1. This Is England ’88: Shane Meadows’ bleak period drama (pictured) chewed over the consequences of This Is England ’86 with a trio of episodes. Bruising social commentary, masterfully authentic performances and, um, gags about “achey balls” marked this as something special. Roll on 1990.
2. Frozen Planet: Sir David Attenborough’s latest whispery advert for HD television captured the majesty and tragedy of the ever-dwindling polar regions in dinner-spilling detail.
3. Game Of Thrones: Sprawling, cerebral and soaked in blood. This daring mega-budget adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy saga was definitely deserved its record Sky Atlantic ratings.
4. Boardwalk Empire: Season two of the stiff-coloured crime saga delivered a brutal blow to the “Bored walk” detractors with more grisly violence, a mutinous storyline and 12 action-packed episodes
Then... 5. Doctor Who 6. All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace 7. An Idiot Abroad 2 8. Fresh Meat 9. The Hour 10. Top Boy