True Detective — Killer TV No 29

HERE’S the latest in our series of Killer 50 crime dramas…

True Detective Series 1.Episode 05 "The Secret Fate of All Life"..Charles Halford as Reggie Ledoux and Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle..?HomeBoxOffice

Backwoods terror – Charles Halford as Reggie Ledoux and Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle

HBO, 2014-

‘Who’d want to bring life into this meat grinder?’ – Detective Rust Cohle

Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts, Tory Kittles

Identikit: We see Detectives Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle investigating the ritualistic murder of a former prostitute in Louisiana – and then discussing the case 17 years later when another body has been found posed in a similar style.


logosDARK AND unsettling, True Detective is a powerful, beautifully acted eight-part drama from HBO. Its A-lister stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson pin the audience to their sofas and play out a troubling story across several time frames, beginning in 1995 when they are teamed up to investigate the murder of a former prostitute in south Louisiana. The crime scene, in a field, is staged like a ritualistic killing, with the victim wearing deer antlers. While the investigation of the grisly crime is engrossing, the drama is really centred on Detective Rustin Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Harrelson). Cohle suspects the killer has acted before, Hart is not so sure. But the fractiousness in their relationship goes deeper. Cohle has a bleak outlook on life, while Hart is more of an average stressed cop with kids and a wife, to whom he is unfaithful. Cohle is damaged by the death of his own daughter, which led to a reckless time as a narco cop. The 1995 investigation takes them into underbelly of the Bible belt, and is intercut with interviews with the detectives 17 years later, when a similar murder is committed and they are asked to review the case. Detectives Gilbough and Panania are interviewing them now, and Cohle and Hart are talking to a digital camera, documentary style. By this time Cohle has succumbed to his alcoholism and is a long-haired has-been, who hasn’t seen his old partner since 2002. Was he more damaged by the investigation or the road death of his daughter? He was always aloof and unpopular with his cop colleagues, often fell out with Hart, who admired his intelligence but couldn’t stand his pessimism. ‘You don’t choose your parents and you don’t choose your partner,’ Hart tells his modern-day interviewers. But do Gilbough and Panania in 2012 actually suspect Cohle of being involved in the killings? Why did Cohle and Hart fall out irrevocably? And if the case was closed in 1995, how can a similar crime have now been committed 17 years on?

[Read more…]

Crime series rule at 2015’s Baftas

Happy Valley series 1 BBC1

Siobhan Finneran and Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley

CRIME certainly pays on TV. Mysteries and thrillers dominate this year’s Bafta nominations, with Happy Valley, Line of Duty, The Missing, Peaky Blinders, Sherlock and The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies all featuring.

These were all engrossing, first-class dramas, with some of the actors involved giving the performances of their lives. Keeley Hawes and Sarah Lancashire were simply superb in Line of Duty – which was better in its second series – and Happy Valley, and both are nominated. Georgina Campbell also put in a stand-out performance in BBC3’s Murdered by My Boyfriend.

Benedict Cumberbatch will hope it is fifth-time lucky at Bafta as he steps onto the red carpet again for his performance as Sherlock. The BBC1 modern reboot of the consulting detective is a dazzlingly good drama, though not nominated this time. Cumberbatch is in the running, however, but he faces formidable competition from nominees James Nesbitt – another lifetime-best performance for The Missing – Toby Jones (Marvellous) and Jason Watkins (The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies).

The Missing series 1 BBC1

James Nesbitt in The Missing

Choosing the ‘best’ is a thankless task, but my personal faves this year are Sarah Lancashire (by a whisker over Keeley Hawes), James Nesbitt – an actor I don’t usually warm to, but this was a brave performance. Then there’s Ken Stott for the same reason in The Missing, and perhaps Charlotte Spencer for Glue.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Peaky Blinders, and in the International category I would probably go for True Detective, though I am slightly addicted to The Good Wife.

Who do you think should win? Post your comments above…

DRAMA SERIES

HAPPY VALLEY Sally Wainwright, Karen Lewis, Euros Lyn, Nicola Shindler, Red Production Company/BBC One; LINE OF DUTY Jed Mercurio, Simon Heath, Peter Norris, Douglas Mackinnon, World Productions/BBC Two; THE MISSING Charlie Pattinson, Willow Grylls, Jack Williams, Harry Williams, New Pictures/BBC One; PEAKY BLINDERS Production Team – Caryn Mandabach Productions/Tiger Aspect Productions/BBC Two

LEADING ACTOR

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH Sherlock, BBC One; TOBY JONES Marvellous, BBC Two; JAMES NESBITT The Missing, BBC One JASON WATKINS The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies ITV

