2016’s New TV crime series

HERE’S our annual selection of the best new crime series and thrillers heading to a screen near you in 2016…

ITV's Marcella, with Anna Friel

Anna Friel at a read-through for Marcella


ITV, 2016
Anna Friel, Laura Carmichael, Nicola Pinnock, Ian Puleston-Davies, Nina Sosanya, Ray Panthaki, Jamie Bamber, Patrick Baladi, Harry Lloyd
THIS ORIGINAL, multi-stranded eight-parter is, intriguingly, written by the man who created BBC4’s The Bridge, Hans Rosenfeldt, his first series exclusively created for the UK. ITV rather unoriginally describe it as ‘Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain’, but given Rosenfeldt’s ability to conjure up distinctive, fresh characters and off-kilter mysteries, this could be a bit special. The story is about a detective returning to the Met’s Murder Squad after a 12-year career break. Marcella is in her late 30s and had previously given up her fast-tracked role to marry and devote her life to starting a family.  With the abrupt end to her marriage to Jason, and isolated from her daughter at boarding school, Marcella returns to work. By coincidence a spate of recent killings have occurred that bear the hallmarks of unsolved murders committed over a decade ago. Marcella is immediately assigned to the case she first worked on in 2003…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★


Sherlock, BBC1, Dr John Watson (MARTIN FREEMAN), Sherlock Holmes (BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Stepping back in time: Watson (Martin Freeman) and Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)

Sherlock – The Abominable Bride

BBC1, 1 January 2016
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Natasha O’Keeffe

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (No. 1) - Picture Shows: The Bride (NATASHA OKEEFFE) - (C) Hartswood Films - Photographer: Robert Viglasky

Bridezilla? Natasha O’Keeffe as the Bride

IT WOULD appear that Steven Moffat, boss of Doctor Who and Sherlock, has got his shows mixed up because his modern take on Sherlock Holmes has done a bit of time travelling himself and slipped – via the TARDIS? – back into the Victorian period. This is after he and co-writer Mark Gatiss have gone to all the trouble of updating everyone’s favourite consulting sleuth. That’s right, it’s all steam trains, hansom cabs, top hats and frock coats. There even seems to be a ghostly Christmas Carol flavour to the tale. Inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Moffat and Gatiss have conjured a mystery about a character called Thomas Ricoletti. This chap is a little surprised to see his wife dressed in her old wedding gown. Why? Because, just a few hours before, she took her own life… Mrs Ricoletti’s ghost now appears to be prowling the streets with an unslakeable thirst for revenge. It all sounds a little madcap, but if past form is anything to go by, this New Year’s Day special should be popping with wit and intrigue.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★


The Five

Sky 1, 2016
Tom Cullen, O-T Fagbenle, Lee Ingleby, Sarah Solemani
THIS HAS to be near the top of our list on the basis that it is written by one of the world’s best thriller authors, Harlan Coben. It’s a 10-part thriller about the consequences of a terrible childhood incident for a group of friends. The series is Harlan Coben’s first original series for television. BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst (Shameless, Clocking Off) has been working alongside Harlan as lead writer on the drama.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★


Dark Angel

ITV, 2016
Joanne Froggatt, Alun Armstrong, Jonas Armstrong, Laura Morgan, Sam Hoare, Emma Fielding, Penny Layden
DARK ANGEL also looks intriguing. It is based on the true story of Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton, played by Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt. We meet Mary Ann as a loving wife and mother, newly returned to her native North East of England. But faced with poverty and an ailing husband, we see how ruthlessly determined she is to pursue a better life… Mary Ann is a serial killer, a poisoner whose methods leave no visible scars, allowing her tally of victims to mount unsuspected by a Victorian society unable to conceive a woman capable of such terrible crimes. She insinuates herself into unsuspecting families, marrying and creating new families of her own – before killing them, taking their money and moving on. Through adultery, bigamy, fraud and murder, Mary Ann betters herself socially and financially. But the more she kills, the greater the risk that her crimes will finally be exposed.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★


Maigret, ITV

ITV, 2016
Rowan Atkinson

ITV has commenced filming Maigret Sets A Trap one of two stand-alone dramatic films featuring the legendary French fictional detective Jules Maigret, played by Rowan Atkinson. This image is the copyright of ITV and must be used in relation to Maigret. Photographer John Rogers.

