British crime TV favourites

UK crime drama has plenty to offer fans of drama and suspense. Here, in this guest post, is a list of three dramas that have been especially popular with viewers.

Whilst maybe not accorded the historical reverence that the noir form has enjoyed in France, UK crime drama is no less incredibly storied, going all the way back to Dixon of Dock Green and continuing into the present day with fantastic programs like Broadchurch. Here are three classics…

The Bill

It’s a wrap – The Bill’s cast on its last day

A mainstay of British evening scheduling, this drama ran from 1984-2010, based around the Sun Hill police station. There’s a great combination of episode long arcs combined with more long-form storytelling that always kept viewers guessing. One of its strengths was the balance it managed to cut between telling UK crime drama stories whilst developing the character’s private lives. It was also a testing ground for British scriptwriting talent, with pretty much a who’s-who of established UK crime drama writers having penned an episode at one time or another, as pointed out in this review by Real Money Pokies.

Broadchurch

This ITV drama was a runaway success during its run (2013-2017). The six-episode story of a local police woman and out-of-town homicide detective solving the death of a murdered child  stood out from typical crime broadcasting for a number of reasons. In particular there was the chemistry and stellar acting from David Tennant and Olivia Colman. The real star, though, was the tightly paced script, which added layers of localised intrigue. This was topped by a shocking twist to wrap things up. Although series two and three weren’t quite as strong, it didn’t diminish Broadchurch’s standing as one of the most acclaimed crime dramas of the last decade.

Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy as Tommy in Peaky Blinders

Featuring a wealth of talents such as Hollywood leading men Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, this crime drama quickly developed a strong following, both in Great Britain and in America. Set in Birmingham of the 1920s, the series follows the exploits of the titular gang. A melting pot of influences make up the story, including gangsterism, the IRA, social realism and nail-biting action. It has broadened its ambitious scope to depict the effect of major events in British history. Supported by great performances, strong production and excellent scripting, this  drama is one of the very best around.

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