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ERA’s Favourite Programmes of the Decade

2020 is almost upon us! To celebrate, ERA has recapped our favourite programmes of the decade, and explained why they are worthy of such an accolade.

Helena Djurkovic - Derry Girls

I’m going to go with Derry Girls. It’s actually very funny and it explains a lot about life in Northern Ireland in the run up to the Good Friday Agreement.

You can catch the whole series of Derry Girls on All4 right now:

Alyson Maclaren - Wolf Hall

I’ve chosen Wolf Hall – this combined adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novels, Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.  Thomas Cromwell had a profound effect on this country’s history and we all grow up learning the ‘colourful’ elements of the story of Henry VIII and his wives.  This adaptation brought the meticulous detail and slow burn of the novels to life with haunting, sometimes even humourous, portrayals of the human cost of these historical events.  Impossible to forget the terror and pride of Claire Foy’s Anne Boleyn as she approaches the scaffold…

You can find a selection of clips from Wolf Hall here:


Kesiena Yembra - Black Earth Rising

My programme of the decade is the 2018 series Black Earth Rising. Politically relevant, historically significant and richly complex, the series spotlights the Rwandan genocide, raising big questions and unravelling the conversation around western paternalism and neo-colonialism. Black Earth Rising also explores themes of international justice, transracial adoption, and the lingering traumas of war, in a gripping and intelligent way. Great material for A-Level History, Politics, Law, Sociology and PSHE.

You can find a clip from Black Earth Rising here:

And the trailer here:

Leah Harvey - Blue Planet II

Because I studied Zoology I love these shows, its a very important topic at the minute regarding looking after our home planet, species and cutting down on single use plastics. The show gets information across to the audience in an accessible manner about animals/animal behaviour, habitats and ecosystems and is enjoyable to all ages.

This clip in particular highlights the concerns surrounding plastic usage, which has become a pressing issue in recent years:

You can also find our article on the impact of the programme on our society here.

Anna Costello - RuPaul's Drag Race UK

I’m going to go with RuPaul UK – the show teaches us so much about self-care, loving yourself, whilst also being a platform for discussing important issues in the LGBTQ+ community.

Here’s a great clip about ‘Five Things that we’ve learnt from RuPaul’:

Keep your eye on our upcoming PSHE Subject Playlists, too – RuPaul will definitely be making an appearance!

Rebecca Clark - Doctor Who

For me, it’s got to be Doctor Who – it showcases history and expansive imagination in one wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey package. This decade has brought with it episodes that underline racism, mental health issues, and grief, alongside those that feature key historical events such as the partition of India. It has also brought with it a Weeping Angel the size of the of Statue of Liberty. Wonders never cease. In short, there’s something for everyone – history, PSHE, creative writing, drama… the list is endless. Don’t discount this one!

Great historical episodes:
Demons of the Punjab

Vincent and the Doctor could make for a great opener for mental health discussion (TW: mention of/allusion to suicide):

Some examples of creative writing:
– World Enough and Time – out-of-sync timelines as a plot device:
– A Christmas Carol – reinvention of a classic tale:
– Dinosaurs on a Spaceship – pure, unbridled creativity: