The 30 greatest box sets… ever

Thousands of you voted for your favourites and here are the results...


1. True Blood


Good boxed sets are addictive, and True Blood has it all: sex, murder, vampires and outlandishly moreish storylines. Perfect for a massive, naughty binge.

2. 24

Book the day off and stock up on snacks and strong coffee — if you don’t watch each series of the real-time thriller in a single 24-hour session, you’re simply not doing it properly.

3. Blackadder

With all those one-liners, the 1980s/90s sitcom is more fun than Mr Fun the clown eating fun-sized Mars bars on a bouncy castle.

4. Doctor Who Series 1—4

The first entry that really does come in a lovely big box: 52 episodes (with Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s Doctors), plus Christmas specials.

5. The West Wing

Aaron Sorkin’s fantasy of compassionate super-brains in the White House is so absorbing, some fans have confessed to watching all 154 episodes, then going back to start again…

6. Friends

Every episode has been repeated 85 times, but it doesn’t matter. The polished American sitcom is The One We Never Get Tired Of.

7. Agatha Christie’s Marple

Purists, stay away: these are the Geraldine McEwan/Julia McKenzie versions. The full set contains a guest appearance from literally every actor in Britain.

8. Fawlty Towers

It famously limited itself to 12 episodes, but it’s competing with much bigger boxed sets because it’s just as funny the 47th time as it was the first.

9. The Wire

The detailed police drama owes its popularity here almost entirely to people hearing from friends how good it was, getting the DVDs, and finding their friends were dead right.

10. The Sopranos

Every episode of the rich, iconic American Mafia drama is like a really good movie. Number of episodes: 86. Number of bad episodes: 0.

11. Inspector Morse

The late John Thaw’s greatest legacy, a collection of classy whodunnits that British telly will probably never better.

12. Band of Brothers

Steven Spielberg’s 12-hour mini-series about one US army regiment’s extraordinary Second World War adventures. Get it on Blu-Ray to make the most of the action sequences.

13. Dexter

Michael C Hall has starred in four black-as-night series as the only TV serial killer it’s OK to like. Once you start watching, it’s incredibly difficult to stop.

14. Sex and the City

If you bought the film Sex and the City 2 on DVD, commiserations. Now go back for a refund and buy the TV series instead. You can get the lot for less than the cost of a left Manolo, never mind a pair.

15. Life on Mars

Before Ashes to Ashes there was this, a high-concept classic set in 1973 that reinvented the cop show and introduced us to the unstoppable “armed b*****d”, DCI Gene Hunt.

Best of the rest…


16= Buffy the Vampire Slayer/House
18. Lost
19. Pride and Prejudice
20. Spooks
21. The Big Bang Theory
22. Battlestar Galactica
23. Grey’s Anatomy
24. Mad Men
25= Being Human/The Blue Planet/The X-Files
28. The Simpsons
29. Frasier
30. Yes Minister