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Where to Stream TV Shows About British Women Getting It Done

Some people like lawyer shows. Some people like teen dramas. Some like sci-fi series. And some of us have a particular soft spot for a genre I’m going to call British Women Getting It Done. Luckily, many of these shows are available to stream!

To qualify for the BWGID classification, a show must primarily be about a woman or group of women; those women must be British; and they must get something done. There are many shows that did not make this list that still include BWGID, but said women are not the show’s primary focus, and thus these shows do not qualify. Shows with British actresses playing non-British characters did not meet the criteria, nor did shows about non-British characters living in England. I also omitted “classics” like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, because people know what those are about. The number of episodes mentioned is the number of episodes available to stream, which is occasionally less than the number of extant episodes of a show. Without further ado, then, your guide to streaming shows about British Women Getting It Done, by subgenre:


Above Suspicion
It’s her first homicide case! Is Anna Travis up to the task? She is! (11 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Brenda Blethyn stars as a scrappy, hard-living detective. (16 episodes, Amazon Prime)

They’re Agatha Christie mysteries. This is the definition of a British woman getting it done. (23 movies, Amazon Prime, Netflix)

Prime Suspect
A standout in this genre, but also just a standout, period, thanks in part to Helen Mirren’s brilliant work. The series launched in 1991 and had new seasons as recently as 2006. (15 episodes, Amazon Prime, Netflix)

Scott & Bailey
Detectives and besties. Step off, Rizolli & Isles. (30 episodes, Hulu)

Blue Murder
Follow detective Janine Lewis as she solves grisly crimes and enjoys a surprisingly healthy home life. (10 episodes, Hulu)

Criminal Justice (only season two; season one is about a dude)
She’s not solving a murder so much as committing one, but Juliet’s story — the aftermath of attempting to kill her husband — is just as if not more interesting. (5 episodes, Hulu)


A Woman of Substance
This bounces back and forth between the late 1910s and the 1970s, as Emma Harte builds a successful business empire and a far less successful personal life. (3 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Wives and Daughters
It’s the 1830s, and the rough-around-the-edges Molly Gibson and her widower father are Looking for Love. They find it — where they least expect. (4 episodes, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix)

Love in a Cold Climate
There are two of these, but the 1980 version has Judi Dench. Both versions are good, though; they follow the rom-com-ish saga of three women (two cousins, one neighbor) between 1929 and 1940. (4 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Lark Rise to Candleford
It’s the adventures of a teenage postal worker in the late 1800s. She learns a lot about her neighbors and herself. (40 episodes, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus)

The Duchess of Duke Street
Louisa Leyton starts out as a servant in 1900, but by 1925, she owns her own business. (31 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Lost in Austen
Amanda Price is a pretty ordinary contemporary person — until she finds herself inside Pride and Prejudice, where Elizabeth Bennet is supposed to be. (4 episodes, Hulu)

London Hospital
The upcoming series The Knick is hardly the first old-timey medical show. London Hospital was original broadcast as Casualty 1906 (with subsequent seasons covering 1907 and 1909) and follows the nurses of emergency room in the London Hospital. (10 episodes, Amazon Prime, Hulu)

Mrs. Biggs
Based on a true story, Mrs. Biggs centers on Charmian Biggs, wife of one of Britain’s most famous criminals, who takes her family on the run in the 1960s after her husband escapes from jail. (5 episodes, Hulu)

The Paradise
Denise’s big wish in 1875 is to work at the first British department store. Wish granted, Denise. (8 episodes, Netflix)


Wish Me Luck
A rich woman and a working-class woman are recruited to be secret resistance agents during the War. (23 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Call the Midwife
It’s post–World War II London, and a group of young midwives — plus the nuns they live with — provide pre- and post-natal care to the impoverished women in their neighborhood. (14 episodes, Netflix)

Land Girls
Whom can you rely on when you have to go live on a remote farm during World War II? You rely on your girlfriends, that’s who. (15 episodes, Netflix)

The Bletchley Circle
A group of women who worked as code breakers during the War now put their analytical skills to use tracking a serial killer. (3 episodes, Netflix)


Elizabeth I
Helen Mirren is the queen — get it? obviously? — of BWGID. (2 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen
HBO made the Mirren one; this one is a PBS/BBC production. No less lavish, however. (2 episodes, Amazon Prime)

Elizabeth R
They’ve been making Queen Elizabeth miniseries since the ‘70s. (6 episodes, Hulu Plus)


Miranda Hart — who plays Chummy on Call the Midwife — created and stars in this sitcom, about an offbeat proprietor of a joke shop. (18 episodes, Hulu Plus)

Getting On
The American version of the show about the employees of a geriatric wing is terrific, and the British original is just as good. (15 episodes, Hulu Plus)

The Vicar of Dibley
She’s a lady. And a vicar! (20 episodes, Hulu Plus, Netflix)

The Ambassador
She’s a lady. And an ambassador! (12 episode, Hulu Plus)

Best of Streaming: TV Shows About British Women