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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Five British Movies and Series You Can Binge While You're Waiting for Your Next Holiday

Head to the UK from the comfort of your couch.
By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
January 19, 2021
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FIVE BRITISH MOVIES AND SERIES YOU CAN BINGE WHILE YOU'RE WAITING FOR YOUR NEXT HOLIDAY

in partnership with

Head to the UK from the comfort of your couch.

Usually, a new year heralds big travel plans. After the past 12 months, however, your suitcase is probably now caked in dust. Thankfully, even with physically venturing far from home still off the agenda for the near future, you can easily treat yourself to an on-screen trip any time you like.

Your first destination: the UK. Australians have always been more than a little obsessed with British movies and TV shows, so it's one of the easiest places to head to while you're still sitting on your couch. Whether you're keen to step back into the country's history, venture into its halls of power or see it through an American-in-London's perspective, streaming service Binge has an array of options. In collaboration with the platform, we've selected five British films and programs that'll whisk you to the other side of the globe. They're all available to stream now, and you can check them out via a 14-day free trial for new customers.

  • 5
    Small Axe 

    In a normal year, the five movies that comprise Small Axe would’ve likely screened in cinemas, and would be in the running for a heap of the film industry’s shiniest trophies as a result. The entire quintet is directed by Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave and Widows filmmaker Steve McQueen, and every entry is as phenomenal as anything he has ever made. Given his resume, that isn’t a statement we make lightly.

    The focus: the treatment of London’s West Indian population from the 60s through until the 80s, with the series of films exploring the racist behaviour directed their way and the methods in which the community waged their resistance. The powerful Mangrove gets the series started, bringing a potent true tale to the screen with a cast that includes Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright — and, although it is excellent, so is the dance party-set Lovers Rock, the John Boyega-starring Red, White and Blue, biopic Alex Wheatle and the school-focused Education.

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  • 4
    Deadwater Fell

    For five years between 2005–2010, David Tennant played one of the most iconic roles there is; however, he’ll never just be known for his work on Doctor Who. Since stepping out of the TARDIS, the British actor has been filling his resume with supremely interesting parts. Miniseries Deadwater Fell is the latest — and yes, if you’ve spotted that Tennant has become very comfortable in crime thrillers, drama and mysteries, you’re completely right.

    Here, he plays Tom Kendrick, a doctor in a Scottish village who is also the only survivor when his home catches ablaze. Over four tense episodes, the twisty series explores the events and aftermath, including its impact upon the local community. It’s not all what it seems, of course, which goes with the territory. In terms of actual terrain, the show is set in a fictional town, but expect to feast your eyes on plenty of scenic Scottish sights.

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  • 3
    White House Farm

    If you’re a fan of true-crime stories, then you’ll know a disturbing truth: that there’s no shortage of real-life tragedies that films and series in the genre can draw upon. White House Farm‘s inspiration comes from the notorious killings known as the White House Farm murders, which took place outside an Essex village and saw five members of the Bamber-Caffell family lose their lives, and continued to garner headlines intermittently in the decades since as appeals were lodged and reviews took place.

    Across six episodes, the show not only heads back to August 6, 1985, but also follows the investigation into the case. Feeling tense is part of the package, even if you’re already familiar with the details. Cast-wise, Snatch‘s Stephen Graham and Game of Thrones‘ Mark Addy play the detectives trying to get to the bottom of the traumatic and complex situation — and fellow GoT alum Alfie Allen also pops up.

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  • 2
    Flack

    Since True Blood came to an end, Anna Paquin has kept busy; however, if you’re only going to watch one of her recent projects, make it the acerbically amusing Flack. She plays Robyn, an American publicist now living and working in London. There’s much to laugh about in the field of public relations, and ample drama, too — so Flack mines the industry for both as Robyn tries to navigate a seemingly never-ending array of professional chaos, and makes the most of her ever-hectic personal life as well.

    A couple of episodes from the show’s second season are directed by her True Blood co-star Stephen Moyer, and the series’ big names don’t end there. Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo pops up as Robyn’s boss and the always-beloved Sam Neill features, with the latter reuniting with fellow New Zealander Paquin after they both starred in The Piano back in 1993.

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  • 1
    COBRA

    When a solar flare hits Europe, life changes instantly. Power grids go down, much of Britain is left without electricity, supply routes are threatened, vigilantes come out in force and chaos unsurprisingly ensues. That’s the setup in COBRA, the high-stakes drama series that combines a disaster scenario with political intrigue, and tasks Prime Minister Robert Sutherland (Robert Carlyle) with deciding how to cope under such intense circumstances.

    If you’re wondering about the show’s name, no, snakes aren’t involved. But meeting to discuss important matters is a firm part of COBRA, which takes its moniker from the nickname for the Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (COBR) in London — and, as you might know from news during the past year, from the group of top-ranking British Government leaders who come together in times of crisis to respond to national emergencies.

    READ MORE

To watch your way through all of the above movies and series, head to streaming platform Binge — where you can sign up for a free 14-day trial, then keep working your way through its jam-packed catalogue for $10 per month (based on Binge Basic, its first subscription tier).

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