Classic drama box sets to binge this bank holiday

Virgin Radio

26 May 2023, 13:40

Credit: BBC / Channel 4 / Prime Video / IMDB

If you are looking for something to watch, but are up to date with all of the latest dramas, then there are plenty of classic box sets to delve back into on streaming platforms. 

We’ve already suggested some cracking dramas, as well as comedy and documentaries to binge, and all of the new stuff that is landing on streaming platforms each month, and here are some other shows that you simply have to get stuck into. 

Whether you somehow managed to miss them the first time round, or want to revisit them, here’s a selection of belters:

Happy Valley (3 seasons)

The award-winning series follows the personal and professional life of Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood, played magnificently by Sarah Lancashire.

The show also features a superb performance from James Norton, as antagonist Tommy Lee Royce.

If you didn’t see the police drama when it aired on BBC One, then do not delay in catching up with it, because it is unmissable telly.

Watch Happy Valley on BBC iPlayer.

Pride and Prejudice (1 season)

Colin Firth as Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy? Iconic. 

The period drama, adapted from Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name, also stars Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Adrian Lukis as Mr George Wickham.

Oh, and Three Steaks Pam herself, Alison Steadman from Gavin & Stacey, plays Mrs Bennet.

Watch Pride and Prejudice on Prime Video.

ER (15 seasons)

Admittedly, you’ll do well to get through every episode of this long-running hospital drama before you’re back at work, but you can certainly make a dent in it.

The show features heart-throb George Clooney, amongst others, as it follows the staff of the emergency department at the County General Hospital in Chicago while they grapple with ups and downs in their personal and professional lives.

Watch ER on Channel 4.

The Sopranos (6 seasons)

The crime drama revolves around mobster Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, who is struggling to balance family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organisation. 

Much of this is explored during his therapy sessions with psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi (Lorraine Bracco).


Watch The Sopranos on Sky and NOW

Better Call Saul (6 seasons)

The prequel series sees several Breaking Bad characters reprise their roles, including Saul himself (Bob Odenkirk), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and the iconic duo Walt and Jesse (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul).

We are also introduced to one of the best characters in the BB universe, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) and you’ll no doubt spend most of the series wondering/stressing about what happens to her that means she doesn’t appear in Breaking Bad.

Watch Better Call Saul on Netflix.

Vera (11 seasons)

The crime drama series, based on the Vera Stanhope series of novels, has been on our screens since 2011, with Brenda Blethyn as the titular character, Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope.

Despite her constantly dishevelled state, Vera is razor-sharp in her detective work. 

Watch Vera on ITVX

Line of Duty (6 seasons) 

The hugely popular police drama supposedly came to an end with the conclusion of season six, but so divisive was the finale, and such was the desire from fans for more episodes, that it is reportedly coming back for three more episodes.

Whilst nothing has been confirmed by the BBC, why not get yourself up to speed anyway? Or you could just re-watch them to re-familiarise yourself with all of the many abbreviations, acronyms and jargon that the team uses. 

For instance, do you remember what a CHIS is? No, us neither (we just looked it up, it’s a Covert Human Intelligence Source. Basically an informant/grass).

Watch Line of Duty on BBC iPlayer.

Homeland (8 seasons)

The espionage thriller series stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer with bipolar disorder, and the early seasons featured Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a Marine Corps Scout Sniper who was held captive by al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war. 

Was he turned by the enemy? Is he a threat to the United States? 

The series also features a cracking performance from Mandy Patinkin, who you may remember as being in Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”).

Watch Homeland on Netflix.

Have a nice bank holiday!