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British TV Crime and Mysteries

This page contains an extensive list of British crime and mystery television series and movies that I have viewed or which I have some degree of knowledge.  Though I am American, my appetite for these series and movies is insatiable and beyond an addiction level.  As compared to their American counterparts, the British series and movies tend to rely less predictable gimmicks, they are far less plastic and not as overproduced, and focus more on the investigation, procedure, sub-plots, and character development.  One key factor that enables this is the program length, which can be multiple hours per case or story. 

Due to the sheer number of series and movies that I have compiled, I've divided them into the following rough categories.  This will help enable finding similar types of series or movies.  Each category below is clickable and will automatically page down to that category.

  • Police Detectives:  The theme of this category concerns murder, and the main characters are police detectives.

  • Private Detectives:  The theme of this category concerns private detectives who solve cases involving crime or murder.

  • Citizen Sleuths:  The theme of this category concerns private citizens who are sleuths that solve cases involving crime or murder.

  • Forensics:  The theme of this category concerns forensic experts that assist police detectives with murder investigations.

  • Profilers:  The theme of this category concerns profilers or criminal psychologists that assist the police with solving serial murders.

  • Policing:  The theme of this category is policing of crime, and uniformed police are the predominant characters.

  • Legal:  The theme of this category concerns the legal aspect, the legal team, or the resulting trial of crimes.

  • Journalists:  The theme of this category concerns journalists who investigate crime, murder, or political corruption.

  • Espionage, Terrorism & Political:  The theme of this category concerns espionage, terrorism, and political corruption or scandal.

  • Heists & Organized Crime:  The theme of this category concerns heists, where thieves are the predominant characters, or organized crime.

  • General Mysteries & Crime:  The theme of this category is mystery, crime, or murder, and the predominant characters are not the police.

  • Comments:  Any comments or questions can be left at the bottom of the page.

 

Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.  Repeat visitors can visit my About page to see what series and movies were added by date.  It came much to my surprise that this page is viewed hundreds of times per month, so I know that I am not alone in my appreciation of and addiction with British television!
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions that I receive about British crime and mystery television series and movies.

  • Where can I stream these series and movies?  The most frequent question that I receive is about where to stream these series or movies, and this is where things can get very convoluted and frustrating.  The reason is that the content varies both by streaming provider and by country, and this is due to how streaming rights are licensed.  For example, what may be available on Netflix in one country may not be available in another.  There are some British specific streaming providers, such as BritBox and Acorn TV, and multiple other streaming providers provide some British content, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video (which also has channel upgrades for PBS, Acorn TV, Britbox), and other networks such as HBO, Starz, and Showtime.  Simply do a Google search.

  • Why don't you link each title to the streaming provider?  One frequent suggestion or question that I receive is in regard to linking each series or movie to the streaming provider.  Doing this would be problematic for multiple reasons.  First, the content varies by streaming provider and by country, so what may be available on Netflix in one country may not be available in another.  Second, the content regularly changes by streaming providerFor example, I've seen series and movies move from one streaming provider to another, and the effort of keeping current with dozens upon dozens of tiles would be daunting

  • Why is there a delay for some of the series and movies to be released in the USA?  There can be significant delays for some of series and movies to be made available outside of the UK.  The reason for the delay is due to international licensing rights and who acquires those rights.  For example, PBS may acquire the rights for a series or movie in the USA, and there could be a delay of months before PBS schedules the broadcast.  The Endeavour series is one such example, where PBS acquired the licensing rights and broadcast the series months after it had aired in the UK.

  • Is there a way to determine how family friendly the content might be for a series or move?  Obviously, the determination of what content may or may not be family friendly is a relative thing.  The key thing to remember is that what is permissible for broadcast television in the UK is very different from the USA, both from a visual aspect and language aspect.  One method would be consulting the rating system from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC).  Then visit the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), search for the series and movie, and look for the "certificate" rating.

Police Detectives

The general theme of this particular collection concerns murder or serial murders, and the primary characters are police detectives.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Above Suspicion (2009-2012)

The two primary characters are Detective Constable (DC) and a Detective Chief Investigator (DCI).  This is a solid police procedural series, and was an enjoyable view. There is good character development.

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Bloodlands (2021-2022)

This series is set in Northern Ireland and the primary character is a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) who is portrayed by James Nesbitt.  The DCI has a secretive past and the storyline ventures into the Irish Troubles.

 

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Brokenwood Mysteries (2014-2022)

The two primary characters are police detectives who investigate murders in a small village in New Zealand.  This is a highly entertaining and light series and described as New Zealand’s answer to Midsomer Murders. 

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Commander (2003-2008)

The series is about a police commander who leads a team of detectives investigating murder in London.  This was an entertaining series and without giving away any spoilers, it bears some rough similarities to character in Prime Suspect.

 

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DCI Banks (2010-2016)

The primary character is Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Alan Banks, who leads a team of detectives solving murders in Yorkshire. This is an great and entertaining police procedural, and one that I have watched again.

 

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Falcón (2012)

This English language series follows a police detective solving murder in Seville, Spain.  This was entertaining police procedural and worth a view, especially if you're looking for an English language series set in a country outside UK. 

