure to the worst humanity has to offer, and his closest friend is a murderous sociopath. It’s a bit of the Graham/Lecter dynamic in NBC’s Hannibal, only this character is way prettier than Mads Mikkelsen.
Like House of Cards, you can watch the whole thing over a weekend. And you probably will because this stuff is gripping.