Pipe dream? Rowan Atkinson takes on Jules Maigret

THE LEGENDARY French fictional detective Jules Maigret, is to be played by Rowan Atkinson in two standalone films. Set in the 1950s Paris, the first of the two x 120min films, Maigret Sets a Trap and Maigret’s Dead Man, went into production in September 2015. It has been written by Stewart Harcourt (Love & Marriage, Treasure Island, Marple). The big question is, will Rowan Atkinson pull off a decent portrayal of the detective, whose devotees have as strong opinions over the character as do those of Sherlock Holmes or Poirot. With his laconic manner, heavy coat and trademark pipe, the formidable Jules Maigret first appeared in print in 1931. Georges Simenon, who wrote 75 Maigret novels, is considered one of the greatest writers of the 20th century, selling around a billion books worldwide to date. So, there will be plenty of mileage in a series if ITV and Atkinson get this right. Maigret Sets a Trap is adapted from the Simenon novel Maigret tend un piège. The second film, Maigret’s Dead Man, is based on Maigret et son mort. Renowned actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson, who is best known for portraying iconic characters such as Johnny English, Blackadder and Mr Bean, said: ‘I have been a devourer of the Maigret novels for many years and I’m very much looking forward to playing such an intriguing character, at work in Paris during a fascinating period in its history.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★★★



BBC1, 2016
Cast to be announced
BBC1 IS TURNING non-fiction author Misha Glenny’s 2008 bestseller McMafia into an epic drama series set in the international world of organised crime. Reports say it is a tale set within a Russian family living in exile in London that throws open the doors of the complex world of organised crime, created and written by award-winning screenwriter and film director Hossein Amini (Drive, The Wings of the Dove, Snow White and the Huntsman,) and James Watkins (The Woman in Black, Eden Lake, Bastille Day). Author Misha Glenny says: ‘I am a huge fan of The Godfather, The Sopranos and, more recently Narcos. Hoss and James’s brilliant reworking of McMafia takes this tradition onto a global canvas by revealing the immense possibilities open to an ambitious Russian crime family in an interconnected world.’ This seems to be part of a trend for the telling of epic, broad-ranging and intelligent crime stories following on from Netflix’s Narcos and Sky Atlantic’s The Last Panthers, both of which set the bar high for such series.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★


Scott & Bailey

ITV, 2016
Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp, Sally Lindsay
THIS TERRIFIC drama has won a loyal following and will be keenly anticipated. ITV has commissioned a three-part special series this time featuring a single crime story. The format will allow the story to unfold with scale and ambition as Scott & Bailey tackle one of the darkest cases they have ever had to face – and that’s saying something as some of their previous investigations have been particularly chilling. Both Suranne Jones and Lesley Sharp return to the roles of super cool Scott and her hotheaded partner DS Bailey, the crime-fighting partnership forged over four previous series following the drama’s successful critical and ratings launch in 2011. Rachel (Suranne Jones) returns from her Vice secondment fired up and full of new ideas. She’s gained valuable experience and wants to make her mark as she returns to Syndicate 9’s Murder Squad. She is exactly who Janet (Lesley Sharp) and the team need to move forward with a terrifying and sinister Internet crime investigation of epic scale and unrelenting horror…
Anticipation factor: ★★★★



ITV, 2016
Cast to be announced
SHE’S BACK! Tennison, the prequel to Prime Suspect, has been commissioned by ITV, who describe it as ‘much anticipated’. It’s probably less a case of ‘much anticipated’ and more like fingers crossed, because these prequels/sequels/reboots can be terrible. Much will depend on the casting (Helen Mirren, of course, will not be playing her younger self) and how inspired acclaimed writer Lynda La Plante is in reimagining her superb creation. Despite her terrific track record (Widows, Trial and Retribution etc), she’s not infallible. The recent Above Suspicion was implausible and fell flat with audiences. The new 6 x 60-minute series will portray the young Jane Tennison at the beginning her career, revealing why she became such a complex and formidable character in the Metropolitan Police. It’s Hackney in the 1970s, and women police constables are being uneasily ‘integrated’ into the force. We’re introduced to 22-year-old Jane, a probationary officer in a world where high-ranking police officers were notoriously chauvinistic, and the rules and regulations often bent. The drama will broadcast in 2016 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Prime Suspect series screening in 1991. Seven series followed and the character of Tennison became well known and loved around the world.
Anticipation factor: ★★★

