There’s been a murder! Quite a lot of them, it turns out, in this week’s TV picks featuring 10 of the best crime dramas available to watch now.
From the comfortably familiar (Midsomer Murders) to the X-rated (Amsterdam Vice), from crime-busting duos (Unforgotten, Bulletproof) to lone wolves (Harrow, Thou Shalt Not Kill), and from the darkly comic (The Flight Attendant) to the downright dark (Prodigal Son) it is a fabulously broad palette to choose from.
Don’t have nightmares.
The Flight Attendant - Sky One
This darkly comedic thriller about a flight attendant who wakes up in a hotel room with a dead body next to her in bed is a gloriously wild ride from start to finish.
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) is hard-drinking air stewardess Cassie Bowden who has no idea how the rich, handsome passenger she just met has ended up with his throat cut, in this winning adaptation of Chris Bohjalian’s best-selling novel.
Co-starring Rosie Perez as a fellow flight attendant, Zosia Mamet as Bowden’s lawyer friend and Michiel Huisman as the dead guy with an unfortunate habit of coming back to life, it’s a hilariously compelling watch.
What they say: ‘The premise is fun, the execution is slick and the action is fast and relentless … Strap in for a first-class murder mystery.’ The Guardian
Midsomer Murders - ITV
Midsomer Murders is now into its 22nd series on ITV and the death rate in the fictional town of Causton and the surrounding area remains as high as ever. And thank goodness for that.
In an ever-changing world there is nothing quite so reassuring as a two-hour deep dive into the world of Midsomer as DCI Tom Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) tracks down all manner of unlikely killers wreaking havoc in the beatific Chilterns countryside.
It’s a decade since Dudgeon replaced John Nettles as its lead character and it’s a sign of his success that it almost feels like it was his show all along. Well, almost (we’ll never forget you, John Barnaby).
What they say: ‘Far-fetched it may be, not to mention callous. But you can’t say that Midsomer Murders is ever less than psychotically imaginative. A much-loved crime show.’ Daily Mail
Intruder - Channel 5
Intruder begins with a 999 call to police after two teenagers break into a couple’s home in the middle of a dinner party and one of the burglars ends up dead.
But it wasn’t entirely what you would describe as self-defence, so beginning a tangled tale of secret and lies as family liaison officer Karen Bailey (played by former Coronation Street star Sally Lindsay) attempts to uncover the truth.
Elaine Cassidy and Tom Meeten star as the unhappy couple at the centre of the night gone tragically wrong in this nail-biter airing on four consecutive nights, which began on Monday 5th April.
What they say: ‘Explores the dark and devastating aftermath of an attempted burglary at a luxurious home on the coast … A homegrown ‘can they get away with it?’ drama.’ Radio Times
Amsterdam Vice - Channel 4
This buddy cop show set in 1980 Amsterdam begins as a murder mystery before escalating into a deadly conspiracy that will strike at the heart of the Dutch royal family.
Waldemar Torenstra and Tygo Gernandt are the mismatched detectives in a race against time to halt a major terrorist attack on Princess Beatrix’s Coronation Day.
Partly based on true events, this Walter Presents series is an original prequel to the novels written by AC Baantjer, the most successful Dutch book franchise of all time.
What they say: ‘An explosive Dutch crime drama set in 1980 … Drugs, sex workers and canal chases abound.’ Financial Times
Prodigal Son - Sky One
There’s been no shortage of memorable police sidekicks over the years but they don’t come much more extraordinary than this one.
Tom Payne stars as Malcolm Bright, the disgraced former FBI investigator helping the New York police department solve a series of hideous crimes.
He is aided (and abetted) by his serial killer father, played by the magnificent Martin Sheen, who he shopped to the cops when he was just six-years-old. Let the battle of wits commence!
What they say: ‘Poses some fascinating questions behind its fast-moving action …
This is an instantly addictive show.’ iNews
Unforgotten - ITV
The fourth series of ITV’s much-loved crime drama Unforgotten has just come to a devastating close. But the good news for fans of the show is that ITV has since commissioned a fifth series.
Nicola Walker and Sanjeev Bhaskar star in Chris Lang’s acclaimed drama as the two detectives tackling cold cases of murder and missing persons.
Unforgotten has grown more popular with each series since it first aired on ITV in 2015, becoming one of the UK’s most popular and critically-acclaimed police dramas. Expect it to sweep the board come awards time.
What they say: ‘Warm, intelligent, exceedingly likeable … The chemistry between Bhaskar and Walker is vital. Both actors are terrific. A dollop of ITV magic.’ Independent
Harrow - Alibi
Ioan Gruffudd is Daniel Harrow, a brilliant forensic pathologist who is able to solve the crimes that others can’t.
Unfortunately for Harrow he is rather better at dealing with the dead than he is with the living, and is as good at his job as he is terrible at everything else, whether that’s respecting authority or his relationships with his ex-wife and daughter.
Gruffudd first starred in the Disney-produced Australian crime procedural in 2018 and its third series will receive its UK premiere on Alibi next Wednesday 14 April.
What they say: ‘Daniel Harrow has an unfailing empathy for the dead, and is hiding a dark secret that threatens him, his family and his career.’ Digital Spy
Bulletproof - Sky One
The explosive adventures of London cops Aaron Bishop and Ronnie Pike now span three series with a fourth in the pipeline since they burst onto Sky One in 2018.
Created by and starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, the pair were most recently seen in three-part special, Bulletproof: South Africa.
The next eight-part series will see the pair back in London with Bishop and Pike implicated in a gruesome murder leaving their entire lives in the balance up against the ‘most untouchable villain they have ever faced’.
What they say: ‘A high-octane buddy cop saga [that] wears its heart on its sleeve.’ iNews
Agatha & Poirot: Partners In Crime - ITV
Not a crime drama but a documentary about one of the all-time greatest sleuths, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, to mark the 100th anniversary of the dapper detective’s debut literary appearance.
Richard E Grant is our guide for this entertaining insight into how the author brought her unforgettable creation to life and the Belgian crime-buster’s subsequent portrayal on screen.
Stephen Fry, Zoë Wanamaker, Caroline Quentin and Danny John Jules are among the familiar faces shining a light on Christie and her creation so memorably portrayed on ITV by David Suchet.
What they say: ‘An enjoyable profile … gives us some terrific insights into the thought process behind Hercule Poirot’s creation.’ Radio Times
Thou Shalt Not Kill - All 4
The third series of this elegant and eerily haunting Italian crime drama has just come to All 4.
Set in Turin but with an almost Scandi drama flavour to it, Miriam Leone stars as Inspector Valeria Ferro, a detective with a sixth sense for spotting twisted villains.
Ferro’s ice cool demeanour hides a tragic family background with her mother about to be released from jail after a 17-year prison sentence. The detective’s own family history could yet be the most challenging and traumatic case that she has to solve.
What they say: ‘A beguilingly crafted plot … everything about this show looks fabulous on screen.’ Entertainment Focus