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It should come as no surprise that the BBC is recognized for producing such popular dramas given the extensive number of series that are available on BBC iPlayer. These best shows on BBC iPlayer range from timeless masterpieces to modern smash hits.

The BBC iPlayer may currently only be accessed within the United Kingdom. If you live in Australia and want to watch BBC iPlayer in Australia, you must use a premium VPN service such as ExpressVPN as the best VPN for BBC iPlayer so that you may access the service’s unique content on many devices, including PS5 and others.

There is a wide variety of options available on iPlayer. Taking it from the most difficult decision for people who are fans of streaming services is determining which of these shows should be watched in a continuous session. You further explore what to watch on BBC iPlayer and get something of your interest.

We are aware that locating the most enjoyable content is not an easy task at any time. Nonetheless, to maintain the tradition that we have established, we will now discuss the top 20 best BBC series that you would love watching on BBC iPlayer.

What are the Best Shows on BBC iPlayer to Stream Right Now?

BBC iPlayer does host some of the best shows on BBC iPlayer for longer durations. The best BBC dramas, all of which have been nominated for multiple BAFTA Television Awards and Golden Globes, are all available to watch in their entirety on iPlayer at the time of this writing.

You can discover whole seasons of classic shows with different genres, like action, adventure, horror, thriller, comedy, etc., that have ever been produced under the archive option in the ‘categories’ section of the site.

Don’t worry if you are living in Australia, you can use the best free VPN for BBC iPlayer and unblock the streaming series and watch your desired shows and movies in Australia.

We’ve put together a list of the 20 best dramas on iPlayer and by reading their synopses, you’ll be able to decide which one matches your taste and fascination. Let’s get started:



Genre: Crime, Romance, Drama

Year of release: 1985

Director: There has been a team of 259 directors: The current is Paulette Randall

Major Cast: Adam Woodyatt, Steve McFadden, Letitia Dean, Pam St. Clement, June Brown, Perry Fenwick, Wendy Richard, Gillian Taylforth, Natalie Cassidy, Jessie Wallace, Barbara Windsor, Lacey Turner

Runtime: 30min

EastEnders is one of the long-premiering best shows on BBC iPlayer which is based in London’s East End and focuses on the conflicts that arise between love and family. The storylines in the show range from those that deal with heavy-handed societal themes to those that deal with personal tragedy.

In addition to it, there are several comedic occurrences. Characters both old and new, spanning thousands of episodes, have had a drink together in The Queen Vic, cried tears of sorrow or happiness, and rested on Arthur’s bench in the Square; at some point or another, they undoubtedly ran across Ian Beale.

Scroll down for more dramas on BBC iPlayer:

Happy Valley


Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller

Year of release: 2014

Director: Sally Wainwright

Major Cast: Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, James Norton, Rhys Connah, Charlie Murphy, Shane Zaza, Ishia Bennison, Rick Warden, George Costigan

Runtime: 58min

The devastating effects of alcohol and drug use in the Calder Valley are the subject of this documentary series. Jez Lewis grew up in Hebden Bridge and wanted to convey the tales of the individuals in the community.

They were dying as a result of suicides and overdoses, was the one who filmed the documentary. The director of the documentary stated that he knew many of the people that were shown during his childhood. 5

The Apprentice


Genre: Reality-TV, Game-Show

Year of release: 2005 – Now

Director: Sarah Carnie – Andy Devonshire (This series has had over 35 directors)

Major Cast: Alan Sugar, Mark Halliley, Karren Brady, Nick Hewer, Claude Littner, Margaret Mountford, Tim Campbell, Samantha Moon, Saira Khan, James Max

Runtime: 59min

When Sir Alan Sugar, the owner of AMSTRAD with a net worth of 700 million pounds, is given a pool of 14 applicants, he is required to divide the candidates into two teams each week and give them a challenge in the business world.

Upon the completion of each challenge, Sir Alan will dismiss one member of the unsuccessful team. Until Week 12, when one of the contestants will win £100,000 alongside Sir Alan and become the winner of the competition.

Death in Paradise


Genre: Crime, Comedy, Drama

Year of release: 2011

Director: Richard Signy

Major Cast: Elizabeth Bourgine, Don Warrington, Danny John-Jules, obi Bakare, Joséphine Jobert, Ralf Little

Runtime: 60min

Scotland Yard’s Detective Inspector Richard Poole is sent to Sainte Marie, a Caribbean island, to investigate the death of a coworker. After this, he was officially named the new successor for the fallen officer in the local force. Poole’s ability to solve a string of challenging murder cases attests to his prowess as an investigator.

He isn’t used to, or even fond of, the slow pace of island life. Another reason he dislikes island life is that he is not a fan of seafood. Leaving that aside, the site itself is fantastic. Humphrey Goodman, Jack Mooney, and Neville Parker are just a few of the English and Irish police officers that will lead the investigation in subsequent episodes.

Sort your Life Out


Genre: Reality-TV

Year of release: 2021

Director:  Dee Mulcahy

Major Cast: Stacey Solomon, Robert Bent, Iwan Carrington, Dilly Carter, Joe Swash

Runtime: 59m

Stacey Solomon and her team of professionals provide assistance in the decluttering of houses in Britain.

