Over the past few years, there has been almost a TV-oriented British invasion when it comes to television. It started in a way with the rise of “Doctor Who” when David Tennant was the star, but then transitioned into the Matt Smith era. Then, “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock” both exploded in popularity, and in turn such series as “Call the Midwife” and “Mr. Selfridge” have also found a following where they may not have been able to previously.
So what is the reason for this sudden rise? Part of it, at least according to “Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” executive producer Steven Moffat, may just be a fascination with the other on Americans’ part, and to get a dose of something quintessential about another culture that differs from their own. Just take a look at what he had to say in a reported chat with the Guardian:
“The way you appeal to other cultures is to be yourself … Americans like British shows. If they elect to watch a British show they want it to be terribly British. Why wouldn’t they?
“Just as with watching an American show – we want it to be full-on American. The Britishness isn’t amped up (in Sherlock and Doctor Who). It comes from being made by British people. There is something incredibly British about Doctor Who, but I couldn’t say what it is.”
We’ll sum it up by saying that this “Britishness” comes from the openness to use imagination, coupled with such traditions as tea and things such as police boxes, which have never been common in America. “Sherlock,” meanwhile, puts a modern lens on a story that many Americans know already.
What do you attribute the successes of these shows to? Share in the comments below, and for now, just click here to see the latest “Sherlock” scoop. You can also sign up today in the event that you want more good stuff sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter.
Photo: BBC One