 

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Giri / Haji (2019)

The series is set in London and Japan, with dialogue in English and Japanese, and concerns a detective who travels from Tokyo to London searching for his brother.  The title is Japanese and translates as “Duty / Shame.”  

 

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Hidden (2018-2022)

The primary character is a Detective Inspector (DI) in Wales, and the series contains dialogue is both Welsh and English.  I have yet to see the series. 

 

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In the Dark (2017)

The primary character is Detective Inspector (DI) and is set in Manchester.  I have yet to see the series.

 

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Inspector Lewis (2006-2015)

The series is a sequel to Inspector Morse, while Endeavour is a prequel.  The series follows two police detectives who investigate murders in Oxford.  This is a superbly enjoyable series, and there is significant character development.

 

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Jericho of Scotland Yard (2005)

The series was renamed from Jericho to Jericho of Scotland Yard when it was released in the USA.  This series is not one which I have seen yet, but hope to in the future.

 

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The Last Detective (2003-2007)

The primary character is a detective constable who was given the nickname "Dangerous" to make fun of him.  He is a somewhat bumbling detective who solves crimes and murders with his civilian sidekick who is hilarious.

 

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Life on Mars (2006-2007)

The primary character is a police detective who gets gets knocked unconscious while on duty in 2006, and wakes up in 1973.  I have yet to view the series but hope to.

 

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Luther (2010-2023)

The primary character is a police detective who investigates murders in London who is obsessive about his job, which lead to problems, especially in his personal life.  This is a solidly produced series with an edge.

 

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Manhunt (2019-2021)

This is a dramatization of a true story about the 2004 murder of a French student and the primary character is a police detective.  This was a solidly entertaining procedural, and I've not yet seen the second series.

 

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Midsomer Murders (1997-2023)

This is a long running series about two detectives that solve murders in the English countryside.  It is quirky and light hearted, and does not take itself seriously, but the quality of the series degrades in the later seasons.

 

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Murder in Suburbia (2004-2005)

The series follows two police detective who solves murders in suburban London.  This was a solid and entertaining series, with some humor injected.  There is great acting and chemistry between the characters.

 

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New Blood (2016)

The series follows a police detective and a fraud squad investigator, and both are very new in their jobs, hence the title.  This is an action comedy, and resembles what would come from Hollywood with rollover crashes, etc.

 

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P.D. James: Death in Holy Orders

This mini-series is based on a book from author P.D. James.  The primary character is Commander Adam Dalgleish, who investigates a mysterious death at a remote religious institute.  This was a solid mystery.

 

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Pie in the Sky (1994-1997)

The primary character is a police detective who is a near retirement and opens a restaurant called Pie in the Sky, but keeps getting involved in cases that prevent his retirement.  It's a light hearted series but too breezy for me.

 

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Red Riding (2009)

The series consists of a series three movies, which are set in 1974, 1980, and 1983.  The story centers on police detectives in Yorkshire, and the story interweaves serial murders and police corruption.

 

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River (2015)

The series is set in London and the primary character is a police detective who is haunted, literally, by his recently deceased partner.  The overall premise and setup of the series is very unique, and he converses with the “ghost."

 

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Second Sight (2000-2001)

The primary character is a police detective who is diagnosed with a rare disease and starts to lose his eyesight, while continuing to investigate murders.  A colleague helps him cover up and work around his vision issues.

 

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Shetland (2013-2019+)

The primary character is a police detective who leads a team investigating murders in the rural Shetland islands of Scotland.  The series was outstanding and enjoyable, one of my favorites, and makes me want to visit Shetland one day!

 

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Taggart (1983-2010)

The series is set in Glasgow, and follows of team of detectives solving murders.  The characters and actors were all replaced more than once.  The characters were all unlikable and miserable in the episodes that I saw.

 

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Touching Evil (1997-1999)

The primary character is a police detective who leads the fictitious and elite Organized and Serial Crime Unit (OSC) based in London.  As it deals with gruesome serial killers, it was a gritty series for its time in the 1990s. 

 

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Unforgotten (2016-2023)

The primary characters are police detectives who investigate cold cases and older murders.  This was an entertaining and engaging police murder procedural, but have only seen the first two series so far.

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Waking the Dead (2005-2011)

The series is set in London and follows a cold case squad consisting of police detectives, a forensic scientist or pathologist, and a criminal psychologist or profiler.  This a solidly entertaining series, and good production.

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What Remains (2013)

The primary character is a police detective who investigates the murder of a woman in an apartment building, whom no one seems to have known, or at least claims not to have known.  This was a superb mini-series.

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Without Motive (2000)

The primary character is a police detective who is part of team hunting a serial killer that has no apparent motive.  He has his own opinions on the investigation, and is overlooked by his superiors and senior members of his team.

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The 100 Code

This entertaining series is half in English and half in Swedish.  The two primary characters are New York police detective and Swedish police detective investigating a serial killer on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Bancroft (2017-2020)

The primary character is a Detective Chief Inspector (DCI).  This was an entertaining and unique series, and without any spoilers, the DCI harbors a dark secret.  It received mixed reviews as some plot aspects are over the top.

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Blue Murder (2003-2009)

The primary character is Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) Janine Lewis, who is a divorced mother of four children, and  leads a team of detectives that solve murders in Manchester, England.  This is a good and entertaining series.

