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The Best BBC Dramas of the Last 10 Years – For years the BBC have been producing quality dramas for the viewing pleasure of millions around the world. And in the last ten years, the BBC has created some of the most talked-about shows on television.
Let’s have a look at some of the best BBC dramas in the last 10 years and their viewing figures.
When Killing Eve first arrived on TV the outrageous spy thriller was unlike anything the BBC had ever created. The series, based on Luke Jennings’s Villanelle novels, and written and produced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, was an instant hit and featured stunning performances by its stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.
During Season 3 BBC Iplayer received a total of 35.6 million viewing requests and the series has grown in popularity around the world. Season 4 of Killing Eve is due to arrive in 2022 and is bound to have a large worldwide audience.
Line of Duty
Jed Mercurio’s tense police procedural began back in 2012 and has since grown into one of the most must-watch series on the TV calendar. This year the show was named as the UK’s most-watched TV drama of the 21st Century, with the series six finale drawing a staggering audience of 15.24 million.
Line of Duty is different from any other police procedural on TV. It focuses on the exploits of the anti-corruption unit AC-12 and manages to subvert expectations and deliver thrilling conclusions.
Peaky Blinders is a global phenomenon. The show is about Tommy Shelby, the leader of a gang based in Birmingham in the aftermath of the First World War. It is a show about crime, politics and family and is often compared to The Godfather.
The first episode of the most recent season was viewed by an audience of 6.2 million. It is a highly stylised show that features stand-out performances from Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Sam Neill and Tom Hardy.
Sherlock is the show that launched Benedict Cumberbatch into superstardom. Alongside Martin Freeman, he makes Sherlock exciting, funny and mysterious. This iteration of the Sherlock Holmes story transplants Sherlock into modern-day London. Each episode is a modern-day variation on one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock stories which always manage to be inventive and engaging.
During Season 3, at the peak of the show’s popularity, it received 11.82 million viewers. The show has also been lauded by critics winning BAFTAs, Emmys and Golden Globes.
The most recent BBC hit was their adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People. Set in Ireland, the story follows Marianne and Connell through school and university life. It is romantic and intimate, and insightful on issues of class, family and modern-day relationships.
In 2020, it was the most-streamed series of the year on the BBC, with 62.7 million views from April to November 2020. It was recognised by many to be a pitch-perfect adaptation that in some ways surpassed the source material. And the two stars, Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, were praised for their excellent and vulnerable performances.
Luther is a psychological drama starring Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson. Elba plays the complicated and passionate DCI John Luther, a man determined to track down murderers and psychopaths. Luther is one of the BBC’s most consistently thrilling crime dramas that manages to surprise audiences every season with new and interesting villains.
The series began in 2010 and has grown in popularity throughout its run, with the average UK viewing figures for series 5 exceeding 9.45 million. Idris Elba is typically brilliant as John Luther and Ruth Wilson is exceptionally menacing as the psychopath Alice Morgan.
The BBC’s premiere historical drama, Poldark, was an instant hit when it first aired in 2015. The show, set in Cornwall between 1781 and 1801, tells the story of Captain Ross Vennor Poldark from Winston Graham’s best selling novels of the same title.
The average UK viewing figures for Poldark in the first season were excellent, with a staggering 8.11 million tuning in to watch Poldark’s exploits every week. The Poldark books were adapted once before in the 1970s, but it is the most recent version that has really captured the attention of the viewing public.
Call the Midwife
The BBC love period dramas and Call the Midwife is no exception. The hit TV series which first aired in 2012 and is soon to air its eleventh season, follows the lives of midwives working in the East End of London during the 1950s.
Call the Midwife consistently secures 8 to 10 million average UK viewers every season and continues to churn out great episode after great episode.
Each one of these dramas caught the attention of audiences with excellent writing, acting and filmmaking. While Normal People and Poldark are over, shows like Peaky Blinders, Killing Eve and Line of Duty still have more stories to tell and you’ll be able to see them on your TV screens in the near future.
Meta-description: Who is creating the best shows on TV? Learn about some of the greatest BBC dramas to grace TV screens in the last 10 years.
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