LEADING ACTRESS

Keeley Hawes in Line of Duty 2

Keeley Hawes in Line of Duty 2

GEORGINA CAMPBELL Murdered by My Boyfriend, BBC Three; KEELEY HAWES Line of Duty, BBC Two; SARAH LANCASHIRE Happy Valley, BBC One; SHERIDAN SMITH Cilla, ITV

SUPPORTING ACTOR

ADEEL AKHTAR Utopia – Channel 4 JAMES NORTON Happy Valley, BBC One; STEPHEN REA The Honourable Woman, BBC Two; KEN STOTT The Missing – BBC One

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

GEMMA JONES Marvellous, BBC Two; VICKY MCCLURE Line of Duty, BBC Two; AMANDA REDMAN Tommy Cooper: Not like That, Like This, ITV; CHARLOTTE SPENCER Glue, E4

SINGLE DRAMA

A POET IN NEW YORK Aisling Walsh, Ruth Caleb, Andrew Davies, Griff Rhys Jones, Modern Television/BBC Two; COMMON Jimmy McGovern, David Blair, Colin McKeown, Donna Molloy, LA Productions/BBC One; MARVELLOUS Peter Bowker, Julian Farino, Katie Swinden, Patrick Spence, Fifty Fathoms/BBC Two; MURDERED BY MY BOYFRIEND Pier Wilkie, Regina Moriarty, Paul Andrew Williams, Darren Kemp – BBC/BBC Three

MINI-SERIES

Jason Watkins in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies

Jason Watkins in The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies

CILLA Jeff Pope, Paul Whittington, Kwadjo Dajan, Robert Willis, ITV Studios/GroupM Entertainment/ITV; THE LOST HONOUR OF CHRISTOPHER JEFFERIES Gareth Neame, Peter Morgan, Roger Michell, Kevin Loader, Carnival Film & Television/ITV; OUR WORLD WAR Production Team – BBC Factual/BBC Three PREY Chris Lunt, Nicola Shindler, Tom Sherry, Nick Murphy, Red Production Company/ITV

INTERNATIONAL

THE GOOD WIFE CBS Television Studios in assoc. with Scott Free/King Size Prods/More4; HOUSE OF CARDS Beau Willimon, David Fincher, Joshua Donen, Kevin Spacey – Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Productions, Inc. in assoc. with Media Rights Capital/Netflix; ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK Jenji Kohan, Lisa I.Vinnecour, Sara Hess, Sian Heder – Lionsgate Television/Netflix; TRUE DETECTIVE Nic Pizzolatto, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Scott Stephens, Steve Golin – HBO Entertainment in assoc. with Neon Black, Anonymous Content, Parliament of Owls and Passenger/ Sky Atlantic

Third degree: Adrian McKinty

Matthew McConaughey in True Detective

Adrian McKinty is one of the most acclaimed new crime writers from across the Irish Sea, routinely mentioned alongside Ken Bruen, Declan Hughes and John Connolly. His series of edgy thrillers about Catholic detective Sean Duffy and the character’s exploits while working in the none-too-comfortable surroundings of the RUC during the Troubles, and later MI5, are developing a big following and have been hugely praised by reviewers. These include The Cold Cold GroundIn the Morning I’ll Be Gone and his latest, Gun Street Girl. Here, he reveals his favourite TV shows, characters and authors…

Adrian McKinty

Your favourite British crime series or thriller on TV?
Can I cheat and have a tie between two? Well I’m going to anyway: I really enjoyed The Fall, even though I had real reservations about the denouement of season 2! It was nice to see an ordinary crime drama set in Belfast, with brilliant acting and a tight economical script. My other favourite is Broadchurch. What a terrific bit of writing that was – unpacking the threads from an entire society with great little subplots and an ending that – although I saw coming (and which strangely involved zero detective work) – was very powerful none the less. Great stuff (and I LOVED the creepy psychic).

Favourite US crime series or thriller on TV?
True Detective. I so didn’t want to watch this when I heard it involved an alleged conspiracy of satanists, which is a pretty hacky premise. But then I watched the pilot and was blown away by its audacity: three timelines, the philosophy of pessimism and entropy, extraordinary acting and cinematography… And then the series only got darker, deeper and better. Wow.

Do you have a favourite Irish TV crime series?
I’ll throw The Fall in there too.

Top TV cop?
Gotta be Columbo. Outwitting the rich and famous with the power of his mind alone.

Which unfilmed book/character should be made into a TV drama?
I’m shocked that they haven’t made Ellroy’s Underworld trilogy into anything…

If one of your novels were filmed, who would you cast to be the hero? 
Fassbender would be a great Sean Duffy.

What’s your guilty pleasure on TV? 
I don’t believe in the concept of guilty pleasures to be honest. I like what I like and I don’t feel any shame or guilt. One thing I like that no one else seems to like in my family is the programme Mighty Ships? Heard of that? Didn’t think so. Could just be a niche interest there.