 

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Case Sensitive (2011-2012)

The two primary characters are two police detectives who investigate murders together.
This was a solid and entertaining police procedural, and I was disappointed that it had such a short run.

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Dalziel & Pascoe (1996-2007)

The series follows two police detective who investigate murders together in the Yorkshire area.   This is a solid police procedural, and one that I would recommend.  Dalziel is politically incorrect and rough around the edges.

 

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Death in Paradise (2011-2023)

The primary character is a British police detective, who now serves in the British islands, The characters and actors have changed throughout the series.  The island setting is not my preference and did not interest me.

 

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The Fall (2013-2016)

The primary character is a police detcetive who is sent from London to Belfast, Northern Ireland in order to help push along a stalled murder investigation.  She quickly determines that it involves a serial killer.

 

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Grace (2021-2023)

This series focuses on a Detective Superintendent who is portrayed by John Simm.  His methods are unorthodox, and includes occasionally consulting with psychics, which gets him in trouble with his superiors.

 

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Hinterland (2013-2016)

The series follows a team of police detectives solving murders in a rural part of Wales, and there is a minor amount of dialogue in Welsh.  This is a superb series and is more edgy than Vera, but with a similar rural atmosphere.

 

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Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (1990-1994)

The series is set during the late 1930s and follows a police detective who investigates murders.  I only watched the first couple of episodes.  It was an average production, and was a bit dry and slow for my taste.

 

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Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2001-2007)

The primary characters are two police detectives who solve murders in the London area, and one is an aristocrat and the other comes from a working class background.
The series was good and entertaining.

 

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Jo (2013)

The series is set and filmed in Paris and the dialogue is in English.  The primary character is police commander who leads a team of detectives investigating murders.  The series was average and more American like.

 

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The Level (2016)

The primary character is police detective who is assigned to investigate the murder of a corrupt businessman with whom she had past dealings with.  I have yet to see the series, but hope to in the future.

 

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Loch Ness (2017)

The series was renamed from The Loch to Loch Ness when it was released in the USA.  The primary character is a police detective who investigates a murder on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland, and was entertaining.

 

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Maigret (1992-1993)

The primary character is French police detective.  It has been years since I viewed Maigret, and do not even have a faint recollection of whether I liked it or not.

 

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Marcella (2016-2021)

The primary character is a police detective who is brought back to help investigate a new case that bears similarities to a prior unsolved serial murder case that she worked.  Marcella is complex and flawed character.

 

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A Mind to Kill (1994-2004)

The primary character is a police detective who leads a team solving murders in Wales.
This is an average series. It was a bit dry and slow moving for my taste, and I stopped watching it.

 

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Murder Investigation Team (2003-2005)

The series follows a team of detectives solving murders in the London area.  The first series was entertaining and worth a view, but I felt that it degraded in the second series. 

 

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New Tricks (2003-2015)

This entertaining series follows the fictional Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS) in London, which is lead by a police detective, and three retired police detectives brought out of retirement as contractors.

 

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P.D. James: The Murder Room

This mini-series is based on a book from author P.D. James. The primary character is Commander Adam Dalgleish, who investigates a murder at a museum about famous murders..  This was an entertaining mystery.

 

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Prime Suspect (1991-2006)

The primary character is a rising female detective in the ranks, and deals with male chauvinism.  She is also obsessive, and develops a problem with alcohol.  This is a superb series that I have seen more than once.

 

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Rebus (2006-2007)

This series follows a police detective who solves murder in Edinburgh, Scotland.  It's a well produced and great series, with superb scripts, acting, and cinematography.  Rebus is quite edgy and frequently at odds with his superiors.

 

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The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1987-2000)

The series appears to be a difficult one to categorize.  It contains some general mysteries, but the majority feature a recurring police detective character.  I have have not seen this series.

 

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The Shadow Line (2011)

This mini-series focuses on a police detective who investigates a murder, and a man who runs a florist shop as a front for organized crime.
It’s been several years since I saw the series, but recall it being worth a view.

 

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The Silence (2010)

The primary characters are a police detective and his niece who is deaf and recently had a cochlear implant.  She witnesses the murder of a police officer, and her uncle investigates.  My only criticism was the abrupt ending.

 

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Thorne (2010)

The primary character is is a police detective Inspector.  There was only one series, and there are two independent stories, which are billed more like television movies.  They were well produced were an enjoyable view.

 

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Trial & Retribution (1997-2009)

 The series is a police procedural and follows a team of detectives in their murder investigation. It occasionally follows the result of the case to the court room.  This is good and solid series, and was entertaining.

 

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Vera (2011-2023)

The main character is a detective chief inspector who leads a team of police detectives that solves murders in Northumberland.
This is a superb series, and would be on the short list as one of my favorites.

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Wallander (2008-2016)

The primary character is police detective Kurt Wallander, who leads a team investigating murder in a coastal city in Sweden.  This is a superb series and one of my favorites with outstanding cinematography of Sweden

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Whitechapel (2009-2013)

The series follows team of police detectives in modern day London who solve murders which appear to replicate historical murders in the Whitechapel area.  The series obviously has a noir feel and atmosphere.

