Entertainment
2.2k voters

The Very Best British Crime Dramas, Ranked

Updated January 22, 2021 14.5k votes 2.2k voters 72.6k views42 items

List RulesVote up your favorite suspenseful British shows.

British crime dramas are beloved around the world, thanks in part to the detectives who make sure the bad guys receive justice. The top British crime shows take viewers through the process of figuring out who done it. This is a list of the best British crime drama shows, including everything from Midsomer Murders to Death in Paradise to Wallander.

What series will you find on this list of the greatest British crime dramas? In LutherIdris Elba stars as a brilliant, but troubled detective with a bit of a temper. Waking the Dead is another good British crime series. Gillian Anderson hunts an elusive serial killer, played by Jamie Dornan, in the BBC Two series The Fall. Other great English crime shows featured on this list include Vera, Miss Marple, and Rosemary & Thyme.

Which of these popular British crime dramas is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up to move them to the top of the list, and please add any great shows that are missing.

Photo:
...more
  • Broadchurch1
    715
    186

    Broadchurch

    David Tennant, Olivia Colman

    Premiered2013

    Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Happy Valley2
    614
    205

    Happy Valley

    Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran
    Happy Valley (BBC One, 2014) is a British crime drama television series created by Sally...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Sherlock3
    665
    245

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

    Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Line Of Duty4
    525
    164

    Line Of Duty

    Keeley Hawes, Lennie James

    Premiered2012

    Line of Duty is a British police drama, created by Jed Mercurio, which aired on BBC Two 26...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Foyle's War5
    528
    193

    Foyle's War

    Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks

    Premiered2002

    This series is a British detective drama television series set during and shortly after WWII,...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Vera6
    533
    213

    Vera

    Brenda Blethyn, Jon Morrison

    Premiered2011

    Vera is a British detective television series based on the works of crime author Ann Cleeves....  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Endeavour7
    549
    75

    Endeavour

    Shaun Evans, Roger Allam

    Premiered2012

    Endeavour is a British television detective drama series. It is a prequel to the long-running...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Luther8
    519
    211

    Luther

    Idris Elba, Warren Brown

    Premiered2010

    Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Shetland9
    486
    66

    Shetland

    Douglas Henshall, Alison O'Donnell

    Premiered2013

    Shetland is a BBC Scotland crime drama television series starring Douglas Henshall as...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Unforgotten10
    451
    73

    Unforgotten

    Sanjeev Bhaskar, Trevor Eve

    Premiered2015

    Unforgotten is a British crime drama television series, which initially aired on ITV on 8...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Inspector Lewis11
    375
    65

    Inspector Lewis

    Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox

    Premiered2006

    Lewis is a British television detective drama produced for ITV. A spin-off from Inspector...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • DCI Banks12
    401
    167

    DCI Banks

    Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam

    Premiered2010

    DCI Banks is a British crime drama series produced by Left Bank Pictures for the ITV network....  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Silent Witness13
    208
    57

    Silent Witness

    Emilia Fox, William Gaminara

    Premiered1996

    Silent Witness is a British drama series, produced by the BBC, focusing on a team of forensic...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Fall14
    390
    196

    The Fall

    Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan

    Premiered2013

    The Fall (BBC Two, 2013) is a British-Irish crime drama television series created by Allan...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Hinterland15
    360
    157

    Hinterland

    Richard Harrington, Mali Harries

    Premiered2014

    Y Gwyll, titled Hinterland in the English-language version (S4C, 2013), is a Welsh noir police...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Grantchester16
    300
    81

    Grantchester

    James Norton, Robson Green

    Premiered2014

    Grantchester is a British ITV detective drama, set in the 1950s Cambridgeshire village of the...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Scott & Bailey17
    286
    81

    Scott & Bailey

    Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp

    Premiered2011

    Scott & Bailey is a British detective drama series that debuted on ITV on 29 May 2011. The...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Wallander18
    331
    176

    Wallander

    Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe

    Premiered2008

    Wallander is a British television series adapted from the Swedish novelist Henning Mankell's...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Death In Paradise19
    348
    209

    Death In Paradise

    Kris Marshall, Danny John-Jules

    Premiered2011

    Death in Paradise (BBC One, 2011) is a British-French crime drama television series created by...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Bletchley Circle20
    282
    148

    The Bletchley Circle

    Anna Maxwell Martin, Rachael Stirling

    Premiered2012

    The Bletchley Circle is a television mystery drama miniseries, set in 1952–53, about four...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Peaky Blinders21
    213
    81

    Peaky Blinders

    Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory

    Premiered2013

    Peaky Blinders (BBC Two, 2013) is a British television action drama created by Steven Knight,...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Marcella22
    192
    73

    Marcella

    Anna Friel, Nicholas Pinnock

    Premiered2016

    Marcella is a British crime noir detective series produced, written and directed by Hans...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • Wire in the Blood23
    153
    50

    Wire in the Blood

    Robson Green, Simone Lahbib

    Premiered2002

    Wire in the Blood is a British crime drama television series, created and produced by Coastal...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Sister24
    1
    4

    The Sister

    Russell Tovey, Bertie Carvel

    Premiered2020

    The Sister (ITV, 2020) is a British psychological thriller adapted from Neil Cross's novel...  more
    Amazon buy button
  • The Sweeney25
    94
    97

    The Sweeney

    John Thaw, Warren Mitchell

    Premiered1975

    The Sweeney is a 1970s British television police drama focusing on two members of the Flying...  more
    Amazon buy button