Least favourite cop show/thriller? 
Not a fan of British nostalgia mystery shows set in the 1950s or 40s when there were no black people and poor people knew their place…

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

Do you prefer The Wire orThe Sopranos
Haven’t seen The Wire and I – gasp – think The Sopranosis over rated. All those tedious scenes with Carmela and the priest or the annoying kids… I’ll say Breaking Bad.

Marple/Poirot or Sherlock Holmes? 
Marple. Despite the answer I gave two questions ago. I love cops who solve things with that big gray muscle between their ears and Miss M does that in spades…

Wallander – BBC or the Swedish version?
Gotta go with Ken Branagh. Love him.

US or British or Euro television crime dramas?
They are quite different animals but nothing I’ve seen recently on Brit or Euro TV can compete with True Detective and Breaking Bad…

Your favourite crime/thriller writers?
Rankin, Ellroy, Peace, Neville, McGilloway, Woodrell.

Have you read a crime novel that’s really knocked you out lately?
I’m reading a sci-fi crime novel called Great North Road that I’m very much enjoying, set in a future Newcastle…

Favourite non-crime/thriller author?
Adrian McKinty, Gun Street GirlJG Ballard or Angela Carter.

Favourite crime movie or thriller?
Miller’s Crossing.

You’ve been framed for murder. Which fictional detective/sleuth would you want to call up?
I’d want Marple. I think she has the best brain of all of them.

• Adrian’s latest Sean Duffy novel, Gun Street Girl, is available from Amazon. His blog is also an interesting and enjoyable read, The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

See also CrimeTimePreview’s Q&A with Ian Rankin

Best TV crime dramas of 2014

THIS ROUND-UP of the year’s best TV crime dramas has for the past four years comfortably listed 10 outstanding series.2014, on the other hand, is a tougher proposition. There were so many terrific stories and performances that I found it impossible to restrict it to 10. So, to celebrate the New Year, here is my top 14 for 2014…

True Detective, Sky Atlantic

A simply indelible series that was unlike anything else out there in 2014. Haunting, a little mad and with a dream-like – or perhaps that should be nightmarish – atmosphere. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson put in a shift, too. Our review

Happy Valley, BBC1

Sally Wainwright’s gritty drama was engrossing and powerful, and also had one of the performances of the year from Sarah Lancashire. The second series will have a tough act to follow. Our review

Peaky Blinders, BBC2

Really hit its stride in this second series. Great to see a revival of the British gangster drama that dared to be brash and different. Our review

Sherlock 3, BBC1

Some people did not like this flamboyant third series, but we did and so did most reviewers. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat were really on their game, producing a drama that fizzed with jaw-dropping surprises and delights. Our review

The Bridge 2, BBC4

Superb follow-up to the first series, which pushed our heroes Saga and Martin into new intrigue and emotional turmoil. Kim Bodnia won’t return to series 3 because his character, of course, ended up in jail, but Sofia Helin will (see Digital Spy’s interview with them)
Our review

Line of Duty 2, BBC2

Another feather in BBC2’s cap this year, this drama about police corruption was superb and completely outshone the first series. Keeley Hawes dominated proceedings with a compelling performance as the inspector under suspicion. Our review

The Widower, ITV

Once again ITV came up with a fascinating exploration of a real crime. Reece Shearsmith as the slippery killer Malcolm Webster was haunting, in a drama that was way better than his other series this year, the unconvincing Chasing ShadowsOur review

Fargo, C4

It never came close to catching the bleak logic and black humour of the Coen brothers’ cult film, but this series starring Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton was quirky enough to keep everyone frozen to the screen. Our review

The Missing, BBC1

Sober, intelligent and always engrossing eight-part tragedy. The disappearance of a five-year-old British boy on holiday in France was a difficult subject, but this was a truthful and heartfelt series that was totally involving. Our review

Gomorrah, Sky Atlantic

Powerful Italian series, based on Roberto Saviano’s frightening book about the Neapolitan Camorra, which revealed how insidious and slightly unhinged Southern Italian crime organisations are. Our review

The Honourable Woman, BBC2

Twisting, full of intrigue and beautifully made and acted, this follow-up to The Shadow Line from writer/producer/director Hugo Blick was one of the most captivating dramas of 2014. Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped out of her Hollywood comfort zone and gave a blockbuster performance. Our review

Scott & Bailey, ITV

Once again this ITV staple with Lesley Sharp and Suranne Jones got all the basics of good drama right, while coming up with some really intriguing crime stories. Our review

Boardwalk Empire, Sky Atlantic

A series that has never really grabbed audiences in the UK, but as it approached its finale it was always beautifully written, acted and produced. Our review

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies

ITV specialises in dramas inspired by real events and again came up with a sober, fascinating series about the wrongful arrest of the eccentric ex-school teacher. Jason Watkins was terrific in the lead. Our review