Endeavour 3, ITV, Roger Allam and Shaun Evans

Ready for the Summer of Love? Thursday (Roger Allam) and Endeavour (Shaun Evans)

Endeavour III

ITV, Sunday, 3 January, 8pm
Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, Jack Laskey, Sean Rigby, Anton Lesser, James Bradshaw, Abigail Thaw
THE Inspector Morse prequel will comprise 4 x 120-minute films and will once again be written by Lewis and Endeavour creator and Inspector Morse writer Russell Lewis. Author Colin Dexter, whose first Morse story was published in 1975, continues his association with the drama, acting as a consultant. Falsely accused Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) was last seen isolated and alone languishing in prison, framed for the murder of Chief Constable Rupert Standish. Endeavour is one of the more intelligent crime dramas around, taking a considered look at its 1960s setting, rather than just using it for nostalgia. Set in 1967, three months after Donald Campbell’s ill-fated attempt to break the 300-mile speed barrier on water, the first of the new stories follows the murder of bus conductress Jeannie Hearne on the night she visited the local fairground. It’s the Summer of Love, but for Endeavour it will be a life-changing period, ‘perhaps the end of the beginning.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★

The Secret

ITV, 2016
James Nesbitt, Genevieve O’Reilly
 A THREE-PARTER telling the story of a real life double murder. James Nesbitt plays Colin Howell, a respectable dentist, who becomes a killer in partnership with a Sunday schoolteacher, Hazel Buchanan (Genevieve O’Reilly). Howell and Buchanan meet at their local Baptist Church in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, and they embarked upon a passionate and destructive affair, which climaxes in an elaborate plot to kill both their partners, Lesley and Trevor. Executive producer Mark Redhead said: ‘This is the story of an audacious and wicked crime. It tells us something very surprising and revealing about the dark side of human nature.’ The drama is based on a best-selling book, by veteran reporter Deric Henderson, who said: ‘It’s an extraordinary story, certainly the most remarkable I’ve ever covered in a long career.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★½



ITV, 2016
James Norton, Robson Green, Kacey Ainsworth, Morven Christie, Tessa Peake-Jones
SIX NEW episodes filmed in London, Cambridge and Grantchester are coming our way, featuring 1950s clergyman Sidney Chambers and his blunt police friend Geordie Keating (James Norton and Robson Green). We find out how Geordie is recovering from the gun-shot wound he received at the end of the last season. The first series featured interesting themes, from the death penalty to homosexuality to postwar trauma of servicemen.
Anticipation factor: ★★★½


ITV, 2016
David Tennant, Olivia Colman
THE FIRST series was an award-winning critical and popular success; the second, implausible and a letdown (see our verdict here). Both got audiences of more than nine-million, so it was always going to return, but creator and writer Chris Chibnall faces a challenge to get the drama grounded and back on track. Series one saw the consequences of the death of schoolboy Danny Latimer and the murder investigation, with Joe Miller eventually revealed as his killer. The second series saw Miller plead not guilty and the subsequent trial, while the family of Danny struggled to come to terms not only with their son’s death but also the media spotlight. David Tennant and Olivia Colman will return as DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller, and that’s good news. Chris Chibnall said: ‘We’ve been overwhelmed that nine-million people every week have continued to join us on the twists and turns of Broadchurch. This third chapter has been a glint in my eye for a long time and I’m thrilled to be writing these characters once again.’ Fingers crossed, but the drama lost of its momentum in series two.
Anticipation factor: ★★★½

