Death in Paradise spin-off Beyond Paradise premieres in the US one week from today. That’s plenty of time to binge a bunch of other British TV spin-offs. Here are sixteen.
A lot of folks are waiting with bated breath for the North America premiere of Beyond Paradise, the Death in Paradise spin-off and one of the most highly-anticipated new British TV series this year. Well, we have one more week to go before we find out what DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) has been up to since he left Saint-Marie to solve a case in London and then chose to stay on the British island instead of returning to the Caribbean one.
How about using this week to watch some other spin-off series? Humphrey’s story is the latest to be continued in a spin-off, following those of DCI Gene Hunt, DI Robbie Lewis, and Captain Jack Harkness, amongst others. Then there are spin-offs set in the same place as, but in a different time from, the original series; set in the same locale but focusing on a different group of characters; set in a different time but centering on the same character; and set in a different place with some of the same characters.
Of the many British TV spin-offs, the sixteen below are currently available for streaming in the US. For shows with more than one spin-off, the spin-offs are shown in the order of their launch dates. (Please note that all seasons of the original and spin-off series might not be available in the US.)
Original Series: THE BILL (Streaming on BritBox)
Spin-Off: MURDER INVESTIGATION TEAM
Created by Paul Marquess (Hope Street, London Kills), this gritty police procedural follows the homicide investigations of the Metropolitan Police’s Murder Investigation Team. In setting up the show, the series opener features several actors from The Bill alongside M.I.T.: Season 1 regular cast members Samantha Spiro (Sex Education), Lindsey Coulson (The Bay), and Richard Hope (The Ipcress File), amongst others. Murder Investigation Team is currently available for streaming in the US on Acorn TV.
(For folks who are okay with ads, select episodes of both The Bill and Murder Investigation Team are shown in rotation on the “Sleuth” channel (which I am addicted to) under Freevee‘s live FAST channels.)
Original Series: CASUALTY (Streaming on BritBox)
CASUALTY 1900s (2006)
More an “inspired by” series than a direct spin-off, this historical medical drama consists of a one-off episode (Casualty 1906) and two multi-episode seasons (Casualty 1907 and Casualty 1909). All three are set in the Receiving Room (the A&E/ER of early 20th century Britain) of the Royal London Hospital in London’s East End, and all episodes are based on real cases, characters, and events taken from hospital records, nurses’ ward diaries, and memoirs. Casualty 1900s is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox.
HOLBY BLUE (2007)
A once-removed spin-off, if you will, this police procedural drama was spun-off from the medical drama Holby City (not currently available for streaming in the US), itself a spin-off of the medical drama Casualty. Holby Blue revolves around the lives of various police officers who work at the Holby South police station. The cast includes Jimmy Akingbola (Kate & Koji), Richard Harrington (Hinterland), and Cal Macaninch (Time), amongst others. Holby Blue is currently available for streaming in the US on Prime Video.
John Barrowman reprises his role as the immortal Captain Jack Harkness, introduced as a mere mortal in the DW reboot series’ Season 1 episode “The Empty Child” (aka the “Are you my mummy?” episode), in this very dark sci-fi drama. It follows Jack and his Cardiff-based team at the (fictional) Torchwood Institute as they investigate otherworldly incidents and protect Earth from extraterrestrial and supernatural threats. Torchwood is currently available for streaming in the US on HBO Max and Amazon Video.
THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES (2007)
In this sci-fi drama aimed at tween and teen viewers, Elisabeth Sladen reprises her role as Sarah Jane Smith, arguably the most popular of the Doctor Who companions, in her very own series. The show follows investigative journalist Sarah Jane, along with her adopted son and his friends, as they fight evil alien forces with a bit of help from her supercomputer, Mr. Smith (voiced by Alexander Armstrong, Hunderby), and her sonic lipstick. The Sarah Jane Adventures is currently available for streaming in the US on Amazon Video.
K-9 is the robotic canine (get it?) that first appeared in Doctor Who in the classic Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor) episode “The Invisible Enemy” and became a recurring character in the series. Set in London in the near future, this sci-fi adventure series, a mix of live action and computer animation aimed at pre-teen viewers, follows K-9 and his human companions as they defend Earth against aliens. K-9 is currently available for streaming in the US on Freevee.
Taking place during the era of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, this sci-fi drama is darker than The Sarah Jane Adventures (but not as dark as Torchwood) and aimed at older teen viewers. It is set at Coal Hill Academy, a fictional school that was featured in the very first Doctor Who serial, “An Unearthly Child,” and follows six of its students and staff, including physics teacher Miss Andrea Quill (Katherine Kelly, Criminal: UK), a last-of-her-species alien disguised as a human. Class is currently available for streaming in the US on Amazon Video.
Original Series: EASTENDERS (Streaming on BritBox)
Spin-Off: KAT & ALFIE: REDWATER (2017)
Jessie Wallace and Shane Richie reprise their EastEnders roles of wife and husband Kat and Alfie Moon for this mystery thriller. In it they leave Watford in London’s East End for the small, picturesque harbor village of Redwater in Ireland to find Kathleen’s long-lost son. But the couple’s search could very well open a Pandora’s Box and reveal the dark secrets that Redwater residents have been keeping — and want to keep buried. Kay & Alfie: Redwater is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox.
Original Series: FATHER BROWN (Streaming on BritBox)
Spin-Off: SISTER BONIFACE MYSTERIES (2022)
Lorna Watson reprises her character as Sister Boniface, introduced in “The Bride of Christ” in Season 1 of Father Brown, for her very own series. Set in the Cotswolds in the 1960s, this light-hearted cozy mystery series follows Sister Boniface, a Vespa-driving, wine-making, crime-solving Catholic nun, who serves as a part-time forensic pathologist while assisting the police with their murder inquiries. Sister Boniface Mysteries is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox and Amazon Video.
Original Series: THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW
JUNIOR BAKING SHOW (2011)
Instead of amateur adult bakers, this competition spin-off centers on young bakers, aged 9 to 15, who enter the tent and do their best to make it through all the rounds to be crowned Junior Bake Off Champion. Presented by comedian Harry Hill, with Season 8 Baking Show contestant Liam Charles and pastry chef and author Ravneet Gill (The Pastry Chef’s Guide) serving as judges, Junior Baking Show is currently available for streaming in the US on Netflix.
This baking competition series features teams of professional pastry chefs vying to be named the best in Britain. Presented by comedian Tom Allen and Junior Baking Show‘s Liam Charles, it features renowned pâtissiers Benoit Blin and Cherish Finden as the creators and judges of the baking challenges. The Great British Baking Show: The Professionals is currently available for streaming in the US on Netflix.
THE ROYAL (2003)
This medical drama’s pilot was actually the episode “Out of the Blue” in Season 12 of of the long-running police procedural series Heartbeat. Set in the 1960s, The Royal follows the lives of the staff at St. Alban’s Royal Free Hospital, a (fictional) National Health Service hospital that serves the (fictional) seaside town of Elsinby and its surrounding areas in Yorkshire. Linda Armstrong (Emmerdale Farm), Wendy Craig (Reggie Perrin), and Robert Daws (Sister Boniface Mysteries) are some of the actors who appeared in all 87 episodes of the series. The Royal is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox and Freevee.
THE ROYAL TODAY (2008)
Another once-removed spin-off, this soap opera, set 40 years after The Royal, follows the professional and private lives of various staffers in the close-knit medical community of St. Alban’s Royal Free Hospital, where they make life-and-death decisions every day. Cast members include Fiona Dolman (Midsomer Murders) and Andrew Scarborough (Downton Abbey). The Royal Today is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox.
Original Series: INSPECTOR MORSE (Streaming on BritBox)
This mystery-crime drama spin-off sees Kevin Whately reprise his role as Robbie Lewis, a working class stiff promoted to Detective Inspector from his days as a Detective Sergeant working alongside Chief Inspector Morse. Lewis’s sidekick is the erudite and cerebral DS James Hathaway (Laurence Fox), and together this detective duo tackles murder and mayhem in the seemingly perfect academic haven of Oxford. Inspector Lewis is currently available for streaming in the US on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel and Amazon Video.
With its ninth and final season set to premiere in the UK in about a week, this prequel spin-off series stars Shaun Evans as Endeavour Morse, and follows the young Detective Constable and later DS during his formative career years of the mid-1960s through the early 1970s. With his superior, the paternal veteran copper, DI Fred Thursday (Roger Allam), Morse uses his agile mind and puzzle-solving skills to unravel some of the most intricate crimes committed in and around Oxford. The Endeavour pilot episode is currently available for streaming in the US on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel, with Seasons 1-8 available on Prime Video.
Original Series: LIFE ON MARS (Streaming on BritBox)
Spin-Off: ASHES TO ASHES (2009)
Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard) joins a trio of the Life on Mars regular cast in this supernatural mystery-crime drama, which follows her character, Metropolitan Police officer Alex Drake, who finds herself back in 1981 when she regains consciousness after being shot in 2008 — and coming face-to-face with the infamous Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). Ashes to Ashes is currently available for streaming in the US on BritBox.
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