Honourable mentions to… 
The Fall 2 – even if the finale made a hash of Stella’s character and was ultimately disappointing (see our mini-poll, above right), this had some great moments along the way; Brooklyn Nine-Nine; Suspects; Endeavour 2; Mammon; 24: Live Another Day; Amber; Utopia; Crimes of Passion; The Driver; Legends; Glue; Grantchester; and Common.
Fond farewells…
to Ronnie Brooks (and Law & Order: UK as well?), and Southland.
Disappointments…
Hostages; Salamander; the pilot for Bosch; Babylon did not quite cut it; Turks & Caicos – all prestige production and cast that failed to grip; Prey; Hinterland; Chasing Shadows; and Stalker, which was pretty dire.

Follow @crimetimeprev

Crime Thriller Award winners 2014 – best crime fiction and TV shows of the year

Here are the results of tonight’s 2014 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards.

CrimeTimePreview predicted all the correct winners apart from one – that was Keeley Hawes nabbing Best Actress over Sarah Lancashire. Still, Keeley Hawes put in a terrific performance in Line of Duty 2 and deserves the plaudits.

James Norton also won his first ever award for his chilling portrayal in Happy Valley. Here are the winners in full…

Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards Winners are:

Keeley Hawes for Line of Duty – Dagger for Best Actress

Matthew McConaughey for True Detective – Dagger for Best Actor

James Norton for Happy Valley – Dagger for Best Supporting Actor

Amanda Abbington for Sherlock – Dagger for Best Supporting Actress

Happy Valley – Dagger for Best TV Series

Actor James Norton before Crime Thriller Awards 2014
James Norton being interviewed before the awards

True Detective – Dagger for Best International TV Series

Cold in July – Dagger for Best Film

Peter May – Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year

Wiley Cash – CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger

Ray Celestin – CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger

Robert Harris – CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year

Denise Mina, Robert Harris and Midsomer Murders were inducted into the Hall of Fame

Follow @crimetimeprev

TV Daggers 2014 – who should win

AS A VOTING member of the Academy of British Crime Writing, I’ve already selected my nominations in this year’s Crime Thriller Awards for the best TV series.

What were your favourites? It’s been a terrific year for powerful new dramas, with True Detective, Happy Valley and The Honourable Woman all in  contention.

The CWA/ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards have become the most exciting annual awards do for crime books, TV and film. This year’s event is on Friday, 24 October, at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, and will be shown on ITV3 the following week.

ITV3 is also showing a series of one-hour shows from 15 September called the Crime Thriller Club in the run-up to the gong show. Each one will showcase a crime book or bestselling author.

Here are the TV nominees, and I’ve picked my faves.

But what do you think? Please comment below.

TV Dagger


Happy Valley

Line of Duty series 2

Sherlock series 3

The Bletchley Circle series 2

The Honourable Woman

And the winner should be… Happy Valley
Line of Duty was more compelling than the first series and Sherlock – a recurring winner in recent years – again dazzled, while The Honourable Woman was a sophisticated series that found a large and committed audience. But the BBC’s Happy Valley was the most powerful drama by far, with moving performances and a nail-biting storyline.

International TV Dagger

Fargo

Inspector Montalbano series 9

Orange Is the New Black

The Bridge series 2

True Detective

And the winner should be… True Detective
Again, there are blockbuster contenders here. The Bridge was once more distinctive and captivating, while Fargo captured some of the Coen brothers’ movies’ off-beam sinister mood, and Orange Is the New Black was fresh with a dark humour. But True Detective was something else… brooding and original, scary and oblique – it must have prompted the most online comment and theorising of any crime series this year. Totally breathtaking.

Best Actress Dagger

Brenda Blethyn Vera

Maggie Gyllenhaal The Honourable Woman

Anna Maxwell Martin Death Comes to Pemberley

Sarah Lancashire Happy Valley

Keeley Hawes Line of Duty

And the winner should be… Sarah Lancashire
A bugger to choose, with Keeley Hawes in one of her best ever roles as the detective under suspicion and Maggie Gyllenhaal sublime in Hugo Blick’s political thriller. But Sarah Lancashire had to push herself furthest in Happy Valley, mixing grit and violence with vulnerability and glimpses of wit. Fabulous performance.

Best Actor Dagger

Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock

Shaun Evans Endeavour

Martin Freeman Sherlock and Fargo

Matthew McConaughey True Detective

Steve Pemberton Happy Valley

And the winner should be… Matthew McConaughey
This one’s easier. Matthew McConaughey is by far the most mesmerising performance of the year as the almost unhinged detective Rust Cohle.

