Best UK Detective TV Shows: Top Picks for Crime Drama Fans

Best UK Detective TV Shows: Top Picks for Crime Drama Fans

Detective TV shows have been a staple of British television for many years. From the gritty realism of shows like “Prime Suspect” to the more lighthearted “Midsomer Murders”, there is a UK detective show to suit every taste. These shows are often praised for their intricate plots, well-drawn characters, and the way they capture the essence of the British criminal justice system.

When it comes to choosing the best UK detective TV shows, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to consider the type of show you’re looking for. Do you prefer a more serious, realistic show, or something with a bit more humor? Are you interested in a long-running series with complex storylines, or something with more self-contained episodes?

Another important factor to consider is the quality of the writing and acting. A great detective show needs to have both well-crafted scripts and talented actors who can bring the characters to life. Finally, you’ll want to think about the overall production values of the show, including the cinematography, music, and set design.

With these factors in mind, we’ve spent hours researching and watching some of the best UK detective TV shows out there. In the following sections, we’ll introduce you to our top picks and explain why we think they’re worth watching.

Best UK Detective TV Shows

We have put together a list of the best UK detective TV shows that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. From gripping murder mysteries to thrilling police procedurals, these shows have something for everyone. Our team has carefully selected each show based on its popularity, critical acclaim, and overall entertainment value. So, without further ado, here are the top UK detective TV shows that you need to watch.

amazonbuy 1

Ellery Queen Mysteries – Complete Series

71Y0w4AVsCL 1 1

If you love classic detective TV shows, the Ellery Queen Mysteries Complete Series is a must-have.

Pros

  • Digitally remastered for improved picture quality
  • Features all 22 episodes of the classic NBC series
  • Includes guest appearances from a star-studded cast, including Vincent Price and Eva Gabor

Cons

  • Region 2 DVD, may not be compatible with all players
  • Only one season was made due to expense
  • Some episodes may feel dated to modern audiences

The Ellery Queen Mysteries is a classic detective series that follows the exploits of famed writer Ellery Queen as he assists his father, Inspector Richard Queen, in solving mysteries that baffle the New York City police force. The series features all 22 uncut and unedited episodes in digitally remastered quality, making it a great addition to any classic TV collection.

One of the standout features of the series is the impressive guest cast, which includes Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, George Burns, Troy Donahue, Roddy McDowall, Ed McMahon, Sal Mineo, Donald O’Connor, and many more. Fans of classic Hollywood will enjoy seeing some of their favorite stars in early roles.

However, it’s worth noting that the series was made in the 1970s and some episodes may feel dated to modern audiences. Additionally, the DVD is Region 2 and may not be compatible with all players.

Overall, if you’re a fan of classic detective TV shows, the Ellery Queen Mysteries Complete Series is a great addition to your collection. Just make sure your DVD player is compatible before purchasing.

amazonbuy 1

Unforgotten

cc891807d2c412f0e6d9b6b56b225de8518ad85613f64186cc12a0ebf035a0e0 4 1

If you’re a fan of UK detective TV shows, Unforgotten is a must-watch.

Pros

  • Gripping storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat
  • Well-developed characters that you can’t help but root for
  • Excellent acting by the talented cast

Cons

  • Some viewers may find the plot slow-paced at times
  • Not suitable for those who prefer action-packed shows
  • May not be suitable for younger audiences due to mature themes

Unforgotten is a crime drama that follows two detectives as they solve cold cases from the past. The show is well-written, with a storyline that keeps you guessing until the very end. The characters are well-developed, and the cast delivers outstanding performances that make you feel invested in their stories.

One of the best things about Unforgotten is the attention to detail. The show takes its time to explore the characters’ pasts and the events that led to the crimes they committed. As a result, the show feels more realistic and grounded than other crime dramas.

However, some viewers may find the plot slow-paced at times. The show takes its time to build up the tension, which may not be suitable for those who prefer action-packed shows. Additionally, some of the themes explored in the show may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Overall, Unforgotten is an excellent UK detective TV show that is definitely worth watching. If you’re a fan of crime dramas with well-written characters and gripping storylines, this show is for you.

