Films and TV shows that wouldn’t work during a tube strike

From Sliding Doors to Skyfall - here's some of the London Underground's best moments on screen...


Sliding Doors


With the entire premise of the film revolving around how different life might be if Gwyneth Paltrow catches a Tube train or misses a Tube train, it’s hard to see how this 1992 rom-com classic could work without the Underground running a good service on all lines. I guess it might still happen if a rail replacement bus slams its doors in her face – but let’s face it, whether she catches it or not, she’ll be so late home her boyfriend will probably have finished his affair before she gets back anyway.

Doctor Who: The Web of Fear

There’s something amiss when the Doctor (played by Patrick Troughton) lands in Covent Garden station to investigate. Are the Great Intelligence really trying to take over the subterranean railway or is the Doctor barking up the wrong tree when he heads off to the WWII bunker at Goodge Street station? One of the “lost episodes” that’s been recently found – it may as well have stayed lost if the Underground hadn’t been able to feature.

Top Gear: The Stig vs the team

Episode five of series 10 (first aired in 2007) saw The Stig race Clarkson, Hammond and May across London… using public transport. He travelled from Kew Gardens in the west of the capital to City Airport in the east using the District Line and the DLR. It wouldn’t have been much of a race if he’s had to walk…

James Bond: Skyfall

Just watch the clip, really…

The Tube

The BBC2 observational documentary was first broadcast in 2012, but it’s hard to think how it would have run for six parts had they all been strike day specials…

Tube Tales

Based on a collection of nine real-life short stories about people using the tube, it wouldn’t really have worked had the tube not been working. Everyone and their aunty was in this 1999 film from Denise Van Outen and Dexter Fletcher to Ray Winstone and Rachel Weisz. It also saw directorial debuts from Jude Law and Ewan McGregor.

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix

Where would Harry Potter be if there’d been a Tube strike the day he needed to get to the Ministry of Magic for his hearing? Expelled most likely. He was in trouble for underage magic in front of a muggle after all. But the worst thing would have been missing the moment experienced wizard Mr Weasley tries to use his hand as an Oyster card.


Sherlock series three would have gotten off to a rather dull start had the London Underground-themed episode been held up by a strike. Replacement buses presumably can’t drive underneath Parliament. Sherlock would also have never learned the tedious nature of Tube travel the day none of the cabs would pick him up in series two’s The Hounds of Baskerville.