All of the homeowner’s belongings are transported to a storage facility, where they will make decisions on what should be discarded and what should be brought back into the house when it has been reorganized.

Call the Midwife


Genre: History, Drama

Year of release: 2022

Director: Syd Macartney

Major Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, Laura Main, Jenny Agutter, Stephen McGann, Judy Parfitt, Cliff Parisi, Helen George, Linda Bassett, Max Macmillan

Runtime: 60min

The story is based on the memoirs written by Jennifer Worth and tells the tale of Jenny, a young woman who, at the age of 22, chooses to depart her stable family in 1957 in order to begin a career as a midwife in the East End of London.

The news that she would be residing in Nonnatus House, a convent, comes as a complete shock to her. Jenny gets her eyes opened to the horrible living circumstances of the slums while she is working alongside other nurses as well as the medically expert nuns.

At the same time, she learns about the sweethearts of the moms and the bravery they display. Even after leaving Nonnatus, Jenny will continue to record the life stories of the midwives that have come to feel like family to her.

Charlotte in Sunderland


Genre: Reality TV

Year of release: 2023

Director: David Metcalf

Major Cast: Charlotte, Jake Ankers, Letitia, Gary

Runtime: 28min

Charlotte in Sunderland is the first episode in Crosby’s ten-part documentary series that she is presenting for BBC Three.

The show focuses on her personal life in Sunderland, where she was raised, and new double-bill episodes have been released on a weekly basis ever since the show’s debut.

Silent Witness


Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery

Year of release: 1996

Director: Mark Everest

Major Cast: Emilia Fox, William Gaminara, David Caves, Tom Ward, Liz Carr, Richard Lintern, Amanda Burton

Runtime: 2h

The BBC is responsible for producing the British crime drama television series Silent Witness, which centers on a group of forensic pathology professionals and their investigations into various crimes. The first episode of the series of this one of the best shows on BBC iPlayer was shown in 1996, and it was produced by Nigel McCrery, who had previously worked as a detective in Nottingham’s murder squad.



Genre: Drama

Year of release: 2000

Director: Niall Fraser

Major Cast: Adrian Lewis Morgan, Jan Pearson, Matthew Chambers, Diane Keen, Elisabeth Dermot Walsh, Owen Brenman

Runtime: 30min

The plot of the program, which has been airing since the year 2000 as one of the best shows on BBC iPlayer till today takes place in the made-up town of Lethbridge in the West Midlands, focuses on the lives of the employees working at a university campus surgery and an NHS doctor’s practice.

Found Under the Floor


Genre: Crime

Year of release: 2023


Major Cast: Bennylyn Burke, Jellica

Runtime: 30min

Bennylyn Burke and her daughter, who was just two years old, were both murdered by a cold-blooded assailant who showed no remorse after being apprehended by the police.

Their terrible story has now been investigated by a BBC program, which reveals how Andrew Innes, 52, groomed the 25-year-old victim before he enticed her away from the protected housing near Bristol and to his house in Dundee.

North Sea Connection


Genre: Thriller

Year of release: 2022

Director: Paul Murphy – Hannah Quinn

Major Cast: Lydia McGuinness, Kerr Logan, Dónall Ó Héalai, Claes Ljungmark, Natalie Simpson, Denis Conway, Stuart Graham

Runtime: 45min

By fishing in the waters off of Roskillane, Ciara Kenny is carrying on a custom that has been practiced by members of her family for many decades and has been passed down down the generations.

Nevertheless, their lives are irreversibly changed when her ambitious brother Aidan accepts in secret to carry out a cocaine operation at sea for a Scandinavian gang that ends in a horrible tragedy. This alters the course of their lives in a manner that cannot be reversed.

Great British Menu


Genre: Reality-TV

Year of release: 2006

Director: Francois Gandolfi

Major Cast: Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton, Andi Oliver, Jennie Bond, Prue Leith, Wendy Lloyd, Angela Hartnett, Richard Corrigan

Runtime: 59min

Competing for the opportunity to prepare one of four courses at a banquet, the best chefs in the United Kingdom face off against one another and are rated by a group of well-regarded judges.



Genre: Drama, Action, History

Year of release: 2008

Director: Edward Zwick

Major Cast: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner, Mark Feuerstein

Runtime: 2h 17min

The film “Defiance” is an adaptation of the true tale of a community of Jews in Belarus who successfully opposed the Nazis, hid in the forest, and established a self-contained civilization while only losing around 50 of their about 1,200 members. This group of Jews is shown in the film.

You can resolve the issue if BBC iPlayer not working on Android in Australia.



Genre: News, Current Affairs, Documentary

Year of release: 1953

Director: Victor Melleney

Major Cast: Fred Emery, David Dimbleby, Richard Lindley, Richard Dimbleby, Jane Corbin, Tom Mangold, Robin Day

Runtime: 28min – 58min

Panorama is a current affairs documentary series that is broadcast on British BBC Television. It has been airing continuously since its first broadcast in 1953, making it the longest-broadcasting TV news magazine show in the world.