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Wycliffe (1994-1998)

This series follows a police detective in Cornwall.  This was an average series at best.  It is slow moving, dry, and the biggest problem is that none of the characters were likable, and all seemed to be miserable.

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The Bay (2019-2023)

The primary character is a Detective Sergeant (DS) who is family liaison officer on a murder investigation team.  This series was an entertaining and solidly produced, and there is a character and actress change in third series.

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Broadchurch (2015-2017)

The two primary characters are a Detective Inspector (DI) and aDetective Sergeant (DS).  The first series is a single case or story, where they lead a team that investigates the murder of a young boy in a coastal community.

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Collateral (2017)

The primary character is a Detective Inspector (DI) who investigates the murder of a pizza delivery man.  I found the character to be intriguing and resolute, and was immensely disappointed it was not renewed.

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Dark Heart (2018)

The series is about a police detective who is troubled by the unsolved murder of his parents when he was a teenager.  I've not yet seen the series.

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Endeavour (2012-2023)

The series is a prequel of Inspector Morse, while Inspector Lewis is a sequel.  The primary character is obviously Endeavour Morse, and it traces his start as a Detective Constable (DC).  This is a great police procedural

 

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Foyle's War (2002-2015)

The primary character is a police detective during World War II who investigates crime and murder in a coastal town . The series later moves into post war London, where he joins MI-5.  This is a outstanding series.

 

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The Guilty (2013)

The story is about the disappearance of a young boy who is found dead five years later, and the investigation lead by a police detective.  This was an entertaining procedural with an unexpected ending.

 

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I, Anna (2012)

This movie is about a police detective in London.  It a noir type film, and he romantically falls for a woman who is a possible suspect in a murder investigation.  The movie was somewhat dry, and was an average view.

 

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Inspector George Gently (2007-2017)

The series is set during the 1960s and follows two police detectives who investigate murders in Northumberland.  This is a great retro police procedural, and a favorite of mine.  It is fun to watch the antics of Bacchus trying to be “cool."

 

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Inspector Morse (1987-2000)

This legendary series follows two police detectives who solve murders in the Oxford area.  There is depth and complexity to the Morse character, which unravels over the course of the series.

 

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Karen Pirie (2022+)

This entertaining series is set in Scotland and focuses on a young detective sergeant (DS) who is seemingly placed in charge of an old cold case simply because she is a woman, and she uncovers flaws in the prior investigation.

 

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Life of Crime (2013)

The primary character is police detective, and it follows her career across three decades as a police constable, detective sergeant, and detective inspector.  This has a unique aspect of the flashbacks to three different decades.

 

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London Kills (2019-2022)

The series follows a team of detectives solving murders in London. Unfortunately, I didn’t get past the second episode before I abandoned watching this series.  The posture came across like I was watching an American series.

 

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Maigret (2016-2017)

This is an reboot of series of the same name.  The series is set in the 1950s and the primary character is a French police detective.  This is an outstanding series and I was intensely disappointed that it was not renewed.

 

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Messiah (2001-2008)

The primary character is a detective that leads a team that hunts serial killers of some gruesome murders.  This series was produced well, and was worth a view, but I felt that it degraded with each subsequent series.

 

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Murder City (2005-2006)

The two primary characters are two police detectives who are a mismatched duo who solve murders in London.  It has been a while since I viewed it, so my recollection is lacking, but I recall it being average.

 

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Murderland (2009)

The primary character is a police detective who was involved with a murder investigation of a mother which went unsolved.  Several years later, the daughter of the mother contacts him, and they investigate it again together.

 

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No Offence (2015-2018)

This entertaining series follows a team of police detectives in Manchester who are predominantly women.  There are numerous cases, and there is some dry humor, such as they go to the bathroom to have conversations.

 

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Paranoid (2026)

The series follows a team of police detectives who investigate the murder of a physician.  I have yet to see the series, but plan to watch it in the near future.

 

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Prime Suspect 1973 (2017)

This series s a prequel to Prime Suspect and follows the Jane Tennison character as a Woman Police Constable (WPC) at the beginning of her career.  This was an enjoyable and well produced series.

 

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Ripper Street (2012-2016)

This series is set in London shortly after the Jack the Ripper murders, and follows a team of police detectives that investigate other murders.  I’ve not seen the series, but plan to watch it some day.

 

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Scott & Bailey (2011-2015)

This series follows two police detectives who solve murder and crime in the Manchester area.  This is a well produced show, but I felt that it ventured too much into their personal lives for my taste.

 

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Sherwood (2022)

This mini-series is a drama loosely based on a true story about a detective chief superintendent (DCS) investigating murders in Nottinghamshire in involving a union activist and involves the famous miner strike.

 

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Suspects (2014-2015)

The series is set in London and the primary characters are a team of three police detectives who investigate major crimes.  The actors were given facts about the situation or scene, and the dialogue is largely ad-libbed.

 

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A Touch of Frost (1992-2010)

The primary character is a police detective who investigates murders in the fictional city of Denton, and is a widow, and a “working man’s detective” who demonstrates interest in victims of the crimes and the community.

 

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The Tunnel (2013-2018)

The series was adapted from a Swedish and Danish language series called The Bridge.  The Tunnel begins with a dead body found in the channel tunnel, and half is found on the British side and half on the French side.

