Game of Thrones has left our screens once again, leaving us thirsting for more
The big question on everyone’s minds right now: what do I do now?
Thankfully, with streaming services offering quick and easy ways to watch some of the best dramas on TV from the past and present, you don’t to wait to fill that Thrones-shaped hole in your viewing schedule.
Fight off the post-Thrones blues with these ten top telly shows.
If you like the bloody violence, lavish production design and shady political manoeuvrings of Thrones, but find all the dragons and zombies just a little (dare we say it) silly, then you’ve probably just found your next favourite show.
HBO’s big-budget historical drama is very much the proto-GoT, with many of the fantasy epic’s grittier staples first established here.
Sadly, the plug was pulled after just two seasons, primarily as a result of its notoriously expensive price tag. Still, its early cancellation may ultimately have worked in Rome’s favour, ensuring it didn’t outstay its welcome and run dry.
Watch it on: Netflix
This weird and wonderful 90s mystery from crackpot-supreme David Lynch was the original modern telly event that you simply had to watch.
The show is centred around the murder of a local homecoming queen, and the resulting investigation by oddball FBI agent Dale Cooper, who can’t stop expressing his love for good pie and a “damn fine cup of coffee”.
Featuring a tangle of plot twists that are by turns blackly hilarious and, in places, pretty darn chilling, and with the eagerly-anticipated revival due to hit screens next year, it’s about time you either discovered or re-visited this truly one-of-a-kind cult gem.
Watch it on: Netflix
Line of Duty
You’ve no doubt heard the buzz. Series three had BBC Two’s highest ratings since records began, and series four is moving to BBC One. But you might feel it’s too late to jump on the LoD bandwagon. Not so.
You won’t regret bingeing the first few series of Jed Mercurio’s top cop drama, which follows the work of anti-corruption team AC-12. Martin Compston shines as DS Steve Arnott alongside Vicky McClure as DC Kate Fleming and Adrian Dunbar’s Superintendent Ted Hastings.
Watch it on Netflix (series one and two) and the BBC Store (series three)
Back in 2004, the old Western genre received a gritty, foul-mouthed shot in the arm on the small screen, in the form of HBO’s acclaimed Deadwood.
With the action centred in the historic mining camp of Deadwood, this violent drama sees Ian McShane (who recently popped in Thrones’ latest series) in the role of a lifetime as Al Swearengen, the potty-mouthed, self-appointed patriarch of the populace, who may or may not have everyone’s best interests in mind.
Another example of a show cancelled before its time, this is blistering, uncompromising telly that is just aching to be discovered.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime
Taking vampires seriously in a post-Twilight world is, frankly, easier said than done. Yet this perennially overlooked ’98 thriller did a stellar job of updating the age-old Dracula legend for a modern audience.
Featuring a strong cast (including Idris Elba and Jack Davenport) and a chillingly clinical tone that never winks at the audience, this was one of the smartest takes on the vampire-mythos in years, and deserves to find a new audience online.
Watch it on: 4OD
The Living and the Dead
Released onto the BBC’s streaming service in its entirety this week, the six-part supernatural drama sees a late 19th century landowner and psychologist have his scientific assumptions challenged by disturbing, unexplained events.
More than just your typical foray into things that go bump in the night, there are some genuinely unexpected elements to this chiller that will leave you whimpering in shock.
Watch it on: iPlayer
This offbeat medical series focuses on Douglas Henshall’s eccentric yet undeniably gifted doctor, and his dealings with both his vulnerable patients and his constantly beleaguered colleagues in a Glasgow psychiatric ward. If that sounds a bit like a diet version of House et al, then bear with it; this is a far more intelligent and affecting series than many of its ilk.
Attracting a fair bit of undeserved controversy when it was broadcast in 1999, the show finished after just six episodes. So, unfortunately, this is one of those shows that ended on a cliffhanger that was never resolved.
If you can look past that, however, you’ll be rewarded with a rich and varied drama full of vivid characters (Nash is far more complicated than your standard “young hotshot who plays by their own rules”) and great performances.
Watch it on: 4OD
Set largely in the 13th century court of Kublai Khan (grandson of Genghis), Marco Polo follows the adventures of the legendary explorer, and as you can probably guess, it involves a fair number of vicious executions and medieval power-plays.
The setting of the show is interesting enough; you don’t get many TV dramas revolving around 13th century Mongolia, which is a refreshing change of pace from the classic Western/Westeros set up.
First-time viewers may find that the episodes start to lag around episode 3 of season 1, but it’s well worth enduring the tint of boredom you’re bound to face so you can experience the full dramatic effect of the show’s explosive plot twists.
Watch it on: Netflix
Don’t let Michael Bay’s involvement put you off. The widely reviled director struck gold when he executive-produced this gripping, high-seas adventure yarn.
Serving as a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Black Sails is a treat for those let down by the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels or those just after a solid hour’s bloody entertainment now that GoT is gone for another year.
Watch it on: Amazon Instant Video
A seemingly routine police drama, with the ever-likeable Sarah Lancaster as put-upon Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood doling out justice on the sleepy Yorkshire streets, the first series of Happy Valley soon turned into a gripping weekly appointment with psychotic killers and personal demons.
The second series maintained the high standard, making Happy Valley a hit both in the UK and abroad. Catch up before it returns for a third run.
Watch it on: Netflix (series one) and BBC Store (series two)