Richard Dimbleby, David Dimbleby,  Robin Day,  and Jeremy Vine are just a few of the well-known BBC presenters who have hosted the program Panorama in the past.

From the year 2022, it has been airing in prime time on BBC One, despite not having a permanent host. Also, the programming is broadcast all over the world via BBC World News in a great number of nations.

Waterloo Road


Genre: Romance, Drama

Year of release: 2006

Director: Jesse Quinones

Major Cast: Philip Martin Brown, Jason Done, Chelsee Healey, Denise Welch, Melanie Hill

Runtime: 53min

The show depicts the life of the instructors and the pupils at the namesake school of Waterloo Road, which is a failing inner-city comprehensive. The school is located in the fictional city of Waterloo.

The show addresses a broad variety of controversial topics, including drinking and driving, bullying, marital troubles, homosexuality, exclusion, Huntington’s disease, and adolescent pregnancy, among others.

Dragons’ Den


Genre: Reality-TV, Game-Show

Year of release: 2005

Director: Matt Woodward

Major Cast: Evan Davis, Peter Jones, Deborah Meaden, Duncan Bannatyne, Theo Paphitis, Touker Suleyman

Runtime: 1h

Being one the best shows on BBC iPlayer, it gives several business owners the opportunity to pitch their various business concepts to a group of five wealthy investors, who are referred to as the “Dragons” in the show’s title. In exchange for their financial backing, the business owners offer the Dragons a stake in their respective companies.

Mystery Road: Origin


Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery

Year of release: 2018

Director: Dylan River

Major Cast: Mark Coles Smith, Tuuli Narkle, Daniel Henshall, Toby Leonard Moore, Steve Bisley, Salme Geransar

Runtime: 55min

The story centers on a young police officer named Jay Swan, who moves to a new station in the same town as his estranged father, at the same time as he meets Mary, the woman who will alter the course of his life irrevocably.

Let’s check out for best horror movies on BBC iPlayer.

The Smeds and the Smoos


Genre: Animation, Family, Sci-Fi

Year of release: 2022

Directors: Samantha Cutler – Daniel Snaddon

Major Cast: Sally Hawkins, Bill Bailey, Ashna Rabheru, Adjoa Andoh, Daniel Ezra, Meera Syal, Rob Brydon

Runtime: 26min

The Smeds, who are colored red, do not associate with the Smoos (who are blue). As a result, when young Smed, as well as Smoo, fall in love, their respective families are extremely opposed to the union.

Yet, harmony is reestablished, and love triumphs over every obstacle in this happiest of love stories. Even more, the reason to rejoice is that the baby is a stunning shade of violet. This is one of the best BBC iPlayer shows in the list of Animated series alongside Bluey: A best BBC mini-series got much for learning.

The Graham Norton Show


Genre: Music, Comedy, Talk-Show

Year of release: 2007

Directors: Steve Smith and six others

Major Cast: Graham Norton, Ricky Gervais, Judi Dench, Jack Whitehall, Dawn French, James McAvoy

Runtime: 60min

Graham Norton is the host of The Graham Norton Show, a comic talk show that airs in the United Kingdom. Beginning on the 22nd of February in 2007, it was first aired on BBC Two. In October 2009, however, it was moved to BBC One.

It presently airs on Friday nights, and in 2010, Graham Norton took over the famous late-Friday-evening position on BBC One, which had previously been occupied by Friday Night with Jonathan Ross.

Norton has gained a number of honors for his program, which is distinguished by his introductory monologue, adult humour, innuendo-laden speech, and extravagant presentation.

Our Flag Means Death


Genre: Adventure, Action, Biography

Year of release: 2022

Director: Fernando Frias

Major Cast: Rhys Darby, Joel Fry, Nathan Foad, Samson Kayo, Matthew Maher, Samba Schutte

Runtime: 30min

This show is based on the real-life exploits of Stede Bonnet, a pirate who lived in the 18th century (Rhys Darby). Stede becomes the captain of the pirate ship Vengeance after giving up the life of a gentleman, which seemed to be filled with charm, in exchange for the life of a swashbuckling buccaneer.

After a fortuitous encounter with the famed Captain Blackbeard, Stede’s luck begins to turn around just as he faces an uphill battle to win the respect of his possibly disloyal crew. Stede and his crew make an effort to fix their ship and stay alive among the harsh conditions of life at sea.

Wrap Up

You now have a great understanding of the best shows on BBC iPlayer, which are worth your time, and you can also download BBC iPlayer videos when upgrading to a BBC iPlayer premium version from free with advertisements.

The BBC’s content library is comprehensive, featuring the greatest genres as diverse as Historical dramas, Thrillers, Crime, Noir drama, Horror, Romance, Comedy, Food, Science, Lifestyle, and more.

The BBC iPlayer just not has BBC iPlayer series classics but also a slew of excellent new movies. The fantastic BBC content could be streamed without any hiccups on your Smart TV, Android, or any other device.

Looking for what is best on iPlayer this week? We have created this list of the top BBC iPlayer series available for watching in the year 2023 in the hopes that it will help you choose which programs to watch in their entirety. Happy Streaming with iPlayer for free!