Check out Unforgotten on Amazon and see for yourself why it’s one of the best UK detective TV shows out there.

amazonbuy 1

Professor T: The Complete Second Season

81Gvdi4fnkL 4

If you’re a fan of British detective TV shows, Professor T: The Complete Second Season is a must-watch. This quirky crime drama will keep you entertained with its interesting characters, well-done mysteries, and stunning scenics of Cambridge.

See also  Best Dog Food Brands on Reddit: Top Picks for Your Furry Friend

Pros

  • The characters are memorable and interesting.
  • The mysteries are well-done, keeping you engaged throughout the show.
  • The show is an intellectual series, not an action/thriller storyline.

Cons

  • The DVD is only playable in Region 1.
  • The UK version is not as good as the original Belgian series.
  • Some viewers may find the show too slow-paced.

Professor T: The Complete Second Season follows the prickly, neurotic, and filterless Cambridge University criminology professor Jasper Tempest (Ben Miller) as he helps Scotland Yard solve crimes. The show is an adaptation of the popular Belgian procedural, and it features a great cast, including Juliet Stevenson, Frances de la Tour, Emma Naomi, and Barney White.

One of the best things about Professor T is its characters. They are all unique and memorable, especially the Professor’s mother, who adds a lot of humor to the show. Additionally, the mysteries are well-done and will keep you engaged throughout the show.

However, some viewers may find the show too slow-paced, and the DVD is only playable in Region 1. Also, the UK version is not as good as the original Belgian series, but it’s still enjoyable.

Overall, we highly recommend Professor T: The Complete Second Season to anyone who loves British detective TV shows. It’s a well-done series that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

amazonbuy 1

Life On Mars: The Complete First Series (U.K.)

819fdl7ywzS 6

If you’re looking for a unique and thrilling detective TV show, Life On Mars: The Complete First Series (U.K.) is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The twist on the typical police procedural is intriguing and keeps you engaged throughout the series.
  • The characters are well-developed and the acting is superb.
  • The special features included in the DVD set are a great bonus for fans of the show.

Cons

  • The 1970s setting may not appeal to everyone.
  • Some viewers may find the violence and rough language in the show to be excessive.
  • The ending of the series may leave some viewers unsatisfied.

From the moment we started watching Life On Mars, we were hooked. The concept of a modern-day police detective being transported back in time to the 1970s is both fascinating and entertaining. The show does an excellent job of keeping you guessing about what is really happening to the main character, Sam Tyler, and the twist at the end is both surprising and satisfying.

The characters in the show are also a major highlight. John Simm does an excellent job portraying Sam Tyler and Philip Glenister is equally impressive as the rough-around-the-edges DCI Gene Hunt. The supporting cast is also fantastic, with each character bringing something unique to the show.

One of the best things about this DVD set is the special features. The audio commentaries for each episode are a great way to get behind-the-scenes insights from the cast and crew. The hour-long documentary, “Take a Look at the Lawman,” is also a must-watch for fans of the show.

Overall, we highly recommend Life On Mars: The Complete First Series (U.K.) to anyone looking for a unique and engaging detective TV show. Just be prepared for some rough language and violence along the way.

amazonbuy 1

Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis 4 – Original UK Edition

717lho krwL 1

We highly recommend purchasing the Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis 4 – Original UK Edition for those who enjoy a good mystery and suspense British TV show. This series is inspired by the Inspector Morse novels of Colin Dexter and features four new mysteries that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Pros

  • The complex mysteries will keep you guessing until the end.
  • The spectacular settings and superb musical score add to the overall experience.
  • The outstanding cast, both the continuing characters and the supporting ones, give strong performances.

Cons

  • ALL the episodes are mislabeled on the screen, making it difficult to find a particular episode.
  • The title of each episode and the short summary have zero relationship to the actual content.
  • Some viewers may find the show slow-paced or lacking action.

The first episode, Old Unhappy Far Off Things, sets the tone for the rest of the series with its intriguing mystery and beautiful Oxford setting. The chemistry between Kevin Whately’s Inspector Lewis and Laurence Fox’s DS Hathaway is undeniable, and their dynamic adds depth to the show. The Mind Has Mountains is another standout episode with its unique plot and excellent use of music.