 

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Vexed (2010-2012)

This series follows two police detectives who solve murders in the London area.  I found this to be a hilarious police procedural comedy.  He is lazy, disorganized, and politically incorrect, and deliberately annoys his female partner.

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We Hunt Together (2020-2022)

The title of this over the top and enjoyable series has a double meaning about two police detectives who hunt two serial killers hunting their targets.  Babou Ceesay's performance as DI Jackson Mendy is simply outstanding.

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Winter (2014-2015)

This series from Australia and follows a  police detective in Sydney.   This was an above average production and an enjoyable straight-up police procedural.

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Zen (2011)

The primary character is a police detective who investigates and solves murders in Italy.  This was a good and entertaining series, and worth a view, especially if you are looking for a series set outside of the UK.

Private Detectives

The general theme of this category concerns a main character who is a private detective, and they solve mysteries and cases which generally involve a crime or murder. Some of these private detectives may be former police detectives.  Some may operate cooperatively with the police, while others may have antagonistic relationships with the police.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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C.B. Strike (2017-2023)

This somewhat entertaining series is based on crime novels by J.K. Rowling.  The primary characters are a private detective named Cormoran Strike, who is both a war veteran and former police detective, and his assistant.

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Dirk Gently (2010-2012)

This series follow a private detective and his agency.  This series is an outright comedy.  The Gently character is eccentric and goofy, and believes everything is "interconnected" but in a "random manner."

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Jack Taylor (2010-2016)

The series is set in Galway, Ireland and follows a former Garda (Irish Police) officer who now works as a private detective.  The series was enjoyable to watch. Taylor smokes heavily, and drinks regularly to the point of blackouts.

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My Life is Murder (2019-2022)

This series from Australia and is about a former police detective who assists her former colleague solving crimes.  This is a fun and entertaining series that does not take itself too seriously with enjoyable recurring characters.

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Sherlock (2010-2017)

This series is a modern day adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes character, along with his sidekick Watson.  While well produced, with superb acting and cinematography, it just is not my style of show.

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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1997-2001)

The series is about woman who inherits the running of a private investigation firm, after the suicide of the owner.  This series is one that viewed several years ago, so my recollection is faint.  I do recall it being an enjoyable view.

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Campion (1989-1990)

This series is set during the early 1930s and follows a private detective. The stories and cases are all adapted from novels.  While I did view a few of the stories, this simply was not my preferred type of show

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Hetty Wainthropp Investigates (1996-1998)

This series follows a retired woman who decides to start a private detective business, and a lodger who helps in her investigations.  This was not my style of series, so I only watched a few episodes.

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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2012-2015)

This series is from Australia and set during the roaring 1920s.  It follows a flapper private detective,  This is a fun and entertaining series. I would recommend it especially if you are seeking something very lighthearted.

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Poirot (1989-2013)

The series is period based and based on novels from Agatha Christie, and about a Belgian who works as a private detective in England.  The series is solidly produced and quite popular, but is not my style or type of show.

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Sherlock Holmes (1984-1994)

The series is based on the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  The series is quite popular, but is not my style or type of show.

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Vincent (2005-2006)

This series is about a man who runs a private investigation firm that investigates cheating, crime, and even murder.  It has been several years since I saw the series, and I recall it being enjoyable, and was on the gritty side of things.

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Case Histories (2011-2013)

This series follows a former police detective who now works as a private detective in Edinburgh, Scotland.  This was a great series, with superb scripts, acting, and cinematography, and wish it lasted longer.

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Jack Irish (2012-2021)

This entertaining series is from Australia and follows a former lawyer who now works as a private detective.  He has a very checkered past and acquainted with some shady individuals who become  involved in his cases.

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Miss Scarlet and the Duke (2020-2023)

The series is set in the Victorian era, and follows a woman whose recently deceased father was a private detective.  She then decides to take over his business in an era where such things were frowned upon.

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Shakespeare & Hathaway (2018-2022)

The series is about a former police detective and woman who start a business as private investigators.  I have yet to see the series.

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The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (2011-2014)

The series is period based  and set in the 1860s about Scotland Yard detective who leaves the service to become a private detective.  This series is superb, and I was immensely disappointed it was not renewed.

Citizen Sleuths

The general theme of this category concerns citizen sleuths that solve mysteries and cases generally involving crime or murder.  Some of these sleuths may operate cooperatively with the police, while others may have antagonistic relationships with the police.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Agatha Raisin (2014-2022)

This series is about public relation professional that leaves her London job, and moves to a small village in the Cotswolds. Shortly after moving the village, she becomes a citizen sleuth and solves murders.

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Father Brown (2013-2023)

This series is set in the 1950s, and follows a quirky Roman Catholic priest who gets involved in solving local murders.  This is a fun and lighthearted series, but the quality degrades with each season.

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Marple (2004-2013)

This series is period based, and the character and stories are based on novels from Agatha Christie.  The main character is Miss Jane Marple, and elderly spinster and sleuth who solves murders, and not my type or style.

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Mrs. Bradley Mysteries (1998-1999)

This series is set in the 1920s, and follows a widowed socialite and her chauffeur, who get involved in sleuthing crime and murder.  This is a extremely light and somewhat entertaining series.

