Best Channel 4 dramas — all the must-see TV shows to watch on demand

TV tonight Jamie-Lee O'Donnell and Nina Sosanya star.
Screw is just one of the dramas available on demand via Channel 4. (Image credit: C4)

Here are the best Channel 4 dramas to enjoy right now including Screw, Deceit, Help, It's A Sin and Misfits.

Channel 4 has a great range of drama series from both past and present, so if you're craving an old favorite or want to try something new, they've got you covered. 

Don't miss our guides to the best ITV dramas and the best BBC dramas too, as there are lots of great options to choose from.

What are the best Channel 4 dramas available to stream online?


Leigh and her prison officers

(Image credit: C4)

Screw is arama series revealing the uncensored, shocking and often darkly funny reality of life as a prison officer in a 21st century British male prison, and it's truly gripping stuff. 

It's got a great cast attached including Derry Girls' Jamie Lee O'Donnell, and Good Omens star Nina Sosanya, with season 2 welcoming Lee Ingleby, so there's plenty to sink your teeth into.

Number of seasons: 2

Episodes: 12

Episode length: 47 minutes

Orphan Black

Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany discusses the final season of the show at Build Studio on Junge 6, 2017.

(Image credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

This thrilling sci-fi series sees Tatiana Maslany starring as a multitude of personalities. When a woman named Sarah witnesses the suicide of someone who looks just like her, she enters the dangerous world of clone conspiracy, and her life will never be the same again.

With all five seasons available on demand, this is definitely a binge-worthy series will plenty of twists and turns around every corner.

Number of seasons: 5

Episodes: 50

Episode length: 43 minutes


Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham in Help

Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham in Help. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham star in this acclaimed drama. Help revolves around Sarah (Comer) who works in a fictional care home in Liverpool. She connects quickly with Tony (Stephen Graham), who has early onset Alzheimer's, which leaves him prone to periods of confusion and sudden outbursts which the other staff find tricky to deal with. Sarah is doing well in her job until the pandemic hits and she struggles to cope...

Number of seasons: 1 

Episodes: 1

Episode length: 98 minutes


Niamh Algar is 'Lizzie James'

(Image credit: C4)

Four-part drama Deceit explores the 1992 murder of Rachel Nickell, which saw Crimewatch viewers naming Colin Stagg, who often walked his dog on the Common, as a suspect. Without forensic evidence, the Metropolitan Police devised Operation Edzell, in which a female undercover officer would build an intimate relationship with Colin Stagg and gain his trust.

The series follows this operation, as we see undercover officer 'Sadie' (played by The Virtues star Niamh Algar) — whose real name remains classified — posing as 'Lizzie James' and makes contact with Colin Stagg, and the series reveals the controversial honeytrap operation at the heart of the investigation. It led to the police wrongly arresting innocent Colin Stagg.

Number of seasons: 1 (mini-series)

Episodes: 4

Average episode length: 47 minutes

It's A Sin

The cast of It's A Sin.

(Image credit: C4)

In Russell T. Davies' new drama, we follow a group of friends, all in their late teens and early twenties, who move to London in 1981 and have their lives turned upside down by HIV/AIDS. The series spans a decade and follows how their lives are impacted by the epidemic.

The series is based on Davies' and his friends' own experiences. Opening up to Esquire about It's A Sin, he said: "I was 18 in 1981, so I’ve been wanting to tell this story for that long, really. When the idea for Queer as Folk cropped up in 1988, it’s interesting that I didn’t write this, because I could have. But we were still mid-trauma and I can only presume, in hindsight, that I was just too close to that.”

Stars Olly Alexander, Omari Douglas, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West, Nathaniel Curtis, Keeley Hawes, Shaun Dooley, Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Fry.

Number of seasons: 1 (mini-series)

Episodes: 5

Average episode length: 48 minutes

Deadwater Fell

David Tennant

David Tennant in Deadwater Fell. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Fans of crime dramas won't want to miss Deadwater Fell, a mini-series that's perfect for binge-watching. Comprised of just four episodes it follows the murder of a seemingly perfect family, a mother and her three young children, with the father being the sole survivor of the house fire. 

But throughout the course of the series, we discover that the family was far from happy or perfect and a remote Scottish village is rocked by these horrific deaths.

Stars David Tennant, Cush Jumbo, Matthew McNulty, Anna Madeley, Lewis Gribben.

Number of seasons: 1 (mini-series)

Episodes: 4

Average episode length:  45 minutes


Another gritty drama, Reckoning, follows the lives of two men. As the series progresses, both men are battling with their inner demons and the murder of a local teenager soon sets them on a course of mutual destruction. 

Stars Aden Young, Sam Trammell, Simone Kessell, Milly Alcock, Ed Oxenbould, Finn Little.

Number of seasons: 1 (mini-series)

Episodes: 10

Average episode length: 45 minutes


In this iconic Channel 4 series, a group of young offenders doing community service get struck by lightning during a storm and begin to develop superpowers. There are five seasons in total, so plenty to keep you occupied!

Misfits follows Kelly Bailey, Curtis Donovan, Alisha Daniels and Simon Bellamy, who soon discover their newfound powers mirror their own individual personalities, and the first series navigates the aftermath of this strange storm. 

Number of seasons: 5

Episodes: 37

Average episode length: 45 minutes



Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt star in Flowers. (Image credit: Channel 4)

In this comedy-drama, Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt play Deborah and Maurice Flowers, who live with their two children and Maurice's Japanese illustrator Shun. The series deals with some dark themes such as depression, jealousy and insecurity but mixes in the right amount of comedy to keep the audience laughing.

Flowers is the perfect series for anyone looking for something a little quirky and a little bit different, but also something that has a lot of heart.

Number of seasons: 2

Episodes: 12

Average episode length: 24 minutes