Supporting Actress Dagger

Amanda Abbington Sherlock 

Vicky McClure Line of Duty

Helen McCrory Peaky Blinders

Gina McKee By Any Means

Michelle Monaghan True Detective

And the winner should be… Amanda Abbington
It’s not easy to stand out in this series with Sherlock and Watson hogging the limelight, but Amanda Abbington gave the drama an added dash of fun and mystery.

Supporting Actor Dagger

Mark Gatiss Sherlock 
David Leon Vera
James Norton Happy Valley
Mandy Patinkin Homeland
Billy Bob Thornton Fargo
And the winner should be… Billy Bob Thornton
James Norton made our flesh creep as the sadistic brute in Happy Valley (he’s a vicar next in ITV’s Grantchester – talk about versatile), but I think Billy Bob Thornton just pips him in Fargo – a brilliantly queasy blend of hilarious and menacing all in one.

Follow @crimetimeprev

True Detective, Sky Atlantic, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson PREVIEW

Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey, True Detective, Sky Atlantic
Trailer parks and pop-up churches – detectives Hart and Cohle canvass for clues. Pics: Sky Atlantic

Rating: ★★★★½

Sky Atlantic: starts Saturday, 22 February, 9pm

Story: 1995 – Detectives Martin Hart and Rust Cohle, partners in Louisiana’s Criminal Investigation Division, are assigned to a macabre murder by a killer with disturbing occult leanings. In 2012, a similar case leads to the investigation being re-opened…

WOWSER –  a new series from HBO. In contemporary TV terms, the people that brought you The Sopranos, The Wire and Game of Thrones, are definitely the gold standard.

Not that HBO is perfect (don’t mention John from Cincinnati, Tell Me You Love Me, 12 Miles of Bad Road) – but when it gets a drama right, it’s appointment viewing.

Woody Harrelson as Detective Hart, True Detective, Sky Atlantic
Woody Harrelson as Hart in 1995

True Detective is a bullseye. It has two of Hollywood’s most interesting actors, Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, in a rich and engrossing eight-parter.

While at it’s core it is a whodunit, True Detective – like ITV’s excellent Broadchurch last year – is far superior to those clapped-out series that start with a corpse and proceed with half-dead characters asking, Where were you on the night of the 14th?

It is the story of two men, detectives Martin Hart (Harrelson) and Rust Cohle (McConaughey), with a grisly crime as the backdrop.

Hart is an average guy, Cohle is deep and aloof

Matthew McConaughey as Cohle, True Detective, Sky Atlantic
Matthew McConaughey as Cohle in 2012

Hart and Cohle are not buddies. As Hart says, ‘You don’t pick your parents and you don’t pick your partner.’

Hart is a normal guy, stressed by his job, with a wife and kids, average outlook on life. Cohle is deep, aloof, voicing opinions about people being wrong to think they are somebody, when in fact they are nothing and should stop reproducing.

Watching Hart and Cohle just driving in a car is one of the drama’s lighter moments. ‘I just wish you would stop saying shit like, “This is someone’s memory of a town,”‘ moans Hart.

Investigating a grisly murder

Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart, True Detective, Sky Atlantic
Michelle Monaghan as Maggie Hart

The thing is, we know what Cohle means, and Hart can’t help but admire the partner he can’t get along with. The low-rent Louisana town where they are digging for clues really looks like a washed-out memory.

It is the murder of a prostitute, found posed in a field with occult props, that bonds and tests the partners. The narrative splits revealingly between 1995, the year of the murder, 2002, and 2012, when a similar crime occurs and the two investigators, who now haven’t seen each other for 10 years, are interviewed about the original case.

By then, Cohle has long hair and a serious booze habit, and Hart is chubby and talks with a sneaking sense of loss about his former partner.

Written by Nic Pizzolatto

The setting is bleak and forbidding, the characters look like normal people (the cops mostly all overweight), and the story is fascinating and compelling.

Written by novelist Nic Pizzolatto, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Jane Eyre), True Detective is also produced by its two leading stars and feels like a project they’re really invested in.

When there is so much crime drama dross around, it’s great that HBO can still pull-off a quality show that takes you on a journey with characters who grip you by the lapels.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey Rust Cohle, Woody Harrelson Martin Hart, Michelle Monaghan Maggie Hart,  Michael Potts Det. Maynard Gilbough, Tory Kittles Papania, Bruce Elliott Trustee-Levi, Madison Wolfe Audrey Hart, Randal Gonzalez Detective Gonzalez, David Stephen Mitchell Promise Keeper, Eric Price Detective Shinn

Follow @crimetimeprev

New TV Crime Dramas 2014

2014 has an amazing variety of new crime series coming, from the USA and the UK. Some are old faves, but others are new and look pretty amazing…