However, the mislabeling of episodes can be frustrating, and it may take some time to find the one you want to watch. Additionally, some viewers may find the show slow-paced or lacking in action. Despite these minor flaws, Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis 4 – Original UK Edition is a must-watch for fans of British mystery and suspense TV shows.

amazonbuy 1

The Mentalist: Season 1

81s2JLqRkkL 3 1

If you’re a fan of detective shows, you should definitely consider purchasing The Mentalist: Season 1.

Pros

  • The main character, Patrick Jane, is played brilliantly by Simon Baker, who brings a unique charm and intelligence to the role.
  • The show has a great cast of supporting characters, each with their own quirks and personalities.
  • The writing is top-notch, with engaging storylines and plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked.

Cons

  • Some viewers may find the show’s use of psychic abilities to be a bit far-fetched.
  • The first season takes a little while to find its footing, with some of the early episodes feeling a bit formulaic.
  • The show can be quite dark and intense at times, so it may not be suitable for all viewers.

Overall, we highly recommend The Mentalist: Season 1 to anyone who enjoys a good detective show with well-drawn characters and engaging storylines. The show is well worth the investment, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

In The Mentalist, the main character is Patrick Jane, an independent consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation with a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes using only his razor sharp skills of observation. The show is nominally a police procedural, but its characters are especially richly written, and there’s romance and torment hinted at in equal measure throughout the series. All of this–and the star turn by Simon Baker, whose smoldering good looks take a back seat to his nuanced acting–make The Mentalist one of TV’s top drama series.

See also  Best TV Speaker System for an Immersive Home Theater Experience

Season 1 sets the action in motion immediately, as the viewer quickly learns the backstory of Patrick Jane. Jane was once a questionable TV psychic who professed to help people contact their deceased loved ones. But a crazed killer–“Red John”–was watching one day when Jane mentioned assisting California police on his case, and in retribution he committed a horrific crime with staggering personal repercussions on Jane. Jane leaves his sham life behind, but it turns out he’s actually quite gifted as an observer of subtle human behavior–a “mentalist,” who, he tells the California Bureau of Investigation, “is a master manipulator of thought and behavior.” So Jane joins the CBI in tracking tricky cases, including that of Red John.

The rest of the cast is terrific, especially Robin Tunney, who may have found the role, and series, of a lifetime, as Teresa Lisbon, the head of the squad, who must keep Jane on track but give him enough lead to assist the often skeptical power structure. There’s undeniable chemistry between Jane and Lisbon, yet any potential romance is superseded by a very real-feeling mutual respect and admiration, which shows its own kind of tenderness. Other stellar cast members include Tim Kang (the all-business Kimball Cho), Owain Yeoman (the ambitious rookie Wayne Rigsby), and Amanda Righetti (the doe-eyed newbie Grace Van Pelt, who may have a lot to learn in traditional police work, but who has a deep understanding of and respect for Jane’s psychic abilities).

The first season boxed set is a bounty and includes all 23 episodes, a fantastic featurette with the cast and creators on making the series, as well as a mini-doc on the difference (and there is one) between a mentalist and a psychic. Fans of the series won’t want to miss the gag reel, either–the cast clearly has as much fun making the show as its fans do watching it.

amazonbuy 1

True Detective: Seasons 1-2 [Blu-ray] [2014] [2016] [Region Free]

71GZbiUTM8L 2

If you’re looking for a gritty and intense crime drama, True Detective is a solid choice.

Pros

  • The acting is top-notch, with standout performances from Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, and Rachel McAdams.
  • The writing is smart and complex, with multiple storylines that keep you engaged and guessing.
  • The cinematography is stunning, with beautiful shots of Louisiana and California that add to the overall mood and atmosphere of the show.

Cons

  • The second season is not as strong as the first, with a more convoluted plot and less compelling characters.
  • The show can be quite dark and violent at times, which may not be for everyone.
  • Some viewers may find the nonlinear narrative structure confusing or hard to follow.

