The UK’s Freesat Awards were held this past Tuesday, and the winners in the three categories most relevant to British TV fans in the US — Best TV Sitcom, Best TV Drama, and Best of British TV — are all available for stateside viewing right now.
Best TV Sitcom: The Wrong Mans
Comedy-thriller serial The Wrongs Mans was up against sitcoms Birds of a Feather and Toast of London, comedy anthology series Inside No. 9, and Irish stage-show-turned-sitcom Mrs. Brown’s Boys — and won.
Series creators James Corden (Gavin & Stacey) and Mathew Baynton (Peep Show) star as Phil Bourne and Sam Pinkett, office workers who decide to save a kidnapped woman despite a case of mistaken identity, and unwittingly become victims of their own heroics when they encounter an underworld crime boss, Russian spy, and MI-5 agent. The story was gripping and the comedic aspect was genius.
Check out The Wrong Mans exclusively at Hulu.
Best TV Drama: Line of Duty
The competition was fierce, and in the end the police corruption serial Line of Duty bested the psychological crime thriller The Fall, mystery-thiller miniseries Lucan (which hasn’t screened in the US), detective drama Scott & Bailey, and mystery drama Sherlock.
Keeley Hawes’ performance as DI Lindsay Denton, the primary suspect in the investigation of a police ambush that ended with the deaths of several officers, was hailed by the award judges as “nothing short of a masterclass in character acting.” (Look for Hawes to receive a slew of Best Actress nominations for upcoming awards ceremonies.)
Catch Line of Duty exclusively at Hulu.
Best of British TV: Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor
The game was on for the top honors in the flagship category. The nominees: variety series Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, feature-length sci-fi special Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, period drama Downton Abbey, mystery drama Sherlock, and celebrity competition program Strictly Come Dancing.
The winner: the Doctor Who 50th Anniversay special The Day of the Doctor — a thrilling tale of choices, consequences, and courage that took Whovians across time and space with one companion, two alien forms and not just three but thirteen Doctors. The judges’ proclamation: “There is nothing more British than this programme.”