The Honourable Woman 
BBC2, Air date: 2014     
Maggie Gyllenhaal  
Oscar-nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in Hugo Blick’s first new project since the fantastic The Shadow Line. This is described as a fast-paced, international thriller. Nessa turns away from her father’s trade as a Zionist arms procurer, when she inherits his company after his assassination. Instead, she supplies high-spec data cabling networks between Israel and the West Bank – a move that has unforeseen ramifications. This could be a real gripper if it’s anything like as good as The Shadow Line.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

Fortitude 

Sky Atlantic, Air date: autumn 2014
Sofie Grabol, Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci
The Killing‘s Sofie Grabol has signed to star in what Sky Atlantic’s calling its ‘biggest drama to date’. Fortitude is a 13-parter featuring Michael Gambon and Stanley Tucci. Created and written by Simon Donald, the man behind C4’s Low Winter Sun, which was remade by AMC, it will start filming in London and Reykjavik later this year. Fortitude is set in the midst of a polar landscape, one of the safest towns on earth. There has never been a violent crime there. Until now. When a British research scientist is murdered, the crime touches everyone in the close-knit community. Sofie Grabol will play the town’s mayor.
Anticipation factor: ★★★★½




True Detective
Sky Atlantic, Air date: Feb 2014
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
Two detectives’ lives collide when a 17-year-old case is reopened into the gruesome murder of a prostitute. Their often strained relationship and backstories will be the thread through this anthology series from HBO, home of The Sopranos, The Wire, Game of Thrones etc. And with these Hollywood big-hitters, it’s a must-see.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

The Fall 2
BBC2, Air date: 2014
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch
This was BBC2’s biggest new drama launch for a decade – and rightly so. Writer Allan Cubitt created a three-dimensional and unforgettable villain in Paul Spector and a powerful investigator in detective superintendent Stella Gibson. Producer Gub Neal has already told CrimeTimePreview, ‘It’s going to be great.’
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

The Following
Sky Atlantic, Air date: February 2014
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
Season two of the serial killer thriller, with Ryan Hardy (Bacon) and Mike Weston (Ashmore) reunited in their bid to help the FBI to recapture evil genius Joe Carroll (Purefoy). Sam Underwood (Hmeland) joins the cast as a young guy who may just be one of Carroll’s followers.
Anticipation factor ★★★½


Line of Duty 2
BBC2, Air date: 2014   
Keeley Hawes, Jessica Raine, Robert Lindsay, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar
Line Of Duty was BBC2’s biggest new drama series for 10 years, averaging 4.2 million viewers, and it returns for a second run. Written by Jed Mercurio,  series two features a new police corruption story told over six one-hour episodes. It opens with the ambush of a police convoy in which three police officers are killed and a protected witness seriously injured. The sole surviving police officer is Detective Inspector Lindsay Denton (Keeley Hawes). Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden (Robert Lindsay) takes personal charge, assigning AC-12 to the case. Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), Detective Constable Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) are joined by newly appointed Detective Constable Georgia Trotman (Jessica Raine) to investigate a complex case.

Anticipation factor ★★★½

Turks & Caicos
BBC2, Air date: 2014       
Bill Nighy, Christopher Walken, Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Ewen Bremner, James Naughton
Turks & Caicos is the second part of David Hare’s Worricker Trilogy – Salting the Battlefield will conclude it, and both follow Page Eight, which aired on BBC2 in 2011. Johnny Worricker has walked out of his job at MI5, going to the airport apparently to choose his destination at random. But his presence on the obscure islands of Turks & Caicos brings him a new problem: he is being forced by the CIA to deal with a group of ambiguous Americans who are on the islands for a high-level conference on the world financial crisis. 
Anticipation factor ★★★★

Common
BBC1, Air date: 2014
Daniel Mays, Nico Mirallegro, Jodhi May
The new 90-minute film by Jimmy McGover (The Lakes, Cracker and The Accused) is set in the north west of England and explores the UK’s controversial Joint Enterprise Law. A young man gives friends an impromptu lift to a pizza parlour and finds himself charged with murder. The film opens as three young men hurry to a parked car, with 17-year-old Johnjo at the wheel, as they pile in and speed off in sheer panic following a fatal stabbing in the local pizza parlour. The lives of the four young men, the lives of those they love and the lives of the victim’s family will never be the same again.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

Southland 5
More4, Air date: early 2014 
Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Benjamin McKenzie, Regina King
The final series of what has been a wonderful, breathtaking ride with the cops patrolling the mean streets of LA. Southland has gathered has been tucked away on More4 and gathered few rave reviews, but it is a superb, gripping drama. Savour the final 10 instalments, as John Cooper takes a new rookie on patrol, and the brilliant detective Lydia Adams struggles to care for her newborn baby.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½
Braquo 3
Fox UK, Air date: Spring 2014
Jean-Hughes Anglade, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Karole Rocher
The ball-breaking cops from this French drama return in another eight episodes of mayhem, picking up after the explosion of Theo’s car at the end of season two.
Anticipation factor ★★★½