Overall, we highly recommend True Detective for fans of crime dramas and character-driven storytelling. The first season is a must-watch, and while the second season is not quite as good, it’s still worth checking out for the performances and cinematography alone.

In the first season, we follow detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart as they investigate a series of gruesome murders in Louisiana. The story is told across multiple timelines, with flashbacks to the initial investigation and interviews with the detectives years later. The characters are complex and flawed, and the writing is some of the best on television.

The second season shifts the action to California, where three detectives investigate a corrupt city manager’s murder. The plot is more convoluted than the first season, with multiple subplots and a large cast of characters. While it’s not as strong overall, there are still some standout performances and memorable moments.

If you’re a fan of crime dramas like The Wire or Breaking Bad, or if you’re looking for a show with strong writing and performances, True Detective is definitely worth checking out. Just be prepared for a dark and intense viewing experience.

amazonbuy 1

Unforgotten

d084d8b52adb080fe3ac394065c49ffd78fc681a22f17be9349dc84cb84e6f77 1 1

If you’re looking for a gripping UK detective TV show, Unforgotten is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • The storyline is captivating and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  • The acting is superb, with excellent performances from all the main actors.
  • The show is well-paced and doesn’t drag on unnecessarily.

Cons

  • The show can be quite dark and intense at times, which may not be suitable for all viewers.
  • Some of the plot twists can be a bit predictable.
  • The show can be a bit slow to get going, so you need to be patient in the first few episodes.

We were immediately drawn into the complex storyline of Unforgotten, which follows two detectives as they investigate a cold case from decades ago. The show is incredibly well-written, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. The acting is also top-notch, with the main cast delivering nuanced and believable performances.

One thing to note is that the show can be quite intense and deals with some heavy themes, so it may not be suitable for all viewers. However, if you’re a fan of gritty crime dramas, Unforgotten is definitely worth a watch.

Overall, we highly recommend Unforgotten for anyone looking for a well-written, well-acted UK detective show. Just be prepared for a few dark and intense moments along the way.

amazonbuy 1

Dark Winds: Season 1 [DVD]

71s VaKyqmL 10

If you’re a fan of detective TV shows and are looking for something new to watch, Dark Winds: Season 1 might be worth checking out.

Pros

  • Gripping mystery that keeps you hooked until the end.
  • Great insight into Navajo culture and traditions.
  • Well-acted and directed.

Cons

  • No subtitles, which might make it difficult to understand some of the dialogue.
  • Only available on DVD, which might not be convenient for some viewers.
  • Some viewers might find the pacing slow.
See also  Best TV Purchase of 2024: Top Options for Your Home Entertainment

Dark Winds: Season 1 is a six-episode series that follows Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Tribal Police and his new deputy, Jim Chee, as they investigate a series of seemingly unrelated crimes on a remote outpost of the Navajo Nation near Monument Valley in 1971. As they delve deeper into the case, they are forced to confront their own personal demons and battle the forces of evil.

The series offers a great insight into Navajo culture and traditions, and the stunning scenery of Monument Valley serves as a beautiful backdrop for the story. The acting is top-notch, and the mystery is gripping, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you hooked until the end.

However, some viewers might find the pacing slow, and the lack of subtitles might make it difficult to understand some of the dialogue. Additionally, the series is only available on DVD, which might not be convenient for some viewers who prefer to stream their TV shows.

Overall, if you’re a fan of detective TV shows and are interested in learning more about Navajo culture, Dark Winds: Season 1 is definitely worth a watch.

amazonbuy 1

Vera: Series 12 (Eps 1-4) [DVD]

81mfoupqxZL 3

We highly recommend purchasing Vera: Series 12 (Eps 1-4) [DVD] for those who enjoy British detective shows with intricate storylines and excellent acting.

Pros

  • The writing is phenomenal, with complicated and twisted storylines that keep you guessing.
  • The characters are well-developed and the acting is superb.
  • The crime drama is engaging and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Cons

  • The DVD format may not be suitable for those who prefer to stream shows.
  • Playback is not authorized in certain regions.
  • The delivery time may be longer than expected.

Vera: Series 12 is a crime drama series based on characters created by Ann Cleeves. The show has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 244 ratings in total. The DVD has a runtime of 6 hours and is in English. The show is in the Drama and Crime genre, and is a best-seller in the Movies -amp; TV category on Amazon. The ASIN is B0BVW594NS, and the studio is ITV Studios Home Entertainment. The release date is March 20, 2023, and the media format is DVD, PAL. The product dimensions are 5.31 x 0.55 x 7.56 inches, and it weighs 3.17 ounces. The aspect ratio is unknown.

Vera: Series 12 is an excellent addition to the Vera series. The writing is phenomenal, with complicated and twisted storylines that keep you guessing until the very end. The characters are well-developed and the acting is superb, making it easy to become invested in the show. The crime drama is engaging and will keep you on the edge of your seat, with each episode leaving you wanting more.

However, the DVD format may not be suitable for those who prefer to stream shows. Additionally, playback is not authorized in certain regions, which may be frustrating for some viewers. Lastly, the delivery time may be longer than expected, so keep this in mind when making your purchase.

In conclusion, if you’re a fan of British detective shows with intricate storylines and excellent acting, we highly recommend purchasing Vera: Series 12 (Eps 1-4) [DVD].

Buying Guide

When choosing the best UK detective TV show, it’s important to consider a few key features to ensure you get the most out of your viewing experience. Here are some factors to consider:

Genre

The genre of the show is an important factor to consider. Some detective shows are more suspenseful and dramatic, while others are more lighthearted and comedic. It’s important to choose a show that aligns with your personal preferences and viewing habits.

Cast

The cast of a detective show can greatly impact the overall quality of the series. Look for shows with talented and dynamic actors who can bring their characters to life and keep you engaged throughout the entire series.

Writing

The writing of a detective show is crucial to its success. Look for shows with well-written and engaging storylines that will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat.

Production Value

The production value of a detective show can greatly impact its overall quality. Look for shows with high-quality production values, including well-designed sets, costumes, and special effects.

Availability

Finally, it’s important to consider the availability of the show. Look for shows that are easily accessible through streaming services or on DVD, so you can watch them at your convenience.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best UK detective TV show that will keep you entertained and engaged throughout the entire series.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the top-rated British detective series?

There are several top-rated British detective series that viewers can enjoy. Some of the most popular ones include “Broadchurch,” “Line of Duty,” “Happy Valley,” “Sherlock,” “Luther,” and “Midsomer Murders.” These shows have gained a loyal following due to their intriguing plots, strong character development, and excellent performances by the cast.

Which British detective shows are available on Netflix?

Netflix offers a wide range of British detective shows that viewers can watch. Some of the most popular ones include “Broadchurch,” “Marcella,” “The Fall,” “Line of Duty,” “Sherlock,” and “Happy Valley.” These shows are easily accessible and can be watched at any time, making them perfect for binge-watching.

What are the classic British police series?

Classic British police series are those that have stood the test of time and are still popular today. Some of the most iconic ones include “The Bill,” “Taggart,” “Morse,” “A Touch of Frost,” and “Prime Suspect.” These shows paved the way for modern-day detective series and are still enjoyed by viewers today.

Can you list some BBC detective dramas that have gained popularity?

The BBC has produced several detective dramas that have gained popularity over the years. Some of the most popular ones include “Sherlock,” “Luther,” “Line of Duty,” “Happy Valley,” and “Broadchurch.” These shows have become household names and have a loyal following due to their gripping storylines and excellent performances.

What are the most iconic English detective series of all time?

The most iconic English detective series of all time include “Sherlock Holmes,” “Poirot,” “Miss Marple,” “Inspector Morse,” and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.” These shows have become a part of popular culture and have been adapted into various forms of media, including movies and TV shows.

Which British crime dramas have won the most awards?

Several British crime dramas have won numerous awards over the years. Some of the most awarded shows include “Line of Duty,” “Sherlock,” “Broadchurch,” “Happy Valley,” and “Peaky Blinders.” These shows have been recognized for their exceptional writing, direction, and performances and have won multiple awards at prestigious ceremonies such as the BAFTAs and Emmys.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *