1. #1
    LOAD"*",8,1 Fuzzzie's Avatar
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    [TV] Question about British Television

    Lately I've been exploring a lot of British Television. I'm wondering why seasons (or series as they tend to be called) are so short. I was looking forward to checking out the BBC series Sherlock but series one is only 3 episodes with series 2 only having another 3 as well. I noticed this with other shows like Luther with only 6 and 4 episodes between series one and two.

    Anyone know why this is?

  2. #2
    Just a different style, I guess? One from the other side of that fence could look at American shows and wonder why we have so many episodes. And remember it's not the case with all British shows, either. Doctor Who, for example, is a weekly serial running in annual seasons just like we're used to here.

    And to be fair, there may only be three episodes of Sherlock but they're all basically movies. They're far better-made than most television shows I've seen.
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  3. #3
    The Patient Cheebie's Avatar
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    1. They're very long, thought out episodes.
    2. The writing in them takes a lot of time to finish.
    3. The BBC budget.

    These are the 3 main things.

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    LOAD"*",8,1 Fuzzzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taen View Post
    And to be fair, there may only be three episodes of Sherlock but they're all basically movies. They're far better-made than most television shows I've seen.
    True, I've only watched the first one but I love it. Just a shame it isn't coming out faster!

  5. #5
    Watch midsummer murders. Shits filmed all in my area. Used to see the crew alot in various places.
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    The Insane peggleftw's Avatar
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    i dont know, but its annoying :P i hate it when i see a great new series come out, and its only got about 3 episodes
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  7. #7
    Generally as British TV on the BBC is funded by the taxpayer, I believe they have to offer a mix of television for all ages/ethnic groups etc, and cannot specialise in some like say ITV does (with its constant X-factors/Whose got talent?) crap.

    I do agree thoughm,, its very random, but depends on the writers, what the budget allocated for the season is depending on what that section has been allocated that year. Unlike say USA television, whereby a show will get syndicated and make its money bck through advertising, BBC shows don't so its all down to what demograph they need to put in this year or so (say 25% of TV must be serious drama, 15% documentaries etc). Its a very strange system, but seems to work and turn out a lot of quality programming so

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarethen View Post
    Watch midsummer murders. Shits filmed all in my area. Used to see the crew alot in various places.
    I'll check it out. Thanks!

  9. #9
    Also, if you lik eBritish television, I highly recommend watching the "Sharpe" series with Sean Bean (of Boromir fame).

    Its set in the Napoleonic War, and is a real Boys own adventure type thing, each episode being about 2.5 hours long with explosions great storytelling, and amazing action all round. highly entertaining as well, and sadly usually forgotten about :S

    here is a clip from one of the famous songs from it, if this doesn't get you going "Ooooh!" nothing will.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Fy3tSim3to

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    Quote Originally Posted by Howlrunner View Post
    Generally as British TV on the BBC is funded by the taxpayer, I believe they have to offer a mix of television for all ages/ethnic groups etc, and cannot specialise in some like say ITV does (with its constant X-factors/Whose got talent?) crap.
    Similar situation with the CBC in Canada, although it doesn't produce very much good programming besides Hockey Night in Canada.

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    Bloodsail Admiral Syntic's Avatar
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    There's a TV series called Waterloo Road on BBC that is generally 20 episodes per series.
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Syntic View Post
    There's a TV series called Waterloo Road on BBC that is generally 20 episodes per series.
    Ah yeh, its terrible though, but absolutely compulsive viewing for some reason. Kind of like Neighbours



    Also, trust me, watch Sharpe, its a forgotten classic of British television and is compulsive viewing, and had a pretty high budget for it. Wasn't BBC as such, more ITV, but is kind of the thing BBC would do now, as ITV has stopped producing great drama in favour of Simon Cowell it seems

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    Warchief Solidito's Avatar
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    Check out Luther too while you're at it! But yeah not massive seasons, but tbh there isn't as many filler episodes.

  14. #14
    I must say the 6 episode inbetweeners is indeed a kick in the balls , would have loved to have seen more... But hey it's their budget they know better.

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    Epic! Skizzit's Avatar
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    The short seasons thing doesn't really bother me for the most part. In many ways it is better the what American TV does. I thing it actually leads to better quality programs alot of the time. American tv series just keep running until they are no longer popular and then many times just end abruptly. Look at a series like Lost. They kept dragging it out and making crap up as they went along to the point that the later seasons seem like almost a totally different show then the first. Compare that to the UK series Life on Mars. Two seasons of 8 episodes each and it tells a complete story with a beginning, middle and a great finale.

    The only time I do wish there would be more is with the more episodic comedy series like Spaced and The Inbetweeners. I could watch those series endlessly and still be entertained.

  16. #16
    It is more of a funding problem. Also most time slots are "taken" for typical things. Over here most people aren't used to multiple channels etc and there just aren't the dedicated channel for TV shows.

  17. #17
    Quality over quantity.

    Look at the likes of The Office, they could have dragged it out for series after series, but they wanted to end it while it was still brilliant. The US Office, is a really good example of what can go wrong when you drag out a series too long.
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    Moderator Northern Goblin's Avatar
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    Waterloo Road use to be a lot better than it is.

    There are a few short "mini series" that come on from time to time, they produce a fair number of these through the year. Not sure what's really worth recommending from modern series atm though; Dr Who is somewhat poor these days (Someone will hang me for saying that I know) and I've not followed Downton Abbey so I can't really give fair review on that either.

  19. #19
    LOAD"*",8,1 Fuzzzie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions for things to watch guys. It should definitely keep me busy.

    Also, it wasn't a criticism. Just curious. I agree that it should be quality over quantity. Too often shows run on or have too many bottle episodes. I guess it sells more ad space.

  20. #20
    Pit Lord tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    It's really nothing to do with funding, I think it's more just a case that three episodes felt right for that particular series. At 90 minutes per episode, that's a decent amount of time that has to be spent on filming and production. Most other British shows have 6-8 episodes per series.
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