British crime dramas

July 9 2014
by emma

British crime and mystery is one of my favourite genres in TV watching.  I love how realistic English TV and movies are; refreshingly ordinary characters who are captivatingly flawed and often showing violence in a non-gratuitous, particularly subtle yet unnerving way.  The main characters are usually always troubled or dark, in a way the average person can relate to.  You could say I’m addicted.

Here are my favourites I’ve been watching lately:

Wallander – Kenneth Branagh is depressed yet empathetic as a detective in a permanent existential crisis in this crime series remake set in a beautifully haunting Norway (renewed for 2015).
Happy Valley – a strong female lead and supporting roles in this mini series focusing on a police officer living in Yorkshire dealing with her own dysfunctional family, disaffected youth and an abducted young woman.  This is one of those domino effect storylines with one action causing numerous consequences (renewal possible).
Five Days – a young mum randomly goes missing with no clues or reason, leaving her children abandoned with no way home in this five part mini series.  Something which stood out to me in this was (paraphrasing) the DSI asking if the abducted woman was attractive, going on to say that the media would only pick up on the story if she was.  Jarring but true.
The Fall – Gillian Anderson stars in this psychological drama as a senior police detective hunting a serial killer in Northern Ireland (renewed for 2014).
Prime Suspect (old school but I love re-watching it) – Helen Mirren playing DCI Tennison and kicking arse (in a very British way), what can I say?
White Heat – ok, perhaps not a crime drama but I felt it deserved an honourable mention.  Spanning 4 decades, this six part historical drama series focuses on a group of 7 friends who first meet as university housemates in 1965, their personal lives and the changing social structures over that time, finally meeting up when one of their group dies.

Oh and feel free to recommend any you’ve seen!

Wallander promotional image from TV series: Wallander, UK

from → TV
6 Responses leave one →
  1. These sound great, I’ll have to look a few of them up! Another one (that’s really popular sp you might already know about it) is Broadchurch? It’s an eight part mini series about a murder case in a small town and it’s absolutely amazing + there’s another season on the way 🙂

  2. Thank you for these suggestions!!! I adore British crime teledrama! Will definitely check out Wallender (maybe tonight). Have you seen The Bletchley Circle? It’s a 4-part series about a group of women who were decoders during WWII. Now they’re (mostly bored) housewives who stumble into solving a murder. I loved it!

  3. You know I LOVE my British detective shows! That’s one of the things I miss about not living at home anymore: Mum and I would watch all the British police shows together. Living with Chris is awesome of course, but I’m definitely more a Wallander girl than a ‘Last Comic Standing’ girl.
    Whenever I go over to Mum and Dad’s I sleepover and Mum and I have a crime night. Need to do that more often and bring some of these shows to watch. Love the idea of the strong lead in Happy Valley 🙂 and Helen Mirren – the one and only.

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