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The Bletchley Circle (2012-2014)

This series is set during the 1950s, and the main characters are a group women who were code breakers during World War II (i.e. at Bletchley Park). They re-group several years later to solve murders as private citizens.

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Grantchester (2014-2023)

This series is set during the 1950s, and follows an Anglican priest who gets involved in sleuthing murders with a local police detective.  This is a great series series featuring a citizen sleuth, and well produced.

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Miss Marple (1984-1992)

This series is period based, and the character and stories are based on novels from Agatha Christie.  The main character is Miss Jane Marple, and elderly spinster and sleuth who solves murders, and not my type or style.

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Rosemary & Thyme (2003-2007)

This series follows two women, and one of them is a retired police constable.  They start a gardening business together, and sleuth and solve murders that keep occurring in the path of each of their gardening jobs.

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Cadfael (1994-1998)

This series set during the middle ages and about a Benedictine monk who solves murders.  I've not yet seen the series.

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Jonathan Creek (1997-2014)

This series about a man whose trade is helping magicians design their stage acts and tricks, but on the side helps solves crime and murders by applying his skills to determine “how it was done.”  This is a lighthearted and breezy series.

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Mr. and Mrs. Murder (1996-2020)

This series is from Australia and about a husband and wife who own a crime scene cleaning business.  While cleaning up crime scenes, they solve murders for the police.  This was a breezy series injected with some humor.

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Sally Lockhart Mysteries (2006-2007)

The series follows young woman living in London during the 1870s.  With the help of some of her friends, they solve mysteries together as citizen sleuths.  There are two movies and both were entertaining.

Forensics

The general theme of this category concerns forensic experts that are the predominant characters of murder investigations, and many have antagonistic relationships with the police.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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The Body Farm (2011)

This series is a spin-off from Waking the Dead, and features the same forensic scientist character, Dr. Eve Lockhart, who now leads a private forensic firm.  I found this series to be average at best with some odd changes.

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Murder on the Home Front (2013)

This movie is set during World War II in London. The primary character is a police surgeon and forensic pathologist.  It is at the dawn of forensics, and he has to battle the police to get them to recognize the application of science.

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Traces (2019-2022)

The series focuses on forensic scientists who assist the police with murder investigations in the area of Dundee, Scotland.  This was a well produced and entertaining series and the focus was more on the story than the science.

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Code of a Killer (2013)

This mini-series is based on the true story of the first use of DNA “fingerprinting” in 1987 to solve two murders.  It deals with the issues of getting the police to accept the science, as well as the budgetary issues involved.

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Quirke (2014)

This series is set in Dublin, Ireland during the

1950s, and about a pathologist who assists the police during murder investigations.  This was an average series, but worth a view. It is dark, with somewhat of a noir feel, but slow and dry.

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Doctor Blake Mysteries (2013-2017)

This series from Australia.  It's set in the 1950s about a doctor who runs a local medical practice and also acts as the police surgeon, helping the police solve murders.  This is a light and series, though somewhat over the top.

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Silent Witness (1996-2023)

This is one of the longest running crime and mystery series and is about a team of private forensic pathologists,who teach at a university, and also are under contract with the police to assist with murder investigations.

Profilers

The general theme of this particular category concerns a profiler or criminal psychologist, who assists the police with solving serial murders.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Cracker (1993-2006)

This series follows a hard edged criminal psychologist who helps the police solve murders.  He has many bad habits, including drinking excessively, smoking, gambling, and cussing, which get him in trouble.

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Wire in the Blood (2002-2008)

The series follows a clinical psychologist that helps the police solve gruesome serial murders.  This is a great series and may not be for everyone due to the sadistic nature of most of the murders (i.e. Silence of the Lambs).

Policing

The general theme of this category is policing of crime, and uniformed police or non-murder detectives are the predominant characters of the investigation.  The cases or crimes may include missing persons, police corruption, vice, murder, or policing in general.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Babylon (2014)

The series is set in London, concerns various uniformed members of the police, all the way up to the upper echelon.  One of the characters is a new female communications director, who is brought in from America to improve the image.

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Collision (2009)

The series concerns a multi-vehicle accident, and the resulting police investigation.  The story rotates between each person involved, and shows each point of view.  This was an entertaining mini-series with a unique aspect.

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Hamish Macbeth (1995-1997)

This is very quirky and lighthearted series that follows a rural police constable in Scotland.
While not a great series, this might be a fit if you are seeking something breezy and light.

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Missing (2009-2010)

This series follows the investigations of a missing persons unit in Dover, England.  This is an average series at best, and is worth considering only if you are looking for something light and breezy.

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The Vice (1999-2003)

This series follows a team of police detectives on the vice squad in London.  This is good and solidly entertaining police procedural from a vice related point of view. To the best of my knowledge, the only UK series on a vice squad.

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Black Work (2015)

This mini-series is about a police constable (PC).  Her husband is a police detective and when he gets murdered, and she begins to investigate the murder on her own, as she does not trust the investigation.

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Cuffs (2015)

This is a comedic drama series about a police station in Brighton.  Both uniformed police and detectives are portrayed solving various crimes, including the humorous.  This was a good view and doesn't take itself too seriously

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Happy Valley (2014-2023)

This series is about uniformed police sergeant in rural Yorkshire.  She becomes obsessed with the man who she believes drove her daughter to suicide, and he may now be involved in a kidnapping of another person.