Broadchurch
ITV, Air date: late 2014?
Olivia Colman
Perhaps 2013’s biggest and most talked-about crime series will return. Olivia Colman has confirmed that she will reprise her role as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, who discovered her husband had killed schoolboy Danny in series one. Rumour is that series two could be a prequel, perhaps recounting the old unfinished case of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy – played by David Tennant (who will be reprising the role in a US version of Broadchurch). So far, Tennant’s participation in series two has not been confirmed.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½
Glue
E4, Air date: 2014

A new crime drama is to hit E4, the network for the youth audience, from Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne. Needless to say, it will probably be a little edgy. Glue is a series about murder and secrets. When the body of Caleb, a teenage traveller, is found dead underneath the wheels of a tractor, the village’s inhabitants, his friends, are forced to open up their world and watch their secrets spill out…Anticipation factor ★★★½

The Game
BBC1, Air date: 2014      
Brian Cox, Tom Hughes, Shaun Dooley
When a defecting KGB officer reveals the existence of a devastating Soviet plot, codenamed Operation Glass, the charismatic but paranoid head of MI5, known simply as Daddy (Cox), assembles a secret committee to investigate. Written and created by Toby Whithouse (Being Human), this six-parter looks like appointment viewing.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

Happy Valley
A 6×60 series written by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango In Halifax, Scott & Bailey) and made by Red Production Company.
Catherine Crowther is the sergeant on duty when flustered, nervous-looking accountant Colin Weatherill comes into her West Yorkshire police station to report a crime. He’s reticent about the details and Colin loses his nerve. The crime he was trying to report was Colin’s own brain-child, a plot to kidnap his boss’s daughter and keep enough of the ransom to put his kids through private school. And now local drug king-pin David Cowgill has put the plan into action, and Colin’s fantasy has become a grim and dangerous reality. The botched kidnapping of eccentric, angry Ann Gallagher and its fallout unfolds… Catherine is used to picking up the pieces of everyone else’s lives but the hunt for Ann Gallagher will get right under her skin. Catherine becomes convinced that only by finding Ann alive and bringing her captors to justice can she avenge the death of her daughter.

Hinterland
BBC4, Air date: 2014
Richard Harrington
A new detective series based in the coastal Welsh town of Aberystwyth, set against the backdrop of mountainous hinterland, isolated farms and close-knit villages. DCI Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington, Lark Rise to Candleford) is a brilliant but troubled man on the run from his past. Having abandoned his life in London, he finds himself holed up in a trailer park on the outskirts of town. Together with hometime girl DI Mared Rhys, he forms an engaging partnership…
Anticipation factor ★★★½

Better Call Saul 
AMC/Netflix, Air date: 2015?
Bob Odenkirk
Breaking Bad spin-off, which could be fun – or rubbish. Saul Goodman, the shyster lawyer, is the star of the show, and creator Vince Gilligan is hoping to lure BB’s Aaron Paul for a cameo.
Anticipation factor ★★★

Breakdown
BBC1, Air date: 2014
No cast announced yet
An eight-parter, written by Jack Williams and Harry Williams. When his son is snatched on holiday in France, Tony’s exhaustive search fractures his marriage and destroys his life. Exploring the emotional cost of hope and finding when to let go, this relationship thriller shows the impact of a child’s abduction.
Anticipation factor ★★★½

The Interceptor

BBC1, Air date: 2014
No cast announced yet
Eight-parter, written by Tony Saint (Margaret Thatcher: Long Walk To Finchley; Strike Back). A high-octane eight-part series about a top secret, state-of-the-art law enforcement team whose mission is to hunt down some of Britain’s most dangerous and ruthless criminals. 
Anticipation factor ★★★½

Salamander
BBC4, Air date: 2014
Following the huge success of Nordic noir, Italian and French series on BBC4, the channel has signed this 12-part Belgian thriller. n a private Brussels bank, 66 safe-deposit boxes are raided. The owner of the bank wants to keep the thefts under wraps but police inspector Paul Gerardi catches wind of the affair. With his incorruptible, old-school morals and devil-may-care attitude, Gerardi throws himself into the investigation
Anticipation factor ★★★½

Shetland
BBC1, Air date: 2014
Douglas Henshall
Shetland has been re-commissioned for a second series. Following its successful two-part debut last year, Shetland will return for a second run as a bigger six-part series with Douglas Henshall returning to the lead role as Detective Jimmy Perez. Brian Cox and Julie Graham will be joining the cast. Cox plays Magnus Bain, a solitary man and social outsider who finds himself the focus of a murder investigation.
Julie Graham plays procurator fiscal Rhona Kelly – a new returning character who will make her mark in the first and third stories of the series.
Anticipation factor ★★★½




