Why I Love Brit Stories

I’ll confess it: my husband and I pay a premium to upgrade our cable television package.  It’s not the sports channels or even the music channels. Yeah, Turner Classic Movies tipped the scales, but what really made it a no-brainer was that the premium package had BBC America.

And I’m not ashamed to admit it: I’m a Dr. Who fanatic.  Already this season we’ve had dinosaurs on a spaceship and a cyborg gunslinger in the old American west.  If you’re not familiar with Dr. Who, he’s the last of the Time Lords from Galifrey. He travels the universe with a variety of human companions in a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which looks remarkably like a British police call box. He protects Earth and humanity with a sonic screwdriver, a sharp problem-solving mind and the ability to run.

Seriously, they run from or to something in every episode. There’s a lot of running.

But Dr. Who is not the only British character or story that has captured my imagination over the years. Harry Potter now sits on the list, but so does Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Jane Austen books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, James and the Giant Peach, Charles Dickens books, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw plays and the poetry of Rudyard Kipling and W. H. Auden.

There’s something I find so appealing about the British world-view. Protagonists who rely on their wits and their friends instead of super-human powers or guns. A culture that once ruled an empire spanning the globe and now embraces the diversity and complexity of its citizens. A society that celebrates the family unit and where the sense of community always seem to shine.

Maybe it’s because Britain is an island. For centuries the Brits have defended their land from invasion and this indomitable spirit becomes a key element in so many of their heroes and heroines.  Maybe it’s the long and rich history of a monarchy that lends an air of nobility, honor, duty and sacrifice to so many of the characters.

So tell me, do you have a favorite hero or story from Britain? 

About Amy Atwell

Amy Atwell is a storyteller at heart. After fifteen years in professional theater, she turned from the stage to the page to write contemporary capers and historical tales that combine romance and adventure. Her books are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When not writing, she runs the online author communities WritingGIAM and Author E.M.S.
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13 Responses to Why I Love Brit Stories

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    Some of my favorite authors have been British. Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Dick Francis (and his co-writer wife, whose name never appeared on the books). I even like Simon Cowell, though he’s not a favorite. And right now, I’m feeling for Kate Middleton. The paparazzi are scum.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      How could I forget Dame Agatha and Dick Francis? And for British characters, I was crazy for Peter Wimsey. And yes, Kate deserves more respect. I guess not everything British is warm and fuzzy.

  2. I’m with you… had to have BBC! I’ve only been once, but i’d move there is a second if I could. Growing up (and okay, even now) I love Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins and Winnie the Pooh! So many!

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Lori–Winnie the Pooh is another fave in our household. Alice in Wonderland, not so much, although I really enjoyed Tim Burton’s telling of the tale. Maybe it’s because I loved so many of the British children’s books and characters, but I’ve always wanted to run away and live in England. Or Scotland.

  3. Liz Kreger says:

    When I first reading romance (Harlequins) it seemed like I gravitated toward the stories set in England. When I moved onto historical romances, I was in seventh heaven. So many were set in England that it got to a point that I felt like I could go to London and know where I going without getting lost. Provided, of course, I time traveled back to the 18th or 19th century. 😆

    There are certain BBC programs that I like but I don’t really make it a point to watching them. Its that whole “no time to watch the telly” syndrom. Hubby used to be a Dr. Who fanatic but he doesn’t like the new series. No idea why.

    • Amy Atwell says:

      Liz, I remember my first trip to England, I was enchanted. Everything from the Thames River to Covent Garden to Trafalgar Square to Victoria and Paddington Stations (add Paddington to the list of British stories!). And when I went to Bath? It was just like stepping into my favorite Regency romance.

      I remember talking to a young man in London and he really wanted to visit America where everything was new and forward thinking. All I could think of was the rich history surrounding him in London. I guess maybe the grass is always greener.

  4. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Amy,

    I rarely watch TV at all, but adore British comedies. I can’t even remember most that kept me in stitches. I can see upgrading for that though. We have horrible service and even worse choices here, so I don’t bother.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Blog Tour for Family Blood Ties series – Vampire in Denial and Vampire in Distress!

  5. Misty Evans says:

    Amy, there are lots of Dr. Who fans out there, so you’re in good company. Like Lori, I’m an Alice fan and also Winnie the Pooh. Harry Potter is my favorite book series, and I love many British poets.

  6. I LOVE Luther. Can not wait for the next season!

  7. Aside from Austen, Shakespeare and Wilde, I *loved* Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series! Still enjoy rereading those ;).

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  9. Amy R says:

    I don’t have a specific favorite that I can think of, but movies set in other countries are always fascinating to me especially in London. I think growing up I was fascinated with The Parent Trap movie where one of the twins went to London to be with her mom . Tt was probably my first real glimpse as a little girl that things were different in other countries (the wake they spoke, etc). My daughter had a soccer camp this year and it was a British Challenger camp so the coaches were all British. My daughter liked listening to them talk with their accent. We are pretty bland in the Midwest. 🙂

  10. Virna DePaul says:

    No specific show or character is coming to mind but I love international settings and most accents make me swoon. 🙂

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