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The Best TV of 2014: InQuire’s Picks

The Best TV of 2014: InQuire’s Picks

While you were binge-watching The Walking Dead, you might have missed some of these TV gems over the past twelve months. There’s still a week left before spring term kicks off, so if you haven’t watched any of them yet, get onto Netflix or grab yourself a DVD, ASAP! 

The 7.39. Image: BBC

The 7.39. Image: BBC

The 7.39 (BBC One)

David Nicholls’ drama about an affair that begins by a chance meeting on a London commute is a beautiful tale of forbidden love and betrayal, wonderfully played by the 3 main leads (David Morrissey, Sheridan Smith and Olivia Coleman). You really root for the relationship that blossoms between Carl (Morrissey) and Sally (Smith), and yet can’t help sharing Carl’s guilt at betraying Coleman’s Maggie, his loving wife who has done nothing wrong. A little gem of a story which deserves far more recognition.

W1A. Image: BBC

W1A. Image: BBC

W1A (BBC Two)

The hilariously funny sequel to BAFTA-winning series Twenty Twelve stars Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher, now the BBC’s ‘Head of Values’, and Jessica Hynes as Siobhan Sharpe ‘Brand Consultant’. This is a brilliant satire on the inner workings of the BBC, made all the better by the knowledge that this is the BBC poking fun at itself. Highlights include the struggle to get Claire Balding and Carole Vorderman (both of whom appear as themselves) to present new show Britain’s Tastiest Village, Les Miserables’  Hugh Skinner as the lovably inefficient intern Will (with his catchphrase ‘Yeah, sure, yeah cool’) and David Tennant’s return as the narrator, delivering brilliantly deadpan lines such as ‘Sting has phoned up Alan Yentob and called him an actual prick.’ Be sure to catch up on this mockumentary series before it returns in 2015!

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. Image: Times Higher Education

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. Image: Times Higher Education

The Lost Honour Of Christopher Jefferies (ITV)

ITV’s drama series tells the real life story of the murder of Joanna Yeates, and eccentric Christopher Jefferies’ wrongful persecution and character assassination by the press. When Yeates was murdered, several UK newspapers immediately assumed that her unusual landlord was the perpetrator. This continued right up until the point the real murderer was found and charged. Peter Morgan’s (writer of The Queen) two-part drama shows the initial incident, Jefferies’ treatment by the press and police, and his subsequent battle for compensation and justice, culminating in an appearance at the Leveson Inquiry. A chilling reminder as to why we should never judge a book by its cover. Jason Watkins stars.

The Newsroom. Image: TV Wise

The Newsroom. Image: TV Wise

The Newsroom (Sky Atlantic)

HBO’s award-winning drama The Newsroom returned to our screens towards the tail end of this year, for what would be its last series. Aaron Sorkin’s political drama continued to deliver lightning-fast paced, complex stories, detailing the trials and tribulations of the fictional Atlantis Cable News team as they try to redeem themselves after the events of the previous series. The familiar news stories (The Newsroom is always set at least one year in the past) keeps us on track of what is going on, yet each episode demands you pay attention – as with previous series, missing just one line of dialogue could be fatal to you following the plot. With such engaging stories, that never proves to be a problem. Unfortunately, the show is not being renewed for a fourth season, so the last episode felt somewhat more rushed in comparison to others, bringing an unsatisfactory conclusion. However, the journey getting there has been truly wonderful. If this is really Aaron Sorkin’s last television venture, then it is definitely one to be proud of. Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber) and British actress Emily Mortimer head a stellar cast, including Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel.

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3 Comments

  1. Glad to see The Newsroom on this list, one of the best shows on tv

    Reply
    • Thanks Ruby. I think it’s decidedly underrated and a real shame it was curtailed so soon. Jeff Daniels fully deserved the Emmy he got for it. I just wish it had a larger following…

      Reply
      • Haha, I fully concur

        Reply

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