Babylon
C4, Air date: 2014
James Nesbitt, Paterson Joseph, Jill Halfpenny, Brit Marling
Danny Boyle’s cop-based comedy. Nesbitt plays Richard Miller, chief constable of the London police who hires Marling’s American PR boss to modernise the force. It’s been written by Peep Show and Four Lions creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong.
Anticipation factor ★★★

DCI Banks 3
ITV, Air date: 2014
Stephen Tompkinson, Andrea Lowe, Caroline Catz
Six-parter with two episodes devoted to each story by author Peter Robinson – Wednesday’s Child, Piece of My Heart and Bad Boy.
Anticipation factor ★★★

Fleming

Sky Atlantic, Air date: February 2014
Dominic Cooper, Lara Pulver, Anna Chancellor
Dominic Cooper plays the author who gave us James Bond, Ian Fleming, in this stylish drama. From naval officer to intelligence officer and playboy, this charts the British writer’s fascinating, eventful life.
Anticipation factor ★★★


Law & Order: UK
ITV: Air date: 2014   
Bradley Walsh, Georgia Taylor, Paterson Joseph, Dominic Rowan   
Highlights of the new series include the death of a psychiatrist who specialises in violent juveniles and a hotel-room killing without a body. DS Ronnie Brooks, played by Bradley Walsh, will meet his match in a drug dealer who repeatedly beats the justice system and In I Predict a Riot, he’ll be investigating other senior police officers. 
Anticipation factor ★★★★


Vera 4
ITV, Air date: 2014
Brenda Blethyn, David Leon
In the opening episode Vera investigates the mysterious death of pensioner Margaret Krukowksi (Annabel Leventon) on a busy Newcastle Metro train at the height of rush hour.
Anticipation factor ★★★½


Endeavour 4
ITV, Air date: 2014
Shaun Evans, Roger Allam
Four more two-hour films.
Anticipation factor ★★★★


Prey
ITV, Air date: 2014
John Simm
John Simm will play Detective Constable Marcus Farrow, a well-liked copper, with a wife and two kids.  Although he and his wife Abi are going through a rough patch, they’re trying not to let it disrupt life for their sons, Max and Finn. But when Farrow is found at the scene of a brutal crime, with all the evidence pointing towards him, his world collapses. Arrested and charged, it seems Farrow’s fate is sealed. So when he gets the opportunity to escape, he seizes it with both hands. Now Farrow is on the run in Manchester. A criminal on the streets he used to police. A great premise for what sounds like a gripping drama.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½


No Offence
C4, Air date: 2014
The latest from Paul Abbott (Shameless, Hit & Miss, State of Play) is bound to be a cop show with a difference. Set in a crumbling Victorian cop shop on the wrong side of Manchester, No Offence follows a group of bobbies on the front line, wondering what they did to end up here, in this force, on this side of town. Keeping these streets clean is a Herculean task, enough to demoralise even the keenest rookie. Expect wit, grit and a walk on the wild side of policing.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½

Christopher Jefferies
ITV, Air date: 2014
Jason Watkins, Peter Polycarpou, Shaun Parkes
Based on the true story of Christopher Jefferies, a retired schoolmaster who was arrested when his tenant, 25-year-old landscape architect Joanna Yeates, was found murdered on Christmas Day in 2010. While in police custody, Jefferies became the most familiar face in Britain.
Anticipation factor ★★★½


Foyle’s War
ITV, Air date: 2014
Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks
Three two-hour mysteries. In his role as a Senior Intelligence Officer for the secret service-MI5, Foyle continues to be immersed in the dangerous post-war world of espionage at a time when political and foreign governmental relationships were delicately balanced.
Anticipation factor ★★★½


Undeniable
ITV, Air date: 2014
Claire Goose, Peter Firth, Felix Scott, Christina Bottomley, Pippa Haywood
Claire Goose will star as Jane Fielding, a woman who recognises her mother’s murderer, twenty-three years after the crime. Despite being just seven years old when she witnessed the killing, she’s determined to bring the man she believes is responsible to justice.
Anticipation factor ★★★★½


Chasing Shadows
ITV, Air date: 2014
Cast to be announced
Four-parter about the work of a missing persons unit tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people.
Anticipation factor ★★★½


Scott & Bailey 4
ITV, Air date: 2014
Lesley Sharp, Suranne Jones
The hugely popular series – the finale of the last season was watched by 7.1million viewers – returns.
Anticipation factor ★★★★


Grantchester
ITV, Air date: 2014
Cast to be announced
Set against the backdrop of the real hamlet of Grantchester, the drama focuses upon the life of Sidney Chambers, a charismatic, charming clergyman who turns investigative vicar when one of his parishioners dies in suspicious circumstances.  
Anticipation factor ★★★½

Follow @crimetimeprev

%d bloggers like this: