Crime dramas 2018 preview

Here is our annual rundown of some of the top crime series coming up. It seems there are more quality series around than ever…

The Trial of Christine Keeler, BBC1

Christine Keeler, who died earlier this month aged 75, was a the centre of one of the 20th century’s greatest British scandals, the Profumo affair. Writer Amanda Coe gives a taste of the event by describing it as ‘the Salem Witch Trial meets OJ Simpson – a perfect storm of gender, class, race and power that resonates into the world we’re living in today’. Keeler was a young woman who had an affair with government minister John Profumo. He lied about it to the House of Commons and had to resign. The fallout rocked the 1960s establishment and had tragic consequences…

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/10/2017 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: 01/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: First look picture of Hugh Grant playing Jeremy Thorpe in BBC One's A Very English Scandal Jeremy Thorpe (HUGH GRANT) - (C) Blueprint Television Ltd - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

Downfall: Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe

A Very English Scandal, BBC1

Hugh Grant, Ben Wishaw

Another scandal that shook Britain, this time in the 1970s. Hugh Grant, returning to British television for the first time since the early 1990s, plays the disgraced MP Jeremy Thorpe. In 1979 he was tried but acquitted of conspiring to murder his ex-lover Norman Scott, played by Ben Whishaw. Terrific cast includes Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan and Michelle Dotrice. This three-parter is written by Bafta-winner and former Doctor Who overlord Russell T Davies. It’s directed by Stephen Frears, whose credits include Philomena and The Queen.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 02/10/2017 - Programme Name: A Very English Scandal - TX: 01/10/2017 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: First look picture of Ben Whishaw playing Norman Scott in BBC One's A Very English Scandal Norman Scott (BEN WHISHAW) - (C) Blueprint Television Ltd - Photographer: Kieron McCarron

Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott in BBC1’s A Very English Scandal

Hatton Garden, ITV

Timothy Spall, Kenneth Cranham

We almost saw this before Christmas, but it was abruptly pulled from schedules and will now be shown in 2018. It is, of course, about the spectacular London burglary pulled off by a group of, as the press labelled them, ‘diamond geezers’. It has a terrific cast and is written by Jeff Pope and Terry Windsor. Should be a cut above.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Mindhunter 2, Netflix

Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

For me, the best crime drama of 2017 has been Netflix’s Mindhunter. Set in 1979, it is a gripping look at the challenges of setting up the FBI’s criminal profiling unit. It was superior to most TV whodunits, being an intriguing take on why-do-they-do-it. Serial killers are the subject, and the most chilling performance was that of Cameron Britton. He played the real-life killer Ed Kemper. Check out this featurette… and don’t miss the show.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Narcos 4, Netflix

Michael Peña, Diego Luna

Michael Pena joins Narcos

Narcos newcomer: Michael Pena

Michael Peña (Crash, American Hustle) and Diego Luna (Rogue One, Y Tu Mamá También) star in the upcoming fourth season. This time the action shifts to Mexico. It is slated to premiere later in 2018. Preview here.

Anticipation factor ★★★★★

Trauma, ITV

Adrian Lester, John Simm

Set in the trauma department of a London hospital, this is a three-parter. Fifteen-year-old Alex Reynolds dies under the care of high-achieving consultant Jon Stephens. Heartbroken, Alex’s father, Dan, believes Jon is responsible for Alex’s death. As he strives for justice, he begins to unpick the fabric of Jon’s life. Written by Mike Bartlett (Doctor Foster), who says, ‘Trauma is a story about two fathers with very different lives, locked in conflict. I hope the series will be moving, terrifying and timely… If we increasingly mistrust institutions and experts, what happens when we desperately need them?’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

MAMMOTH SCREEN FOR ITV NEXT OF KIN on ITV1 Pictured: JACK DAVENPORT as Guy Harcourt and ARCHIE PANJABI as Mona Shirani Episode 1 - The contemporary drama follows whip-smart doctor Mona Shirani ( Archie Panjabi) who lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy Harcourt (Jack Davenport). Family life is shattered when Mona’s brother is killed whilst working for a medical charity abroad. As the death brings buried secrets to light, Mona’s family finds itself under suspicion, each drawn deep into a tangle of betrayal and conspiracy as they try to protect their loved ones and careers. Mona finds herself facing the ultimate dilemma: how far would you go to keep your family safe? This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Trouble ahead: Jack Davenport as Guy Harcourt and Archie Panjabi as Mona Shirani

Next of Kin, ITV

Archie Panjabi, Jack Davenport

Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife, The Fall), and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, Smash), star in this fast-paced family thriller, starting on Monday 8 January. The contemporary drama follows doctor Mona Harcourt (Panjabi). She lives in London with political lobbyist husband Guy (Davenport). When a bomb goes off in London on the same day her brother, Kareem, is abducted and murdered in Pakistan, Mona’s charmed life is shaken to its core.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Dark Heart, ITV

Tom Riley

Series 2 of this six-part police drama is set for Spring 2018, with Tom Riley as DI Will Wagstaffe, a man haunted by the murder of his parents. ITV head of drama Polly Hill says: ‘We’re thrilled Tom Riley has agreed to return as Will Wagstaffe in Dark Heart. As the central character, he has immersed himself in police work to seek some form of closure for what has happened in his past. It’s a gritty, emotionally driven thriller from [screenwriter] Chris Lang.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Riviera 2, Sky Atlantic

Julia Stiles

Julia Stiles, Lena Olin, Roxane Duran and Dimitri Leonidas will be back for a new run of Sky’s glossy French-set crime drama. Based on an idea by former U2 manager Paul McGuinness, it was mostly style over substance. But it clearly did well enough for Sky to lavish another big budget on a second outing.

Anticipation factor ★★★

Clean Break, ITV

Sheridan Smith

Currently being filmed in and around London, this looks particularly interesting. Sheridan Smith plays Sam, a cleaner at financial stockbrokers in the City, one of an invisible army enduring the suffocating grind of a zero-hours contract. She’s also a mum with a gambling addiction. When she hears of a confidential financial deal, she has a chance to turn her life around – but also veer into a dark and illegal world.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Liar 2, ITV

Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd

2 BROTHERS PICTURES For Itv LIAR EPISODE 1 Pictured: JOANNE FROGGATT as Laura Nielson. Photographer JOSS BARRATT This photograph is (C) iTV and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com For further information please contact: Patrick.smith@itv.com

Piecing together what happened – Laura in Liar 1

I thought series one was weighed down by implausibilities, but ITV think it was the greatest thing going, so it’s set to return in 2019. The crazy end certainly annoyed a lot of viewers. Be interesting to see how Andrew Earlham (Gruffudd) is resurrected… or perhaps not.

Anticipation factor ★★★

Cheat, ITV

Starts production in 2018, it’s described as ‘an emotionally affecting four-part series’. It’s about a dangerous relationship between a professor, Leah, and her student, Rose. What begins as a seemingly open and shut case of academic deception, spirals out of control…

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Top Boy, Netflix

Ashley Walters, Kane Robinson

Migrating from C4 to Netflix, this gritty drama includes new storylines that see Dushane (Ashley Walters) returning from exile to his home in London to reclaim his throne in the lucrative drug market. He teams up with Sully (Kane Robinson), his partner, and sometime rival, who is also returning after his own form of exile – prison – comes to an end. Awaiting them both is Jamie, the young and ruthless gang leader whose ambitions leave no room for Dushane and Sully.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Gangs of London (working title), Sky Atlantic

Set for 2019, this London-set drama will be about a capital ‘torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs in control’. When the head of a criminal organisation is assassinated, the sudden power vacuum his death creates threatens the peace between the city’s web of gangs.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Bulletproof, Sky 1

Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters

Clarke and Walters star as cops from differing backgrounds who are also best mates. Aiming for humour, action and emotion, the show centres on the relationships between fathers and sons and is about friendship, conspiracies and ghosts from the past.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Lucky Man 3, ITV

James Nesbitt, Sienna Guillory

Based on an idea from world-renowned comic book writer Stan Lee, this had the good fortune to win over a million viewers. In this third chapter, DI Harry Clayton is in Hong Kong, looking for answers about his ‘lucky’ charm. He comes up against some nasty underworld characters who have their eyes on more than just his bracelet. Joining James Nesbitt are show favourites Amara Karan, returning as DS Suri Chohan, Sienna Guillory as Eve and Stephen Hagan as Rich Clayton.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Manhunt, ITV

Martin Clunes

ITV has a strong record of creating sensitive dramas from true events. This one looks like it be engrossing, though the casting of Martin Clunes looks suspect. Written by Ed Whitmore (who wrote the chilling, intriguing Rillington Place), it’s based upon the memoirs of former London detective DCI Colin Sutton, who tracked down serial killer Levi Bellfield. Manhunt is the story of how the murder of French n ational Amelie Delagrange, on Twickenham Green in August 2004, was eventually linked to the murders of Marsha McDonnell in 2003 and the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler as she travelled home from school in 2002.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Marcella 2, ITV

Anna Friel, Jamie Bamber

Series one divided viewers in 2016. Written once again by Hans Rosenfeldt, who did the brilliant The Bridge, it is unlikely to be cosy or run-of-the-mill. The story begins with the discovery of a body inside a wall. The corpse is surrounded by toys and soft animals and a school blazer. A devastated Marcella soon works out that the body is that of schoolboy Leo Priestley, who was abducted a few years beforehand and a friend of Marcella’s son, Edward. Anna Friel said, ‘I’m thrilled to be reprising the role of Marcella and want to thank ITV for recommissioning this powerful London based noir drama. The reaction from everyone has been amazing.’

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Endeavour 6, ITV

Shaun Evans, Roger Allam

Filming has begun on the fifth series of ITV’s hugely successful detective drama, Endeavour. Six feature-length films of the Inspector Morse prequel series are to be produced for transmission next year, starring Shaun Evans as the recently promoted Detective Sergeant Endeavour Morse.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

 

White Dragon, ITV

This eight-parter was filmed during the autumn on location in Asia. From writers and producers Harry and Jack Williams (The Missing), it follows Professor Jonah Mulray, whose life is turned upside-down when his wife, Megan, is killed in a car-crash in Hong Kong. Casting news to be announced.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Unforgotten 3, ITV

Nicola Walker, Sanjeev Bhaskar

This has had some terrific press reviews and will be looked forward to by many viewers. Once again, DCI Cassie Stuart and DI Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan will be unravelling the truth behind historic murders.

Anticipation factor ★★★★

Narcos 3 trailer

The drug king is dead, long live the cartel! In series one and two we saw the rise and fall Pablo Escobar. Season three of Narcos, which comes to Netflix on 1 September, will show how the authorities went after his successors in Cali Cartel. This is strong, breathless stuff, but a compelling take on what can happen when the criminals come close to toppling the state. Check out the trailer…

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