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Murphy's Law (2001-2007)

This series is about a Detective Sergeant (DS) who is from Northern Ireland, and now an undercover detective in London.  I've not seen this series.

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WPC 56 (2013-2015)

The series is set during the 1950s, and the primary character is Woman Police Constable (WPC), who is the first woman to join the police force in that city.  In the third series, there is a replacement WPC character and new actress.

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Chasing Shadows (2014)

The series is about a murder detective who has been demoted to the missing persons unit due to his severely lacking interpersonal skills.  This was an above average series and the character somewhat reminded me of Wire in the Blood.

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Five Days (2007-2010)

The first series concerns the police investigation into the disappearance of a mother and her two children.  The characters in the second series are all new, and the story concerns an abandoned baby and a suicide.

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Line of Duty (2012-2021)

This outstanding series follows a team of police detectives from an anti-corruption unit called AC-12, who investigate other police officers that might be corrupt.  There are significant plot twists and character development.

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Single Handed (2007-2010)

This series follows Garda Police Sergeant Jack Driscoll, who investigates both crime and murder on the rural west coast of Ireland.  While it might be perceived to somewhat slow moving, the pace reflects the rural atmosphere.

Legal

The general theme of this category concerns the legal aspect, where the primary characters are lawyers or judges, and the resulting trial of crimes including murder.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

 

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Accused (2010-2012)

Each episode of this series follows the point of view of someone accused of a crime.  It starts out showing the defendant in court, goes backward in time and shows what actually happened, and then verdict is given.

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Crownies (2011)

This series is from Australia and about a team of lawyers that work for the crown prosecution service, hence the nickname Crownies.  The characters include both solicitors and barristers, and follows them during trials.

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Helen West (2013-2015)

This series is about a crown prosecutor handling criminal cases.  It has been quite a while since I viewed this series, but I recall it being an above average production, and being a worthwhile view.

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Justice (2011)

The primary character in this series is Judge Patrick Coburn, who is portrayed by actor Robert Pugh.  I have not yet seen the series.

 

 

 

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Rake (2010-2016)

This is a dark comedic series from Australia about a defense lawyer.  Due to his numerous issues, he only takes on defending the bottom of the barrel cases of the mostly guilty, and frequently gets rulings in their favor.

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The Brief (2004-2005)

This series is about a Queen’s Constable (QC) who works as a defense barrister.  This was very dry, slow moving, and somewhat light series.  There was not enough character or plot depth to keep me interested.

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The Escape Artist (2013)

This mini-series is about a barrister that has never lost a case.  After helping get someone acquitted of murder, the tables are turned on him.  While obviously over the top, this was quite an entertaining thriller.

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Janet King (2014-2017)

This series is from Australia and about a crown prosecutor handling high exposure court cases. This was enjoyable series with some complex plots and my only criticism is the involvement of her personal life becomes a bit over the top.

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Kavanagh QC (1995-2001)

This series is about a Queen’s Constable barrister, who is portrayed by actor John Thaw from the Inspector Morse series.  I have not yet seen the series.

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Silk (2011-2014)

This series is about set of barristers in London, and the stories follow them from chambers to trial.  It's been a while since I've seen this series, but recall it to be somewhat entertaining.

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The Coroner (2015-2016)

This series is about solicitor who leaves her London practice and becomes the coroner in Cornwall.  This a light and entertaining series. What makes this series enjoyable is the mild humor from the secondary characters.

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Fearless (2017)

This mini-series is about a defense and human rights lawyer.  She takes on the case of someone who she believes was wrongly convicted of murder, and the case becomes intertwined with national security issues. 

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Judge John Deed (2001-2007)

This series is about a judge, and I only watched about a few episodes.  I found it to be too unrealistic and “preachy” where Judge Deed would, to use an American expression, legislate from the bench.

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Law & Order UK (2009-2014)

The series is set in London, and is quite simply, a British adaption of the American show.  It was simply not my style of show.  I've never watched the American version, and I found it very abbreviated like most of American television.

Journalists

The general theme of this category concerns journalists as the primary characters, and they investigate crime, murder, or political corruption.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Field of Blood (2011-2013)

Field of Blood is entertaining series set in Glasgow in the early 1980s.  The primary character is a young woman who becomes an investigative journalist, and becomes intrigued with investigating local murders..

 

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Place of Execution (2008)

This mini-series centers on an investigate journalist who is creating a documentary about a 45 year old cold case of the disappearance of a young woman from an English village.  This was entertaining and worth a watch.

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State of Play (2003)

State of Play is a captivating television mini-series.  The story unfolds a politically connected murder, and the primary characters are the journalists that uncover it.  The series was later remade into a move starting Russell Crowe.

Espionage, Terrorism, and Political

The general theme of this category concerns espionage, terrorism, or political corruption and scandal.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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Anatomy of a Scandal (2022)

This is a well produced and thrilling mini-series centered on the wife of a minister of parliament (MP) who learns that her husband had an affair with one of his aides, how the affair becomes public, and he is then accused of rape.