Houdini & Doyle, ITV

ITV Encore, 2016
Stephen Mangan, Michael Weston, Rebecca Liddiard, Tim McInnerny, Adam Nagaitis
THIS NEW 10-part drama is a UK/Canada co-production, and will have Stephen Mangan (Episodes) playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle alongside Michael Weston (Six Feet Under, House) as Harry Houdini, two of the most fascinating and iconic characters of the early 20th century: real-life friends, adversaries and crime solvers. Magician and escapologist Houdini rose from poverty to become the highest paid performer in the world. As a master of illusion he knows there’s nothing supernatural about magic. To him, everything unexplained is a trick, a gimmick, or a fraud. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is, of course, the creator of the greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, but is also a passionate believer in the paranormal. Having lost someone very close to him, he desperately wants to find a way of communicating with them. This fundamental difference between the two men leads to conflict, humour… and competition. The only downside is that not everyone will be able to catch the series. ITV calls its sister channel ITV Encore ‘a channel dedicated to unmissable drama’, but unfortunately it’s also dedicated to excluding Virgin Media cable subscribers. So, they’ll have to conjure up extra cash to see on DVD or a streaming service.
Anticipation factor: ★★★½


Stan Lee's Lucky Man, with James Nesbitt, Sky1

Best of luck: James Nesbitt as Harry Clayton, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man

Lucky Man

Sky1, 2016
James Nesbitt, Sienna Guillory, Eve Best, Darren Boyd, Omid Djalili
COMIC-BOOK legend Stan Lee has co-created his first UK television drama, alongside acclaimed writer Neil Biswas.  It’s that man again, James Nesbitt, who this time stars as a down-on-his-luck London Murder Squad officer whose fortune mysteriously changes. He is given a charm that seems to confer upon the wearer the ability to control luck. It sounds like a fun premise, and the cast looks pretty decent. Stan Lee, Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment commented: ‘Luck has always been a fascinating subject to me, and I am excited to finally share that fascination with audiences around the world.’
Anticipation factor: ★★★½


Agatha Raisin

Sky1, 2016
Ashley Jensen, Mathew Horne, Katy Wix
FOLLOWING the success of the 2014 one-off, Ashley Jensen will return as Agatha Raisin, with eight new mysteries for the savvy sleuth – based on the bestselling novels of MC Beaton. Light and quirky, last year’s one-off Christmas special did raise a smile.
Anticipation factor: ★★★


THE CATCH - From Shondaland's Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, "The Catch" is a new thriller centered on the strong, successful Alice Martin (Mireille Enos). She's a fraud investigator who's about to be the victim of fraud herself by her fiancé. Between her cases, she is determined to find him before it ruins her career. "The Catch" stars Mireille Enos as Alice, Alimi Ballard as Evan, Damon Dayoub as Kieran, Jay Hayden as James, Jacky Ido as Emil, Bethany Joy Lenz as Zoe, Rose Rollins as Andie and Elvy Yost as Maria. "The Catch" was written by Jennifer Schuur. Executive producers are Jennifer Schuur, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers and Julie Anne Robinson. "The Catch" is produced by ABC Studios. (ABC/Van Redin) MIREILLE ENOS

Mireille Enos as Alice Martin

The Catch

Sky Living, 2016
Mireille Enos, Peter Krause
This new US show, made by ABC and exec-produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal), is centred on the strong, successful Alice Martin (Mireille Enos, fresh from the US version of The Killing). She’s a fraud investigator who’s about to be the victim of fraud herself by her fiancé (Peter Krause). Between her cases, she is determined to find him before it ruins her career.
Anticipation factor: ★★★½



Midsomer Murders

ITV, 2016
Neil Dudgeon, Gwilym Lee, Manjinder Virk
AND NOW FOR something completely different. With storylines including bodysnatching, competitive cycling and the sighting of UFOs over Midsomer County, it is fair to say Midsomer Murders doesn’t take itself too seriously. Personally, I find it dull, but ITV points out that the last series was watched by 6.5million viewers and the show is sold to 200 countries. Joining the team this series will be a new pathologist, Dr Kam Karimore, played by Manjinder Virk.
Anticipation factor: ★★


  1. Steve Gray says:

    Seeking a British crime drama that first aired in 2016 with very few episodes. The story line is a British music producer kidnapping young girls n keeps them alive in a secret wall compartment where he chains them to the wall like dogs.. Or it’s just one of the many story lines in the series.

  2. Marianne says:

    Definitely The Five.

  3. shelley loren says:

    Whats the one with the black guy and the two racing lambos in the trailer for it? Its kind of like death in paradise but its not

  4. The Five.

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