The Year That Was: UK TV in 2017



Hello. I'm Caroline, aka @toongirl83, and I'm going to share my review of British TV in 2017. Lets ease ourselves in with some music.

JANUARY: Lets start at the beginning - New Year's Day to be exact, when the brand new series of Sherlock began. This was event TV at it's finest, no-one could wait for those three new episodes. After a strong opener, the plot became so complex during the next two that by the end you almost needed a PhD to understand what was going on. I blogged the first two episodes, here's what I made of episode one: We also had the NTAs at the end of January, with big wins for Emmerdale, Ant and Dec and Graham Norton, who won the Special Recognition Award.

FEBRUARY: February is traditionally the month for big award shows - we had the Brits and the Oscars this month alone. But there was also some great drama, with Broadchurch airing on ITV with its third and final series. This one featured a controversial rape storyline which divided viewers, but it still got great ratings. The BBC countered with SS-GB, a period drama set during the Second World War which imagined what would have happened if Germany had won the Battle Of Britain. Unfortunately, it was a massive flop and it's doubtful whether it will return. Oh well, you can't win them all.

MARCH: A quiet month in TV land, unless you're a Line Of Duty fan. It returned for a fourth series and got a promotion from BBC2 to BBC1, and featured a barnstorming performance from Thandie Newton as a corrupt cop. While all its fans wondered who Balaclava Man was, the rest of us wondered what the hell they were talking about. Almost certain to return for a fifth series.

APRIL: April saw the return of Doctor Who, and Peter Capaldi's final series as the Doctor before he hands the Tardis keys to Jodie Whittaker (more on her later.) It was also notable for featuring Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, as the first gay companion. Although ratings were down a little on previous series, the plots were a lot less complicated with the last episode in particular, which saw the return of John Simm as the Master, receiving a lot of praise.

MAY: Apart from Eurovision, it was another quiet month TV wise, but there was one rather brilliant drama on BBC One. Three Girls told the true story of the Rotherham abuse scandal from the point of view of three young girls caught up in it. It'll make your blood boil, but it's well worth a watch if you can.

JUNE: We needed something to distract us from the mess of the General Election and TV didn't disappoint. The Crystal Maze relaunched on Channel 4 with Richard Ayoade as host. He brought the same brilliant quirkiness to the role as his predecessor Richard O'Brien and although the games seem to have got a little easier, it's great to see it back. Here's my blog of the first ep: Poldark also returned for another series and people everywhere swooned. It's not something I've ever watched, but I'm sure he got his kit off at some point. And did some scything.

JULY: Stop the press! The new Doctor Who was revealed this month to be Jodie Whittaker. The hype surrounding the first woman to play the role was so big that it almost usurped Roger Federer's record 8th Wimbledon title. And of course we had it covered here on By The Minute. Here's Walter Storey's blog: Some people claimed that it was a victory for equality, while others said it was PC gone mad. Here's the moment all was revealed:

AUGUST: Usually a quiet month in the TV world, there was actually a lot going on. New dramas Strike, based on the books by JK Rowling, and Trust Me, a medical drama that capitalised on the interest on it's star Jodie Whittaker aired. The Great British Bake Off debuted on Channel 4 after leaving the BBC, and it wasn't as horrible as everyone anticipated. Despite all the Twitter jibes about Channel 4 paying £75m for a tent and Paul Hollywood, the new series sustained good ratings, and the new presenting partnership of Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding worked really well. The only cloud to hang over the series was when Prue Leith accidently revealed the name of the winner on Twitter. It was Sophie, by the way - but we knew that already. Cheers Prue.

SEPTEMBER: This year is normally one of the best times of the year for TV. We had the launch of Strictly Come Dancing, the second series of Doctor Foster, with Suranne Jones again brillant as the unhinged medic, and something of a novelty as two dramas both written by Jack and Harry Willams aired at the same time. Rellick was on BBC1 and told the story of a serial killer backwards, while Liar was a rape drama shown on ITV. Liar was far more compelling than Rellick, whose plot I can only describe as a load of monkeyballs and Liar easily won the ratings battle. It's also been awarded a second series, unlike poor old Rellick, which we'll hopefully never see again.