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The Courier (2020)

This is an entertaining movie loosely based on a true story about a British businessman, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch, who is recruited by British intelligence to be a liaison with a Russian informant in the 1960s.

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Harriet's Army (2014)

Harriet’s Army is a fun and entertaining movie intended for family viewing.  It  begins at the outset of World War I in a seaside village.  The main character is a teenage girl who is determined that there is a spy in the village.
 

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MI-5 / Spooks (2002-2011)

This is a television series which I did enjoy the first few series, but it eventually got a bit over the top for me (i.e. saving the world in every episode).  The series follows a team from MI-5, which is the British domestic security service.

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Partners in Crime (2015)

This is an entertaining television series adapted from Agatha Christie novels and characters Tommy and Tupence.  The series is set after World War II, and both jump at the chance to serve their country with British intelligence.

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Restless (2012)

This was a solid and entertaining espionage oriented mini-series, which tells the story of a woman who discovers her mother was a spy for Britain during World War II.  The story flashes back between the 1970s and World War II.

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The State Within (2006)

This was a highly entertaining and recognizably over the top political conspiracy thriller, which concerns a threat to Western democracies.  One of the primary characters is the British Ambassador to America.

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Worricker Trilogy (2011-2014)

The Worricker Trilogy is a collection of three televisions movies called Page Eight, Turks & Caicos, and Salting the Battlefield.  The primary character is Johnny Worricker, who is an agent with MI5, the British domestic security service.

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The Assets (2014)

The Assets is an entertaining mini-series .  Though produced for American television, almost the entire cast is British portraying Americans.  It dramatizes the story of real life double agent Aldrich Ames.

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Deep State (2018-2019)

Deep State is an espionage oriented television series.  The primary character is an ex MI6 agent who is forced to come out of retirement for a global situation.  This was not well produced and over the top for my preferences.

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The Informer (2018)

This is a entertaining television mini-series.  The story centers on a police detective for counter terrorism who recruits a young man.  This was an entertaining series that provides depth the obvious topic of civil rights. 

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Night Manager (2016)

This series is based on a John le Carré novel.  The night manager of a hotel is recruited by British intelligence to infiltrate an illegal arms network.  I recall it being at best an average series to watch.

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The Politician's Husband (2013)

This is an entertaining television mini-series drama.  It tells the story of couple who are both politicians, their corruption, and how her career passes his.  There is a similar series called The Politician’s Wife that is somewhat reversed.

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The Secret Agent (2012)

This is a television mini-series which I found to be average and a bit dull.  It is set in London during the late 1800s.  The main character owns a shop and is secretly working for the Russian government.

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Traitors (2019)

This series is set in 1945 in post-war London and follows an American woman who is recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to help identify a Soviet Mole in the British cabinet.

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The 39 Steps (2008)

This is an entertaining television movie.  It was adapted from a 1915 novel of the same name, and was also made into a 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock.  The story is set on the eve of World War I, and is a murder conspiracy thriller.

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Bodyguard (2018)

Bodyguard is a riveting television mini-series thriller.  The primary characters are a police sergeant and the Home Secretary and Minister of Parliament (MP).  The police sergeant is assigned to her protection detail.

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The Game (2014)

The Game is a enjoyable television mini-series set in London during the early 1970s, and the primary character is a young and upcoming MI5 agent.  It shows various old school spy techniques and good old fashioned spy yarn.

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London Spy (2015)

This is a television mini-series that I did not enjoy.  The primary character discovers that his deceased lover worked for British intelligence.   The “secret” being shrouded was ridiculous, and the plot was filled with gaps and holes.

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Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

This is a theatrical movie based on a John le Carré novel.  The story is about an academic who is approached by the Russian mafia to contact British MI6 intelligence service.  There was little depth, and the plot was predictable.

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The Politician's Wife (1995)

This is an entertaining television mini-series.  It tells the story of a political scandal when an affair is exposed of member of British parliament.  There is a somewhat reverse series called The Politician’s Husband.

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Secret State (2012)

This is an entertaining mini-series about a political conspiracy at the highest levels of the British government.  It may not be for everyone. Without giving away spoilers, there is a very cynical plot with intended political commentary.

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Treason (2022)

This is an over the top but tolerable mini-series about a young deputy of the MI6 intelligence services who takes over the agency after his boss is poisoned a by Russian spy, who also happens also to be his ex-lover.

 

Heists and Organized Crime

The general theme of this category concerns heists where thieves and grifters are the predominant characters, or organized crime where gangsters or hitmen are the predominant characters.  Listed with each series or movie is a brief synopsis and a link to the title either on Wikipedia or IMDb.

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The Bank Job (2008)

This is a move that was released theatrically worldwide.  The story is loosely based on an actual bank robbery in London in 1971.  The film contains some typical big screen theatrical twists, and is an entertaining mystery thriller. 

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The Great Train Robbery (2013)

This is a unique television mini-series set in the 1960s and dramatization of true story of a heist of a train carrying money.  It is split into two parts from the point of view of the thieves and then the police investigation.

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Kill Me Three Times (2014)

This is a theatrical movie from Australia about a  hitman who is hired by a man who believes that his wife is having an affair.  It is very dark comedy, which may not be for everyone, but I found very funny and enjoyable.